Posts tagged styrofoam

No More Styrofoam

StyrofoamCup_1897I see less and less styrofoam trash in the environment. This cup was so out of place on the sidewalk.

It was almost shocking to see.

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What Is This Black Handle?

BlackHandle_1710I’m calling this a handle, but it is made of a styrofoam, which has been molded and is very strong.

What is it? I know that it is litter.

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Still Life: Flowers w/Styrofoam Chunk

flowers_1656Black-eyed Susans are one of my favorite summer flowers. I was admiring these until I saw the small chunk of styrofoam (at the bottom left).

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Percy Priest Lake Clean Up

The Nashville Clean Water Project held their third trash pick up in a year on the islands of Percy Priest Lake today. Luckily the rains held back which made perfect weather for picking up trash. I was in a group which picked up trash off Bear Island. No, we did not find bears, but we found at least two deer skeletons picked clean by vultures. What we did find was lots of trash. The island was covered with styrofoam from coolers and floatation devices. I found lots of glass bottles, aluminum cans and plastic bottles. I know that some of the glass Coca-Cola bottles were decades old.

I found an unopened can of beer that had been bleached white by the sun. The top had the old fashioned pull tab. I could not believe that the can had not exploded over the years. While I was tempted to open it, I left it unopened. I feared what the contents might smell like.

We found a large floatation device that had probably broken loose from the shore during a storm. It was towed back as it could be re-used.

In our group, which was the last for the day, we each picked up about four bags of trash per person. Plus we found tires, PVC pipe and other large objects.

Thanks to Mark Thien and Laurel Creech for heading up the effort.

Channel 2 had a photographer on our boat, so check their website for a video about the clean up.

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How Much Trash Do You Produce in a Day

After reading the article from the AARP Bulletin, which I posted yesterday about generating 50 tons of trash by the time we are 70, I decided today to see how much trash I generate in a day. I have been amazed.

For breakfast, I finished off the last of a large bag of raisins. The raisin bag isn’t recyclable, so I put it in the trash. Luckily, I compost the coffee filter and the grounds from my morning coffee.

While dressing, I put the plastic dry cleaner bag in a bag to take to Publix for recycling. The wire hangers I’ll take back to the dry cleaner. The safety pins I keep and reuse. Any paper generated from the dry cleaning goes into the paper recycling bin.

I needed a new roll of toilet paper. I recycled the cardboard tubes and the paper wrapping around the new roll of Scotts Tissue. No, the used toilet paper is flushed away. I’m crazy, but not that crazy.

Before lunch, I discarded a CD at work. Is there anything we can do with CD-ROMs? At lunch, I used three paper towels (something I have eliminated at home) which added to the trash. Parts of the tomato I was eating was thrown away. At home, I would have put the inedible parts into the compost.

I also trashed the tea bag that I used at work, while at home this would have gone into the compost bin. We can’t compost at work because our office in an office building. It’s a miracle that some office paper is collected and recycled. When I suggested setting up plastic and aluminum bins for recycling, I was rejected. Personally I use my own cup, dinnerware and flatware at the office. I refuse to use the styrofoam offered by my employer.

Through the afternoon, I added to the trash bin gum and an apple core (again, something I would add to the compost heap at home). After a trip to the ladies room at work, I realized that every trip there added two paper towels (as well as that unusable toilet paper) to the trash heap today.

After working late, at home I found a mound of mail, both junk and necessary. Fortunately, all is paper, and all will go into the recycling bin.

While preparing dinner, any vegetable scraps went into the plastic tub for the compost pile. We don’t eat meat, so we don’t have fats and bones to discard.

I throw away and accumulate less “trash” at home. I’m not sure if I collected 4.5 lbs. of trash today, but I realize now that I generate more trash that I thought. I’ll be traveling Friday through Sunday. It’s very hard to be green while flying and staying in a hotel. Everything is disposable.

I suspect that the 50 tons may be underestimated, since more disposeable items are available now. Someone born in 1980 will definitely produce more trash than someone born in 1940. In 1940, there were no disposable diapers. Unfortunately that person born in 1940 might wind up in disposable diapers afterall.

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Another Great Idea from California

From MontereyHerald.com: Styrofoam ‘to go’ boxes may go away if lawmakers follow green promotion

Beach cleanup efforts conducted within the last year by the Surfrider Foundation demonstrate that polystyrene makes up a significant portion of litter. A cleanup last February at Marina State Beach netted 329 pieces of polystyrene and plastic. About six weeks later, 425 pieces were picked up at the same location.

“And that’s in two hours of work,” said Ximena Waissbluth of the foundation.

I’m sure that there is lots of this material in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

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Out of the Car, Into the Drain, Into the Stream and Into Your Water

draintrash_0820.jpg

As we sat at a stoplight earlier today, I noticed a storm drain clogged with plastic and aluminum cola cans, paper, styrofoam and lots of cigarette butts. Wastes shouldn’t go into storm drains because the drains empty into rivers where we eventually get our water. As I blog, I’m sipping hot tea, made with tap water that was also put through a Brita filter. I hope that the tars from the cigarette butts have been removed. They are poisonous.

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