Cutting Back on BPA | A Journey Worth Taking

    [fa icon="user"] Andrea Fabry [fa icon="folder-open'] Home Health, Just Starting, Endocrine Disruptors, Plastics, BPA

    When I first heard about BPA and its potential to disrupt hormones, I was in disbelief.  After all, I had been drinking from plastic water bottles for years. Surely I would know if plastic- specifically bisphenol A- was harmful!

    However, after our health crisis in 2008, I learned to ask questions about the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. I learned not to assume anything when it comes to toxicity in our environment. 

    Because we were radically altering everything about our lifestyle, the thought of eliminating plastic was overwhelming. But I knew from experience that every change matters, no matter how small.

    Small Changes

    My first step was to eliminate plastic water bottles. After reading that it takes anywhere from 400-1,000 years for one plastic water bottle to decompose, I felt compelled to make the change. I learned that BPA-free didn’t necessarily mean toxin-free. Studies now tell us that the common substitute BPS (bisphenol S) may be just as hazardous. I transitioned to glass (with silicone sleeves) and stainless steel water bottles. They come in handy during the summertime in Arizona!

    Once I made this change, I decided to tackle another BPA presence in my life: store receipts. I was stunned to learn that thermal receipt paper is coated with BPA. While some businesses now offer BPA-free receipts, most do not. You can feel the difference: BPA-coated receipts feel much smoother, and if you rub them with a coin, you’ll see discoloration. I have found the following habits helpful when trying to minimize exposure to BPA-lined receipts:

    • Choose the bag when a store clerk asks, “Receipt with you, or in the bag?”
    • Opt for the email receipt, whenever possible.
    • Store necessary receipts in an envelope.
    • Wash your hands after handling a receipt.

    What About Plastic Sandwich Bags? 

    As my commitment to reduce our family’s use of plastic grew, I tackled our heavy use of disposable plastic bags. I haven’t eliminated them entirely, but I’ve discovered some great alternatives. I keep a wide variety of glass bowls with matching lids on hand. As for the lids, silicone is a safer option than plastic, but even a glass storage container with a plastic lid is better than all plastic. 

    I keep the bowls and lids accessible and find that my kids readily reach for one when storing their food. Stainless steel bowls and lids work well for on-the-go snacks. 

    I also love naturally-derived parchment paper sandwich bags. If I have to use a Ziploc bag, I line it with parchment paper before adding the food. 

    Once I conquered the disposable plastic bag hurdle, I focused on food storage in my pantry. I replaced every plastic food storage container with a glass one. It took me several years to commit to this project, but I love the change! I find food is far more appealing in glass, and I enjoy the added peace of mind every time I look in the pantry. 


    My Most Recent Discovery 

    I recently purchased an old-fashioned kitchen tool that uses no electricity and is plastic-free. It’s simple and affordable. It’s an egg beater! While I still love my stick blender (read more about my hand blender here.) I’m finding all sorts of functions for my egg beater.


    Transitioning away from BPA and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals is a journey, but it’s a journey worth taking. Never underestimate the value of small changes.

     The Savvy Path blog explores one topic a month. This is one of a series  featuring BPA tips and ideas. Would you like to peruse more ideas and tips?  

    Explore BPA-Free Ideas and Tips

    Andrea Fabry

    Written by Andrea Fabry

    Andrea is a former journalist, certified building biology practitioner, and the mother of nine children. She is the founder of momsAWARE, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about environmental issues. Her journey began in 2008 when a serious toxic mold exposure compromised her family's health. Since then, she has discovered a passion for non-toxic living and enjoys educating and empowering others. She is the author of Is Your House Making You Sick? A Beginner’s Guide to Toxic Mold. Andrea currently resides in Vail, AZ with her husband, Chris and four of their children. Keep up with Andrea by following her blog It Takes Time.

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