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We eat about a credit card’s worth of plastic every week

And other things we learned from our chat with Blueland's founder.

Motherly's IG Live Recap with Sarah Paiji Yoo of Blueland

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?

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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.

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    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

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    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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