Posted by: thatjen | November 5, 2007

Distract Us, Please!

Another day, another negative test. If Cait gets a chance to write at all today she may talk more about why we are testing so early. In the meantime, rest assured that we DO know it’s crazy early.

On to the post I’ve been meaning to write about this time each of the last two months. I keep putting it off because I don’t have the time to sit down and write the thoughtful, detailed post I want. But the idea of NaBloPoMo, at least for me, is that I can’t wait for the perfect moment; I just have to do it.

Cait and I have discovered that the secret to staying awake on long car trips is to have difficult conversations. The distraction and emotionally charged discussions are more invigorating than a grande extra shot Americano, at least for me, and it serves the double purpose of getting some unfinished business addressed. It’s how we finally decided to have a commitment ceremony, what we would do about last names, and narrowed down our prospective list of first names, among other things.

We are having some trouble staying awake these days (damn Daylight Savings – artificial construct that is meaningless to toddlers!) but our more pressing need for distraction and
though-provoking conversation is due to the waning days of the TWW. So I am turning to you, friends in the computer. Help keep our minds off tests and the contents of my uterus, and ALSO help me wrestle with an ethical dilemma.

What do I do with all the plastic and Teflon and other potentially deadly everyday objects that I am trying to clear out of our lives? In particular, I’m concerned about the HUGE stash of Dr. Brown’s bottles we have amassed. Landfilling them seems incredibly wasteful, but giving them away to someone else seems morally wrong: if they’re too dangerous for my family, how can they be ok for another family? On the other hand, another family may not have money for any baby bottles, let alone the yuppie bottle du jour, Born Free. And then there’s the arrogance of trying to “protect” the less fortunate, as if I have the paternalistic right to make decisions for them. I’m sure there are many other angles on this question, so please jump in and let me know what you think.



  1. erm, we just tossed ours into the recycling.

    It’s probably not a good idea to give them away, as we are told to get new ones once they become less ‘clear” anyway….

    So maybe not the best choice, but recycle them we did.

  2. i think it is totally ethical to give them away to someone who wants them with full disclosure. I know tons of people (the majority of them, actually) who have no issues with BPA. (or teflon). so i think if you want to give them your bottles while telling them why you are getting rid of them, I think that’s fine. It’s all about individual choices– especially since they would probably end up buying the same bottles (or bottles that are less pricey than doc browns but still have BPA) anyway. I would freecycle them or post the giveaway on DCUM and say something like “We’re getting rid of all plastic bottles with BPA in our house, and have x Doc Browns to give away. They’re free to you if you don’t share our BPA concerns.” Or something like that.

  3. I agree with both Shelli & Moms and Clay- I would actually do a combination of both. The ones that are in better shape I would donate WITH a note attached explaining any risks you think might be there. And then any funky looking bottles I would just donate.

  4. Recycling is out as an option — that kinda plastic is verboten in our blue bins. I would give them away, either Freecycle (with an explanation of why) or give them to a mother/baby charity like the Gabriel Project. (Sorry, the Catholic one is the first one that popped in my mind. I’m sure there are non-church-linked charities that do much the same thing.) Personally, I don’t think that the plastic is the hugest deal, certainly not “deadly,” but then again I didn’t go through the trauma of having a bottle-drinking baby when the news about BPA broke.

    A good friend of mine is using (I think) the same bottles (these are the really expensive ones with a funky colic-reducing valve, right?) and she’s extremely upset about it. She had to stop nursing for serious health reasons — so serious SHE could have died — and her baby just couldn’t use any other bottles, to the point of being diagnosed with “failure to thrive.” She feels so guilty that A) she couldn’t nurse her son the way she could her older kids, and B) she fed her son with these “deadly” bottles. I’ve tried to assure her that formula is better than having a dead mom, and bottles that leach a tiny bit of chemical is better than a starving baby…. But mother guilt is a powerful thing. I know. I’ve got my own.

  5. I would probably try to recycle. Our local system doesn’t accept any plastic except plastic bottles (the neck must be smaller than the base) but there are systems nearby that do accept them.

    But — I did donate a bunch of used sippy cups. And then I threw a bunch of the rest into the landfill.

    The thing is, I don’t have a huge amount of landfill guilt. I know there are huge leaching problems related to chemicals, but the plastic is going to be pretty stable, at least when compared to continuing to use it. I’d be a little more concerned if my municipality was using an incinerator, though.

    I don’t think there are any perfect options, which translates for me into their not being any terrible ones, either. I’d probably end up tossing them rather than donating them, but that’s because I’ve gotten lazy in my old age. The optimal situation would be recycling, of course.

  6. I would freecycle or craigslist with the BPA disclosure as moms and clay said. We still use ours. I think I am going to hell for just admitting that.

  7. Carrie! You’re not going to hell for that! We only made the switch to Born Free because my mom bought us some. The BPA thing is just one of the things I’ve picked to agonize over recently out of the wide menu available to us as parents these days. And then when I really start thinking about it, I get panicky because there’s BPA in the lining of many canned foods, and all kinds of other places that are harder for me to avoid than bottles. So I focus on little things like what to do with the bottles we aren’t using, instead of dealing with the bigger problem.

    Anyway, back to the little details. Recycling is an interesting possibility and one that hadn’t occurred to me, as they aren’t accepted where we live.

    I do think re-using is preferable to recycling except for that whole toxin thing. Jody, I was worried more about landfills from the perspective of filling them up and less about leachate. Another thing I worry about is plastic junk in general, especially since a friend sent us this link to a horrifying article:

    I think the best option I’ve seen so far in this discussion is the giveaway with full disclosure.

    I’m bummed that no one will get into the meatier ethical arguments with me, though! šŸ™‚

  8. Ok I had a similar ethical issue this morning. I used up the rest of a refill bottle of Method hand soap and rinsed out the bottle so I could recycle it. But because it used to hold soap, I had to spend a good five minutes running it under water to rinse it properly. So I did recycle it, which is good, but in the process of recycling I used a bunch of water, which is bad.

    I’ve also debated the “what to do with the plastic we don’t think is safe to use” dilemma (though not with baby bottles) and I think I just stalemated myself and threw everything in some dark back area of a cupboard, avoiding making any decision.

  9. We have a bunch of Born Free bottles and the other BPA-free bottles (Sassy MAM), but we have a couple of Avent bottles still because my kid likes those bottles best of all. And sometimes when she is extra cranky, she won’t take the BF or the Sassy and we dump the milk (formula, could it get any worse?) into the Avent and she chug chug chugs away.

    I tried putting the Avent nipples in the Sassy and BF bottles and they leak. Dang it!

    So we’re going to BPA hell, too.

  10. We are so totally in BPA-ville.

    The boy is super picky about his bottles – he only likes the cheap ones! He came to us used to the brown gerber nipples, and that’s about all he’ll tolerate.

    I think when we get around to No. 2, I will try to switch & pass the old bottles on with full disclosure.

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