Even before Mr. AJ and I got married, we did our best to cut out plastic use in our home. We weren’t big fans of the excessive use of plastic in our culture in the first place, so we were pretty good at keeping it out of our lives. We actually felt great about our ability to stay away from plastic, until we had kids.
With two young kids, this has become an increasingly difficult task. From Christmas presents double packaged in plastic to the tiny bottles of water given out at kid’s activities, plastic Is back in our lives in a very real way.
We still don’t let a lot of plastic in our home, but we do buy juice, soap, and other food items in the jumbo sized Costco plastic containers.
I won’t lie, we’ve felt guilty about the plastic excess. I’m also not going to excuse it by saying that we have a lot less plastic usage than most people. (OK, maybe I will, just to make me feel a little better) This, however, is something that we can no longer ignore.
Now, along with the excess plastic that most of us have around us, a new study shows that we’re ingesting varying levels of microplastics when we drink bottled water. Over 90% of bottled waters tested had significant levels of microplastics in them. Although disturbing, this find is not completely unexpected. We already know that microplastics are found in every region of the world. We also know that certain sea life prefers plastics to their own food source, and our oceans are continually filled with plastic waste.
We don’t normally use bottled water in our house, but we do stock up on it when we’re going on a road trip. In our minds, it’s the easy and healthy alternative to our own filtered water at home. The word easy weighs heavy on me as I type this.
Obviously, eliminating the use of bottled water is not feasible in areas where the water is contaminated, but that’s not the case for us. In our case, it’s the easier alternative when traveling, but the consequences of the use for us, definitely don’t make it worthwhile.
There is a chance that the microplastics are not causing us severe bodily harm. They could be going straight through our bodies. However, I still don’t want to ingest plastic waste. But the thing is, this is not just about bottled water, or plastic packaging. This is about the immense damage that our collective plastic use has had, and continues to have on our environment. Our plastic excess has grown so much, that not only are we surrounded by it, but we are consuming it on a daily basis.
As hard (and expensive) as it may be, we’re going back to minimizing our plastic use. We’ll make mistakes for sure, but hopefully our kids will learn from them and do better when they are older. And one day, soon I hope, I’ll have a brand new blog post detailing how we finally got rid of the plastic in our home.
Wish us luck, and if you have any feedback or advice, feel free to leave it in the comments below!