The world begins at home and the most crucial part of our home is the kitchen. So, an eco-friendly sustainable life starts with the plastic-free kitchen and home products. Let’s see why and how the kitchen and home products can change for a better future.
Harmful Effects of PlasticEasier said than done, most of us will think. But it is indeed quite an easy and effective thing to do as compared to using plastic items that contain harmful BPA and severely affect our brain, heart, and hormones. Moreover, storing edible things in plastic containers alters the taste and odor of the food. Plastic containers not just harm us but the environment also. Take the example of reusable plastic bottles that contain polyethylene or PET. Every ounce of this PET generates an ounce of carbon dioxide, says the EPA Now, check the labels of the plastic bottles and food containers that we use. Imagine the carbon footprint from them, each of these plastic materials. An average Indian uses 11kg of such plastic materials in a year, much of these are kitchen and home products. Now you get the extent of the problem? We are literally breathing plastic into the air, water, and land.
Making the SwitchThe only way to get out of this mess is to change to eco-friendly products and that’s exactly what inspired Actress & UN Goodwill Ambassador Dia Mirza’s sustainable life. Dia Mirza’s wedding is a perfect example of how much waste you can reduce just by switching plastic kitchen and home products with eco-friendly ones. She replaced plastic bottles, cups, and glasses with eco-friendly glassware. Furthermore, the gift baskets weren’t plastic containers but wooden ones. And all of this was done in a manner that didn’t require much import of products from elsewhere but local Made-in-India products from Meghalaya. So, with the Think Global, Act Local concept, she managed to reduce the huge ecological footprint of a wedding. The same we can do at our home if we switch to plant-based home and kitchen products like neem, bamboo, coconut, etc. that are biodegradable and don’t pollute the earth for 450 years like plastic.
Impact of Plant-Based ProductsWe have seen the impact of Plant-based products in our diet and waste disposal methods but the biggest impact of it is yet to be ascertained. Our kitchen and home products like food containers, combs, cutleries, tableware, etc. are usually made of plastic, either partially or wholly. This takes 450 years or more. A great deal of this is home and kitchen products that can’t be destroyed or repurposed. Compared to that, products like bowls, spoons, forks, combs, containers, etc. made up of neem, coconut and bamboo are long-lasting, non-toxic, and can be repurposed.
1.BiodegradableThey don’t stay in the environment and degrade in 60-90 days. You can readily break them down and use them for composting, especially bamboo ones.
2. Energy ConservingThey take up less electricity and water in their production as compared to plastic products.
3. Non-reactive & HealthyUnlike plastic, coconut, neem, and bamboo don’t have any harmful effects on your brain, heart, hormones, or the rest of the body. In fact, neem is an antibacterial agent that purifies your body and eliminates germs from the body. Bamboo too has certain health benefits of being healthy and nutritious and antibacterial. So, using a toothbrush made up of any of them adds to your vitality. Remember why our parents used neem twigs for brushing.
4. DurabilityAdded to these, the texture and durability of these plant-based products are more compared to plastic. Coconut fibers and shells are quite sturdy materials that make for strong aesthetic-looking utensils and cutleries. The same goes for bamboo and neem products which give long-lasting wooden strength to the products.
5. Saves MoneyPlastic products are less economical than plant-based ones as they are prone to more breakage and leakage. They can’t be used for long. Neem, bamboo, or coconut products on the other hand can be 1-2 years. So, you end up spending more money on buying plastic products than plant-based ones
6. Non-toxic to EnvironmentMoreover, these products hardly contain any chemicals or reagents which can cause harm when they leak into the environment. So, when an aquatic animal eats a microplastic it will lead to its death but when it eats coconut fibers that are the biomolecules that its body can break down. This shows the extent of the impact a simple switch to eco-friendly home and kitchen products can bring.
Repurposing Eco-friendly ProductsAnd it isn’t just restricted to this alone you can easily repurpose these products and put them to alternative use
- A coconut shell bowl can be easily turned into a decorative world hanging. Just paint it with some funky colors and patterns and it will become a home decor item.
- Similarly, bamboo and neem toothbrushes can be repurposed as wall art materials for home decor.
- You can use the natural loofah for tying and other purposes.
- Bamboo products can be used for composting or make gardening support materials like planters, chimes, etc.