Styrofoam? Seriously!


Driving from Tennessee to Ontario in September I stopped at several gas stations along the way and came to some surprising conclusions: 1. Gas is ridiculously cheap in the US, and 2. They actually still use Styrofoam cups for hot drinks (at least in Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan). Thankfully I had my travel mug to refill, but I was absolutely shocked!

Growing up in Nova Scotia has made me think of recycling and composting as common sense. It wasn’t until I moved to Ontario in 2001 that I realized how far ahead our little province was. These days Ontario does pick up most recyclables along with your garbage but it varies by municipality. There is no compost pickup which is too bad because the nutrients in food scraps would be much better served going back into usable soil than into landfills full of toxic plastics and trash.

In Tennessee you have to PAY to recycle! I know that the South is not particularly well known for being progressive but I think they can do a little better than that. Especially in a state that is so beautiful! How can you live surrounded by stunning lakes and mountains and be okay with drinking coffee out of a styrofoam cup? I do realize that it costs money to offer recycling programs which can mean raising taxes, but don’t you think a little investment in the future is worth it? I mean, is it really worth saving a few hundred dollars if your children and grandchildren can’t go outside and play or swim in the lakes because we polluted everything?

I know it seems like a small thing to use styrafoam but with millions of people in the world, our personal actions add up quickly, disrupting nature’s rhythm. So next time you take a road trip, don’t forget your travel mug! Not only will you avoid disposable cups (including styrofoam), but you will have less junk to clean out of your car when you get to your destination. Happy travels!

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