Guest blog post by: Salima Mangalji of Live Fully with Salima
I never considered myself an avid outdoors woman. It was not easy to access good hiking or the beach when I lived on the East Coast. But when I moved out to LA, I traded out my winter coat for a bathing suit and began surfing! I developed a deep appreciation and love for being in the water, feeling like I was part of something bigger than myself (having seals, sting rays, fish, and dolphins swimming nearby did not hurt either!). But one thing I began to notice was a prevalence of plastics littering the beach and the water. This devotion to the ocean (rhymez) combined with my training in nutrition led me to explore the impact of plastics on the environment and our bodies.
There is a growing garbage patch the size of Texas in the Pacific Ocean primarily made of plastics and refuse from North America and Asia. Out of sight should not mean out of mind! Plastic does not decompose, but rather breaks down into very small pieces that fish can eat. Then we eat the fish that ate the plastic. Research shows that plastic can act as an endocrine disrupter in our bodies and can result in estrogen and other hormone imbalances and toxicity in the body. We have control over what we are buying, and we can reduce our exposure to BPA and DEHP which are widely used in plastic products and consumer food packaging.
This year I committed to doing these 5 things to reduce my reliance on plastic and reduce food waste at the grocery store, farmer’s market, and the drug store:
Buy nuts, flours, beans, and grains from bulk bins at the grocery store or farmer’s market. This way, you are reducing your use of plastic bags and packaging. In most grocery stores, you can bring in your own jars and containers to fill with what you need.
Use reusable bags to eliminate single use plastics. You can buy cloth or hemp produce bags online here to put your fresh produce in as well.
Buy soap concentrate like Dr. Bronners to re-fill and reuse your hand soap, dishwasher, and cleaning product containers.
Make a grocery/meal plan list to ensure that you have a plan for all the produce you are buying to reduce your food waste. Keep your reusable bags in the car for any impromptu shopping trips.
I use beeswax wraps that I found online to use instead of foil or plastic wrap when I am storing food in the fridge. You can rinse the wraps when you are done, and then save them for the next time. I like these by Abeego.
Life isn’t perfect, but we can take these steps to actually make a difference not only in our lives, but for others, the plants, the animals, and the planet.
About Salima: Salima is a holistic nutritionist supporting those living their lives in a hustle whether it be at school, at home, or in business. With hormone support, stress-relieving techniques, and gentle nutrition, Salima works to help her clients find balance in health to help them be their best selves in what matters most to them.