Field Notes

Field Notes: The Slow Path to Deplasticizing Your World

The health risks associated with plastics are astonishing. I am not a chemist, but even a casual read of the hazards surrounding plastic give me pause. Once ingested, the chemicals used to create single-use food packaging are now linked to cancer, they impact human development and can impede reproduction. Much plastic now ends up in our environment where it wreaks havoc on marine life.

Columbia businesswoman Leah Christian has a solution for removing plastic containers from your home one bottle at a time.

My logical self says to never bring plastic in the home and to remove all the plastic already here. The realistic side of me understands that plastic is everywhere. It is in my computer, appliances, food packaging, pens and toiletries. Plastic is everywhere.

Armed with the awareness that most plastics in our home are unsafe, I started eliminating those plastic containers that seem to be closest to the foods we eat. Getting my wife on board with no more Tupperware took some doing however. As it turns out there are plastics with sentimental value. We ultimately found some lovely glass jars in which to store our sugar, flour and coffee.

Leah Christian understand the quest to remove plastic from our lives. To that end, she started a business. The Clean Refill sells soaps, cleaners and hair care in re-fillable glass containers. Leah’s mission? Remove plastic from your kitchen and bath one bottle at a time.

For more information about Leah’s business, check out For more on the dangers of plastic in your home and in the environment and tips on how to get plastic out of your life, check out

I will tell you it is a process removing plastics from your life. My advice? Start small. Take it one bottle and container and thing at a time. And don’t go touching the Tupperware without consulting your wife.

Thanks to Leah Christian for the interview. And until next time, remember, your neighbors are more interesting than you think.

By Trevor Harris

I got involved in community radio back in 1990 and later worked in public radio. I enjoy listening to people's stories. Collecting them seemed like a logical marriage of my love of audio gathering and preserving the stories of those around me.

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