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My quest for the perfect BPA-free sippy cup

Friday, August 15, 2008

basic-sippy-tumbler-65630.jpg You can probably imagine what it's like to work for EWG and be a parent. In a word: fraught. In two words: consumer paralysis.

Maybe it's just because I'm new here. In time, I'll (hopefully) recover and be able to walk down a store aisle without my 5-year old son saying, "Is that one of the bad toys, mama? What if Georgia (his 2-year old sister) puts it in her mouth?" Of course, for many, my husband included, consumer paralysis is a wonderful condition and he is glad to see I have it. All that said, my kids do need to drink liquids occasionally and their grubby hands aren't the solution. So, in my spare time (ha!), my quest for the perfect BPA-free sippy cup began.

If you're not up on Bisphenol-A yet, check out our cheatsheet or get the whole sordid story from our BPA web page. It's not pretty.

Let's just say a lot of common food and drink containers like baby bottles, formula cans, sippy cups, and tin cans (our entire pantry!) are leaching hormone disruptors right into me and the kids. The kids! Isn't one of my main jobs as a parent to keep them out of harm's way? To make sound choices on their behalf until they can (hopefully!) make their own? It's this kind of thing that makes that job so. much. harder. than it should be. I already have a job, thanks, I don't need another one researching every product I buy! What parent does?

So back to the quest. How'd it go? Long process, positive end result:

The process. We are lucky to have several local stores in Portland, Oregon, where I live, that sell only environmentally healthy baby products. So I visited them. And while they carried one type of BPA-free sippy cup, it was $15. Two kids = $30. And for playdates? Not too kind on the bank account. Plus, when you (inevitably) leave one of those at the local pool/park/bus, it hurts. Next stop, a trusted green mom blog for her BPA-free sippy cup product list. Several weeks later the stars aligned and I found myself alone in a grocery store with - here's the miracle - the list crumpled at the bottom of my purse. Yay! I actually felt organized, gazing at the colorful array of cups, armed with my list. Was there one brand from the list on the racks? Without a movie character? Nope. Internet shopping was starting to look good. Really good.

Buying It Online. The good news is that there are more and more online stores that do the work for you - screen out the bad stuff and sell you only the good stuff. How I love it when someone else does the work for me! So I happily ordered two sets of very reasonably priced Nubu cups from The Soft Landing. I also love Safe Mama's online store, but she didn't have these and they were exactly what I was after. And yes, we like them. Great colors. Plus, now all the lids match all the cups. Something my husband has requested for years - literally.

The End Result. So all in all a pretty happy ending. But the real end to this time-consuming affair, is that the perfect cup was in our basement, gathering dust, throughout my entire search. Another two words for you: jam jars. Cheap, durable, natural, not plastic. Ok, so they don't have lids. But our youngest is two, so it's high time to use a real cup anyway, right? And, if you don't have some little ones in your basement, you can always hit a garage sale or, if you gotta have new, buy them here and EWG will get some money. How great is that?