In December, I decided that my New Year’s resolution was going to be getting rid of all my plastic dishes and cups. I was inspired by a friend of mine who is also on a mission to help her child through nutrition, vitamins and lessening the environmental toxins in the household. Over coffee in December my friend told me: “I threw out all my plastic. No more plastic.” We had a conversation about sippy cups and how it is a modern convenience that is really unneccessary. She has a six year old and said “We are using glass now…If we break a glass we will clean it up.” Her clarity and vision were contagious. I loved being inspired by someone else to do better and to be more thoughtful.
That night at bed time I poured my two year old a glass of rice milk and abandoned the straw sippy cups we had been using at night. And with excitement and delight I said to him “YOU’RE A BIG BOY NOW! You get a BIG BOY CUP!” as I carefully put the glass of milk in his two hands for him to take a few sips while we read books. He hasn’t used a sippy cup at night since and hasn’t complained. Every night for a few weeks I repeated the “You’re a big boy now–here is your big boy cup” when I handed him his glass of milk. It was a pretty easy transition away from sippy cups–my two year old is a flexible child who is pretty easy to redirect–especially now that he is healthy.
I was planning to phase in my NO PLASTIC life and my New Year’s resolution was going to be to completely abandon plastic. So I started stocking up on pyrex storage containers so I could abandon the plastic storage containers and using glass whenever possible. I love seeing the transparency and the retro look of the food in the glass containers when I open the fridge and the weight of a real glass of water in my hand.
But, after three glasses broke and my daughter got glass in her foot, I realized my NO PLASTIC phase in was going to take longer than a month and my NO PLASTIC New Year’s resolution was going to have to be changed to GLASS whenever possible and BETTER plastic glasses when chaos is unfolding at my house. I still give the kids glass cups at the kids table and at bedtime because it works fine with a table low to the wood floor and a carpet, but in the kitchen with a hard tile floor and chaos unfolding I will have to choose plastic sometimes. It is ironic that my first purchase of the New Year was some 10 ounce and 14 ounce Sur La Table glasses from New Zealand that are made of plastic. (Then I rethought my decision and cancelled it and decided I would order a few wood bowls and cups that for sure won’t be recalled.)
Although I have fallen short of my NO PLASTIC goal the changes I have made in my life in this area are significant. I choose glass whenever it is possible and realistic–which is quite often. I purchased some high quality plastic drinking glasses from New Zealand, which I have been told by a well traveled journalist friend “is basically an organic country.” (and then I cancelled the order.)I tossed all the cheap convenient sippy cups and I found a Scooby Doo thermos for my daughter to take in her lunch box instead of a water bottle. I also found a metal thermos for her to take chicken soup in.
In my house, my son had to go gluten free overnight because his health was so compromised. My daughter and I went gluten free over a few months and we did a gluten challenge to confirm our gluten intolerance. But I know a mother who has made significant changes in the immunity and development of her daughter by making protein and vegetables a more significant part of her diet and getting rid of the white flour and replacing it with whole wheat bread and pasta.
There is an excitement and hope in the feeling of making changes. But sometimes goals are unrealistic and or need to happen more slowly than we expected and might not happen on January 1st. But I think an awareness and being inspired to make better choices when we can is moving in the right direction. We can make small choices to feed our kids better in whatever way works. Choosing organic food when possible. More homemade and less processed food. Replacing a staple convenience food with a healthier one.
WE CAN ALL DO BETTER than we did last year–at least we can try!
Happy New Year!