April 16, 2013 By Tracy Leave a Comment
I recently was invited to do a workshop with BC Housing as part of their livegreen council activities and really enjoyed connecting with the motivated and passionate staff of the Burnaby and Prince George offices. During the workshop one of the topics we were discussing was toothbrushes and I discovered a CRAZY statistic…..in the US, 50 million pounds of plastic toothbrushes go to landfill every year!
We were all astounded. Further research showed that some of these toothbrushes don’t ever make it to the landfill. Some of them end up going for a swim; down storm drains, rivers and end up out in the ocean where they are carried on ocean currents and become part of the Pacific Garbage Patch – a giant floating, stratified collection of our plastic waste – which animals and birds eat, mistaking the colored plastic for food.
The toothbrushes in the photo to the left were recovered from the stomaches of dead Albatross birds which nest on Midway Island – thousands of miles from any civilization! Have you ever heard someone say to you, “What can I do? I’m just one person?”
My invitation to you is to talk about a product we all use everyday – our toothbrush and realize that you do matter and you can make change happen. Everyday there are more and more solutions appearing to support different choices.
Here are some resources for your toothbrush choices:
September 4, 2012 By Tracy Leave a Comment
The beginning of September marks back to school for millions of kids - which for parents means lunch boxes, meal planning and school supplies shopping! Do you have a lunch box/bag that is tattered, used and just plain manky (love this word – gross or yucky works too!) and ready for retirement? If you use the insulated lunch bags, it can be troublsome to figure out what to do with them once they have moved beyond their lunch duties.
Here are some interesting solutions for reusing them instead of trashing them
Hard Plastic Lunch Boxes
- reuse for kids crafting supplies
- storage of pens, pencils, crayons
- (if still in working condition) recover with stickers or pictures to make it “new”
Insulated Fabric Lunch Boxes and Bags
- Break out the sewing machine and make cup holders
- Cut up the bag and use to insulate pipes or hard to reach places
Important considerations for new lunch box purchases
Is it Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) free?
Many lunch bags and boxes on the market are actually made of toxic plastic, most commonly polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl). PVC contains harmful chemicals, including phthalates, lead and cadmium which can be toxic to a child’s health. Phthalates and other toxic additives can leach out or evaporate into the air over time causing potential danger to children.
Can I recycle it when it’s done with it’s useful life as a lunch bag?
Look for cotton, stainless steel or glass solutions or companies that will take the product back and recycle it OR if buying plastic lunch box systems look for the recycling arrows on the product and make sure the plastic is FOOD GRADE plastic - will look like this:
See below some awesome lunch box recipes that go way beyond the peanut butter and jam classic!
To Your Health!
Tracy Lydiatt – B.Sc, M.Sc
The Green Families Guru
From our friends at Inhabitots.com - author: Jennie Lyon
Coming up with healthy, and kid-pleasing, lunchbox ideas every day can be tough, especially if you’re looking for vegetarian options. And if your child has a peanut allergy, or if your school has banned PB&J, then alternatives to the kiddie classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich are a must! However, you also need to find healthy sandwich combos that your kid will happily eat — not trade for another kid’s processed who-knows-what…. click here to read more