About my conscious life(style) and why I am going (almost) plastic free

Right after I posted this post about my (almost) plastic free shower and bath routine, I got quite a few wonderful comments which asked for more on the topic – why I am trying to avoid plastic and more details on my alternative cosmetic routine. I will share more posts with details about my hair care, face care, sun protection, ways to avoid plastic in the kitchen etc. in the near future. Today, however, I want to write a little bit more in general about what I learned so far on my journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle and why I think that it is very important to live a more conscious life(style) (which includes less plastic).

So I posted in previous posts about why I eat a plant based diet, why I only eat organic food, why I wear only second hand or fair clothes, and here and there I shared with you why I only use organic cosmetic products. Today I want to look at PLASTIC and in which way plastic actually links all the other important topics of my life (plant based diet, organic produce and cosmetics, sustainable lifestyle in general).

So why to avoid plastic?

The bottom line is that plastic is made from toxic materials. But what exactly does that mean for us and for our planet?

First of all, a whole lot of research is proving that toxic compounds found in plastic cause health problems ranging from cancer to infertility. Basically the chemicals added to plastics are absorbed by human bodies. Some of these compounds have been found to alter hormones or have other potential human health effects. People are exposed to chemicals from plastic multiple times per day through the air, dust, water, food AND the use of different consumer products.

You have probably heard of Bisphenol A (BPA)? It is one of the many chemicals used to make plastic and it can be found in polycarbonate bottles and the linings of food and beverage cans and it can easily leach into food and drinks. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 93 percent of people had detectable levels of BPA in their urine. Another example for a toxic chemical in plastic are phthalates, which are between others used in food packaging, perfume, hair spray, deodorant, almost anything fragranced, nail polish, and insect repellent, can be found in the urine of nearly all adults and 8 out of 10 babies. They are also in dairy products (probably from the plastic tubing used to milk cows) and in meats (one out of many good reasons to eat a plant based diet).

How do they get there? One reason is that UV light and the salt in seawater cause microscopic particles of plastic to emit the toxic chemicals. The chemicals tend to bioaccumulate in organisms as they move up the food chain, and lead to tainted populations that humans regularly consume. This is why it is also coming into the soil where the plants grow – which are then eaten by animals. Since the chemicals concentrate in the fat of animals, you will always get more of them when eating the animal instead of the plant. Plastic buried deep in landfills can leach harmful chemicals that spread into groundwater too (which the animals and the plants drink). You can also find phthalates and other chemicals in the pesticides sprayed on conventional fruits and vegetables (this is why I eat organic food only!).

Chemicals added to plastics are absorbed by human bodies. This is the number one reason why you should think about where, when, and why you are using plastic (and try to avoid it in the kitchen).

But there is a lot more to the story: plastics are made from petrochemicals through an energy-intensive process that itself creates loads of pollution and toxic discharge. The fact is, every plastic container you use is making the planet less habitable. And I personally believe that we all have a responsibility to keep the planet as livable as possible.

Most plastic in the world is not recycled and usually ends up in landfills, where it degrades very slowly. We no longer have an ocean anywhere that is free of pollution! Imagine that! Around 86% of ocean debris is plastic. Plastic debris, laced with chemicals and often ingested by marine animals can injure or poison wildlife. Over 1.000.000 seabirds and marine mammals die every year from plastic ingestion of entanglement.

The floating plastic waste can survive for thousands of years – over 1 trillion of plastic bags are used every year worldwide! Considering this fact it is no longer surprising to read that ALL of our oceans are polluted. One single plastic bag can take up to 1000 years of degrade – and well, it is the same with your bottle of shampoo or body lotion.

These are just some of the facts I consider when I choose what I eat, when I choose what I buy, and when I choose what brands I want to support. And these are the main reasons for why I decided to reduce the amount of plastic in my house drastically – no more plastic bottles for shampoo, body lotion etc. no more kitchen equipment made of plastic, and no more plastic bags (well, I am using tote bags in years already, so this one is actually already implemented since a long time).

I hope you found this post helpful and I definetly hope that it inspired some of you to think about how much plastic you are using in your daily life.

In case you are now motivated to use less plastic but you do not know how to – do not worry, there will be more on this topic very soon 🙂

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  1. Juli 20, 2016 / 11:12 pm

    OMG I hate BPA. It’s so lame because there are so many plastic containers now that are labeled “BPA Free!” and yet…they contain some other form of toxic chemical in them.

    The other day, I went to the fair with my friend. I knew they wouldn’t have any vegan options (or very few…or just junky) so I packed my own lunch AND dinner lol. I used a plastic bag for condiments. And I was so grossed out when it was time to eat because the smell of the plastic leeched onto my condiments. Eeeeeew! Never doing that again.

    I’m glad you wrote about this topic. I feel like my posts used to be a lot more interesting. You’ve inspired me to write about things that matter again <3 I just felt like nobody would pay attention to what I was saying most of the time lol.

    Hope you have a wonderful day!

    xo Azu

    http://www.raven-locks.blogspot.com

  2. Shannon Jenkins
    Juli 21, 2016 / 5:24 am

    You are so amazing! I love you conscious life style! I need to be more aware of plastics!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

  3. Juli 21, 2016 / 6:33 am

    This is really thought provoking and makes me have second thoughts about my eating habits and where I eat. Nice post!

    STYLE VANITY
    Check out my Instagram

  4. Juli 21, 2016 / 10:28 am

    Liebe Larissa, vielen Dank für diesen auch wieder sehr informativen Post. Ich war in der Vergangenheit was Plastik anbelangt noch wesentlich bewusster und habe zum Beispiel auch meine eigenen Behälter mit zum Einkaufen gebracht … Du bist hier wirklich ein total tolles Vorbild und ich bin überzeugt davon, dass sich Deine Konsequenz auf Dauer auf jeden Fall ausbezahlt.
    Einen schönen Donnerstag!
    xx Rena
    http://www.dressedwithsoul.com

  5. Juli 21, 2016 / 11:22 am

    Hmm, that is all very interesting. I have already heard about the effects of plastic, but some of the things I didnt know. But I’m just wondering: since you said that all these bad stuff comes to soil and then to the the plant and then to animals, that means that also organic plants that we eat are a bit toxic right? Because I dont believe that anyone can control that. I cant help but wonder, if we can really escape from all of it really. However, I think it is still a smart choice to avoid plastic, if you can. I was thinkin about makin myself some house cleaning products, maybe it is some sort of way to avoid more bottles in my house. I’ve read you can make one using citrus peel and vinegar, maybe I will give it a try. I also dont buy cans so often, but sometimes it is really convinient, especially with beans. And I try not to use those horrible plastic bags, I use tote bag too:) I also collect those plastic lids from plastic bottles and then we give it to a charity – they sell it for recycle and they have money for sick children or any other good cause. Anyway, your Philippine trip sounds amazing! I’m sure your baby girl will be perfectly fine in the plane, don’t worry:) Have a wonderful weekend, hugs:)))

  6. Nataly Kirei Kana
    Juli 21, 2016 / 12:16 pm

    I adore how you change life to better) I try to use less plastic too, but it still takes a big part in my life.

  7. Juli 21, 2016 / 2:57 pm

    True and important information. I’ve represented clients with chronic illnesses who believe the causes were environmental like this. In researching their cases, I learned that while science hasn’t established the causal link yet, there’s much evidence to support it. Which means we should all limit and reduce our exposure to plastics and other toxic materials.

  8. Juli 21, 2016 / 3:31 pm

    It’s crazy- and scary- how something as common as plastic can be so harmful; it’s literally everywhere! Good for you for taking charge + doing what you can to minimize your exposure.

    -Ashley
    http://lestylorouge.com

  9. Juli 22, 2016 / 12:35 am

    Avoiding plastic is a great idea, but it’s really hard to do it at the same time. I really appreciate your decision of totally removing it from your lifestyle. x

    Have a nice day,
    Andreea
    http://couturezilla.com/

  10. Juli 22, 2016 / 11:06 am

    You are more than amazing! I love how you change your life and go green! That’s absolutely amazing and very inspiring to me to change mine. Thank you Larissa!
    xx
    cvetybaby.com

  11. Juli 22, 2016 / 11:51 am

    Mich nervt diese Verpackungswut vieler Firmen mittlerweile total. Was da alles zig mal verpackt wird! Schrecklich… Haben neulich mal aus Versehen andere Teebeutel erwischt und die waren in der Schachtel noch mal alle einzeln verpackt… Puh…

  12. Juli 22, 2016 / 10:33 pm

    Wow, this is such a wonderful and informative post! I know that I’ll definitely be more conscious about avoiding anything plastic and looking for BPA free, which I currently do. Thanks so much for sharing, beauty, and I hope you have a great weekend!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    http://www.thestylecontour.com

  13. Juli 24, 2016 / 4:31 am

    This post contains so much useful information Larissa! I am starting to become increasingly conscious of what products I use and plastic is definitely something I’m trying to eliminate from my life. This post made me realize I really need to keep working towards that goal!

  14. Juli 24, 2016 / 5:30 pm

    This is a great and eye opening post! It’s so easy to forget what happens to items once we are done with them and throw them away, but they don’t just disappear!! If everyone thought just a little bit more about the effects they have on this planet, the world would be in much better shape.

  15. Juli 25, 2016 / 8:30 am

    Oh wow girl, you have researched this lifestyle choice quite thoroughly. I appreciate you providing the details and reasoning. I was one of those who asked about why you chose to go plastic free. I thought I was doing the right think buying reusable water bottles that are BPA Free, but between this post and your previous one on plastic free living, I suppose there’s more to it than that! Hah!!


    Amber
    All the Cute 🎀

  16. Juli 25, 2016 / 8:30 am

    Oh, and now your blog name is making sense, too! Lol!!!

  17. Amy Arnold
    August 9, 2016 / 4:47 pm

    Very thought provoking post. Thanks for sharing! I need to think about easy areas where I can cut out plastic.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  18. August 11, 2016 / 5:47 am

    Thanks for sharing this, Larissa. This actually reminded me of the time I visited the Bone Museum in Davao City, Philippines. The guide in the museum told us the story on how they got some of the animal bones on display and it’s just sad that some of them died because they’ve ingested plastic in the ocean… 🙁

    xoxo,
    Gelleesh.com