Eco-unfriendly Styrofoam coolers give me the “chills!”

Summer is in full swing and sadly, to me, it feels like it’s half over.  I always consider summer a brief 10 week experience (now that we have kids in school), but that’s my own issue.

cooler-foamAnyhow, while I’ve been out and about with my family enjoying the “first half”, one thing keeps catching my eye… Styrofoam coolers.  I almost can’t believe that these things still exist.  I understand that they are a matter of convenience, but with some forethought, it’s easy to be prepared and no one should ever need a ‘single use’ cooler. It pains me to see them sitting next to garbage cans and knowing that they’ve become trash.  And I imagine that after purchasing a few Styrofoam versions, you could probably own a decent cooler of your very own.

My mom actually taught me the amazing insulating ability of newspaper.  Layers of newspaper, wrapped around whatever you need to keep cold in transit, does an incredible job of holding the cold.  This newstrick even works to keep items hot.  I used newspaper to keep our kids’ baby food warm when we went out to dinner, so they could have their food right along with us.  And the best part is that afterward, it can be recycled instead of thrown in the trash.

I just really want Styrofoam coolers to disappear! The problem is this… even if they disappear from store shelves, they still won’t disappear – they’ll live on in a landfill for about 500 years!

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4 thoughts on “Eco-unfriendly Styrofoam coolers give me the “chills!”

  1. The newspaper idea is awesome. We shop 1-3 hours away for groceries (yes not super eco but the one hour trip is only once a month and we get a lot done while we are there, the 3 hour is a few times a year to go to a Whole Foods.) so we use reusable freezer bags we got at Whole Foods and ice. I love the bags!! They are good quality so they should last a very long time and the fold up nice and thin so they are easy to store.

  2. Lisa – whatever works for you! But I swear by the newspaper… it’s pretty amazing! 3 hours MIGHT be pushing it though!

  3. Yeah, I wonder if it would work well when we do our shorter trips in place of ice but still in the bags? Of course I say this but we don’t get the newspaper so that could be an issue lol.

  4. Hello Doreen,

    There are alternatives available.
    Currently we are selling and trying to sell our products wholesale.
    Our insulation material is recycled flocked cotton. The flocked cotton contains antimicrobials so that the product degrades quickly when in a landfill. Paper will only biodegrade in sunlight and oxygen.
    In land fills paper sees neither. The antimicrobials in our product are triggered when they are in a land fill and begin the process whether they are buried or not.
    Feel free to check our website or contact me. We also have products for washing hands and food.

    To you and all of your friends, thanks for caring about the environment.
    “it is not hard to be green!

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