Whatever Wednesday is when we explore all the different ways that Whatever spray can be used around the house. It is an amazingly versatile little workhorse and because it is so safe and friendly, the uses are endless. If you'd like to share the unique ways you use Whatever in your life, post a link in the comments or email me and tell me about it.
This week's Whatever Wednesday promises to have no poo in its post.
Soft insulated lunchboxes. They can really start to stink. I combat the stale food odors with a spray of Whatever and a wipe with a damp rag. Keeps the lunchboxes clean, sanitary, and smelling fresh. (Can anyone see the clue that Gin and Tonic Season is in full swing at the Frowzy house?)
As I keep saying, earth-friendly and pocket book-friendly generally go hand in hand. In this case it goes for lunches. Our school is striving to have 100% waste free lunches. Those little plastic bags have been called an "environmental scourge."
The plastic bag is an icon of convenience culture, by some estimates the single most ubiquitous consumer item on Earth, numbering in the trillions. They're made from petroleum or natural gas with all the attendant environmental impacts of harvesting fossil fuels. One recent study found that the inks and colorants used on some bags contain lead, a toxin. Every year, Americans throw away some 100 billion plastic bags after they've been used to transport a prescription home from the drugstore or a quart of milk from the grocery store. It's equivalent to dumping nearly 12 million barrels of oil.
Only 1 percent of plastic bags are recycled worldwide -- about 2 percent in the U.S. -- and the rest, when discarded, can persist for centuries. They can spend eternity in landfills, but that's not always the case. "They're so aerodynamic that even when they're properly disposed of in a trash can they can still blow away and become litter," says Mark Murray, executive director of Californians Against Waste. It's as litter that plastic bags have the most baleful effect. And we're not talking about your everyday eyesore.
But, you use those reusable plastic containers, you say? Well, you might want to check those out. Many contain BPAs which are chemicals in plastics that mimic estrogen and many studies are linking to accelerated puberty in girls, a huge increase in genital abnormalities and low sperm count in boys (American 18 year olds have close to half the sperm count of 18 year old boys 40 years ago), and new studies are showing a link to a slew of cancers from testicular to breast cancer. Even #1 plastics that were once thought safe (think bottled water) are now showing endocrine disruptors in the urine of study subjects.
So, here at the Frowzy house we use reusable sandwich wraps. The linings of the wraps are BPA free, lead free, and phthalate free. We bought a few Wrap-N-Mats, a few homemades from Etsy, and if you're crafty you can really save some dough and make your own like my neighbor does with super cool Elvis material. We even have reusable snack bags (Look at these adorable ones from Semilla!) for chips or carrots or what-have-you. I bought these in August and have used them daily with no real sign of wear. We'll probably be able to use them all next school year as well. When we empty the lunchboxes after school I spray with Whatever and wipe the wraps and hang them up to dry on the line on my back porch. (Dolphy went for a real swim.)
If they get really messy I just toss them in the washing machine and hang to dry. It's really quite simple. Because Whatever leaves no residues and is completely safe, I don't have to worry about chemical condiments with my kids' sandwiches.
edited to add: For those wanting to make your own (God love ya') I have found that the most useful of our wraps is the wrap-n-mat because of its size (13x13) and the one strip of velcro extends off the side for greater versatility. The others aren't big enough for a 1/3 of a sub sandwich. They are only good for square or hamburger bun size sandwiches.