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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions April 29, 2016


3/30/2014 7:35:00 AM
Letter: Challenge to Verde Valley restaurants and residents

Editor:

We, in the Verde Valley, are probably more environmentally aware than many (maybe most) because of the beautiful and pristine surroundings we live in and protect. However, there is a pernicious hazard to our lovely area that we are all easily capable of reducing - the use of Styrofoam and similar products.

I challenge all restaurants in the Verde Valley to discontinue the use of Styrofoam take-home boxes for leftovers and, instead, provide containers made from recycled materials or wrap leftovers in foil. Styrofoam is not biodegradable, but instead breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces over time. In fact, much of the debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is broken down plastic and Styrofoam that harms sea life when ingested. Even take-home containers made from recycled materials are not an answer because they become contaminated with food and, thus, are not reused.

Granted, using recycled products is more expensive than cheap and readily available Styrofoam containers; however, our residents can help lower the cost to restaurants. A simple answer is to bring our own containers to restaurants, which will help lower their costs. Using our own containers prevents non-biodegradable materials from entering landfills or the oceans and harming wildlife. Small plastic or silicone containers, collapsible or not, are available in many stores and are quite inexpensive. You probably already have some in your kitchen. These containers can be used over and over again for years.

Just as most of us have converted to reusable grocery bags, we can convert to using our own personal take-home containers in restaurants. Let the Verde Valley be an example to everyone else in this one small step to clean up our beautiful environment.

Jan Taylor

Sedona


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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Article comment by: Mary Heartman

@ Jan Taylor
I don't see anything wrong with taking one's own doggie dishes to a restaurant if one knows there will be leftovers. Or for take-out if one isn't planning to go to a movie after a picnic in the park.

But there's something else you should be shouting about. Styrofoam is on its way out. They've found mushrooms can be grown into totally non-toxic, biodegradable, sustainable containers, insulation, etc. A company called Evocative Design is selling some now.

Read all about it at http://ffsc.us/node/211 or in the May 20, 2013 issue of the New Yorker if you've got one.

Then urge your favorite eateries and building contractors to BUY ORGANIC instead of Styrofoam! Get the per piece price down. Help eliminate petro-products from the marketplace. Maybe even start a container farm in Cottonwood to serve Yavapai County needs. Looks like there's nothing cleaner or more sustainable.


Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Article comment by: Gaia Gurl

WOW!

I do EVERYTHING in my power to 'tread lightly' on this beautiful planet.

I recycle everything possible to the point that I NO LONGER need trash pick up service. I go to the dump ONCE or TWICE a year with my meager trash, which is usually mostly styrofoam, because I can't recycle it.

When we eat out and I always CRINGE trying to figure out how I am taking my leftovers home. I ask for paper bags, etc. I put it in napkins if possible, anything to avoid the styrofoam.

I have been using my own bags for over a decade, yet I NEVER thought to bring my own container to the restaurant. THANK YOU for such a wonderful idea!

Hey ZOG HEAD . . . guess what? You WON'T be able to serve the poor and dying WITHOUT clean air and water.


Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Article comment by: zog fre

BULLY! styrofoam, save the trees, plastic. PUH - LEEZE! stop this talk. we r gonna be dead in afew decades, anyway. what about poverty, homelessness, food waste.
or, maybe save a puppy, save a seal, blah blah blah. poverty, homelessness, food isues, these r rteal.
stop greenpeacing about the global warming blah blah blah. i am not a hater, just a relater..to the world in need. i dont recycle. why? i serve the poor and dying. EEEOOH!!!!!!!!


Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Article comment by: Wow Such Negativity

Just looked up the current world population number - currently at 7,223,750,358. If we estimate that all of those people are made up of 4 person families, that brings the world population to 1,805,937,590 families. Now factor in that each family creates one bag of garbage per week (probably an under-estimation), and one can only deduce that the 1,805,937,590 bags of garbage created weekly must be having adverse effects on this planet in one form or another, correct? Now picture all of those bags of garbage in one location, say... your front yard. Now tell me that this idea is a waste of time and effort as you sit there and stare at this mountain of trash. Then realize that this happens every week, in front of someone’s home. This precious planet can only handle so much pollution, which effects our soil, water supply and the air we breathe. Something as simple and easy as Jan's suggestion is a selfless act and everyone should give it a try!

Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Article comment by: hybrid batteries

Styrofoam cannot be 're-used. Batteries can be 're-purposed.

Posted: Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Article comment by: the goatherder

Why all the snide comments? Nobody thinks styrofoam is a harmless material. The author's suggestion is a sensible one. Kudos to those restaurants in the valley who already send take-home in recyclable paper. Boos for anybody who doesn't recycle everything they can, even if you have to pay to do it.

Posted: Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Article comment by: Ann Rant

If you can take your own cloth bag to the grocery store, why can't you take your own reusable container to the restaurant?

Posted: Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Article comment by: Slater Slater

Just leave the Booze and Pot alone.To go
Pot and Package stores unite.


Posted: Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Article comment by: Mark Alan

Why not eliminate take-home altogether? In fact, why not eliminate restaurants completely? But then we'd still be driving to the grocer's - oh wait, get rid of them too for all their pollution and on & on & on.
Its like an eco nut boss I had in Ala. that once told me not to smoke cigs on co. property because it pollutes the air - as I was loading a Cat D-10 bulldozer on one of his flatbeds to haul w/ a semi tractor truck up 200 miles to get him some more millions.
I'm certain you mean well Jan, truly I do, since the nature of nature is atropy, except in the case of man-made synthetics - but does that full synthetic motor oil in your Prius bother you as much as a coffee cup does? Or how about the batteries in it that have no know disposal procedure?
We have maybe 50 more years before the hybrid battery contamination will make styro-foam look like a good thing.


Posted: Sunday, March 30, 2014
Article comment by: You Sound

like another Bloomberg. What next limit the size of the soft drinks



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