Plastic has invaded daily living in the United States. Used daily, items like computers, smartphones, and even parts of the cars we drive are derived from plastic components. And those formulations come mostly from oil. These items may seem benign, but what about the ones that make it into our bodies? Toothbrushes, hair brushes, and cleaning supplies: the list is a never ending chaos of everyday items laden with chemicals that have been shown to cause everything from cancer to infertility. Even more alarming is the fact that none of these products are biodegradable and they wreak havoc on the environment, leaching toxins into the land and ocean.
Numerous documentaries have cited plastic as the earth’s most evil predator, ending up in the stomachs of marine animals. In the documentary, Plastic Paradise, film writers tell us that “every single piece of plastic that has ever been created since the 19th century is still somewhere on our planet.” In Addicted to Plastic, the fact is that: “The development of degradable plastics is a good thing, but a lot of what we use – new trash as well as old – has penetrated some very disturbing levels of the food chain and the ecosystem, and the makes the case that all is not well in our world via a simple boat trip to the North Pacific Central Gyre, aka the Eastern Garbage patch, where air pressure and rotating water currents swirl and push all kinds of floating trash to the water’s surface.”
There are some companies devoted to making a change. But they can’t do it without the help of consumers. Life Without Plastic is one such business launched by activists Chantal & Jay. With their hearts full of love after the birth of their son, and their minds disillusioned by the corporate world, they set off to make a difference in the world. They began with non-plastic food and drink containers and expanded from there, into an ever-growing operation committed to improving the lives of earth’s inhabitants through eliminating the need for plastic products. And they have done an amazing job.
In their very well organized online store, consumers will find items like their Stainless Steel Lunch Box – absolutely perfect for plastic-free traveling with packed lunches or snacks. Both the lid and the container are made of 18-8 food grade 304 stainless steel. It can save thousands of plastic sandwich bags and wrappers from the landfills.
Almost all dust pan and brush sets sold in mass merchandisers are plastic. What happens when it inevitably breaks, cracks or becomes warped and won’t pick up dirt anymore? It goes in the trash and consumers purchase a new one. That broken dust pan sits in a landfill until the end of time and adds to the mountain of garbage Americans produce on a daily basis. Thinking of everything, the team at Life Without Plastic has provided a strong and gorgeous stainless steel alternative. Complete with a handle is made of sustainable, harvested German beechwood treated with protective linseed oil, this dust pan will last as a functional household item to be passed down through generations of families. It’s heavy duty and made with care by a family in Germany committed to a better environment. The accompanying Delta dust brush is equally charming and well made, a nod to the way things used to be made at the turn of the century. With ethically obtained horse hair bristles, and the same beechwood handle as the dust pan, this set provides the cleaning capacity of any plastic rival with the durable longevity of stainless steel and wood. The perfect alternatives to plastic are here and ready to show the world that it can be done!
Another brush they sell at Life Without Plastic which features the same, sturdy handle – this time treated with beeswax is the Car Snow Removal Brush. This generously sized brush is phenomenal for those of shorter stature, to reach all of the way across the windshield and roof of the car. This coconut fiber bristle brush was put to the test when Philadelphia received over two feet of snow in January, 2016. It handled the job beautifully while being very gentle on the car. I am still using mine in 2018 and it is in perfect condition despite the multitude of nuisance storms we have had this winter.
Covering all of their bases, this company also provides a fabulous Lint Removal Brush made from beechwood and rubber which removes pet hair and lint from fabric and upholstery with lightening speed. Say goodbye to those wasteful roller sticky paper lint removers with their ugly, plastic handles and say hello to this pretty wooden handled beauty. They have hair and toothbrushes covered as well. The former has wooden bristles that are gentle on hair and feel good on the scalp, while the latter has pig hair bristles which have been cleaned and sanitized. My hairbrush has lasted for more than two years with very little wear and it gets a workout on my long hair.
Made with the same beechwood and pig hair; their plastic-free cat brush. They’ve even thought of your pets! As with all of these products, they are completely biodegradable when no longer useful (which will be a very long time because they’re so well made!).
Life Without Plastic has even provided natural deodorant in a glass container. They have seriously thought of everything. This Lavender Deodorant smells amazing with the following Ingredients: Shea butter, coconut oil, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), castor oil, essential oils (lavender, cedarwood, bergamot, patchouli). It has no preservatives, no unnecessary additives or lab-manufactured chemicals. And it works like a charm – a little goes a very long way to not only guard from odor but also moisturize and protect. This small glass jar of deodorant lasted me close to a year.
Even the clothing they offer is made with soft, comfortable organic cotton and proceeds go to Plastic Pollution Coalition - a global alliance of individuals, organizations and businesses working together to stop plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on humans, animals, the ocean and the environment. They have gone as far as to offer a wooden shoehorn, which would be a great gift for just about anyone. As a mom who uses cloth diapers, I am looking forward to trying one of their own cloth diapers and inserts: "The cloth is made from 55% hemp, which is an extremely absorbent fabric that contains natural, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties. Hemp does not require herbicides or pesticides to grow, meaning it is safe for your baby and for our planet! The cloth is also made from 45% certified organic cotton that is grown and milled in the USA. This mix of materials makes for a soft and effective diaper that naturally reduces the likelihood of diaper rash. The thread is 100% unbleached organic cotton and the elastic is latex-free. Although the snaps are plastic, they are non-PVC and hypoallergenic and we are exploring ways to replace these with metal ones - as well, they are not in direct contact with baby's skin."
On the go? How about a durable, compact stainless steel spork and organic cotton pouch? Stop using disposable plasticware with this cute, portable set which can be washed and reused – keeping it out of the stomachs of sea animals. I use my set almost daily while out making dog walking and pet sitting visits, along with my stainless sandwich container and my mason jar travel mug.
Things I saw while browsing that I think just about anyone could use (hint, hint...late Valentine's Day gift shoppers!): plastic free straws, stainless steel ice cube tray, safety razor, stainless ice pop maker, fountain pen and ink, and for the guy who might want to take some booze to the game, this gorgeous flask.
Love reading about Life Without Plastic? Want to see more? Remove plastic from all aspects of your life and learn more by reading their blog, checking out their Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube pages.