Silicone freezer bags – an easy and convenient swap

It is not news that pretty much everything we do has an impact on the environment, e.g. the food we eat, the things we buy, the transports we use (private or public), and the list goes on. Thus, I think that it goes without saying that one of the best ways to treasure our planet – the only home we have – is to be mindful about our day-to-day purchases and actions. If you are one of my regular readers, you would know that environmental sustainability is something I personally care about. A lot. And if I want to be overall more eco-friendly and do more for the planet, then reducing my waste load (in particular plastic waste) seems like the first and most logical step to take. That being said, as an attempt to lighten my ecological footprint and avoid single use plastic, I have been trying to find plastic-free alternatives to my everyday products. And that is the main reason why I am writing this post today.

I would like to tell you about the current undisputed star in my kitchen. I am so satisfied and pleased about this eco-friendly purchase that I just could not keep it to myself.

Sooo, I have been using glass and plastic food storage containers for most of my life. I find them to be very convenient to store leftovers ingredients/foods as well as fresh produce like cut-up fruits and veggies. As someone who cooks nearly everyday and likes to use the weekend for some meal prepping, I find freezers to be one of the greatest man inventions ever. However, given the small size of my freezer, I struggle to find enough space to fit it all. The problem of food storage containers is that they just take up too much space, which forces me to limit how much meals and foods I can prep for the week. Of course that I could use regular plastic bags but that would just go against what I strive for: a low impact lifestyle. Thus, the limited storage of my freezer led me on a quest for a better, more practical but still environmentally-friendly alternative to regular food storage containers and plastic bags. I am so happy to have “stumbled upon” on food storage bags made of silicone! This turned to be such an easy and convenient swaps guys and you can find below in detail all the reasons why.

Image-10.png-2

Advantages of silicone food storage bags:

  • The bags are made of food grade silicone, which is a non-toxic material free of BPA, latex, lead and phthalates. Thus, a safer plastic alternative for our health
  • Since this material is also an abundant natural resource, they are a more ecologic and sustainable plastic alternative for the planet
  • Silicone is sturdy and resistant to extreme temperatures, making it a long lasting alternative to plastic. These bags can be reused over and over again without really  cracking, peeling, drying out or becoming brittle.
  • Self-sealing convenience, which makes them leakproof (great for clumsy and accident-prone people like me haha)
  • Semi transparency of the material, making it possible to see what is stored in the bags
  • Light weight, which makes them super convenient to transport and have on the go
  • They do not take much space due to the material malleability and being airtight
  • Very easy to clean
  • They are odourless (a feature for those who are quite sensitive to smells would be happy to know I guess? haha)
  • Pretty affordable price. I got these 4 bags for 7 pounds on Amazon, which I find it to be a pretty good deal. I mean, is it not great when you can help save the planet without having to go broke while doing it so?

Changes of habits can be challenging at first but they get easier over time. However, I think that once we start to open our eyes to the great impact that our lifestyle choices may have on our planet and all living things, we begin to choose differently. I have embarked on this journey towards living a more sustainable and eco lifestyle about two years ago and I feel like this is a lifetime commitment. There is a lot of learning, exploring, experimenting and trial and error involved but it does give me a sense of purpose, you know? I am not sure how to put it into words but I just find it rewarding to implement certain changes in my life when I know that they are the right thing to do for the planet and generations to come.

I hope you have found this post somewhat informative and useful. Do you have Were you aware of their existence? As always, I would love to hear from you. What are your thoughts about these eco-friendly freezer bags? Were you already aware of their existence? Do you have them already or are they in your wish list? What are other sustainable items you have bought and recommend? Let me know in the comment section below! 🙂
Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

Advertisements

5 Reasons why you should STOP using plastic straws

As someone who has increasingly become more environmentally conscious over the past 2 years, I have been on a mission to incorporate certain habits into my lifestyle that have a low or no negative impact on the environment. If you were to ask me about a simple step that we could all take towards living a lower impact lifestyle, the first one that would immediately cross my mind is to stop using plastic straws. I personally think that these are a great example of plastic items with a global major environmental impact and that, honestly, anyone can easily give up. With this in mind, I have gathered in this blog post 5 reasons why you should say no plastic straws.

  1. For something that has an incredibly short lifespan (i.e. an average of 20 minutes to be precise), plastic straws have a shockingly big impact on the environment and last for a lifetime. They do not biodegrade and they can’t be actually recycled. Due to their small size and light weight, plastic straws end up by falling through the cracks of the conveyer belt of the recycling facilities. Thus, I find it such a waste to use a plastic item for a few minutes that takes hundreds of years to fully decompose.
  2. Plastic straws are made of a by-product of petroleum (i.e. polypropylene), whose processes of extraction and refining require a large amount of energy and natural resources.
  3. Plastic straws are one of the most insidious polluters. Since plastic is a material that does not decompose, straws made of it break down into tiny pieces polluting our oceans and littering our beaches and cities.
  4. Plastic straws also wind up harming marine wildlife. They can be life-threatening to animals, such as seabirds, fish, sea turtles (currently in extinction), because may entangle them or being accidentally ingested
  5. The use of plastic straws is absolutely unnecessary and therefore, I find it so shocking that an average of 5 million plastic straws are used every single day in the United States alone. I just can’t wrap my head around this when there are several sustainable alternatives (e.g. glass, metal, bamboo and recycled paper straws) that do the same, if not even a better, job.

 

If you are still using plastic straws please know that  you can start making a difference on the environment and beautiful Planet today. All you need to do is is to ditch them and swap to a greener straw alternative. As Ghandi once wisely said: You must be the change you wish to see in the world. So be it.

 

Much Love,

Blissfully grateful

Shall we strive to buy all our food organic?

I think that most of us is pretty aware of the harmful impact that conventionally grown produce might have on our health and, therefore, recognise the importance of buying organic produce.

I have been considerably growing more environmentally conscious over the past year, basically since I have finished my studies and started my first real job. As someone who is financially independent, I get to choose where I spend my money in and that is a great and freeing feeling.

One of the goals that I have set for 2018 earlier this year was to be more mindful when it comes to my purchases. This implies a greater awareness about the importance of  buying fair trade and organic.

Today I am here to talk specifically about the foods that we should always strive to buy organic, the ones that are okay to consume if conventionally grown and why.

The idea of writing about this topic came to mind after listening to the Rich Roll podcast “GMO’s, Glyphosate, and Healing the Gut” with Zach Bush. As I found it both very insightful and inspiring, I wanted to share some very interesting information that I learnt.

First of all, one thing that was mentioned in the podcast and that has particularly resonated with me was “We have more power than we allow ourselves to believe when it comes to healing ourselves”. I am a 24-years old girl who, despite having a very active lifestyle and caring a lot about nourishing my body with healthy and nutritous fooda, has been struggling with IBS issues for about 4 years now. If there is something that I have come to learn is that my gut health is strongly connected with the way I live my life, namely with my day-to-day habits. With this being said, the podcast really hit home and reassured me that the ability of getting my health restored lies also with me. When I say “health”, I am referring to both my physical and mental health because they are intrinsically connected. I think that everyone would agree that having a toxic lifestyle caused by nutritional deficiencies, lack of sleep, negative mindset and self-talk and being subject to constant stress or anxiety serves no good to our bodies or mind.

Anyway, this podcast taught me about the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” lists, which are no more than the foods that we should try avoid consuming non-organic at all costs and the ones that are okay to consume conventionally grown because are the least likely to be contaminated with pesticides/herbicides.The entity responsible for elaborating and releasing these lists every single year is the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Thus, given the reliable source who provides this information we can rest assured that is btoh accurate and trustworthy.

Pesticides and herbicides can be easily absorbed into many of the fruits and veggies we consume on a regular basis and, ultimately, into our bodies. By knowing this, I feel very fortunate to live in Holland, where there are well-sized and well-stocked organic markets and stores. Additionally, I’d also say that there is also a fair amount of organic restaurants when compared to other European countries. However, in all honesty, despite knowing how prejudicial non-organic foods can be for my health, I still consume some due to convenience’s sake. I can only speak for myself but, from my standpoint, the truth is that non-organic foods are sometimes just more easily available and affordable.

Needless to say that I’d really love to be able to buy all my foods organic but there are months where my financial budget is just more tight and, as a result, I can’t afford spending as much food in organic produce. Thus, being informed about the foods that are safe to consume in a non-organic form just comes in handy for me! So, let’s start by sharing the list of the Clean Fifteen foods according to the 2018 report released by the EWG.

Clean Fifteen List:

  1. Avocados (great news for all the avocado lovers – myself included – out there!!)
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pinneapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Onions
  6. Frozen Sweet Peas
  7. Papayas
  8. Asparagus
  9. Mangos
  10. Eggplant
  11. Honeydew
  12. Kiwi
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Broccoli

Now, the list of the foods that we should buy organic whenever possible because their high likelihood of being contaminated with pesticides, herbicides and chemicals:

Dirty Dozen List:

  1. Strawberries. I was very choked to read that a single strawberry was shown to contain 22 different pesticides. This is outrageous and just one of the main reasons why I love to have the choice of what I put into my body.
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Peaches
  6. Pears
  7. Cherries
  8. Grapes
  9. Celery
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Sweet Bell Peppers
  12. Potatoes

I suggest you to have these two lists on your phone for quick and ready access when you are shopping 🙂

leonie-wise-4301-unsplash

Ah! Just before finishing off this post, I would like to share a small tip with you that i have recently learnt. In order to wash off chemicals of your fruits and veggies, try to soak them in tap water mixed with baking soda. This was shown in a research study conducted in the University of Massachusetts to be a better solution at killing pesticides than just using plain tap water.

 

I hope you could find this blog post somewhat informative and please do let me know in the comments how easy and affordable it is for you to get organic produce! 🙂 Also, what are your thoughts on this? Do you try to buy organic food whenever possible or not because you don’t think it is worth the usual extra cost?

 

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful