Our Organic School Lunch Program Provides Earth Friendly Utensils
Good Earth is committed to making progressive choices that contribute to a more sustainable future for both our community and the earth. With that in mind, Good Earth decided to discontinue using plastic utensils and to provide biodegradable utensils made from renewable resources (plants) for both the Organic School Lunch Program and at its home store in Fairfax.
Using non-GMO wheat and corn-based utensils will reduce our dependence on petroleum and reduce the amount of garbage accumulating in our landfills. It biodegrades in active compost in three to four weeks leaving behind carbon dioxide, water and inorganic compounds with no toxic residues. It is durable, reusable, and dishwasher compatible and earth-friendly.
Some Facts About Plastic
According to researchers, plastic degenerates slowly and its degeneration time could be anywhere from twenty to many thousands of years. When it degenerates, it simply breaks into smaller pieces that are not biodegradable as their molecular structure is too large for microorganisms to swallow. This lack of biodegradability causes serious environmental and health problems as our environment and our bodies are filling up with small plastic residues.
Plastics Contain Chemicals that are Endocrine Disruptors
Plastics often contain two synthetic chemicals; biphenyl A and phthalates, which are categorized as hormone and endocrine disruptors and have been shown to cause serious health problems. These disruptors confuse our bodies by masquerading as hormones. This can alter the way hormones are produced, eliminated, and also block the function of our natural hormonal system. Unlike our natural hormones that are short lived and quickly eliminated, these chemical intruders can be stored in the tissue for long periods and accumulate into dangerous levels. This is especially dangerous for children as their bodies are growing and their brains are developing at such an extraordinary rate. Exposure to hormone disruptors at this stage of life could be especially damaging.
Environmental Dangers of Plastic on Land
• Plastic waste blocks drains and gutters, preventing the flow of rainwater and sewerage. This causes a serious health hazard as both germs and bacteria find these areas amenable to breeding.
• Plastic waste that lies in the soil can block the passage of oxygen and other nutrients, which then leads to soil infertility.
• Burning plastic causes toxic smoke, which injures thousands of living creatures each year.
Environmental Dangers of Plastic for the Sea
• There are approximately 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in each square mile of our coastal area.
• More than one million sea birds and approximately 100,000 sea mammals die each year after ingesting or becoming entangled in plastic debris.
• Some marine life has been found with plastic fragments in their stomachs and plastic molecules in their muscles.
• Marine creatures like turtles and dolphins often mistake small plastic bags for jelly fish and this mistaken consumption often results in intestinal blockage and death.
In sum, plastics are causing great harm in the world. Education and reduced usage are keys to resolving this crisis. We encourage schools to participate by educating their students as to the environmental hazards of these products and discuss creative ways for reuse and reduced use.