Archive | September, 2010

Tupperware & BPA – 2 Years Later

I love stats. Something that is a record of growth is even better and I’m happy to say when viewing the traffic stats for Mommy Footprint, my blog continues to grow and flourish with new subscribers and people coming to the site. I also enjoy seeing what Google searches land upon Mommy Footprint and lately I’ve received a high number for Tupperware and BPA. I wrote about this topic back in June 2008 after wondering how Tupperware was handling customer concerns regarding their products that did contain BPA.  They were not arguing the fact that certain products sold did contain BPA – there was a section on their site that has now been removed that listed product names of Tupperware items made with BPA.  Now when you click on the link listed in my article from 2008 – you are taken to a page that describes which recycling codes are labelled on the bottom of NEW Tupperware products in the 2010 catalogue. So if you are trying to look up which recycling codes match your Tupperware pieces that are older than 2010 – this will not help you. Because Tupperware deemed their products ‘to last forever’ and therfore, never require to be recycled, they haven’t stamped the recycling codes on the bottom of their products (apparently this has now changed). By recycling code I mean the resin number (1-7) so that consumers are left to wonder if their product was made with polycarbonate plastic (number 7). I still have the list of products that was published back in 2008 from the Tupperware site if you are wanting to look up older Tupperware products that aren’t coded and you are concerned. They are listed at the bottom of this article.

My other reason for re-visting Tupperware and BPA was the surprise and disappointment in how Tupperware handled parents questioning Tupperware products when BPA entered the media years ago. The Tupperware view on the BPA situation was basically: we don’t think BPA is as dangerous because governmental regulatory agencies approve of the use of BPA , it is needed to produce certain Tupperware products, we don’t sell baby bottles, we’ve ensured that polycarbonate plastic is not in any of the children’s items we sell.  I wanted to re-visit the site and see what progress Tupperware had made over two years later. Another shocker – they haven’t changed their opinion!  I’ve taken a few hard looks at the Tupperware site over the last few days and they stand by the belief that BPA is an approved substance for use in food contact products.  For the entire blurb, click here to read. I guess my question would be then why effective March 2010, did Tupperware cease using polycarbonate for the small number of products sold in the US and Canada?  And with the millions of Tupperware products that have been purchased and used since it was introduced to consumers in 1946…why wouldn’t a refund be offered to someone concerned that their Tupperware item containing BPA? Yes, only 10% of their products were previously made with polycarbonate plastic (that contains BPA) but with the amount sold over the last 50 years – we are talking about a lot of plastic.  And if the products are made to ‘last forever’ – who knows how many Tupperware products 10 years ago, 15 years ago, 20 years ago were made with BPA?

The fact my site is receiving lots of hits on an article I wrote over 2 years ago about Tupperware and BPA – shows that people are still mystified by plastic products that were never labelled properly.  People that struggle with the questions “is it wasteful to throw something away when I’ve been using for years?”  “Am I being paranoid about plastics?”  If you are finding my site because you are at a loss to know what to do with unlabelled Tupperware – phone their customer service department and get answers.

I’ve never owned Tupperware – it wasn’t anything I ever invested in although don’t get me wrong…I’ve purchased a fair amount of polycarbonate plastic in my life. My take on plastic today? Tupperware or otherwise?  Plastic is plastic. I think it’s one of the most damaging man-made materials ever developed. It was widely untested when first brought to consumers and companies like Tupperware marketing to moms stating their products would save busy moms time and convenience is a wonderful thing – especially for parents. So we bought what they said…hook, line, and now we suffer. These man-made, untested materials have brought our families the worst diseases and planet pollution. Never heat food/liquid or freeze in plastic containers.   The act of putting plastic in dishwashers will also cause the material to breakdown with our detergents and hot water.

Here is my list that was once posted on the Tupperware site that is no longer there. I shudder to think that a product called a ‘Heat ‘N Serve/Rock ‘N Serve container has BPA. I would think the name suggests you are heating food in some capacity. And I think people that own a Tupperware product that does contain polycarbonate plastic should demand their money back and remind Tupperware that it’s not just about baby bottles. Yes, BPA has been banned from baby bottles – but nobody wants this chemicals leaching into their food. Older children and adults are not big fans of infertility, cancers of the breast & prostate – to name a few, and more.  BPA is still a big deal and people want to stay away from it. Sorry that you didn’t think to code your products properly, but that is not the consumers problem. It is our right to know if chemicals are in the products we use and your responsibility to answer those question. And I think – give us our money back if I, the consumer is not satisfied.

Products listed on the Tupperware site back in June 2008 confirming they contained BPA:

Heat ‘N Serve/Rock ‘N Serve: Container

Ice Prisms: Bowls, Pitcher & Tumbler Set

Kitchen Duos

Microsteamer: Base

Microwave Cooker – Oval: Cover

Microwave Luncheon Plate

Quick Chef Base

Sheerly Elegant Line

Tumbler Bouquet & Pitcher Set: Pitcher

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Related Articles:

Tupperware Items Made From #7 Plastic

Response From Tupperware Regarding BPA & Refunds

Alternatives To Freezing Food In Plastic


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Soccer Saturday – Getting Ready For Rain!

I’ve spent this weekend either at the skating rink or soccer field and for me it’s the best way to spend a weekend! The soccer field was damp and it rained lightly and funny enough it wasn’t my boys who were actually playing soccer that made me start thinking about rain gear. It was their little fans (their younger sisters) who were standing and watching in the wet weather that encouraged me to take some inventory of appropriate rain gear for my kids. Since it’s just going to get colder and well, more wet – I started to research options for umbrella, boots, and rainwear. Two of my favourite online retailers came up in my searches so I’m thrilled to save you some time with researching. Also, before I talk about PVC-free gear for staying dry on the soccer sidelines – I wanted to mention an awesome product that we’ve used for 2 soccer seasons and they are always a hit with coaches and other parents when it’s our turn to bring oranges for the team. The 3-tier Family Tiffin from Green Planet Parties is the perfect eco-solution for transporting food and carting away the waste to later compost, recycle, or trash. This large, stackable, stainless steel tiffin is great for a families on the go – just load up your layers in the morning and you have snacks for the entire day. I love being able to load up two layers of sandwiches in only one layer of the tiffin! Another layer with a couple of types of fruits and the 3rd layer for dry stock and veggies. Please note – these pictures are from the Green Planet Parties site – not pictures I’ve taken with my camera. These tiffins are currently on sale and a great investment!


Next up on the agenda for ‘soccer Saturday’ is rainwear and both of the online retail shops I’m featuring have amazing product knowledge and great gear! Puddle Gear is owned by Alex…one eco-savvy mama! This line of PVC and phthalate free, water proof, breathable rain gear that she carries is timeless because the designs are styled to last many years. The quality is European standard (made in Europe by Abeko) and check out the waterproof mitts while you’re on the site – perfect for everyday wear,  skating or skiing. Puddle Gear jackets, mittens, full suits or pants are amazing quality, high end, and a wonderful investment made for puddle jumping this time of year!

Next our friends at Organically Hatched have the answer for PVC-free rain boots, PVC-free umbrellas and cute jackets for preschool or park days.  Water proof and PVC-free umbrellas sized for my girls would have been the perfect ticket yesterday while they watched big brothers play back-to-back soccer games. Umbrellas seem to be the ultimate in accessories to keep kids happy – they love them! Designed for the younger crowd, the Hatley rainwear at Organically Hatched is adorable – from matching boots, raincoats, and umbrellas – you cannot go wrong.  I’m pretty sure Hatley manufactures it’s products overseas which makes sense from the point point but I love the company’s dedication to PVC and phthalate free rain gear that children will love.

Rain gear that is breathable and high quality is a wonderful investment because without using PVC, the material is breathable and more comfortable for children. Once you’ve purchased rain gear that works – get outside an play. Have fun in nature and enjoy the best season of the year!

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Back-To-School – Ready to Label!

Is everyone feeling back in the swing of things with kids returning to school last week? The last ‘to do’ on my back-to-school list in the hopes of feeling less stress is using Mabel’s Labels. Last year I helped both my boys put their initials on every crayon, marker, pencil, color pencil, etc. and realized why everyone I know has ordered a Mabel’s Label set..talk about making your life easier. I can also see the items that we labelled over the weekend actually sticking around for more than 1 school year because the supplies are so neat and organized. Hard for stuff to go missing when a child’s first and last name are printed on their gear. I received the Colourful Ultimate Back-to-School Combo from Mabel’s Labels and the quantities and types of labels were perfect for my Grade 1 and and Grade 3 boys. I like the tags for clothing (yes, already testing running them through the wash and dryer without any problems), lunch gear such as stainless steel water bottles that always seem to go missing, and of course,  school supplies. There is also a sheet of 16 shoe labels and that will last us a few years since the boys only own a few pairs of shoes each. If you only need a certain type of label (Tag Mates, Skinny-Minis, Shoe Labels, Clothing Labels, etc.) there is an option on the site to just order this one type which will lower cost. There are also some great deals on shipping – read more here.

Although this doesn’t apply with all schools, my boys wear a uniform so labelling shirts and sweaters for obvious reasons is awesome! Last year both my boys lost their school sweaters and there was no point even checking the lost and found unless they were labelled. This year, that is all under control and I’ve washed and dried the clothes and the label tag label still looks clear and straight.

Thank you Mabel’s Labels for helping me feel more organized with the Colourful Ultimate Back-to-School Combo! Another point to mention is they have very cool label designs for boys that have outgrown dinosaurs or cars themes. The designs match the grown-up names for boys wanting an older design motif with ‘Night Racer’, ‘Big Wave’,  ‘Blue Storm’. Play around to view these designs by clicking here. Mabel’s Labels would be a great company to assist with school fundraising – view more information on this initiative by clicking here.

I really enjoy hand selecting the companies and products I decide to support with back-to-school shopping. Although there is still a long way to go, my criteria is always to support local when possible and try to eliminate school supplies that may contain chemicals.  Although it’s more work, I opt out of purchasing the boxed school supplies that can be purchased through our school district in the hopes of not saving money, but selecting more eco-friendly back-to-school products. One item however, got past my radar this year and I wanted to share. While shopping at Staples for back-to-school supplies, I went straight to the ‘green’ section to try and shave off some time with shopping. Happy to see an eco option for scissors, I grabbed the same pair that I purchased last year, (Westcott brand) with the labelling Kleen Earth, made from recycled materials. When I arrived home I noticed that the meaning behind the ‘Kleen’ title is that the handles are ‘protected’ with Microban which is an antibacterial property. Last year I thought this was a good thing…every time my kid uses the scissors, they get a little cleaning. Well this year I know better and another name for Microban is Triclosan which is a toxic ingredient that should be avoided. I’ve written about Triclosan before, please read here for more information. So I felt double ticked off because those scissors simply shouldn’t have been in the ‘green’ section of Staples – I’ll even say a bit of greenwashing going on with the marketing of this product. I called Staples and voiced my concerns and said I will have to return them. I’ve since asked parents who purchased the box of school supplies and their scissors also have Microban handles. If this is the case with your school’s supplies, please contact the rep handling the ordering for school supplies and ask that Microban be excluded from future orders because this chemical is harmful to the environment and human health.  I posted this experience on the Mommy Footprint fan page wall and had another mom report seeing microban pencils being sold too. How disgusting! Really, why do we need antibacterial chemicals covering our pencils and scissors….it’s gross and a toxin that really doesn’t need to be touching our children each day at school.

This article wraps up our 2010 Back-to-School reviews at Mommy Footprint. If you are still having a tough time finding products for the classroom, lunch-time, or clothing/accessories for your children, please post a comment on our Facebook wall and we’ll figure out a solution.

Related articles:

2010 Litterless Lunch Category

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No Poo Anyone?

There’s new life with the ‘no poo’ movement sweeping across greener blogs and parenting circles. I think the release of The Story of Cosmetics video and the introduction of Safe Cosmetics Act has fired up discussions about toxic chemicals within cosmetics again including, of course, shampoo. Parents know there are natural and organic solutions to hair care but sometimes in frustration and in a weakened state from reading so many ingredient labels, we seek to find a simple way of dealing with complex ingredient deciphering. There is nothing difficult to understand by turning to truly safe ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, honey, lemon juice, etc. How do you feel when you think about putting your expensive hair products away for awhile?  Are you so completely frustrated by industry giants mis-leading you with what exactly we absorb into our bodies and ready to withdraw your money from the cosmetics industry?

For me, a few lightbulb moments happened after watching The Story of Cosmetics. Many years ago I switched the kids to organic hair products – but what about what I’m using? I don’t want to be using chemicals on myself to ‘clean’ my hair and skin either. I wanted to make a change, but knew I couldn’t commit to the pricetag of purchasing organic shampoo and conditioner for myself (I have really long hair and need lots of conditioner).  So although my kids have used organic shampoo for sometime (no conditioner needed yet) last month I made the switch to ‘no poo’ with them and I can’t see myself turning back. I’ve heard from people that use the ‘no poo’ methods of cleaning that after a few years their hair changed in texture so if this happens I’ll invest in chemical-free shampoo again – but for now I’m thrilled with the results. How do I wash the kids hair right now?  I put a teaspoon of baking soda into a cup of warm water, mix so the baking soda dissolves, then slowly pour the liquid onto their scalp, rub into scalp and massage into the rest of their hair. My boys hair has never felt so good.  My daughters’ hair always feels a little dry so I need to remember to lesson the amount of baking soda to help with this problem. Either that or start using the apple cider vinegar condition in their hair.  This is 1 part apple vinegar (1 tablespoon) with 1 cup water. I tried this on myself today and I really enjoy supplementing my hair care with these techniques. From reading articles from people that have gone ‘no poo’ for a long period of time, apparently there is a stretch of time where your hair needs to adjust to being free from chemicals. This can take weeks to months. Because my hair is very long and gets annual streaks of blonde, it’s tougher to condition naturally – but I’m excited to play with the ingredients recommended for the apple cider vinegar conditioner. Adding drops of honey helps with hair texture, I also love the idea of natural oils (olive oil or coconut) to add to the ends of my hair when they get dry.

From reading up on the ‘no poo’ recommendations I’ve learned that you need to play with ingredients and their amounts. If you are finding your hair too oily or dry – you might need to endure a wait out period before your hair is used to not using chemicals to clean it. Also, if people like their home made hair products to ‘smell’ adding essential oils is one idea. It just occurred to me that readers might be wondering why a person would go through the trouble to blend their own mixtures of ‘no poo’.  The first reason would be the number of chemicals that are found in conventional hair products. Sorry – it just can’t be ignored anymore that cosmetics are causing disease, infertility, and a host of problems with human health. It does seem crazy that we continue to purchase cosmetics that are filled with chemicals linked to disease. Another reason for ‘no poo’ would be cost. For those purchasing hair care products on a budget this is an important point since buying cheap traditional shampoos probably contain more chemicals OR if you are sourcing organic, chemical-free shampoos it’s already causing some strain on your wallet.  There is nothing more inexpensive than buying baking soda and vinegar in bulk.  Even if ‘no poo’ doesn’t work out for you – you’ll have plenty of baking soda left over to clean with. Lastly, it gives a mama a very proud feeling to be trying an alternative that is totally safe. No research required. We know these natural ingredients are okay to use on our bodies so what have we got to lose?  Nothing!  And as I sit here typing and looking at my hair, I feel pride, knowing that today, I did something that limited my chemical exposure. It’s not very often I do something like that for myself. I usually research and purchase products knowing that it will help my children – but I do enjoy harnessing my inner crunchy goddess and trying something new. I’m sold on using this method of hair cleaning for my kids. For those trying different methods of ‘no poo’ – please post comments with updated on recipe variations that have been successful for your hair.

Note ** I would highly recommend the ‘no poo’ recipes to parents that have children suffering from eczema outbreaks. For more information on tips for managing eczema, click here.

Related Articles:

Are Cosmetics Killing Us?

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