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How to Avoid Styrofoam

January 6, 2014

how to avoid stryofoamHAPPY NEW YEAR!

We here at the GoGreen Web Directory hope your 2014 has started off with a bang! (Even with all the snow and cold weather!) We are especially happy to be starting this new year with some GOOD news on the environmental front : the ban of styrofoam food containers and packing peanuts in NYC starting in 2015!

Here’s the scoop:

Cities across the U.S. including Amherst, MA and New York City are  banning the use of Polystyrene foam (otherwise known as “styrofoam”) food containers and other styrofoam items  due to it’s negative effects on the environment. According to The Daily Green, plastics marked with the recycling code 6, for polystyrene, can be fashioned into soft or rigid foams, and are in common use. Not only do they require petroleum to make, but they take eons to break down in the environment.

And what happens when you heat your lunch in a Styrofoam container? You guessed it. You are potentially adding toxic products including styrene to that delicious meal! No wonder Mother Nature Network added Styrofoam to it’s list of 12 products you should avoid!

Here are a few tips on how to avoid styrofoam:

– Avoid purchasing eggs and other grocery items in Styrofoam containers. Opt for cardboard containers or fresh from the farm instead!

– Need to ship that fragile gift? Opt for other forms of packing materials besides Styrofoam packing peanuts. Try using old newspapers, junk mail, old clothing or even all that old wrapping paper from Christmas instead! Create a “packing bin” in your craft area or office and collect items throughout the year. Then, when you are ready to mail that fragile item, you will have plenty of options from which to choose (and you are upcycling as well!)

-Throwing a party? Purchase reusable glass or ceramic plates and drinkware instead of disposable styrofoam options.

– Request that your favorite restaurants stop using Styrofoam cups and carryout containers. Or bring your own reusable cup and carryout containers to restaurants that refuse to switch to more earth friendly options.

– Speak to your local school about not using styrofoam trays for kids school lunches.

– Heading to your favorite sporting event? Purchase a reusable cooler that can be used tailgate after  tailgate instead of a disposable styrofoam cooler.

– Take inventory of your kitchen and remove (and recycle if possible) all plastics with the recycle code 6 including cups, plates, cutlery and storage containers. Replace with more environmentally-friendly options.

– Purchase meat from a butcher or grocer that using butcher paper instead of styrofoam meat trays. If you must purchase meat on trays, remove the tray as soon as you get home and never heat or defrost the meat on the tray.

How do you plan to avoid styrofoam in 2014?

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