Friday, October 21, 2011

Go, Green!

I was thrilled to receive my first order of kidney support herbs and plant essences from my online pet store last week. But once I'd unpacked it, there was the matter of the dreaded peanuts. What to do? I knew they weren't recyclable. Right? I headed for the computer to double check and found this:
Traditional packing peanuts are made out of polystyrene and are now color coded to indicate the origin of the material they contain. Polystyrene takes hundreds of years to decompose in nature, so recycling it is key.
Mine were pure white, though. So I kept reading. Happily, I found a bright spot on the topic:
Some [peanuts] are now made from a vegetable derivative and closely resemble their plastic counterparts. If they disintegrate in water, they are made from vegetable matter.
So said eHow. Off to the kitchen I went to test mine. When I needed the weight of a spoon to keep one down, I wasn't hopeful. I picked up another peanut and tore it in two. It sure looked like plastic to me grimace, grimace. Visions of writing the online pet store swam in my head. I find it troubling when big merchants like Starbucks, for god's sake! don't recycle, when their practices seem environmentally unconscious.

I should have known better in this instance though, and wasn't I delighted to find that before long my sunken peanut had completely disintegrated--hooray! Suddenly I had a box of cornstarch on my hands, rather than nonbiodegradable, toxic landfill. (They'd said as much on their packing slip, incidentally, but I hadn't read it until after the fact. Note to self: assume the best, and read the fine print!)

Go Only Natural Pet! Go human ingenuity! I thank you, and the Earth thanks you.


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