I went into the store the other day intending to by one plastic item (ice cube trays) and somehow left with two additional items.
The ice cube trays were a necessary evil. I freeze my pumped breast milk in the trays before transferring to freezer bags (yes, I know, MORE plastic). I don’t like Sir’s milk coming in contact with plastic (we use glass bottles and I store refrigerated milk in glass jars), but I just don’t know of a better way to store the milk.
My previous trays, which I’d had for years, but rarely used, finally gave out. Age and repeated freezing broke down the plastic — I waited as long as I could, but their condition forced me to face the inevitable. I found this stainless steel ice cube tray, but I just couldn’t swallow $33 for one tray (I needed two).
As for the other plastic crap, I’d been looking for some kind of tray that we could attach to the table — something with a lip to help Sir pick up food, but that he wouldn’t be able to pick up and launch across the room. (We don’t have a high chair, just a baby seat that attaches to the edge of the table.)
Online searching had not yielded much, so, since I was already at the store I headed to the baby section to peruse options, not expecting to find anything. I spotted the Tommee Tippee silicone mat (orange item in picture) that adheres to the table top and features a suction cup in the middle, which holds a variety of plastic dishes made by the same company. I doubted their utility, but I’d been searching for a solution for quite awhile, so I purchased a mat and a 2-pack of plates.
The verdict? Yes, it’s plastic, and it came in plastic packaging, but the mat is quite useful. I’m not sure about the plate. The mat’s suction cup actually works fairly well on our glass plates, so the main advantage of the plastic plates is the low (but not too low) and straight lip/edge to aid picking up food.
If you already had a plate or bowl (be it plastic, glass, or metal) with that feature and a smooth bottom for attaching to the suction cup, you could avoid purchasing their special dishes. As it is, I use the plastic plates when serving food that I think he’ll have trouble grabbing and glass at other times.
Could we have avoided the plastic here? Yes, but I’m learning that raising a baby (and not going completely insane and/or broke searching for the “perfect” green and healthy solution for every little thing) involves some compromises. On the upside, I have not generated the waste involved with formula feeding or buying prepared baby food, which would make these purchases look inconsequential.
Coming soon: The “Green Baby Strategies” post
Hmm… that is interesting and disheartening about the ice cube trays. CatMan has a thing for ice… he LOVES it. Goes through 2-4 trays worth in an evening depending on what the weather is like. But a few of mine are starting to develop cracks and they’re not gonna last long. I keep remembering these metal ice cube trays that were ubiquitous when I was a kid…they look just like the stainless steel ones although I’m sure they were aluminum. Hmmmm… the lesser of how many evils?
The refrigerator does have a built in ice maker… but it’s not connected… there’s no water supply on that side of the kitchen and the thought of running one sort of makes me feel a tad bit overwhelmed. Plus I’ve heard that they suck energy and make lots of noise…
Anyhow, congratulations on your solution with the tray. Silicon isn’t technically plastic is it? I mean it’s a polymer, but not made from petrochemicals. Anyhow, I agree that you’ve gotta make some compromises or you’ll go completely and utterly insane. I’ll keep you posted on my metal ice cube tray conundrum.
I think post people don’t count silicone as plastic, so if the mat hadn’t been in plastic packaging, and I’d just bought the mat, I would have been okay. On that note, I’m not sure how well they work, but there are silicone ice cube trays — perhaps a middle ground between the stainless steel and run-of-the-mill plastic? They just didn’t carry them at any of the basic stores I checked, and I didn’t want to place an online order for that one little thing. Maybe I should have . . . .