As a UGA grad, I am a die-hard SEC football fan...Go Dawgs! I also love the NFL and basically any other football game I can find on tv. I love to camp, scrapbook, read, watch movies, hike, take pictures, and hang out with friends. I'm a little bit girlie-girl, a little bit tomboy, a little bit southern belle and probably a little bit redneck... does a pink camouflage ball cap from Bass Pro Shops qualify me as redneck?
I don't know if I'm alone, but I continued to be annoyed by my recent scrapbook order purchases. Living in Knoxville, I have 2 wonderful scrapbook stores, but they don't always offer the selection of products that I would like. Neither of them is particularly dedicated to carrying products that feature recycled materials and soy-based inks. As a result, I often order from the internet.
I get very frustrated when I order "green" scrapbook materials and they arrive in a box that is much too large, filled with polystyrene (styrofoam) peanuts. Even though I always reuse the materials or take them to work to be reused, I've done a little more research into styrofoam, and I'm now even more annoyed. The issure is about more than just waste reduction-- it's almost life and death.
Okay, so that was a little melodramatic, but it got your attention, right? AND it's not entirely untrue. Expanded polystyrene peanuts contain toxic chemicals that at certain exposure levels can cause nervous-system effects such as depression, loss of concentration, weakness, fatigue, and nausea, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That's not even the worst of it: Long-term exposure has been linked to liver and nerve damage, as well as (as my friend Chad calls it) the "C" word-cancer. Knowing that, it makes it hard for me to reuse them...how can I, in good concscience, pass the possibility of disease on to unsuspecting package recipients.
And if that's not bad enough, I mean if you're really not concerned, then be mad. Polystyrene is a petroleum-based material, forcing continued dependence on foreign oil sources. Oh, and they are not biodegradable AND almost impossible to recycle- not that we'd want an atmosphere full of chemicals released in handling packing peanuts.
There are a variety of sustainable packing materials available, and they are not much (if any) more expensive than styrofoam. I think it's high time that we stuck up for ourselves and our planet and put our money where our mouth is. Find out how items are shipped. Most companies will tell you if you call and ask their customer service department. Let's let our dollars be our vote... after all, we care about preserving our memories, let's care about preserving our planet, too.