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Swap it for Silicone — New Ways to Live Green

menstrual cup

So many everyday products increase our exposure to harmful chemicals, but the increased use of silicone is creating new ways for us to avoid these products. At the same time, silicone provides another way for us to reduce our waste and reuse products.

Since you're already in the early phase of spring cleaning, it's time to open up your supply cabinets and start swapping metal and plastic products for silicone.

What's the Big Deal?

Silicone is being used across the board in everything from medical devices to toys. Liquid silicone rubbers have a high level of purity and are even hypoallergenic. They can even withstand extreme levels of heat without a risk of releasing hazardous chemicals. Why? Because there aren't any.

Bakeware

Reducing waste is what the game is all about. Think about all the kitchen products you can replace with silicone. No more cupcake papers to throw out, no excuse to use the throw-away aluminum baking pans, and silicone bakeware is dishwasher safe, while many metal cake pans are not.

Yes, with silicone you will need to revert back to using a nonstick spray, however, using silicone will reduce your exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Studies have shown an increase risk of certain types of cancer for those exposed to PFOA.

Don't forget to recycle your old cake pans instead of throwing them out, or give them to Goodwill.

Lunch Containers

A fun daily goal for the family is to try to have waste-free lunches. Just how little can you throw away? Silicone is taking the packed-lunch industry by storm and reducing the daily 20 million sandwich baggies filling US landfills.

Silicone containers are functional, easy to clean — since they're dishwasher safe — durable and come in lots of fun colors for the kids to enjoy. Plus, if you have a houseful of kids, sandwich bags are used up quickly. Fewer of these bags will reduce your grocery bill.

The added advantage to silicone lunch containers versus plastic is, of course, that they're BPA free.

Water Bottles

Reusable water bottles are always touted as an easy way to limit waste, but then you have to juggle a heavy glass or metal water bottle to avoid the BPA in a plastic reusable bottle. There are several popular brands of foldable water bottles, like Silly Bottelz and bübi bottlesthe lowercase is part of the brand — that can be held over a campfire or frozen solid without causing any damage.

Also, some of these bottles are so flexible once you've finished the contents, you can fold the bottle up and put it in your pocket.

Feminine Products

Tampons and pads pile up in landfills. Did you know that it can take a tampon applicator 25 years to biodegrade?

Menstrual cups have been around for decades now, but they've been growing in popularity over the last few years. And, even though silicone is "rubbery," these cups use medical-grade silicone. That makes them latex-free and safe for everyone to try; it's rare for anyone to have a silicone allergy.

The cost for these cups is minimal, so you'll be able to back your monthly budget down, too. This switch could save you around $100 a year.

Replacing throw-away products with silicone will help you live a "greener" lifestyle. Care and maintenance on these products are simple, and you'll rarely — if ever — have to throw them away. Start introducing them to your home today to do your part to save the environment — and your budget at the same time.