How safe are plastics for food storage? Kids Konserve provide an alternative.
Anyone with kids knows that the effort put into worrying over what they eat can be tiring. Are they getting enough fruit, veg or vitamin D? Do they eat enough protein, or too much? What is too much sugar? Many parents don’t realise that they also need to think about what container the food is in. If you use plastic containers as your kids’ lunch boxes, you may not be aware of the possible toxins in the plastic.
Some plastics are far safer than others and those to avoid include PVC and BPA. The latest advice is that stainless steel is by far the safest way to store food at home. This sounds great in theory, but obviously it’s much easier to get your hands on plastic isn’t it? Luckily, some rather clever firms have brought out stainless steel food storage solutions. Companies such as Kids Konserve are leading the way when it comes to safer lunch boxes. Plastic lids are still necessary in order to create a vacuum, but if you buy from a fully committed environmentally and health conscious company, you will be safe in the knowledge that they have used safer plastics for this, such as non-toxic LDPE. You can even use them for home food storage as well as lunch boxes and they can go in the fridge or freezer too.
As with so many things, if you don’t know what you are looking for and what you are trying to avoid, it’s harder than it sounds to select the right plastics. The smartest option is to find an alternative to plastic. For most mums and dads, the health of their children is their number one priority so it’s great news that there are now alternative options for our kids’ lunch boxes.
In the rainforest, there is a delicate equilibrium, an ecosystem of plants, animals of the rain forest and indigenous people who make up the environment. The indigenous populations are steadily declining, for many reasons. One of these is that diseases such as measles and smallpox are spreading, which were originally introduced to the people by Europeans. Another is the governmental land seizure for the purpose of logging, clearing the trees for farming, and various other purposes. The declining of the human population has a direct effect on the rainforest animals, as they have been hunted by the indigenous people. However, the animals’ numbers are still going down, as many species are impacted by the adverse effects of human’s actions in using the land and trees for their own gain. It remains to be seen what will become of many of the wonderful species that exist in both the temperate and tropical rainforests.
The African rainforest elephant is a majestic creature to behold. They share some similarities to other species of elephants, though a major difference is that they have a longer lower jaw, making their head appear more angular. They are also smaller and stockier than savannah elephants. They have rounded ears, as well as thin, straight tusks that have a slight pink tinge to them. This type of elephant lives in smaller family groups, is darker than the savannah elephants, and has been adapted to live in dense forests. They are listed as endangered on the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species list.
An orang-utan, or “man of the forest” in Malaysian, is a species of monkey that lives in the tree tops of the rainforests in Sumatra and Borneo. They are the largest tree dwelling apes in Southeast Asia. The orang-utan may grow up to five feet tall, though the females are generally shorter than the males. They have long thin red hair, thin and lanky strong arms, and relatively weak legs. Their curved feet (almost like four hands) are great for balance. The orang-utan mates year round, with the mother carrying the baby for about 260 days, after which the baby clings to its mother for about a year, though they are not weaned until they are about 3 or 4 years old. They are solitary animals, preferring to live with only one other of their kind. Orang-utans are endangered because of the devastating effects of deforestation.
Other animals that live in the rainforest include the King Cobra, Harpy Eagle, Vampire Bat, Kinkajou, Toco Toucan, Silvery Gibbon, Golden Lion Tamarin, Chimpanzee, Bengal Tiger, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Wagler’s Pet Viper, Linn’s Sloth, and many other exceptional species. These animals have lived together for quite some time, and the balance could be thrown off if any more species are not protected. The future of the rainforest ecosystem depends on the current trends changing.
A few years ago, Al Gore brought out the famous documentary film ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ and educated a generation. Other activists, scientists and educators sought to do the same. Politicians seem to still be slow to action and yet the issue is one of the most pressing and complex facing the global agenda today.
Warnings from the scientific community are growing. The world’s temperature is said to have increased by a degree in the past century. That may not sound much, but the ramifications are huge.
Greenhouse gases are continuing to grow, from humankind’s need to burn fossil fuels. In the wake of a global economic downturn, the concerted effort needed to replace damaging old technologies with fresh emerging new ones just isn’t happening on a grand enough scale – or quickly enough.
The global warming talks in Mexico in 2010 ended without resolution of the most difficult and pressing issues. Only modest issues were agreed upon. Ultimately, the agreement was short of the changes needed to prevent dangerous and further climate changes.
The tussle between poor and rich nations is a key factor – poorer and developing nations simply don’t have the financial ability to invest in clean technologies and the rich nations aren’t helping them to do so. The argument focuses on money.
President Obama promised that he’d address climate change in the US when he came into power and the UK’s own ruling parties have campaigned on a similarly green premise. The proof of the pudding, however, will be in the eating.
The onus lies on the voting population to continue to raise awareness and make themselves heard. Write to your MP. Join a campaigning organisation. Refuse to let matters slide and hold your government to account. Together we can continue to hold our ruling parties to account and see that they fulfil their promises on climate change.
The announcement that the UK government has well and truly trumped EU carbon emissions targets is great news for the ‘green’ sector. For consumers too. And the new targets are set to open up the alternative energy market and give it a badly needed boost.
Interestingly, because industry and commerce doesn’t operate in a vacuum, the government’s new targets are also set to inject fresh interest into environmentally responsible retail. Ethical shopping has enjoyed year on year, slow but steady growth for more than a decade now. It’s big news. The ongoing, relentless ‘greening’ of consumer attitudes has brought countless fantastic new products to market. And the confectionery industry is a case in point.
One of the biggest ethical success stories in recent years has been chocolate. Fair Trade chocolate led the revolution and was adopted early and keenly by the UK’s growing band of quality chocolate lovers. They took it up with gusto. Which in turn inspired more makers to bring their ethical chocolates to market.
Once upon a time Bourneville was your only dark chocolate choice. These days there’s hundreds of mouth-watering fair trade, fair pay, organic alternatives. And they’re flying off the shelves in supermarkets and mainstream outlets as well as health food shops and specialist stores.
Take Zotter chocolate. Think of founder Josef Zotter as a green Willy Wonka and you get the picture. Spotting an ethical retail opportunity early, he launched his beautifully wrapped bars to a market that was ripe for his products. And they’ve gone from strength to strength as the Zeitgesist continues along an ever-greener route.
These days Zotter produces sixteen different bars in a range of wonderfully unusual flavours, taste sensations that simply didn’t exist before environmental responsibility made an appearance on the cultural stage. Zotter chocolate products are natural, organic, fair trade and made sustainably. And, of course, you can recycle the packaging.
Compare the market ten years ago to todays and there’s simply no contest. But it’s about much more than ethical chocolate. Changing attitudes to carbon emissions have led to change across every industry sector you can think of. Sectors as diverse as clothing, food, vehicles, gadgets, home insulation, farming and garden design. You name it.
What does the future hold for Zotter chocolate and their like? Watch this space and, provided the government sticks to its guns, we should see our green consumer choices grow in line with the new, tougher emissions targets. Today, chocolates. Tomorrow, the world!
It’s been interesting to read that James Cameron, the producer and director of the box-office smash, Avatar, is planning to take his cast on location to the South American rainforest to learn first hand about life in ‘the jungle’ for native peoples.
With Avatar focusing on the lush imaginary planet of Pandora, the film’s topics very strongly covered the themes of ecology, nature, conservation and the respect and care of native traditions towards their environments. The film raised discussion and debate within many spheres of current affairs, media and culture and stimulated interest and awareness in the parallels with our own planet’s rainforests and their conservation.
So it’s great to see Cameron’s hands on approach to education and equally that he held a number of sustainability debates with Bill Clinton and ex-Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger, capitalising on his name in Brazil for the International Sustainability forum. Cameron even apparently took Schwarzenegger to Xingu River, which was once threatened by a construction project planning to build a damn in Brasilia and encouraged him to meet local leaders of the Amazon tripe or Caiapo.
Furthermore, Cameron has pledged to put some of the profits from Avatar’s sequels to green causes and it’s a real boost to see the positive impact that such a high profile media figure can play on raising awareness of this issue, bringing it to new audiences in a fresh and engaging way. It raises an interesting and positive view on the way the media and film industry can play their part in protecting the rainforest through education and entertainment.