2008: The Big Green Machine

It’s that time of year when many of us are thinking “what am I going to do differently in the next year?” This year’s buzzword, replacing Reduce, Reuse, and Recylce is “Green;” EcoSeek has come up with some interesting green resolutions, like championing the work of the Red Wiggler:

I resolve to continue to spread the word about the red worm’s abilities to improve soil through enriched microbial activity when their casts are used in each person’s garden, either vegetable or flower garden. In doing this we can all save landfill space, save our organics from the waste water treatments plants and enjoy bountiful crops and flowers.

Personally, I like the idea of a national ban on styrofoam and environmental unfriendly take-out containers:

I resolve to use no styrofoam this year. Instead I will buy smaller portions at restaurants and or bring my own tupperware to take left-overs and each time I find myself with left-overs and no tupper, I will mention to the manager that they should no longer use styrofoam and ask for some foil instead.

Wow, this could produce a Tupperware revival… Greenies, tell us what’s working for you, and everyone else, share your resolutions for the new year.

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32 COMMENTS

  1. “environmental unfriendly take-out containers”
    I have their first CD. It was great. But they sold out with the second.

  2. See Debbie, I love Montclair Hummer. Their song “Anytime, Anywhere” STAYS on my ipod rotation.
    But much like EUTOC (“environmental unfriendly take-out containers”), they petered out on the second CD.

  3. Styrofoam? I thought that supposed to be totally banned in 2007?
    I hate Styrofoam! Not only is it environmentally unfriendly, it’s unaesthetic and not practical (it breaks easily). If I am served coffee in a Styrofoam cup or food in such a container, that eatery loses points with me.
    Styrofoam packing materials should be phased out as well.

  4. Styrofoam isn’t as unfriendly as you think.
    There is not as much biodegrading as you think in landfills…
    It has a lower environmental impact to produce,(30% of the energy to prodcue paper) and the money spent enforcing bans could be spent in more effective ways.

  5. Relative merits of polystyrene foam and paper in hot drink cups: Implications for packaging
    https://www.springerlink.com/content/b55256333584v60n/
    Abstract:
    An analysis of the overall relative merits of the use of uncoated paper vs molded polystyrene bead foam in single-use 8-oz cups is described here as a manageable example of the use of paper vs plastics in packaging. In raw material requirements the paper cup required about 2.5 times its finished weight of raw wood and about the same hydrocarbon fueling requirement as is needed for the polystyrene foam cup. To process the raw materials about six times as much steam, 13 times as much electric power, and twice as much cooling water are consumed to produce the paper cup as compared to the polystyrene foam cup. Emission rates to air are similar and to water are generally higher for the paper cup.
    Virtually all primary use factors favor polystyrene foam over paper. Once used both cup types may be recycled. Landfill disposal of the two items under dry conditions will occupy similar landfill volumes after compaction and will confer similarly slow to nonexistent decomposition to either option. Under wet conditions polystyrene foam will not readily degrade, but may help other materials to do so. Paper under wet conditions will biodegrade to produce methane, a significant greenhouse gas, biochemical oxygen demand to any leachate, and instability to the land surface during the process. Both materials can be incinerated cleanly in a municipal waste stream with the option of energy recovery, to yield an ash volume of 2%–5% of the incoming waste volume. Overall this analysis would suggest that polystyrene foam, with an extension to plastics in general, should be given more evenhanded consideration relative to paper in packaging applications than is currently the case.

  6. I want annoying squiggle styrofoam or styrofoamesque packing material banned, now.
    It scatters all over, causes animals to choke on the pieces, and hinders easy removal of product purchased.

  7. RealHawker, your facts have no place in this argument! You completely ignore these:
    Styrofoam once did a bathroom renovation without telling local tax authorities.
    Styrofoam votes for spoiler candidates.
    Styrofoam talks during movies.
    Styrofoam never has a valid receipt when doing a return.

  8. Right Appletony…
    Facts don’t stand up against the fact that styrofoam is less attractive than paper when lying on the side of the road.
    If they can make a styrofoam whopper container that wrinkles, shrinks and darkens in the rain and road tar…. then we can all switch back.

  9. Great, Professor. Now we have to all go out and buy acetone every time we get a gift basket cushioned with foam popcorn.

  10. I got some takeout the other day, and it was in a styrofoam container, and I could definitely taste the styrofoam in a couple bytes. It was nasty. I wonder if they put it in there when it was just too hot and melted a little bit, or what. Has that ever happened to anybody else?

  11. Using Styrofoam to me shows no class. It’s an ugly, tacky material. Coffee tastes best in a ceramic cup, period.

  12. Perlstein,
    No need to buy acetone, it’s the active ingredient in your nail polish remover. Or did you think that was “magic?”
    But next time don’t be so quick with the snide little comment (like mine, above)– do a simple google search…
    So for you, here’s is a clip of nail polish remover saving the environment from styrofoam.
    And please call me prof.

  13. I’d just finished rolling on the floor, laughing hysterically at the prof’s EUTOC and Montclair Hummer gags, when I came across his witty jibe at Perlstein. “It’s the active ingredient in your nail polish remover”, he says — not thinking that just because he wears nail polish, well, perhaps Perlstein doesn’t. Anyway, the inevitable YouTube snippets, replete with a prof stand-in pouring acetone over styrofoam, has added great substance to this debate. One can always count on the “prof” to step in and add quality to any discussion.

  14. And one can always find cro unable to find humor, a joke or just plain fun in a post.
    Happy New Year!
    (And continue with the writing lessons as your post have become easier to read. However, I’m still looking for your posts that have “added great substance to this debate.”– Fear not though, that’s not a requirement in the Baristanet Comment Policy.)

  15. Oh prof, I can indeed find humour in almost anything. Like, for example, the concept of you as a “prof”. That is a scream.
    When you’re funny, I’ll admit it. I’m just waiting for that day — that day when “just plain fun” comes through something that you write.

  16. I, too, am resolving to be more green this coming year, even though I know it isn’t easy. I think that if everyone on the blog would send me their $100’s, $50’s, and even a $20 or five, I could be a lot more green. And pay my frikkin’ tax bill. And buy FrankGG a new, used Volvo. 🙂

  17. Me thinks you’ve used the “prof” joke before. Either come correct with some new stuff, or don’t come at all.
    No matter because if you didn’t find the Tyrone Biggums post from a few weeks back funny…. (if you even know who he is…..)
    I got nuthin’ fo ya.
    As you you Perlstein, it’s well documented that Nail Salons are everywhere– and thriving– so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one.

  18. Professor, you think we don’t get along but we do. Either way,
    I look forward to that combo gift opening and cuticle trim this week.
    Happy New Year.

  19. Maybe the kids can find a way to get high from the styrofoam peanuts and acetone and I can get my sinus medicine in bulk again.

  20. Well, prof, you see its not a joke. The concept of you as a prof is alternately hysterically funny and terrifying. Sadly, though, its no joke.
    And I’ll “come” as often as I like, if no other reason then to keep up with your comic stylings.
    Tyrone was amusing, because as we all know no one in the history of comedy has ever had the brillance to act like a slurring, stupid drunk. Its never been done. Or at least never seen, until YouTube. And regardless, you see prof, that wasn’t YOU being funny. It was you linking to a website showing someone funny. “Me thinks” (a little Elizabethean phrasing from the prof) you might next quote Proust and claim to be a brillant Francophone (yet sadly obsessed with mama, alas).

  21. (You had me at slurring, stupid drunk…)
    FYI: Mr. Biggums is high on crack, not a drunk (although I’m sure he loves champipple).
    But I’m honored that you now admit that you come here to keep up with me!!
    Very good, son. Very good.

  22. Not to keep up with you, prof. Rather to see how the other half (as in challenged, “witwise”) lives.
    Prattle on, pops!

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