Wednesday, March 2, 2016


Welcome to our meditation... Let us take a deep cleansing breath. Reach your arms towards the sky. Feel your muscles stretch and relax. Get comfortable in your chair. Align your posture. Relax your body. Relax your mind. Clear your thoughts for a another time. Our lives contain so many different pieces. Each piece connects to the next in some way. Our Beings are an intricate puzzle mastered by the Universe. Nobody could ever replicate us. Even the most advanced technology fails in capturing an exact clone of our Being. We have pieces of love, pieces of faith, pieces of happiness and strength. They are countless. These parts of us are ever changing. Our love changes. Our faith changes. Our happiness changes. And yet, those qualities are ever present in us. Our feelings may change from day to day but these qualities are deeply rooted in our Spirit. They all come together to form this amazing recipe called the Self. All of our pieces are collected and connected through an awesome, undefinable and eternal Divine Source of our Being, creating this awesome, undefinable and eternal Spirit within us. And now to continue our meditation series on small changes that make all the difference: Let us explore some ways we can overcome the problem of Expanded Polystyrene or it's common and incorrectly used term, *Styrofoam. These are some "pieces" our world can really do without. We use it for our coffee cups, take out boxes, shipping filler, grocery trays, egg cartons, insulation - it's everywhere and consumes about 30% of our nations landfills. Currently here in the Northern California Region NONE of the grocery stores recycle polystyrene. One company that is known to have a solid polystyrene recycling program in place are all the Publix grocery stores in Florida and Georgia. You can bring all your polystyrene right back to the store it was purchased from.

We could all take action by going to the website, locating the nearest Polystyrene Recycling Center nearest us and informing our local businesses of the polystyrene recycling programs available to them. Dart Container. offers several polystyrene foam drop off locations that are open to the public (including one location less than 100 miles from Santa Rosa in Lodi, CA). They also offer foam recycling programs to restaurants and and other food service operators that would like to be more environmentally responsible with their foam food service products. We can recycle packing peanuts by returning them to just about any shipping center, i.e. UPS or Pack n Ship. They are known to gladly receive them. You can also recycle polystyrene in your garden. Most potting soil comes with those white little balls which are actually either polystyrene or a similar component. It adds aeration to the soil, helping plants grow. Although we may cringe at being served coffee in a polystyrene cup - did you know that many paper cups are lined with plastic? The Starbucks Website proclaims their paper hot cups “cannot be recycled in many paper recycling systems because of their plastic liner…”Please bring a reusable cup with you when you visit their coffee shops to avoid adding to the heap. There is a natural alternative to polystyrene: PUFFY STUFF is an all-natural packaging material. Unlike other plant based loose fill, PUFFY STUFF is completely biodegradable by ISO definition (100% consumed by bacteria.) It is so safe they deem it edible and is safe for children, pets and wild life. According to the Stanford link I have placed below, Polystyrene is very harmful to both us and the environment: "Environmental pollution and negative health effects on land and marine ecosystems. Though polystyrene manufacturers claim that their products are "ozone-friendly" or free of CFCs, this is only partially true. Some polystyrene is now manufactured with HCFC-22, which, though less destructive than its chemical cousins, CFC-11 and CFC-12, is still a greenhouse gas and harmful to the ozone layer. 53 In fact, according to a 1992 study by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, HCFCs are three to five times more destructive to the ozone layer than previously believed." *In the United States and Canada, the word Styrofoam is often incorrectly used as a generic term for expanded polystyrene foam, such as disposable coffee cups, coolers, or cushioning material in packaging, which are typically white and are made of expanded polystyrene beads. This is different from the extruded polystyrene used for Styrofoam insulation. ( Helpful Links: Read the "End the Use of Expanded Polystyrene at the Stanford University Campus Branch of the Jamba Juice Corporation" article for interesting facts on polystyrene.