Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Change the World Wednesday Challenge - Say NO to Styro!

So here we go for another challenge! Thank you to my readers (TC and Daisy Soap Girl) that stopped by and shared their eco-friendly ways!

So this week's CTWW challenge is as follows :

For one week, say "NO" to polystyrene foam (commonly known as Styrofoam). This means ... don't buy it (no Styrofoam coolers, cups or toys), don't use it and don't buy anything that comes in it. At restaurants, should you have leftover food to take home, ask the server to put it in something other than Styrofoam. At fast-food establishments, refuse to buy any products which come in it. Just Say No!

Or ...

If your life is already Styrofoam free, then write a post about why Styrofoam is so bad for the environment.

Although we are living pretty much Styrofoam free a lot of the time, the one time it's really hard is when you are eating out. Just last night, we took home leftovers and Tada! we have a nifty little Styrofoam plate in our fridge. Leaving on vacation in just 2 days, this week's challenge will definitely be a challenge, but we are ready.

So why is Styrofoam so bad for the environment and for us?

  • Well first, of course is the obvious : It does not biodegrade. It will stay in landfills for hundreds of years.
  • What about the ones with recycling symbols? Well, most of them carry the number 6 symbol which is very rarely recyclable by municipal facilities. So people put them in the recycling bins thinking they are doing a great thing. But they will end up in the incinerators and release ridiculous amounts of toxins into the atmosphere.
  • Polystyrene leaches which means that food and drink in contact with it will absorb toxins that we then eat and drink.
  • Styrofoam is very light which means that as it breaks down into small pieces; it gets blown away into water systems and the ocean. It costs millions in clean-up for cities and kills fish and marine wildlife who see it floating and eat it, thinking it is food.

Here are a few facts I found on :

" According to the French ministry of ecology, more than 14 million tonnes of polystyrene are produced every year around the world. Given its light weight --Styrofoam is 95 per cent air -- the volume it represents is huge.

Americans throw away an estimated 25 billion Styrofoam cups every year, or about 82 cups per person.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says of the three million tons of polystyrene produced in the U.S., 2.3 million tons end up in landfills, with much of the remainder finding its way into waterways. "

Will you take the challenge? So sounds off here! How do you say no to Styro?


harri pao said...

Hi Yanic, great posts and thanks for your info...

Wow, it's huge!..styrofoam produced in the world, some of these are importing in Indonesia too. But I have no data about styrofoam end up in land fills in Indonesia.

FYI, I just put your blog in my blogroll list...:-)

mrs green said...

95% air - oh my, that's just amazing. Thank you for the heads up on that one. Fortunately we use very little of it, but my heart sinks when it arrives as part of packaging.

I'm ready to take part in the next challenge!