6 Ways to Stay Sustainable with Food 

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One of the largest, most pressing topics concerning global pollution is the fact that humans have created so much waste and have nowhere to put it. Trash is being drained out into the oceans, people are throwing away items that could easily be recycled, and landfills are piling up everywhere. Because of this large issue, the planet is suffering from some painful consequences.. There has been an abundance of cases of marine life dying or being injured due to trash floating in the water, as well as land animals who are inhaling harmful gases that are emitted into the air due to some types of manufacturing processes. All in all, it’s a dire situation that will take some time to fix.  

 Now, just because it cannot be fixed overnight does not mean that we should not take every step, no matter how small, to minimize the amount of materials that we waste and throw away. One initial step that can be taken includes looking at our daily life routines and analyzing what products we use that are unnecessary, or are not being taken care of properly. The first routine that comes to mind is one of pure necessity: eating. While the most ecofriendly practice for enjoying meals is by cooking and eating at home, we know that many people like to enjoy a night out at a nice restaurant. For those nights, we have a couple of suggestions to help eliminate the amount of waste used, and to make the planet a much healthier place for its inhabitants.  

 Refuse Plastic Straws  

 Many of you may already be aware of this, as Starbucks has recently dedicated their company to removing all plastic straws from their stores by 2020, but using plastic straws is incredibly dangerous to the environment. While these straws should never have made it into the ocean to begin with, we can do our part to make sure that any more chances of this occurring are eliminated. When eating out at a restaurant, you can politely ask your server to not bring a straw with your drink. If you feel that you need a straw to drink out of, or have a disability that requires you to use straws while drinking, there are plenty of reusable straw options online that are made of metal or glass. These are easy to clean, and sometimes even come with a keychain to make carrying it around easier! You can feel good about yourself by not adding to the amount of straws already in the ocean, while still enjoying your drink!  

Bring a Reusable Cup for Drinks 

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 If you are out at a fast food restaurant or diner that offers their beverages in paper or plastic cups, bring your own reusable cup. You will still be charged for the drink, but many establishments do not mind you bringing your own cup instead of theirs. You will be eliminating some excessive waste, while being able to get a drink and even refill it as much as you want!  

 Decline the Receipt 

 We know how convenient it is to have a copy of your receipt, but if we’re being honest with ourselves, we likely will throw it away once we leave the restaurant, and the paper that we asked for will be wasted. Do the planet’s trees a huge favor and opt out of a receipt if possible.  

 Keep the Leftovers 

 Feeling full after a large meal? Don’t let the rest of that food go to waste in a landfill! Ask your server to give you a to-go box, so that you can bring the leftovers home with you. You can save it for lunch the next day, feed it to your pets as a snack, use it for compost, or let another family member have it. (side note – considering we make and market Styrofoam (AKA EPS) we best not say it this way) 

 Take Home the Excess Paper Napkins  

 Ever go through the drive-thru at a fast food place and have a million napkins left over after finishing all of the food? Don’t let those napkins go to waste! Bring them home to use for later, or keep them in your car! We often make messes as we drive and are in need of something quick to clean them up, so why not have a backup of napkins hidden in your center console? You’ll be doing yourself, and the environment, a huge favor.  

 Take a Picnic Instead  

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Want to get a change of scenery for dinner without having to actually spend any money? Why not opt for a picnic instead of spending unnecessary cash at a restaurant? You can enjoy all of your food from home in a new, perhaps even beautiful, location and make an event out of it. Just be sure to bring reusable silverware, cups, and plates to make the experience incredibly ecofriendly.  

 The best way to travel with food would definitely be a cooler. However, you should be careful with which cooler you use. Have you ever experienced the coolers that not only crumble and fall apart but just don’t seem to keep your food cold? Not ours! Made of a molded EPS, they are stronger, sturdier, and thanks to the R-value, are more efficient at keeping your food and drinks the perfect temperature.  Try one of the EPS foam coolers that we produce! They are thick, come in a variety of sizes, and are reusable, so that you can go green while enjoying the great outdoors!

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Five Tips for an Eco-Friendly Fall Season

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Now that September is here and the summer season is fading away, the smell and essence of autumn lingers heavily in the air. Many stores are already releasing some spooky Halloween decorations, the leaves are beginning to faintly change in color, and Starbucks has begun selling their popular pumpkin spiced lattes again. While this season may be one full of changes, the nostalgia and traditions of autumn will never stray from our minds.

Now, just because the leaves are changing colors does not mean that we should lose our green, eco-friendly approach. In fact, the seasonal change is a great chance for everyone to get creative and explore the ways that they can live sustainably year-round. For those who need some guidance, here are some great tips for staying green this fall.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

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 I think we all can agree that autumn is one of the most beautiful seasons. The crisp, cool air and the scenic color change of the trees are enough to make all of us feel warm and fuzzy inside. So, why not go outside and enjoy it while it lasts? Fall is the perfect time to go hiking in the woods, ride a bike, visit a pumpkin patch or apple orchard, or even get lost in a corn maize. Not only will these activities allow you to enjoy autumn in all of its glory, it will also keep you from using energy inside your house! Less electricity is being used to power your sources of entertainment at home, so less energy is being consumed and wasted. Not to mention, being outdoors and exercising will be much better for your mind and body!

Set Your Thermostat to a Lower Temp

 While the temperature may be getting colder outside due to the season change, that does not mean that the thermostat needs to be turned up. Rather, keeping your thermostat set to 68 or lower will lower your energy bills, plus conserve energy. It may be uncomfortable with it being a bit colder in your home, but it can easily be fixed by wearing layers, warmer clothing, laying out thicker blankets on your bed, and having extra throw blankets available around the house. Who doesn’t love cozying up with a plush, warm blanket?

Switch Out Your Current Insulation

Not many people are aware of the impact that their insulation has on their energy use, but the correlation is strong. By having an insulation in your walls that does not fight or eliminate thermal bridging, you are losing the heat that you are trying to contain within your household, and potentially wasting a lot of money on energy bills.

Consider switching your insulation to one that is energy-efficient, simple to use, and will save you money in the long run. A very good example of this is our PlastiSpan insulation. Using this in your walls and/or roof will ensure that thermal bridging is eliminated, energy is conserved, money will be saved, and your home will be cozier than ever!

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Check the Air Pressure in Your Cars Tires

 As the weather get cooler, the air pressure in your vehicle’s tires will inevitably get lower. This may not seem like much of an issue, but this lower air pressure actually lowers your car’s fuel efficiency. This will require you to fill up on gas more frequently, which is definitely NOT eco-friendly. Eliminate the amount of fossil fuel emissions into the air by checking your tire pressure frequently and filling up the tires when necessary. Your car and the environment will thank you.

Start Composting

 While the color-changing leaves are one of the most significant and beautiful parts of the autumn season, the leaves have to fall somewhere. Inevitably, the leaves will end up in your yard, and will have to be removed before winter. While some people opt to burn the leaves or gather them in yard waste bins, we would like to offer a different alternative. Burning the leaves emits carbon dioxide and other harmful gases into the air, and filling up a yard waste bin only adds to the amount of waste piling up in landfills. Instead, why not use the leaves for composting? Your garden will be satisfied by the nutrients that come from composting the leaves, and the environment will thank you.