sustainable packaging

Change Your Socks, Change Your Life | Guest Blog Post on Sustainable Packaging by Lydia-Joi Marshall

In today’s article, our wellness expert Lydia-Joi Marshall will share how the metaphor- changing your dirty socks can change your life! As well as, why you should be more mindful about incorporating sustainable packaging and limiting your exposure to toxic additives. 

Over the last few decades, technological advances have provided us with many single-use conveniences, such as premade food, cutlery, cosmetics etc. and many of them in disposable material packaging. The cheapest way to make these products accessible to us is to use plastic and other man-made materials which can be mass produced and distributed.


Why Should You Care?

Imagine this. You’re at home and give yourself an extravagant pamper session – the full works. You steam out the toxins, use an organic dead sea sand scrub, lymphatic facial massage and so on. You finish it off by an all natural coconut whipped shea moisturizer. When you’re done, you fish out some old clothes from your dirty clothes hamper, including dirty socks, and put it on. This makes no sense right?

Well, that is kind of what it’s like when you try and eat healthily, and use non-toxic products, but it is wrapped it in toxic packaging.

Change Your Socks – Change Your Life


Quality Packaging = Quality Life

The problem with many disposables is that they contain low-quality materials. These low-quality materials can then leech some of their non-desirable materials into your products, which absorb into your system. For example, many of us invest in high-quality pure teas. Yet, how often have you thought about the tea bag that is housing your precious herbs? When you steep your natural tea, in a chemically laden tea bag, you defeat the purpose of trying to be health conscious. 


Pay Attention

Paying attention to packaging and what you are consuming, can seem like a daunting task. It can be difficult to read through the claims of what is “non-toxic”, and learn which chemicals are fine and which have negative consequences. Many seemingly harmless products contain plastics and other materials. For example, even many compostable tea bags contain microbeads of plastic and other additives. Instead, try to opt for sustainable tea filters such as Avazera’s biodegradable tea filters featured in the past AZ BOX | LUXE Summer Edition.

It may take some time to recognize which ingredients are necessary, which occur naturally, and which ones are just naughty.


Know the Good Chemicals

For instance, a popular meme is that “if you can’t pronounce it don’t eat it.” This isn’t logical advice since many natural minerals and vitamins have difficult names that you just might not be familiar with. For example, many foods contain (5R)-[(1S)-1,2-Dihydroxyethyl]-3,4-dihydroxyfuran-2(5H)-one –  aka ascorbic acid – aka vitamin C. You would be greatly amiss if you cut this out of your diet because you couldn’t pronounce it! Take time to find a reputable source to help you understand what common ingredients do and how they impact you.

It is a great start to try and ingest products made from foods found in their natural form. For example, use sugar instead of artificial sweeteners – it is easier for your body to digest.

Choose Natural Preservatives

Check which preservatives are added to keep food fresh. It is necessary to add preservatives in order to stop harmful bacteria from growing. However, you can choose natural options such as salt, vinegar or fruit-based ascorbic acid. At the same time, try to avoid things like EDTA or manufactured sodium nitrate.

Avoid additives that are included only for the purpose of adding artificial taste or colour. Such are products containing labels with just a colour and a number (example red dye #) or monopotassium glutamate. There are many other natural ways to bring an abundance of flavour and variety to your food. This includes dyes made from plants such as annatto (commonly used in cheese), beets, blueberries or spinach.


Choose Sustainable Packaging

What is promising is that more and more individuals are helping to make this information easily accessible and transparent to everyone. There are options to buy products which break down (or biodegrade) into substances that are not known to make us sick and are in sustainable packaging. 


Educate yourself about safe and harmful chemicals and choose sustainable packaging when you can. These minimal changes to packaging eating habits decrease the negative chemicals in your body and have the great side effect of also reducing environmental waste, making it a good choice all around. So that’s why if you change your socks you can change your life!

Until next time,

Lydia Joi Marshall
Lydia-Joi is a genetic researcher, community advocate and new urban mother of one healthy little boy. All roles allow her to explore her creative and problem solving sides, while maintaining a healthy sense of humour about her limitations. As a citizen of the world who resides in the Toronto area, she draws on her academic and personal experiences to spark conversation about everyday total wellness.
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