In our ever-evolving world, people are taking more responsibility to keep the environment safe for our next generation. While some of us are making more conscious decisions with how we use resources, many might be unaware of the harmful effects of plastic and its place in our foods and drinking water.
Deena Campbell, Senior Lifestyle editor, and Sarah Paiji, Yoo Co-founder and CEO of Blueland, a sustainable cleaning line, had a conversation about motherhood and sustainability. They discussed the mission of Blueland, the problem with plastic and simple ways moms can practice sustainability.
Here’s a breakdown on our mom-to-mom discussion on sustainability:
On what sustainability means
Deena: We have a lot of readers and followers who haven’t really heard about sustainability—like it’s a buzzword, they get it. But is it just a matter of not buying plastics and not having plastics?
Sarah: I think we didn’t want to be so singularly focused on plastic, like we were doing the planet a disservice on another metric like carbon emissions. But for us, it’s really about the process of building the company and the process in which we bring our products to market.
On why moms should care about sustainability
Sarah: Given that this is a mom audience, I think the same reasons that brought me to sustainability was for my son and for future generations. A waking up moment for me was that we’re eating a credit card’s worth of plastic every week. It’s really crazy.
Deena: So wait, let’s talk about that. I’m like, plastic of course I’m not, I would never eat a credit card. But how did you come to that conclusion?
Sarah: I went down this crazy path of like how to get microplastics out of my water and out of my son’s formula. For women that are wondering if the reverse osmosis system will remove microplastic— I bought one and it didn’t fit under my sink. It was so disheartening that after 11 months of painfully breastfeeding and doing everything in my power, I was giving him water that had bits of plastic in it.
On Blueland’s philosophy
Deena: So can you tell me why you started Blueland?
Sarah: Actually, becoming a new mom is what inspired my entire journey to Blueland. I was doing a lot of research on what kind of formula I should use and what kind of water I should use to make my son’s formula. In that process, I was horrified to know that regardless of using bottled water or tap water, drinking water contains hundreds of pieces of microplastics. I started to connect the dots with all this plastic that we’re consuming as a society and how it’s showing back up in the food that we eat, the water we drink, and the water I was using to make my son’s formula. Our mission from the very beginning has been to eliminate single use plastic packaging and be accessible for everyone to be environmentally responsible and that drives truly everything that we do.
On hacks to be sustainable at home
Deena: I heard that you are the queen of hacks in terms of helping moms. What can I do at home to kind of help the environment in the long run?
Sarah: The big one is shifting your mindset from single use to reuse, which can be money saving in the long run. Some that I love are investing in stasher bags or reusable ziplock bags With saran wrap, there are some great alternatives that are made of silicone that stretch over bowls and are dishwasher-safe.
Deena: Are their other common items not only in the kitchen, but in our home in general that we can get rid of to make a big impact?
Sarah: If you’re getting delivery, bringing food home, or you are at home, then you have utensils at home. When you order food ask the restaurant to hold back on plastic utensils and ketchup packs, etc. It’s a nice, easy and free way to do your part.
On sustainability + saving money
Deena: Is there a way that you can save money and be sustainable for the long run?
Sarah: I definitely won’t say for every sustainable alternative there is a low-cost hack. But, for many, there are. When I go to the supermarket, I’ll usually use an unused pillow case. You don’t need to buy something fancy, you just need a bag of sorts. I think it’s about being creative and looking at things that you get and thinking about how you can repurpose it.