I do not live with a family of hoarders. Really, I don't. You might think otherwise if you opened the drawer of recycled plastic items in my kitchen. Or if you saw the collection of mismatched sippy cups and tops that have lingered past the stage when my children need them. Or if you saw the 1960s-era plastic cup that my husband refuses to part with even though I've tried to explain that we really don't know what it's made of.
With so much science showing us reason for concern about endocrine disruptors, and so much we don't know about plastics, I tried a kitchen intervention. I'd been sorting into groups of recycle, throw away and donate to charity (newer items that were mostly labeled BPA-free).
|Drawer of Mismatched Shame|
We needed to get rid of the baby feeding items for clutter control anyway. I had an assortment of sippy cups on the counter, when my kids came in from playing. "Oh, that pink one's my favorite," they started in, then "You're not really giving those away are you? I like that pink one and the green one." They finally listened to reason., especially since they'd outgrown the need for toddler-sized, unbreakable, spill-proof dishes.
The hardest one to convince that we could live without all the plastic, and who didn't want to listen to my health concerns, was my husband. He is determined to use his dingy, triangle-shaped, hard plastic cup because he likes to make milkshakes in it and he has good memories of using it as a child. That was more than a few decades ago, back when no one even labeled plastics. This was a lost cause.
|My husband's favorite milkshake cup|
that he will never, ever part with
I did manage to throw away an item stamped with the number 7 recycle symbol on the bottom, because that indicates a likelihood of Bisphenol-A. I also threw away a few other mysterious odds and ends, recycling the rest.
I just couldn't bear to throw out all of the empty yogurt and butter tubs because they are so handy to grab and reuse on the fly. I wouldn't dare heat them in the microwave or even put them in the dishwasher, but it still seems impractical to not keep any around. I have convinced myself that I could at least use them for children's paint containers as we do more crafts this holiday season. To prove that I'm not a kitchen container hoarder, I have drastically reduced the size of the plastic tub collection.
Change is difficult, isn't it? Yet, sometimes it starts by cleaning out the cupboards.