Three Ways To Stop Using Plastic

Three Ways To Stop Using Plastic

I recently wrote a blog post about a study featured in CNN that warns consumers that even BPA-free plastic is bad for your health. After writing and researching for that post, I looked around my apartment, my bathroom and my kitchen with new eyes. I had plastic everywhere. My reusable water bottle, food containers, and frozen food bags were all made of plastic. In my bathroom, I have a plastic tooth brush, plastic containers for liquid soap, shampoo, conditioner, face wash and mouth wash, and a plastic shower curtain. There is plastic in my shoes, my hair bands, and my hangers. Everywhere around me there is plastic. If the obvious environmental issues involved in using so much plastic were not enough to worry me, the recent article I wrote on the health issues involved in plastic use got me thinking: What are some ways that I can stop using plastic and use a healthier, more eco-friendly alternative?

  1. Use a glass water bottle.

The first and most obvious change that I opted to make was to use a glass water bottle. I try to drink as much water as I can in a day, and I take my water bottle with me to the gym and to yoga. If there is any plastic product that I use on a regular basis, it is this one. FWS offers a number of inexpensive plastic-free bottle choices.

 

2. Use an ecological toothbrush.

If plastic really is a bad as all of the studies say that it is, then brushing my teeth twice, sometimes three, times a day with a plastic toothbrush needs to change. I researched plastic-free alternatives and switched to a compostable bamboo toothbrush. I was worried that it would not brush as well as a plastic toothbrush, but I was wrong. It works just a well and I don’t have the negative health or environmental impact to worry about.

 

3. Switch to glass or ceramic food containers. 

I prepare a lot of my food for the week ahead of time during the weekend so that I don’t need to rush around during my lunch break to try and find what I want to eat. This is a great way to make sure that I am always prepared with food, and that I stick to my healthy way of living, but it is not so great when it comes to the containers that I use. I will often put warm (or even hot) food in plastic containers after I am done preparing it. I’ll then throw it in the fridge and eat from it later in the day or week. This is not good for my health at all, as studies show that the chemicals from the plastic can actually leach into food and then stay stored in my body. I invested in some glass containers and aside from being healthier for me, they actually hold the food a lot better, do not bend or break, and stack much nicer.

4. Reuse and Recycle Plastic Bags.

Some cities in the United States have put a ban on single use plastic bags. Both side of the debate have valid points for and against the use of plastic bags but an immediate step we all can take remembering the “R’s” (reduce, reuse, and recycle). There here are two blog posts that give some ideas how to reuse ziplock bags and reuse plastic grocery bags. We all can do our part in recycling all plastics not just bags. If you need to find a recycle center close to where you live Earth 911 has a great resource that can be found here.

 

In total, this lifestyle change cost me around $40 (and that is mainly because I bought a whole lot of glass containers). People always think that switching to healthier or more environmentally-friendly products will be exponentially more expensive, but that is not entirely true.

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Studies Show That BPA-Free Plastic Is Not A Safe Alternative

Studies Show That BPA-Free Plastic Is Not A Safe Alternative

A recent study featured in CNN discovered that BPA-free plastic bottles may be no safer than the BPA-containing plastic that they were meant to replace. The UCLA study analyzed the impact of a common BPA-alternative on zebra fish embryos and joins a small but growing group of similar research warning consumers about “BPA-Free” plastic alternatives. The study focused on a chemical called BPS (Bisphenol S), the most common plastic alternative to BPA, and the results were alarming.

“Our findings are frightening and important,” said senior author and reproductive endocrinologist Nancy Wayne. “Consider it the aquatic version of the canary in the coal mine.”

In the study, Wayne and her colleagues looked at the impact of BPA and BPS on the genes and brain cells that control reproduction of Zebrafish. According to CNN, Zebrafish have historically been used to study the impact of plastic additives because their transparent embryos allow scientists to see and monitor cell growth.

“Our research showed that low levels of BPS had a similar impact on the embryo as BPA,” Wayne told CNN. “In the presence of either BPA or BPS, embryonic development was accelerated.”

Not only did BPS affect the levels of estrogen in the fish, the study also found both BPA and BPS affected the thyroid hormone system, and this has serious “implications for general embryonic and fetal development, including [that] in humans,” according to Wayne.

Basically, BPS had the same (if not worse) adverse health effects as BPA, and this is not the only study that has discovered such findings. A study held in Texas in 2013 found that as little as one part per trillion of BPS could interfere with the normal functioning of a cell, and even cause the cell to die. Similarly, a study out of Canada found that low level of BPA exposure accelerated the neural cell growth of fish by 180%. BPS (the supposedly healthy alternative) was even worse, with neural cell growth reaching 240%. Another study performed on rats found that BPS caused heart arrhythmia when given in doses equally to those humans usually experience.

What do all of these studies tell us?

“It’s all pointing in the same direction: BPS is not harmless,” said Wayne about the results of her study in connection with prior research. “Consumers should be cautious about the assumption that ‘BPA-free’ means a product is safe.”

So how can you protect yourself? The best possible option is to stay away from plastic products as much as possible, and use metal or glass food and water containers.

Fresh Water Systems offers a number of reusable glass bottles, jugs and growler bottles at exceptional prices, including Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottles in a series of colors, and Neo Vas Stainless Steel Water Bottles as well.

All of these products are a safe alternative to plastic bottles. They will help to conserve the environment, save you money, and spare your health.

 

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Plastic Water Bottles Are Destroying Our Oceans

Plastic Water Bottles Are Destroying Our Oceans

That’s right. Plastic water bottles are literally destroying our environment, and the most heartbreaking part about it? There are so many other better, healthier, and environmentally-friendly alternatives to single-use plastic bottles.

Right now the average American throws away almost 185 pounds of plastic per year, and only a 5% of that is able to actually be recycled.

“There are billions of pounds of plastic floating around in oceans and other bodies of water, making up about 40% of the world’s surface.”

Plastic contributes to around 90% of all of the trash found in the ocean, and that floating plastic secretes harmful toxins into the soil and water, destroying animal habitats and killing one million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals per year.

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90% of the trash floating in the ocean is plastic waste

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44% of all seabirds have been found with plastic on them

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80% of all single-use plastic bottles become litter

Plastic is not biodegradable, and when you use plastic bottles, you are contributing the 35 billion plastic bottles that are being thrown away each year.  The further add to the problem, plastic takes anywhere from 500 to 1,000 years to degrade.

This means that the plastic water bottle that you bought before your track race will likely float in the ocean or sit in a landfill for around 800 years before it fully degrades.

 

So what exactly can you do about it?

The best thing you can do is avoid plastic bottles altogether. Instead, try a reusable glass growler bottle. It is better for the environment, saves you money, is better for your health (no chemicals) and looks genuinely cool.

Reusable growler bottles are made of glass and do not need to be thrown away after one use. If you do wish to dispose of your growler bottle, it is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without loss in quality or purity. Recycled glass can be substituted for 90% of raw materials, and can actually be used to make glass products again. Recycled glass containers are always needed because glass manufacturers require high-quality recycled container glass to meet market demands for new glass containers. When you used glass bottles, (even if you opt to recycle them after one or two uses), you are helping to save  more than a ton of natural resources for every ton of glass recycled.

“But no!” you say, “Growler bottles are so expensive! I don’t want to spend $20 on a glass bottle from a hipster boutique website!” And to that, my eco-conscious friend, I say “nay.”

Fresh Water Systems sells all different types of growler bottles in singles and in bulk for way cheaper than any specialty store. I’m talking less-thank-3-dollars-for-a-single-bottle-cheaper. And if you don’t want a glass growler bottle, FWS also has Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Bottles, and Neo Vas Stainless Steel Bottles, all for a great price and in various sizes. 

So there really is nothing stopping you for sparing your great-great-great-great grandchildren from having to deal with your single-use disposable plastic bottles.

 

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Reduce Your Risk for Breast Cancer: Go BPA-Free!

Reduce Your Risk for Breast Cancer: Go BPA-Free!

10-1-national-breast-cancer-awarenessOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is a great reminder for you or someone you love to take the time to reduce the risks of breast cancer. Breastcancer.org writes that “1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer at sometime in their lives.” To promote early detection, women should practice regular self-check programs and get recommended mammograms. The  National Breast Cancer Awareness Month website features a list of locations where women can get low cost screenings for both breast and cervical cancers.

There are many factors that can contribute to a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Family history can be a contributing factor, but other things can raise a woman’s risk of cancer. These variable factors are ones that women (and the men who love them) can work to reduce. Exercise and healthy habits like not smoking can decrease the risk of breast cancer.

But scientists have been discovering that environmental factors can also contribute to a person’s cancer risk, including exposure to toxic chemicals, like pesticides. One chemical has been proven in numerous studies to increase cancer is bisphenol A, known as BPA.

This chemical is used in making polycarbonate plastic. This plastic is used in many household products including plastic food storage containers, baby bottles, and in the linings of food cans. BPA is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that can cause abnormal development of cells in babies and children, which can continue into adulthood. As shown in the booklet put out by Breast Cancer Fund.org, BPA has even been proven to inhibit the efficacy of chemotherapy treatment after breast cancer has been found.
Bpa_water-bottles

BPA is in many things in your home, but one way to begin to eliminate its presence while reducing the risk of breast cancer for women and young girls, is to replace water,  juice bottles, and baby bottles with glass, stainless steel or BPA-free plastic. Baby bottles should be BPA-free as they are often heated, which can cause the dangerous chemical to leach out into the liquid. Many versions of commercially bottled water are also packaged in BPA bottles. Replace these disposable water bottles with a stainless steel water bottle. These are refillable, cost-saving, and BPA-free.

Another way to reduce exposure to BPA is to use products that are BPA-free. Freshwatersystems.com offers the innovative, Swift Green Refrigerator Filters that are the only replacement refrigerator water filter that offers BPA-free and eco-friendly construction. So, do yourself or the women you love a favor and go beyond the pink this month. Help to reduce the risk of breast cancer by going BPA-free.

 

Oct. 14, 2013: RECENT UPDATE:

Not only has BPA been linked to cancer, but now it seems to be very dangerous to unborn babies. A study recently released has also shown that women with higher BPA levels in their blood are more likely to miscarry.

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Want to Lose Weight and Think Better? Drink Water!

Want to Lose Weight and Think Better? Drink Water!

Glass of filtered waterFeeling thirsty? Your body craves water for several reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is because a large percentage of your body is made out of water. Recently, two studies came out that proved that drinking more water can have specific health benefits.

1. Drinking water can help you lose weight.

In a recent study, scientists discovered that those who drink water before they eat a meal will lose an average of four more pounds than those who did not. The cause of this weight loss was not clear; perhaps drinking water before the meal actually tells the brain you are less thirsty, which means that you will eat less food. Additionally, Americans tend to drink about 400 to 500 calories daily in high calorie drinks. Replacing these with the first zero calorie drink (water) is a great way to reduce calories quickly and easily, and therefore, lose weight!

2. Drinking more water can help you act smarter.

“About 80% of your brain is made out of water, says Dr. Caroline Edmonds, who is a psychologist at the University of East London. Edmonds was quoted in a recent article in the Telegraph

touting the brain benefits of drinking water.

Edmonds and her colleagues performed a study that found that adults were far quicker to react and could complete complex mental tasks easier and with more success after drinking water. Those who were deprived of water before the tests were significantly slower in reaction and comprehension times. One reason for this may be that being thirsty actually takes brain power. She suggested that before doing complicated tasks, drinking water will help the task go quicker and easier.

Healthier and Smarter? So how can you drink more water during your day?

This blog has 23 great tips on how to drink more water. Here’s some that we like:

  • Make sure to drink a full glass after each trip to the restroom.
  • Bring a 2 liter bottle of water with you to work. Make sure you drink it before you go back home.
  • Drink a full glass before and after each meal.
  • Carry a water bottle with you so that you can refill it when it gets empty.

If you need a water bottle to help you lose weight and be smarter, check out our great selection at Fresh Water Systems. We offer various sizes of water bottles from a perfect desk sized 18 oz. to the perfect picnic sized 40 oz.

Currently, our 27 oz. Tritan Sports Bottles are on sale for a great choice to help you on your way to being a healthier and smart you!

 

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Dorm Essentials: Will your college student’s water be safe?

Dorm Essentials: Will your college student’s water be safe?

Back-to-school-water specials

Fireworks, picnics, and baseball games–July 4th has come and gone, and summer is almost over. Kids will be going back to school soon, and college freshmen will soon be traveling to their chosen campus. They will meet their new roommates, decide on which classes to take, and learn how to navigate a new town or city.

The shopping list for your student’s new apartment or dorm room probably includes new linens, notebooks, and maybe even a laptop. But, have you thought about whether or not your student will have access to good, clean water?

Colleges and universities usually have two options for student housing: residence halls that are owned and maintained by the university or private apartments selected by the student. Depending on the age of the apartment building or dormitory hall and the source of the tap water, your student may be at risk for exposure to lead, chlorine, bacteria and other contaminants that could be damaging to his or her health. How can you avoid these contaminants and make sure that your newly-minted high school graduate will be safe? Here are a few steps you can take to provide your college student with the best and safest water possible:

Step 1: Find out more about the tap water

The first step to protecting your college student is finding out more about the source of water. For example, if your student is going to college in Los Angeles, CA, he or she might be exposed to high levels of cancer-causing “THMs” and even Arsenic.

  • Contact the college or university and ask them for information. A small amount of colleges and universities have begun to realize the need for filtered water and may already provide it in cafeterias or student lounges.
  • Read the most recent customer confidence reports for the municipality where your college student’s future alma mater is located. This research will provide you with the
    information needed to decide the best water filtration system.

Step 2: Give your college student an easy to use product that will provide great tasting, filtered water.

1. If your student’s new home has water that tastes and smells like chlorine, OmniFilterbut has few other contaminants, the easiest solution is to give him or her an OmniFilter PF500 Water Filter Pitcher. For just $30.98 (not including shipping), this pitcher and  water filter 3 pack will provide the college student with an easy to use solution for filtered water. This product even includes an electronic change indicator, that reminds the user when it is time to change the carbon filter.

For tap water that contains more hard to remove contaminants like pesticides, bacteria, or lead, a different water filtration system is needed. Here are three options that will work nicely in a dormroom or apartment:

2. Culligan FM-15A Faucet Filter    Culligan FM15A

  •  Reduces lead, cysts, and other contaminants.
  •  Easy to install, only $19.99  (before shipping).
  • Filter must be changed every 2-3 months.

3. AquaCera HCP Countertop Ceramic Drinking Water Filter SystemHCP-AquaCera

  • Reduces 99.99% of pathogenic organisms (including E. Coli, etc.).
  • Reduces chlorine, lead, arsenic, and other contaminants.
  • Easy installation that requires no under the sink plumbing.
  • Costs $99.99 (not including shipping).
  • Ceramic filter candle will only need replacing after 6 months to a 1 year.

4. Nimbus Water Maker Mini RO System Watermakermini

  • Reduces 96% of Total Dissolved Solids (includes nitrates and other chemicals).
  • Fits simply and easily over the faucet.
  • Costs $98.99 (not including shipping).
  • Interior membrane filter cartridge lasts for about 1 year.

NeoVas water bottle

Don’t forget to get a reusable, stainless-steel water bottle with a Neo-Tote that will let your college student carry along this great tasting, filtered water!

 


 

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