Plastic-Free February, Day 3

Today was filled with plastic goodness. I found even more plastic in my life, but I’ve got a few ideas for how to reduce the plastic in the future.

Food Storage

Rule 2 of Rodale’s Plastic-Free February states โ€œNo cooking or storing food in plastic.โ€ In trying to keep with the spirit of the challenge, I’ve focused on the kitchen these first few days.

I don’t cook with plastic, but I do store with plastic. We have about ten of those single-serving containers with the screw-on lids that Ziploc makes. I also save plastic containers that ice cream comes in and use those for food storage. My cabinets are full of plastic.

Even though plastic lasts practically forever, the useful life of plastic is not forever. Some day that plastic will have to be replaced. With a lot of help from commenters on Plastic-Free February, Day 2, I think I have some ideas for the future.

Roberta suggested Wal-Mart for reasonably priced glass containers with glass lids. That got me wondering about Target, too. Other mass merchandisers probably have similar glass options for food storage.

Greenbean suggested reusing glass jars with metal lids. The timing was perfect. I was finishing off the last of a jar of salsa, so I have my first plastic-free food storage container โ€“ for no extra cash!

Plastic Soccer

Lest you think I spend my days obsessing over food, I assure you I don’t. Tonight I took my daughter to her soccer game in an indoor arena. I also play soccer, so this is something I come across a few times a week. I just never thought of the plastic aspects of the sport before plastic-free February.

I sat on a plastic seat in the stands to watch her play on artificial grass (entirely plastic). The net at the soccer goal and around the field is made of plastic. The scoreboard is pretty high up, but my guess is it has quite a bit of plastic in its construction.

Soccer balls are made almost entirely from plastic, although some have cotton linings and some have natural rubber interiors.ย  The tag inside her cleats says โ€œAll Man-Made Materialsโ€. I guess it’s possible her shoes aren’t entirely plastic, but I suspect they are.

Her shinguards are hard plastic, cushioned with foam (plastic), and secured with stretchy nylon and Velcro, both plastic. This got me to thinking. What about physical safety? Are there options for sports gear that would reduce the risk of injury without weighing down the player?

Plastic certainly has its benefits. Are there times when plastic really is the best option?

Image of plastic food storage by Rubbermaid Products, used with Creative Commons license.

Image of butterfly on a soccer ball by Dawn Huczek, used with Creative Commons license.

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