Plastic bags ban!
Plastic entered our lives through soap boxes, mugs, buckets and graduated to milk packets, biscuits etc. as far as I can remember. But the recycle 'rajas' and 'ranis' that we are(were?) every smelly milk cover was collected and sold to the plastic-paper-karan(?) and we lived guilt-free. Atleast a majority of my life in India, one had to carry their own bag to vegetable and grocery stores or risk carry the items in newspaper packets. Even by the time, every 'potti kadai' began generously giving out polythene bags(one cannot find tinier bags than those!) I hardly knew about the non bio-degradability of plastics and its effect on the environment. My first jolt came when cattle consuming these polythene bags from the rubbish bins made news!
When I moved abroad, the use and throw mentality was so hard to digest, me from the 'recycle kingdom' and all!! When we first moved, my husband couldn't believe his eyes at the mound of grocery bags, the yogurt cans that I had hoarded(which were eventually trashed much to my dismay)!! Later I found recycle bins in our community and just when I was laying back satisfied in doing my bit, came the crashing news that the community could no longer support recylcing!! It took another few months for me to find about the recycle center in our town and took another few months to locate it only to find that it needed membership!
After all the setbacks, I decided to carry my own bags wherever I went and not use the plastic bags. From my India trip, I had got special jute bags for that reason! My husband walked a safe 10 feet away from me whenever I was with my gunny bag! And he preferred waiting in the car when I stood in the billing counter ready to rattle the cashiers who are used to the 'scan-drop in bag' routine with my 'no bags, please' cry! Even my friends who came to visit, scared to listen to my 'green' lecture, hid plastic bags in their cars and hand carried all their items!
Then, we moved again! This time we found ourselves short of plastic bags during the packing process and my husband was so satisfied to have got the chance to hit back at me for the state I had brought the house to! Then, I began resusing the bags by carrying old bags back to the store which didn't seem like a good idea as people began to suspect I was trying to shop-lift(though once the cashier paid me 3 c for each bag for reusing and it happened infront of my in-laws!!)!
It's not just plastic bags, I am equally averse to storing/heating food in plastic containers after being scared by articles like these! I have a collection of tiny stainless steel containers which I use to store food, send lunch to my daughter etc. After a few weeks, my daughter's teacher suggested that I buy lunch boxes available in stores as there was not enough room for my containers in their lunch table(and it was then that I saw that most kids got lunch in disposable brown bags and ziploc bags)!!
To encourage my daughter to drink more water, all sources point to keeping a water bottle in a prominent place which will tempt/remind about drinking water from time to time. I, as usual, was at the mercy of the internet to research about any 'safe plastic' bottles to store water in. The debate about plastic safety still going strong, I am now wondering if water from plastic bottle is better than no water at all... Any ideas?