Tuesday, 29 May 2012

SWEET INTERVIEW: Mary Kat, blogger of "The Plastic-Free Chef," talks about reducing your use of plastic and living a HEATHIER life!

Not only do I live a sweet life, I try and live a better and "more green" life. This is fairly easy to do in the greater Seattle-area. We recycle. We carpool. We walk. We compost. We re-use anything we can. One day, I stumbled upon a fantastic blog called "The Plastic-Free Chef." Mary Kat, the San Francisco-area blogger, is only 17 years young, but lives in a "plastic-free" kitchen and blogs about tips and tricks anyone can use in their busy life.

My latest interview talks about her plastic-free life and why she is encouraging everyone and anyone to be more conscience of what they use, especially in the kitchen.

Brief bio: My name is Mary Kat and I'm 17. I love food. I've been cooking and baking for as long as I can remember. Last year I started trying to live without plastic, and the kitchen was the hardest place for me to eliminate plastic from. So I started my blog to share the tips and recipes I had compiled.

1) Your blog focuses on living a "plastic free" life. What made you want to start living a plastic free lifestyle?

My plastic epiphany happened in the toilet paper aisle of Safeway one night last summer. "Look at all this plastic-wrapped toilet paper!" my mum said, "This is so wasteful." I looked at all the toilet paper wrapped in plastic that was made to go straight into the landfill and I thought, "Wow. This is kind of crazy." My mum and I always used reusable bags and we never drank bottled water, but I suddenly realized that we needed to be doing more. We produced tons of plastic waste every day and I realized that it wasn't sustainable. So when we got home, I went online and read about plastic. I learned that it never breaks down, that it leaches chemicals, that its accumulating in the ocean and that animals are eating it, which is killing them. So I decided that to the best of my ability, I would try to live without disposable plastic. I started looking for plastic-free alternatives to the plastic-packaged items I was using every day. My favorite resource for plastic-free alternatives is MyPlasticFreeLife.com, a blog started by a woman named Beth Terry who tries to live a plastic-free life.

2) Why made you start a blog about living plastic free? And, how long have you been blogging?

The kitchen has been the hardest place for me to cut down on disposable plastic. I figured out it was probably difficult for other people to cut down on disposable plastic in their kitchens as well, so I started a blog to compile all my plastic-free tips and recipes. My goal is to share with my readers my plastic-free tips and recipes and inspire them to give plastic-free cooking a try. As of a few days ago, my blog is six months old.

3) Your blog gives tips on how to "change" your plastic-using ways. What are the 3 easiest things people can do to reduce their use of plastic?

Using your own reusable cloth shopping bags and produce bags instead of disposable ones will help you cut down on plastic waste a lot. Using a reusable glass or metal water bottle instead of buying bottled water will help you cut down on plastic waste a lot too, and it will also save you a lot of money! Some bottled water costs up to 1000 times more than the stuff from your tap! The other easy thing you can do is buy things from bulk bins instead of buying them prepackaged. I use cloth produce bags, glass jars and metal tins when I buy things in bulk.

4) Why should people care about living a "more plastic free" lifestyle?

Plastic is a material made from fossil fuels and chemicals. Fossil fuels are some of our most precious resources, and yet we're using them to create single-use plastic packaging. Once we throw our plastic away, it often ends up in the ocean, where the sun and waves break it down into smaller and smaller pieces. You may have heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. There are five large gyres in the ocean created by the way the Earth spins on its axis. These gyres sweep up ocean trash and create toxic plastic soups. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest one. Since plastic is designed to last for centuries, it doesn't fully biodegrade for a very long time. The pieces of plastic in the ocean are ingested by marine life who mistake them for food. When the animals consume too much plastic, they die. Another problem with plastic is that the chemicals in it have been found to leach out, which is concerning when you consider the fact that so much of our food is packaged in plastic. Two of the most infamous chemicals used in plastic are bisphenol-a (BPA) and phthalates. BPA and phthalates are both endocrine disruptors. A recent study showed a link between BPA and breast cancer. A few studies have linked phthalates to liver cancer. Although plastic may seem harmless, its actually very problematic and harms people, animals and the planet.

5) You are an avid cook and baker! What is your favorite dish you have cooked?

That's a really tough question! I think my favorite recipe of all time is my triple layer chocolate cake. Its my favorite cake. Everything about it is amazing! I haven't made it plastic-free yet, but as soon as I do I'm putting the recipe up on my blog.

For more info about "The Plastic-Free Chef" check out:

http://theplasticfreechef.com/ <-- Her wonderful blog!

facebook: Like "The Plastic-Free Chef"
twitter: @PlasticFreeChef

Happy Baking! -Kimm

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