Toxic-Free Living

Are You Ready to De-Plastify Your Life?

Four years ago I took the Take Back the Tap! pledge sponsored by Food & Water Watch to give up bottled water and, instead, drink tap water. (Research shows that most bottled water is actually municipal tap water anyway!) And when you figure in the costs of company water-rights, bottling, labeling, and marketing pre-packaged water, you pay up to 10,000 times more money for bottled water than water from your own tap! And where does that plastic go? The EPA says that in 2011, the US alone generated 32 million tons of plastic waste, and only 8% of that waste was recovered for recycling. Can you imagine what the global statistics might be?

Within 6 months, I extended my pledge to no plastic bottles at all. And I was surprised how easy that first year was! I have several reusable bottles on hand (such as BPA-free Nalgene, glass and stainless steel) that I fill and chill before I leave the house. If I forget my water and stop for a portable beverage, I only buy a drink if I have an option available in a glass bottle.

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Antibacterial Soap Myth

Have you noticed that practically everywhere you go you see pump bottles of antibacterial soap on the bathroom sink in stores, offices, homes, etc.? Pump! Pump! Signs urge us to protect each other from illness by pumping this liquid soap onto our hands. For many people, this act has become automatic. But is it any better than simply washing our hands the old-fashioned way with regular soap and water? Turns out it isn’t.

Research has shown that antibacterial soaps are no better than ordinary soap and water for germ removal or disease prevention.

Researchers at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and University of Michigan’s School of Public Health have found that hand washing with soap and water is the most effective way to prevent bacteria and disease, and it is just as effective as antibacterial (aka antimicrobial) soaps.

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