There’s no denying it… plastic has overrun our lives, and not in any way that is good — neither for the environment, nor for our health.
Plastics are literally everywhere, especially in all aspects of food storage: containers, plastic wrap, zipper bags, straws — and everything else imaginable!
Here’s WHY and HOW to ditch plastic… ASAP
Removing plastic from your life – for health reasons
Most of the more common plastics contain an industrial chemical called bisphenol-A (better known as BPA), in addition to phthalates – an entire family of chemical compounds.
Many studies have revealed the widespread negative effects of both of these chemicals on human health. For example, it is suggested that individuals with the highest concentration of either of these chemicals (detected in their urine) often have hormone imbalance issues.
The clear choice is to reduce your plastic usage overall as this would lead to less exposure to these harmful chemicals for you and your family.
Removing plastic from your life – for the environment
The equivalent of about five grocery bags filled with plastic – for every foot of coastline in the world – fills our oceans each year.
By the year 2025, it is estimated that this amount will double, and by 2050, fish will officially be out-populated by plastic trash.  Now that’s a visual!
It’s time we all did our part in an effort to ditch plastic, especially single-use plastics, like water bottles, to-go containers, coffee cups, and straws – and invest in more sustainable, multi-use options in all areas of our lives.
But, make no mistake that you do have the power to make a difference just by changing even small aspects of your lifestyle and daily routine.
Eight (8) actionable ways that you can ditch plastic AND make a difference – to your health & to the environment:
- Stop buying single-use plastic water bottles. Invest in a stainless steel or glass water bottle and bring it everywhere!
- Bring a reusable, heat-tolerant travel mug to your local coffee shop. Many shops and cafes even offer an incentive discount for bringing your own cup!
- The action of using a drinking straw can cause bloating, gas, and indigestion issues due to the excess air that is swallowed. Additionally, sipping through plastic straws also directly exposes you to chemicals like BPA & phthalates.
- Stow reusable grocery bags in your car or purse so you don’t forget to bring them into every store you regularly shop at.
- Buying in bulk allows you to reduce (or even eliminate) waste and it’s usually cheaper too. You can also buy things like shampoo, soap and other beauty care products in bulk to save you from buying as many smaller plastic containers. Reduce & reuse!
- Most pre-prepared or commercially-prepared foods come in an unnecessary amount of packaging, so try to make your meals mostly from scratch.
Below is a great recipe to help you get into the scratch-made habit — and it’s easier than you think – break out that slow cooker!
- Use old jars to store your leftovers, rather than using plastic containers. And be sure NEVER to heat food in a plastic container in the microwave!
- Also, swap plastic zipper bags for reusable glass containers. That doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy all new containers as you can save and reuse old ones from things like pasta sauce, salsa, pickles, olives, and other condiments.
The more awareness you bring into your life about what you buy and what you use in your everyday routines, the more ways you’ll discover how to easily ditch the plastic – in all its forms.
Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin
1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed & lean
⅓ cup chicken broth, low sodium, no MSG
2 Tbsp honey, unpasteurized
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried parsley – can sub dried coriander, dried tarragon
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp smoked Hungarian paprika
In a medium bowl, whisk together the broth, honey, balsamic vinegar, and tomato paste, then pour into bottom of slow cooker.
In a small bowl, combine dried spices, then rub over all sides of the pork tenderloin and place in the slow cooker. If the piece of pork is longer than your slow cooker, cut it in half crosswise so each piece can be placed side by side in the slow cooker.
Cover and cook on high for 1 ½ to 2 hours, or low for about 4 hours, until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 150-160 degrees F.
Once cooked through, place tenderloin on a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.