Yes, You CAN Recycle Polystyrene Foam!

There has been a widespread misrepresentation that you cannot recycle polystyrene, which has led to a huge amount of debates, and has ultimately led to a bunch of cities banning the use of polystyrene foam. A great deal of environmentalists and various other organizations have pushed the fact that polystyrene should be banned, as the material has been for a long time considered unable to be recycled. Some bans are passed at state level, like a New York foam ban that was recently overturned, or a proposed Montana foam ban, while others are proposed at a city level, like San Francisco. However, this could not be further from the case and the reality is that there simply has not been enough attention and action pushed towards creating recycling centers.

Polystyrene would generally be a bad idea for the environment if it could not be recycled, but there have been big changes in the way that we as a society have been approaching the subject of recycling the material and a lot of progress has been made. States in the West, including Montana, Idaho and Nevada, as well as Wyoming, have been working to get recycling centers up and running, but there is a ton of testing that needs to be done.

Polystyrene is basically a material that is blown up into different castings, meaning that it is essentially expanded. The recycling process of polystyrene is great because it basically reverses the process. This means you can take a huge amount of polystyrene, which we see all the time as coffee cups and food containers and various other materials, and condense it down to a recycled form. After this happens, the polystyrene can be processed and can be reused, by being again blown back up into various molds and castings, making the products that we use each and every day.

This is a much better plan in the long run and would be beneficial for everyone, as businesses would be able to continue using the material, which is incredibly cheap, and overall costs for purchasing food would probably go down. Additionally, there are tons of land fills out there that are stocked full of discarded polystyrene products, which is terrible for the environment, based on the fact that it takes hundreds and hundreds of years for the material to degrade.

A great solution to this problem would be the development of large scale polystyrene recycling centers, which could recycle the products that we are using each and every day, but at the same time, we could focus efforts on clearing the large amounts of polystyrene currently occupying landfills.

Environmental groups: No fracking way

Memo to Gov. Rick Scott: Keep the oil in the soil unless you want the bird dogs on your tail.

That was the message from environmental activists who have and are still fighting against oil extraction expansion in states like New York, Texas, Colorado and California.

“We showed up wherever the governor showed up with signs saying ‘ban fracking,'” said Wes Gillingham, an anti-fracking activist with Catskill Mountainkeeper, adding that the group protested at school openings, ribbon-cutting ceremonies and other public events. “He could not go anywhere without seeing anti-fracking signs.”

Rose Braz, with the Center for Biological Diversity, called the tactic “bird-dogging,” and she encouraged several environmental groups and dozens of concerned citizens meeting Wednesday at the Holiday Inn near Florida Gulf Coast University to do the same.

“All the facts are on our side when it comes to stopping fracking,” Braz said during a conference call. “People want clean water and it’s a fundamental right. And I think this industry threatens that.”

Groups like the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, the Sierra Club, Earthjustice and others are formulating plans they hope will stop any fracking practices here until environmental assessments of the practice can be reviewed by geologists and hydrologists. They met all day Tuesday and Wednesday to get input from people who have successfully fought off fracking.

This type of oil extraction has increasingly become a concern in Florida in recent years as more and more companies apply for drilling permits. Legislative bills have been proposed in recent years to both allow and ban fracking across the Sunshine State.

Locally, Bonita Springs City Council members voted earlier this year to ban fracking operations inside the city limits, and the village of Estero did the same thing at a meeting there Wednesday.

The oil industry says fracking is safe and can be controlled in a way as to not impact drinking water aquifers.

“Hydraulic fracturing is safe and well-regulated by federal and state agencies,” oil industry proponent Energy From Shale says on its website. “Fracking technologies and processes continue to be improved, guided by industry standards developed from experiences in the fracking field and which undergo rigorous review before adoption.”

But Braz said the industry can’t be trusted. She cited a situation in which Chevronearlier this year sold water used in the fracking process to a water supply district in California. That district then sold the water to farmers, who used it to water crops.

Allowing and regulating fracking, though, could stop or slow the process until information about the chemical makeup used to extract the low-grade oil is made public, Gillingham said.

Lax regulations could cripple the state’s drinking water sources, ecology and tourism.

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Source: News Press

Recycling Polystyrene Foam: It’s the Right Thing To Do

The recycling of polystyrene is one of the smartest things that communities can do to make sure that the area is as clean as possible. The foam that is made from polystyrene is used in many different places, and the foam can be found just about anywhere around the world today. Every community in America can make sure that the foam is going to be recycled, and the community is going to notice that it is much cleaner because the foam is being turned into something new. The polystyrene is going to become something new, and the community is going to get the white pellets off the ground.

How Is It Recycled?

A lot of people are convinced that polystyrene foam is not recyclable, when in reality that is false. Instead of trying to ban foam, like a potential Georgia foam ban, we should all be teaching people who to recycle the product instead. In fact, recycling polystyrene is incredibly easy to do, and there are many companies that are able to handle these recycling procedures. The recycling procedures for these companies are all different, but these companies are paying good money to communities for their polystyrene. Every community can find a company that is going to help with recycling, and the polystyrene is easy to separate.

How Is It Separated?

The separation process for the foam is simple, and most companies can pull these foams out of the trash to make sure that there is nothing else in the foam pile. The foam is sent to a center for recycling, and the foam is turned into something brand new inside the facility. The facility sells the recycled polystyrene to people who need it for their own businesses, and the separation process can be done by homeowners before they throw out the trash.

Does It Go Out With The Trash?

The foam can go out with the trash, and there can be a simple canister to hold the foam when it is picked up. The foam can go on its own truck, and the foam is taken to the center when it is ready. This is a very simple way to make sure that a company gets what it wants, and the people at home will be able to handle their foam on their own. We all have to recycle this foam to make sure it is not getting into more landfills, and it can be turned into more useful things that will be recycled in the future. There can be a circle of life for the foam that is being used, and it can keep going back through the same communities.

Why it pays to have an environmentally green building in NYC

All homeowners in NYC are encouraged to create harmless, cost effective and green buildings like Anthony Malkin. Green buildings are becoming preferable to reduce instances of environmental pollution and enhancing a sustainable environment. There are various known benefits of green buildings but below are a few you might not have known.

Temperature regulation

Urban heat island is seen as an effect that is facilitated by the presence of insulating properties of tall buildings and materials such as asphalt, sand and concrete. These elevated temperatures are as a result of permeable and moist surfaces becoming dry and impermeable on account of some houses and highways. This effect can be compensated by having more green areas like green roofs as well as green gardens.

Indoor air quality

When setting up a house, you should put much emphasis on the ventilation system. The system can be powered in some ways; mechanically, passively and naturally. No matter how the system is powered, the most important thing is to have clean and filtered air. It is, therefore, important to use low or non-emission materials in the construction. Most materials applied in most constructions are toxic and may radiate poisonous gases or incorporate volatile compounds. Indoor air pollution is much dangerous and can lead to respiratory diseases such as asthma. The best way to control this problem is having an efficient ventilation system and an insulated building envelope.

Higher worth of property

A building will cost more if it contains sustainable components. A green building is energy efficient. The use of gas, energy and water is greatly reduced. The building can, therefore, maintain a high sale value.


Green buildings necessitate less maintenance: they require minimal exterior painting, unlike other houses. The materials used to set up the building are durable, and they are not damaged quickly. Maintenance cost is therefore reduced significantly.

Tax benefits

Tax provisions are established to encourage setting up of green buildings. Homeowners who construct green buildings enjoy tax cutbacks and fewer restrictions. The tax initiative is available at the federal, local and state level.

Low retail sales

A survey conducted in most cities including NYC indicates that houses lighted with skylights are more sustainable as opposed to those lighted with artificial systems. Retailers using daylight can reduce the utility costs.

The Top Environmental Concerns We Face Today


Thanks to numerous recent studies, it is hard to deny that global warming is a fact and that we need to do our part to help limit pollution. While these studies have helped to raise awareness of various environmental concerns, many people still really only know about global warming. The truth is, there are many different concerns facing the planet. To help broaden awareness and bring some more of these problems to light, take a look at the top environmental concerns that we face today.


environment_sustainabilityMany people do not consider the population as a threat to our planet, yet it is inevitable that more people can lead to more problems. In certain regions we are already seeing the effects of overpopulation. This leads to shortages of natural resources in the area, such as water, food, and even fuel. Eventually, if these concerns are not addressed, we could begin to see the effects of overpopulation in other parts of the world.

The Loss of Natural Resources

Overpopulation is not the only concern leading to a loss of natural resources. We continue to consume natural resources at an advanced rate. This leads to global warming and climate change. Some of the steps that we can take to fight this include the use of other sources of energy, such as solar and wind energy. The more popular these alternative energy sources become, the more available and more affordable they become.

Waste Disposal

shutterstock_83304640_1To go along with our over consumption of various natural resources is our abundance of waste. The world has always used the oceans as one large dumping ground. We can now see how damaging this can be in the form of large floating plastic islands of garbage that have been discovered in various parts of the ocean.

Loss of Biodiversity

Polluting the oceans has damaged coral reefs and the natural habitat for many oceanic creatures. This has caused a loss of biodiversity in the oceans; though, we are also noticing this problem in other areas. Deforestation has forced the extinction of many species in heavily forested areas, especially in the Amazon rain forest.

Water Pollution

Finding clean drinking water is becoming harder for certain regions. This is exceedingly difficult in areas that are already facing overpopulation. In regions where there is heavy pollution the water is more at risk. In addition to manmade water pollution, we have also noticed regions affected by severe droughts in recent years.

These are just a few of the top environmental concerns that we face today. As you can see, many of them are connected or interrelated. We may not be able to tackle one of these problems without looking at the big picture. As a worldwide community, we may have to take steps to combat all forms of pollution and environmental risks.

Many people are already doing their individual part to help limit their carbon footprint. People are becoming more involved in recycling programs, switching to electric and electric hybrid vehicles, commuting to work, riding bicycles, and cutting down on their overall energy usage. This is a good starting point, but these are steps that are being taken in mostly developed parts of the world. It is in the less developed nations where the need to take action is stronger.

If you are interested in learning what you can do to raise awareness about these issues then perform a search online for local environmental groups and international relief organizations aimed at combating water pollution, waste disposal, and other issues threatening our safety.