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Environmentally Friendly Weed Killer | DIY Pet & Child Safe Methods

environmentally friendly weed killer

Spring is a wonderful time of year, from the warm weather to the blooming of beautiful plants and flowers. What’s not beautiful, however? The WEEDS that go with it! Use these environmentally friendly weed killer methods to safely and effectively eradicate pesky plants from your property!

What makes an environmentally friendly weed killer?

It’s one that uses natural and safe means to kill weeds rather than dangerous chemicals such as glyphosate.

This means it won’t pollute your soil and is also safe around you, your children, and your pets.

We can’t say the same for traditional weed killers like Roundup.

You might’ve heard how they were sued for $80 million after a 70-year-old man with cancer used it for three decades and the jury found that Roundup was a “substantial factor” in his illness.

But what is this chemical glyphosate?

Before we get into your environmentally friendly weed killer options, let’s first take a closer look at this chemical.

Dangers of Glyphosate Herbicides

dangers of glyphosate

The dangers of glyphosate herbicides, as shown from studies, include links to cancer, endocrine disruption (ring any bells?), liver disease, birth defects, and reproductive problems in laboratory animals.

Glyphosate is a synthetic herbicide patented in 1974 by the Monsanto Company and is now manufactured and sold by many companies in hundreds of products.

The chemical is best known as the active ingredient in Roundup-branded herbicides, and the herbicide used with “Roundup Ready” genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

It is the most widely used pesticide as worldwide roughly 9.4 million tons of the chemical has been sprayed on fields, enough to spray nearly half a pound of Roundup on every cultivated acre of land in the world.

From this, more than 42,000 people have filed suit against Monsanto Company (now Bayer) alleging that exposure to Roundup herbicide caused them or their loved ones to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), and that Monsanto covered up the risks.

We’re not the only ones negatively impacted, however.

A 2018 study reported that glyphosate damaged the beneficial gut bacteria in honeybees and made them more prone to deadly infections.

Research from 2017 correlated glyphosate use with reduced populations of monarch butterflies, possibly due to reductions in milkweed, the main food source for monarch butterflies.

If you have pets at home or small children, it makes a lot of sense to use a safer environmentally friendly weed killer to avoid health concerns.

We could keep going into more detail on this chemical, but we don’t want this article to end up a novel.

For more information, check out this article from usrtk.org.

Best Environmentally Safe Weed Killer Options

Now that you’re aware of some dangers of glyphosate herbicides, let’s address these natural environmentally safe weed killer options to keep you and your family safe!

First up is the ever-popular vinegar solution!

How to Make Vinegar Weed Killer

vinegar weed killer

Vinegar weed killer is a highly effective and environmentally friendly weed killer recipe.

The acetic acid found in vinegar is what gives it the power to kill weeds.

This mixture will be very effective in killing broadleaf weeds such as dandelion, chickweed, clover, moss, and more!

This non-toxic weed killer is very fast-acting, usually within hours after application, you’ll start to notice the weeds withering and dying away.

The vinegar also biodegrades and breaks down quickly leaving no harm to the soil, making it a perfect environmentally safe weed killer.

It does have it’s limitations however as it’ll be less effective and may require multiple applications with grassy weeds such as crabgrass, annual ryegrass, and all types of sedges.

You can however make this concoction more powerful and therefore more effective by using stronger, higher-acetic acid content vinegar containing at least 20% acetic acid like this kind right here.

Keep in mind though, while regular 5% kitchen vinegar is safe, higher acetic acid vinegar can cause skin burns and eye irritation, so use with caution.

Another thing to be VERY careful to recognize is that vinegar is a “non-selective” weed killer.

This means that it will not only kill the weed but anything else it touches as well.

Because of this, be very cautious not to use on your lawn or near other plants/ flowers because it will kill them too.

This makes vinegar weed killer best for patios, driveways or sidewalks where no other plant life is harmed.

To start you’ll need a spray bottle to put the mixture in, and three simple ingredients to mix together:

  • 1 gallon of vinegar (5% acetic acid)
  • 1 cup normal iodized salt
  • 1 tablespoon dish soap

Both the acetic acid in vinegar and salt play a part in killing the weed as they draw moisture out and effectively dehydrate the plant to death.

The dish soap does not kill the weed, rather it acts as a surfactant.

This is an agent that will reduce the surface tension on the weed and allow the vinegar mixture to absorb into the plant, rather than beading off.

It’s important to do this on a sunny day and when the forecast calls for several nice days, as any rain can wash off the vinegar too soon to fully get the job done.

Once you have your mixture ready, pour it into your spray bottle.

Make sure to spray directly onto the leaves of the weed, as well as the base to get the mixture down into the root system.

The weed should be completely saturated with the solution.

The weeds should start to die within a few hours, turning a brownish color.

After about two-three days, assess the situation and re-spray any weeds that are still living.

How to Kill Weeds with Boiling Water

kill weeds with boiling water

Boiling water is one of the easiest and quickest ways of all to safely kill weeds on your property!

It can be used any time of day, rain or shine, and will be effective quickly.

Simply boil water, preferably in a kettle so you can pour with the spout, and saturate the weed with enough that the water makes its way down into the root.

This will effectively and rapidly scald the leaves and root system, killing the weed.

One thing to keep in mind with using boiling water, like vinegar, it is non-selective and will kill any plant, so be extra careful to only pour on the desired weeds and not all over your lawn/ garden.

Using Rubbing Alcohol to Kill Weeds

Using rubbing alcohol to kill weeds is another environmentally safe weed killer method that effectively gets the job done.

Simply dilute two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol into one quart or four cups of water.

Put the solution in a spray bottle and liberally coat the leaves of weeds, preferably on a hot sunny day.

This will work because the alcohol is an astringent substance and will remove moisture from the weed, effectively killing it.

As with the vinegar solution or boiling water, this is another non-selective environmentally friendly weed killer so you need to be careful not to pour any on grass/ plants you want to keep.

Properly Pulling Weeds by Hand

pulling weeds by hand

Pulling weeds by hand seems like a pretty straightforward process, just grab and pull right?

Well while that’s true, there are some best practices to make your weed pulling most effective.

First, you’ll want to make sure you’re pulling at the right time. Typically a good day to weed is the day after a nice rain.

This will make the ground wet and therefore looser and easier to pull out weeds.

When confronting your weed, don’t just grab and pull mindlessly because chances are you’re only ripping off the top of the plant, leaving the roots able to grow right back.

Because of this, you should try to dig down a couple of inches next to the weed, loosening the soil, either by hand or with a garden tool.

Get a good grab on the taproot or main root of the weed with your hand and pull straight up.

Try your best to grab as much of the root as possible so you can make sure to get the whole entire weed out.

If any root is still leftover in the ground, the weed can simply grow back.

This weed killer practice is actually good for the environment because after weeding, you’re leaving small holes throughout your lawn, effectively aerating it.

Aerating allows air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the grassroots, producing a stronger and more vigorous lawn.

How to Prevent Weeds from Growing

So you’ve been successful using one or several of the previous environmentally friendly weed killer methods, but now for the next part. How do we prevent weeds from growing/ coming back?

There are chemicals out there that can take care of this for you, but for the sake of this article, we’re sticking to methods that are completely non-toxic and safe! The first one:

Corn Gluten Meal

Corn gluten is an organic powder left over after corn is milled and is frequently used as an eco-friendly weed control product.

It does not kill weeds, rather it suppresses growth.

Most commonly it is used to control crabgrass. Corn gluten can be found at Lowe’s, Home Depot or Tractor Supply Co, or you can find some online like this pack right here!

The application must be done properly for it to be effective in preventing weeds.

Two things are required: You must apply during a dry weather period (at least a couple of days dry) and also application must be timed to coincide with crabgrass germination which happens when the lilacs in your region are blooming.

So first, make sure the timing is right and ensure some dry weather.

Then for application, spread the corn gluten powder over the soil, preferably with a spreader.

Next, water the corn gluten into the soil with about ¼ inch of water after application.

Ground Coverings

prevent weeds from growing

Using ground coverings such as landscape fabric or mulch is another great way to suppress weeds.

Not only does it look neat and clean, but it works to prevent weeds from growing by keeping the soil cool and moist and depriving weeds of sunlight.

Make sure when using mulch that you keep it only about two inches deep as more than three inches can deprive the soil of oxygen.

A more fine-ground mulch will be more effective than chunkier mulches because more light can pass through the spaces between larger mulch.

So a more ground-up mulch with smaller bits will be more effective in keeping spaces small and light out.

Landscape fabrics work the same way, depriving weeds of sunlight and ultimately not giving them the chance to grow!

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Top Baby Safe Cleaning Products for your Home – Ultimate List

baby safe cleaning products

During these unprecedented times, keeping your house clean is one of the top tasks on our to-do list. When you have a new baby or small child running around, this desire for cleanliness is amplified. Unfortunately, the cleaning products we use today, while they do kill germs, have their own drawbacks. This is why you should always consider baby safe cleaning products for your growing family.

Traditional cleaners have many unhealthy ingredients that can introduce irritation and health complications in our vulnerable youth.

Fortunately, there are many child-safe cleaning products made with healthy, all-natural ingredients.

You might ask, what are the best baby safe cleaning products? Good news.

You’re in the right place as we’re going to show you our top picks of the healthiest baby-friendly cleaners available today.

We did many hours of research for you in determining these brands and products, so you can skip the heavy lifting and read/ choose from the options below!

Choosing Baby Safe Household Cleaning Products

Many chemical ingredients used in traditional cleaning products can be toxic and harmful to children. Well harmful for anyone but especially for children as their bodies are more sensitive. For new parents, it’s especially important to choose baby-safe household cleaning products.

In other articles, we’ve discussed the effects of toxic chemicals in kids’ dinnerwareadult dinner plates, and even cookware that can harm not only yourself but especially your children.

For the sake of this article, we are focusing solely on the often overlooked cleaners.

Cleaners such as dishwasher detergents, bleach, toilet bowl cleaners, drain cleaners, laundry detergents, floor and furniture polish, paints, and more are all dangerous.

The chemicals to avoid include:

  • Ammonia
  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Petroleum Solvents
  • VOCs
  • Phenol
  • Cresol
  • Formaldehyde
  • Hydrochloric Acid
  • Triclosan
  • Glycol Ethers
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Sodium Hypochlorite

These chemicals include serious health risks that can come from accidental ingestion and even touching or breathing in the fumes of the cleaners.

This can cause, depending on the form of exposure,  respiratory problems, diarrhea, headaches, blindness, burns, kidney and liver issues, and even death.

It’s extremely important to read the labels of your cleaning products to check for markings such as:

  • Caution
  • Danger
  • Toxic
  • Warning

If you see these words you should make sure to read what the label has to say.

If you see danger, toxic, warning, or another strong word like that, you should be extremely careful about using these cleaners around your children.

Caution doesn’t always mean the product is unsafe, sometimes it just means to use caution to avoid spraying the product into the eyes for example.

If you did decide to continue using these traditional cleaning products then you should make sure to take proper precaution.

Cleaners should always be stored out of the reach of children.

You may also want to install child-proof latches on low cabinets. When using one of these cleaning products, use only what you need, and immediately put it back out of grasp from the kids.

If all of that precaution seems tedious to you, like it does me, you can steer clear of the risks and replace your traditional cleaners for all-natural baby safe products.

These are just as effective at getting the job done while being a lot safer.

So what cleaning products are safe for babies?

Below we will list our top picks of baby-safe cleaning products in all categories of cleaners from floor cleaners to laundry detergents and stain removers to all-purpose cleaning.

This list has been compiled through many hours of research so you can feel confident moving ahead with smart purchasing decisions.

Let’s get into it!

The Best Baby Safe Cleaning Products

We’ve addressed the concerns of traditional home cleaning products and why you should avoid them around children. Now it’s time for our list of the best baby safe cleaning products to keep your home clean and your baby safe.

Below we have listed the best options for baby-safe hand and body soaps, baby safe stain removers,  laundry detergents, floor cleaners, and all-purpose cleaners.

First, here are our favorite baby-safe hand and body soaps.

Baby Safe Soap for Hand and Body

Dr. Bronner’s pure-castile liquid soap is a very popular and effective baby safe soap that’s good for you and the planet!

It’s made with over 90% organic ingredients and over 70% of those ingredients are certified fair trade.

Dr. Bronner’s is made from no synthetic preservatives, detergents, or foaming agents. Only plant-based ingredients.

This soap is also 3x more concentrated than most liquid soaps, so you can dilute it for a long lasting use.

This product can also be used for dishes, laundry, pets, mopping, and all-purpose cleaning!

Click here to grab Dr. Bronner’s pure-castile liquid soap today!

Puracy’s natural baby shampoo and body wash is another healthy plant-powered baby safe cleaner.

This product contains no cocamidopropyl betaine, sulfates, salicylates, parabens, petroleum-based ingredients, animal by-products (cruelty-free), perfumes, or dyes.

It’s a full-body cleanser for all skin types including those with eczema, cradle cap, and sensitive skin.

This product also won the “Best Baby Skincare Products” award from the BUMP in 2018.

This is a very trusted brand and very safe for your children. Proudly made in America!

Click here to grab a 2-pack of Puracy baby shampoo and natural body wash today!

Baby Safe Stain Remover

Babyganics is a trusted company whose sole focus is on effective and healthy products you can feel good about using. Their baby safe stain remover spray is fragrance-free and safely helps to eliminate tough baby stains and even helps with odors!

It is formulated using plant-based ingredients for natural cleaning power.

Babyganics stain remover is made without ammonia, bleach, phthalates, phosphates, fragrances, dyes, and sulfates.

You can’t go wrong with this stuff!

Click here to grab this Babyganics 3-pack of stain and odor remover spray today!

Dreft Laundry Stain Remover is specially formulated for tough stains on infants’ and children’s clothing, bedding, and blankets.

Its advanced cleaning system can safely remove stains and odors caused by formula, spit-up, food, diarrhea, and more.

Made with plant-based ingredients and a USDA certified bio-based product.

This formula is free of dyes, chlorine, phosphates, and is hypoallergenic.

From the Dreft brand, the #1 Pediatrician Recommended Baby Laundry Detergent.

Click here to grab this 2-pack of Dreft stain removing spray with pen today!

Baby-Friendly Laundry Detergent

These Seventh Generation laundry packs are a very clean and convenient option for baby-friendly laundry detergent.

Seventh Generation has been around for the past 30 years with strong beliefs on people and the planet.

They design their products using renewable plant-based ingredients and recycled materials for packaging.

The laundry packs are made for sensitive skin with 0% fragrances, dyes, or artificial brighteners.

A certified Bio-based product with 94% plant-based ingredients and EPA Safer Choice certified!

Use with high-efficiency (HE) and standard machines and works with hot and cold water.

Click here to get your laundry detergent packs from Seventh Generation now!

Molly’s Suds unscented laundry powder is super concentrated, all-natural, and very effective. This company puts the planet and people’s health before everything when making their products.

Its plant-powered ingredients are free of harsh chemicals such as formaldehyde, petrochemicals, animal by-products, dyes, perfumes, phosphates, brighteners, and more.

It’s so pure that it only has four natural ingredients!

Safe for those with skin sensitivities, allergies, eczema, fragrance sensitivities, and fantastic for newborn clothing and bedding.

Molly’s Suds natural detergent formula gently and effectively cleans even the dirtiest garments while producing minimal suds, so it doesn’t block and damage HE machine sensors.

This product is certified cruelty-free, certified vegan, made in the USA, and rated “A” in EWG’s guide to healthy cleaning.

Click here to get this safe, non-toxic laundry detergent powder from Molly’s Suds today!

Baby-Friendly Floor Cleaner

You’ll love this baby-friendly floor cleaner! Method cleaning products are born in a certified B Corp company that puts the environment and people’s health first.

Method’s floor cleaner is a vegan, non-toxic, biodegradable, hypoallergenic, compostable, and gluten-free plant-powered formula that safely cleans your floors without dangerous chemicals.

It’s very simple to use. Just squirt and mop! No need to rinse with water.

Method Squirt & Mop is for use on sealed hardwood and laminate floors.

Manufactured using renewable energy and responsible packaging!

Click right here to get this 6-pack of Method squirt and mop today!

Aunt Fannie’s believes housekeeping is a daily act of personal wellness, and that’s why they’ve created this Aunt Fannie’s Vinegar Wash Floor Cleaner.

It’s non-toxic, vegan, and healthy for kids and pets who are the ones that are on the floors most often.

It uses the natural power of vinegar to get rid of dirt, muck, and germs.

Vinegar’s acidity is what makes it such a good cleaner.

Its power can easily break down dirt, food, grease, and grime. It’s even great for getting rid of stains!

Plus, this vinegar floor wash is made in the USA, never tested on animals, and awarded the highest health & safety rating for cleaning products by the Environmental Working Group.

This is a fantastic baby-safe floor cleaner!

Click here to get this 32 oz bottle of Aunt Fannie’s vinegar floor cleaner today!

Baby Safe All-Purpose Cleaner

Mrs. Meyer’s Everyday Cleaner is a fantastic baby safe all-purpose cleaner that cuts through kitchen messes and bathroom odors by combining garden-fresh scents with plant-derived ingredients and essential oils.

Great on all non-porous surfaces such as finished wood and tile floors, countertops, walls, porcelain, bathroom fixtures, sealed natural and synthetic stone, and more.

Mrs. Meyer’s baby safe concentrated cleaning formula is biodegradable and free of animal-derived ingredients and animal testing.

Click here to grab Mrs. Meyer’s multi-surface natural cleaning spray!

Better Life Natural All-Purpose Cleaner will sanitize and disinfect surfaces and cut through grease and grime without leaving any chemical residue.

It’s made from 100% plant-derived cleaning agents from soap bark, coconut, and corn.

This baby-safe cleaning formula is free of perfumes, alcohol, petroleum solvents, dyes, parabens, sulfates and is cruelty-free.

Effective on toilets, countertops, appliances, upholstery, baseboards, walls, floors, tables, showers, boats, cars, sporting equipment, and toys.

Fight filth easily and naturally with Better Life all-purpose cleaner!

Click here to grab your 2-pack today!

Favorite Overall

Dr. Bronner’s pure-castile soap has won the crown of our overall favorite baby safe cleaning products.

It is a highly effective and versatile cleaner that is non-toxic and extremely safe.

It can be used as a baby-safe hand and body soap as we mentioned earlier, but that’s not even close to its limit.

Dr. Bronner’s pure-castile soap can also be used for dishes, laundry, floors, removing makeup, for shaving due to its rich lather, face wash, pets, produce rinse, and even for plant care as spraying a water-diluted mix onto the leaves can help deter bugs.

This stuff truly is a non-toxic all-purpose cleaner!

Click here and grab your Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap today and get scrubbing, naturally!

Conclusion

Woohoo, you made it to the end!

Hopefully, after reading through this article you have more knowledge about the unsafe chemicals present in traditional cleaning products and have some great alternatives to choose from instead.

I encourage you to go ahead and click through the links above to check out what users of the products have said in reviews.

This will give you first-hand experiences from people just like you who already bought the products so you can make the right choices for yourself.

Thanks for stopping by!

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How to Reduce the Use of Plastic Bags in our Convenience Culture

How to Reduce the Use of Plastic Bags
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In today’s post, you will learn why reducing plastic bags is so important. We’re going to discuss plastic pollution as a whole briefly and then dive into plastic bags in particular. There, you’ll learn four ways on how to reduce the use of plastic bags!

Plastic bags are among the largest contributors to plastic pollution. You’re about to find out why that is, and also why we should get rid of them as quickly as possible.

How to Reduce Plastic Pollution and Why Is It So Important?

how to reduce plastic pollution

Plastic is cheap and incredibly versatile, with properties that make it ideal for many applications.

However, these qualities have also resulted in it becoming an environmental issue.

We have developed a “disposable” lifestyle, and estimates are that around 50% of plastic is used just once and thrown away.

The proliferation of plastic products in the last 70 years or so has been extraordinary; quite simply, we cannot now live without them.

We are now producing nearly 300 million tons of plastic every year, half of which is for single use.

More than 8 million tons of plastic gets dumped into our oceans every year.

How Does This Plastic Usage Break Down?

♦ Plastic packaging is the largest end-use market segment accounting for just over 40% of total plastic usage.

♦ Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide. More than one million bags every minute.

♦ A plastic bag has an average “working life” of 15 minutes.

♦ Over the last ten years, we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century.

♦ In 2014, the U.S. sold over 100 billion plastic beverage bottles, the Container Recycling Institute estimated; 57 percent of them were for water.

That is a large increase from 1996 when the U.S. sold an estimated 3.8 billion plastic water containers.

♦ Even tiny beads in toothpaste, facial scrubs, and other toiletries can be found in waters worldwide, contributing to plastic pollution, even if we can’t see it.

Where Does This Plastic Pollution Originate?

plastic pollution

So the question you might be wondering is, where do all these plastic bags and other items come from?

Of all the garbage collection material in the Pacific Ocean, 80% comes from the land (coastal deposits of plastic from North America take six years to reach the patch). The other 20% comes from oil rigs, boaters, and cargo ships – most of this is fishing nets.

Plastic waste materials don’t usually drift about aimlessly in the open ocean.

Sometimes they can, but mostly all the waste is routed by ocean currents to “collection zones.”

The largest of which is called the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

You can read more on this specific topic in our other post on plastic pollution in the ocean.

Shipping containers lost at sea dump plastic items such as parts of computer monitors, and even Legos, directly into the water.

So, after briefly touching on just SOME of the facts, let’s look at how we can reduce one of the primary pollutants responsible for the damage – plastic bags.

Why Should We Reduce The Use of Plastic Bags in Particular?

Here are eight quick points of WHY we should reduce plastic bags in particular – then we’ll discuss HOW!

reduce the use of plastic bags

1. Plastic bags pollute our land and water…

Look around, and you’ll see they are everywhere. Flying around, tangled in trees and fence, floating around in ponds, and lying on the parks’ ground.

They’re so lightweight that it’s super easy to pick up by the wind and travel distances.

2. Plastic bags are made from non-renewable resources and contribute to climate change…

Polyethylene gets used to make most plastic bags, a substance derived from crude oil refining and natural gas processing.

Oil and natural gas are non-renewable fossil fuel-based resources. Through their extraction and production, they emit greenhouse gases, which contribute to global climate change.

3. Plastic bags never break down…

Petroleum-based plastic bags are composed of very resistant synthetic polymers that may take up to 1,000 years or never until they completely degrade in natural environments.

What does occur in most instances is that, when out in the environment, the plastic breaks up into tiny microscopic pieces, depositing into the soil (where we grow food) or contaminate waterways.

These invisible little fragments get into everything. Soil, water, air, animals, and plants we consume – meaning plastic is inside us too.

Nearly all humans’ blood and tissue contain traces of these plastic chemicals, testing shows.

Plastic chemical exposure links to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption, and other ailments.

4. Plastic bags are harmful to wildlife and marine life…

Plastic bags floating in the ocean resemble jellyfish, one of the primary food sources for some species of sea turtles (pictured above), especially the critically-endangered Leatherback turtles.

By the way, plastic Saran food wraps, for example, are also a large contributor due to their thin, hard-to-recycle design.

Enough plastic wrap is produced each year in the US alone to wrap the entire state of Texas!

We have a whole other post on plastic wrap, its problems, and the best alternatives out there! You can check this post out by clicking here.

According to a study carried out in 2013, plastic ingestion led to about 35% of turtle deaths. The probability that sea turtles will consume even more plastic increases every year.

Sea turtles and sea life aren’t the only ones affected. Estimates show that approximately one million sea birds also die from plastic yearly.

One hundred thousand turtles and marine mammals, such as dolphins, whales, and seals, are killed by plastic marine litter every year worldwide.

5. Plastic bags are harmful to human health…

Microplastics were found in soft drinks like Coca Cola, in tap water, in seafood…

It has contaminated our food chain, so it should not surprise us that microplastics are in our bodies.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see what’s going on here.

The marine animals that are eventually caught as seafood and consumed by people contain micro-plastics.

Chemicals in plastic, such as BPA, can be absorbed by the human body when we eat these fish.

Some can trigger various health effects and even alter hormones.

Scientists suspect that it may add stress to the liver by introducing more pathogens into the body.

High exposure can increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes, according to a study. Simultaneously, tests on animals have shown the potential for damage to developing brain and reproductive systems.

Additionally, plastics in our digestive tract may affect the absorption of some essential trace elements (like iron), which we need for maintaining proper health.

When buried in landfills, plastics can release chemicals that find their way into groundwater.

6. Plastic bags are not easy to recycle…

As plastic bags tend to get caught in recycling machinery, most recycling facilities cannot recycle plastic bags and therefore do not accept them.

Many recycling facilities consider plastic bags their number one contaminant. Their removal from the recycling stream costs municipalities close to $1 million a year.

7. Plastic bags are costly to pay for and to clean up after…

Nothing is free in this world.

There is a cost at some point in the consumption process.

Retailers incorporate the costs of their bags into the pricing of other items in the store.

The cost of cleanup per bag (meaning waste collection and processing) is about 17 cents.

On average, taxpayers end up spending about $88 per year on plastic bag waste alone.

8. There are better reusable alternatives available…

The very best alternative is a reusable bag, plain and simple.

Reusable shopping bags are very durable and can be reused many times throughout their useful life.

This reusability means that you are not consuming more resources every time you need to carry your groceries home.

Instead, you are reusing a product, and that means that you are utilizing earth’s resources intelligently while at the same time reducing waste.

For example, a reusable jute bag should last at least four years, during which it can prevent the use of 600 single-use plastic bags.

Next up, we’re going to dive into these four easy ways to reduce your plastic bag usage!

4 Easy Ways to Reduce The Use of Plastic Bags

1. Refuse the Bag:

refuse plastic bags

The first and most important way to reduce the use of plastic bags is simply to refuse them!

We often check out at convenience stores, for example, with ONE or TWO small items in it.

Ask yourself in that situation – is this necessary?

Instead of using a bag, carry your toothpaste tube and gum pack to the car, bagless! It’s easy to refuse the bag at the counter.

That’s just a simple example of refusing when we do not NEED!

Often, managers instruct store employees to separate different types of products in separate bags. Or use a bag for only one or two specific items, wasting the rest of the space.

Hand-carry the items out of the store if you can.

2. Bring your reusable shopping bag instead:

The most challenging aspect of this is remembering to take them into the store and creating the habit.

A simple way to overcome this is always to keep your bags in your car.

Even if you only have 1-2 reusable bags and a cart full of groceries, this would be two plastic bags you save each trip!

That adds up! You can find these unique and funny reusable bags above by clicking right here!

OR,

Suppose you are someone who’d benefit even further by keeping a reusable bag in your purse. In that case, there are great little folding reusable shopping bags, like these here, which fold up into pocket-sized pouches!

3. Recycle:

Many thrift stores will reuse plastic bags for their merchandise.

Some department stores and grocery stores will also often have a location to drop off clean plastic bags to be recycled.

If you can’t reuse, recycling is a great way to get the most out of these bags.

Twelve minutes is the average time plastic bags are in use before sitting in a landfill forever. Recycling helps extend that life cycle.

Suppose you are a shop owner or just looking for a “green” version of a standard retail plastic bag with handles. In that case, you must check out these 100% biodegradable bags!

4. Reuse the plastic bags yourself:

Think of creative ways that you can use the bags to save you money or time or be fun!

For instance, plastic bags make great mini garbage can liners. How about carrying things out to the pool?

Maybe for plastic bag art projects, rather than spending money at the craft store!

Have fun with it!

Or just reuse your plastic grocery bags for as many uses as you can!

Even if you only reuse them for one more shopping trip, that’s still a whole trip worth of plastic bags you just prevented!

Conclusion on How to Reduce the Use of Plastic Bags

We’ve discussed how and why plastic bag use has become such a large issue in the above topics.

Our ever-increasing demand to consume, mixed with plastic’s low cost and versatility, is at the core of this over-production and pollution.

We addressed how plastic negatively impacts wildlife, on our lands, in the air and sea.

We’re not safe either.

Plastic is getting into these water and food supplies, which results in humans ingesting plastic chemicals when we consume things like seafood.

Not just that, but these chemicals can be getting into our bodies every time we use plastic containers, bottles, cups, and other dinnerware.

You can read much more about that topic by getting our FREE Eco-Tableware guide!

To wrap things up, here are your four ways to reduce the use of plastic bags:

1. REFUSE the bag – Ask yourself, “Do I really need this right now?”

2. BRING YOUR OWN reusable shopping bag!

3. RECYCLE whenever/ wherever you can OR opt for recyclable/ biodegradable bags.

4. REUSE your existing plastic bags as much as possible.

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Etee Food Wraps and the Benefits of Plastic Wrap Alternatives

etee food wraps

Seemingly every day now, we see more and more negative consequences of our modern-day plastic usage. We also learn more about the health implications which are associated with plastic chemicals entering your food or beverages, then entering your body during consumption. This happens frequently with the plastics we store our leftovers in. In this post, we’re discussing Etee food wraps and how they can benefit you!

Words from National Public Radio, “Most plastic products, from sippy cups to food wraps, can release chemicals that act like the sex hormone estrogen, according to a study in Environmental Health Perspectives.”

These “EA” or “Estrogenic Activity” hormones can cause heart, brain, and child developmental issues.

A common and often overlooked product many of us use in our daily lives are plastic food wraps like Saran Wrap TM or plastic bags like Ziploc TM bags.

These plastics are in direct contact with our foods and, along with adding to the already incredible amounts of plastic pollution, can release these chemicals into our family’s foods.

Plastic drinkware and children’s sippy cups especially are at risk for this.

That’s the main reason we worked hard to create our 100% plastic-free toddler cups with spill-proof lids and frequently post on the topic of stainless steel sippy cups.

This waste not only impacts the planet but also your wallet. Single-use plastic items like bags and plastic wraps are a steady drain on your grocery bill.

It’s essentially like throwing out money.

But nowadays, thankfully there are amazing companies making innovations in this field.

Presenting Etee food wraps made from all-natural materials including hemp and beeswax, and reusable for up to a year!

Benefits of Etee Beeswax Reusable Food Wraps

Knowing the facts about plastic chemical exposure and plastic wraps, it makes sense to seek out a better alternative. Etee’s beeswax reusable food wraps provide a fantastic solution to this common problem.

These organic food wraps are made from a natural and completely safe blend of materials that totally eliminate exposure to plastic!

The wraps are plastic-free and preserve food – naturally – with beeswax, coniferous tree resins, and essential oils all infused in an organic cotton cloth.

Beeswax and coniferous tree resins have been known for centuries to act as a great preserver.

“Coniferous resins, the scientists [Stephen Buckley and Richard Evershed, of the University of Bristol] explain, can slow microbial degradation, whereas beeswax has antibacterial properties and serves as a sealant.” – Scientific American

Etee applied those same principles to their food wraps and added a few extra ingredients (more on that below).

By using Etee wraps, you are keeping your food safer and healthier for your family, while also helping to reduce environmental harm and save wasted cash on disposable wraps and bags!

Etee Wrap Ingredients

  1. Beeswax – Beeswax provides an antibacterial seal over perishables. Also added is a touch of non-GMO soy wax to help make your food wraps stickier, which helps it to adhere to bowls.
  2. Coniferous Tree Resins – Coniferous tree resin helps to prevent the beeswax from cracking when cooled, while also slowing microbial degradation.
  3.  Organic Jojoba Oil – Organic Jojoba oil is antibacterial and helps to soften the wax, making the wraps more malleable and tacky.
  4. Organic Essential Cinnamon Oil – Organic Essential Cinnamon Oil adds antibacterial properties, while also offsetting the sweet honey aroma.
  5. Organic Essential Clove Oil – Organic Essential Clove Oil is antibacterial and off-sets the sweet aroma of the beeswax.
  6. Hemp & Organic Cotton – All the ingredients are infused in blended hemp (55%) & organic cotton (45%) muslin fabric that is dyed with non-toxic, Eco-friendly dyes. All dyes are non-toxic and free heavy metals, AZOs, and formaldehyde found in many textile dyes. Also, very little water is utilized, of which a great portion is recycled.

You can see how Etee’s food wrap ingredients were carefully chosen for optimal performance and effectiveness.

They provide antibacterial protection and increase the ability of the wraps, making them much more functional and also much safer than any traditional plastic wrap or food bags.

How to Activate Your Etee Beeswax Wraps

How to use your Etee reusable food wraps is a pretty simple process.  The first thing you do when you want to wrap up some leftovers is you activate your wraps. You do this by simply warming them in your hands. To do this, ball up the wrap and roll it in your hands like a piece of pizza dough.

This is necessary because as many of you know when the wax cools it stiffens up.

Ever dip your finger in candle wax?

Once your Etee reusable wrap is activated and loosened up, wrap it around produce, bowls, sandwiches, nuts, snacks, cheese, and cooked or smoked meats – virtually any perishable.

The wraps stick to themselves and provide a clean and protective seal. They cool and cure almost instantly.

Now, your foods are wrapped tight and preserved inside a completely plastic-free and all-natural reusable food wrap!

How to Wash Etee Wraps

To clean and reuse your wax food wraps, simply rinse in cold water, (hot water will reduce the wax coating) and wash with mild dish soap (avoid alcohol-based soaps) using your hands or a soft sponge, just like you would a plate or bowl.

Once clean, you can either hang to dry or use a towel and re-use immediately!

How long do Etee wax wraps last?

On average, your Etee wax wraps should get about 120 – 150 uses, but it ultimately depends on how often and how intensively and for what purpose you use them. Some people will get a full year out of their wraps, but that depends entirely on how often you use them.

Slight use, such as a bowl topper, can last for about a year.

More frequent daily use will shorten that time span down to about 5-6 months.

Think of all that saved money on disposable plastic wraps over 6 months to a full year’s time!

Where to Buy Your Set of Etee Food Wraps

Etee offers four different size sets of reusable food wraps on Amazon!

These options include a 3-piece assorted set (pictured above) featuring one small teal wrap (7″x 8″), one medium green wrap (10″x 11″), and one large blue wrap (12″x 14″).

You can grab this 3-piece set by clicking here!

The second option includes nine wraps, three of each size/ color.

You can grab the 9-piece set by clicking here!

Etee’s third option includes 18 wraps, six of each size/ color.

You can find that 18-piece set by clicking here!

And lastly, their fourth option includes a whopping 36 wraps, 12 of each size/ color.

You can grab this 36-piece jumbo set by clicking here!

Buying on Amazon is always a safe choice for online shopping.

This gives you the confidence that Amazon provides, with free shipping, 30-day returns, and excellent support!

On top of that, Etee offers its own 90-day extended money back guarantee!

You can’t go wrong here!

Conclusion

That’s it for this post on Etee food wraps!

We can see that reusable beeswax wraps, when used instead of mass amounts of plastic Ziplocs, can help us save money and more importantly, reduce plastic pollution and our exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals!

Etee has been satisfying customers with their wraps for years now, and I’m sure you can be next if you give these a go!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Plastic Bottle Safety – Dangers of Plastic Water Bottles

plastic bottle safety

Now more than ever consumers are concerned about plastic bottle safety and the health risks associated with BPA and plastics.

BPA (bisphenol A) is a chemical that’s been commonly used to make certain plastics for years.

It’s commonly found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins.

Polycarbonate plastics and resins are often used in containers that store food and beverages, such as water bottles.

These epoxy resins are used to coat the inside of metal products such as drink and food cans, bottle tops, and insides of aluminum bottles.

BPA concerns us because it has Estrogenic Activity (EA), meaning it mimics the hormone estrogen in the body.

According to studies, chemicals with EA have been linked to all kinds of health issues like negative effects on the heart, brain and child developmental problems.

These days many “BPA-free” products are available but evidence suggests these may not be safer alternatives.

Researchers tested hundreds of plastic products, many labeled BPA-free, and found that almost all the products tested leached EA chemicals.

This is most likely due to the different additives in the plastic.

It seems the best way to avoid plastics containing BPA, apart from sustainable alternatives, is to be able to identify which plastics may be safer and which you should avoid.

Identifying The Safest Plastic Numbers

safest plastic number

Image Credits: creativecommons

What is the safest plastic number when it comes to your bottles and containers?

The first thing you can do is examine the plastic product for any labeling.

Many plastic products actually contain a number label that can tell you if they contain any BPA.

To check, flip the product over and look for a number of 1-7 surrounded by a triangle made of 3 arrows, known commonly as the recycling symbol.

Plastic products labeled with numbers 1, 2, 4, or 5 generally do not contain BPA.

Products with numbers 3, 6, and especially 7 are most likely to contain BPA

Dangers of Plastic Water Bottles

Image Credits: creativecommons

Items labeled number 7 and/or have the marking “PC,” are polycarbonates.

With these kinds of plastic, BPA is used to provide some “give” to rigid plastics to reduce cracking and breaking.

If a plastic product is rigid and transparent — like a reusable food storage container — odds are good it’s a polycarbonate that may contain BPA.

Softer, flexible, and opaque plastics are usually not polycarbonates and less likely to contain BPA.

Just always be sure to look for labeling.

Discarding Older Unsafe Plastic

 

Unsafe Plastic numbers

BPA has been in use for a long time when making plastic products – since the 1950s.

This suggests that older containers or cups may be made from unsafe plastic and are more likely to contain BPA.

Older products are less likely to have identifying labeling as well.

Another thing to keep in mind is that plastics are more likely to leach chemicals when exposed to various stressors like heat or light.

So older plastic products that have been washed or microwaved many times are more likely to leach chemicals into your food.

Scratches and general wear and tear also cause the release of greater amounts of BPA from unsafe plastic products.

This is another reason to consider discarding older, well-used products that may contain BPA, especially baby bottles and kids cups.

After 2012, the FDA in the U.S. started banning the use of BPA’s in sippy cups but you should still always double-check with newer products by checking their recycling number.

Conclusion

It’s safe to say that not all plastics are created equal when it comes to BPA’s.

After reading this post you should be armed with the knowledge to determine if your plastic is BPA free or not. But are all plastics safe?

It’s a tricky answer but after diving into the details here, we can assume that all plastics should be examined and evaluated for their safety.

Studies show that even “BPA free” plastics can leach these EA chemicals into foods and drinks.

This happens when these plastics are put under stress (i.e. to too much sunlight, heat, scratching, etc).

That being said, I’d recommend referring back to this article while you go through your plastic containers and drinkware.

Anything with BPA (refer to recycling numbers) or anything old/ worn out should be discarded.

Another thing you can do with older plastic containers/ bottles is repurpose them into something else!

We have a great article explaining how to turn old plastic bottles into self-watering planters for indoor plants! View it by clicking here!

The best option I believe is to simply avoid plastic altogether.

For more information on making the transition to sustainable alternatives, check out our other blog posts where we dive into stainless steel drinkware and other zero waste alternatives!