Styrofoam in your home - FamilyEducation

Styrofoam in your home

July 21,2009
Julie Deaner
The other day I was doing some spring cleaning in my teeny, tiny apartment and found boxes taking up extra space in my already too-small closet. And of course, inside of the boxes was nothing but Styrofoam. So, of course, I pitched it reluctantly since Styrofoam isn't biodegradable. But really, what can you do with Styrofoam? Well, by-golly...I'll tell ya! I did a little research on what to do with Styrofoam, aka expanded polystyrene foam (EPS), and besides the off-the-wall suggestion of eating it, here are some reasonable recommendations.
  1. Recycle it! Yes, the future is here, EPS is now recyclable, but this can be a tough one since not many areas offer this option, but it's worth a shot! Check out this PDF to see if there is an EPS drop off in your state/area.
  2. Styrofoam "peanuts" can be given back to mailing companies to be reused or sold. Many companies are starting to use cornstarch "peanuts" which are biodegradable and...edible! nom nom nom... And, yes...I have eaten a cornstarch peanut before :(
  3. Not sure if this is a safe practice, but I found a couple of ideas being thrown around as using ground-up Styrofoam as insulation.
  4. Most children are entertained with just about anything, so, why not Styrofoam? If you have large pieces of Styrofoam, it most likely came as packing in a large cardboard box, and those two items are a match made in heaven for building forts, accessories, and other imagination play.
  5. Make stamps. If you have packing Styrofoam, cookie cutters, and paint, you have yourself a great craft project. Instead of buying rubber stamps, use the cookie cutters to cut out different shapes in the Styrofoam for your kids to use as stamps.
  6. Make a bean bag chair out of extra fabric and ground up Styrofoam. Or small bean bags for juggling or backyard games such as corn hole.
  7. Or you could get real inspired and make some crazy art like this:
If only I looked up these ideas before getting antsy and throwing out all my Styrofoam. Big frowns all around! But, of course, there will always be a next time. Let's see if any of you can top these creative ways to recycle Styrofoam!