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YOUTH AGAINST STYROFOAM: Join over 1000 students in Orange County in beyond as the work to educate and eliminate styrofoam (polystyrene) from their homes, schools, businesses and cities as we strive for a Zero Waste Society. Sign up today by emailing us at or calling 949-645-5163

Below is the Earth Resource Foundation Youth Against Styrofoam (YAS ) Toolkit. Everything you will need to make a difference and create change! Please email us ideas, suggestions as we want to be as successful as possible.  Mother Nature is counting on all of us!



What is wrong with Styrofoam?

Ø      Polystyrene is one of the top three items found on our beaches. There is six times more plastic than plankton by weight in the Pacific Gyre ( 86% of ocean trash is plastic. Polystyrene is made from natural gas and oil, which are nonrenewable resources.

Ø      Polystyrene is very difficult to recycle, especially when contaminated with food. 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam cups are thrown away each year! Styrofoam cups break down into smaller and smaller pieces, taking hundreds of years to biodegrade and making it very hard to pick up on our beaches. Less than 3% of all plastic is recycled.

Ø      Over 1,000,000 birds and sea mammals die every year from plastic ingestion or entanglement. There are enough Chlorofluorocarons (CFCs) embedded in a single Styrofoam cooler to destroy all the ozone over an area the size of 20 football fields.

Ø      As for health effects, styrene can mimic estrogen in the human body, possibly causing developmental defects and increased frequency of spontaneous abortions. The World Health Organization considers styrene to be a carcinogen.
Styrofoam is a harmful product that is not only costing businesses funds to provide their customers with single use products but also costing our society money for clean public areas and increased trash disposal. Orange County spends $350,000 per month litter clean up!

Here are tools to help you, your club, class, family and community make a personal commitment to eliminate Styrofoam and move to a Zero Waste society.


Personal Commitment How To Guide
Home Inventory of Disposable Items
Interview your parents and family - questionaire attached
Club Tracking form for pledges, inventory and parent interview

Individually: “I’m the Problem – I’m the Solution”

As we all know, the only problem with the environment is human behavior and therefore it is our own individual actions, no matter how small, that will have the most effect on saving the environment. Setting an example by practicing environmental stewardship is one of the most powerful tools.  You not only get a “real life” experience to share with others, but you are affecting all those around you: schools, businesses, family, friends, etc.  They see “IT CAN BE DONE!”

Check out the links for things you can do to personally help our earth!


School Commitment and Strategy
Inventory of Food Service Products/Styrofoam at your school
Collect Signatures - Sample Petition
Write a letter to your Principal or School Board - Sample Letter

The goal for taking action at the school level is to eliminate harmful products and adopt a Zero Waste practices.  Your school plays an integral role in creating the needed changes in our community to move from a disposable society into one that is respectful of our natural resources and eco-equity for our global community. Check out the links for Strategy and ideas to get your school to pass a Styrofoam ban and move towards Zero Waste.  Take the opportunity to be as creative and innovative as possible.


Write a Letter to the Mayor - Sample Letter
Sample Ordinance - City of Santa Monica
Sample Ordinance - City of Laguna Beach
Collect Signatures - Sample Petition

The Earth Resource Foundation (ERF) Clubs and partner clubs wish to ban Styrofoam throughout the County of Orange by June of 2009.  As a result of the harmful impact of plastic on global ecosystems, economies, and public health, immediate action must be taken to eliminate single use throwaway plastics. Change must be established in the consumer lifestyle through education, citizen action, and business accountability. Check out the above links to see how you can initiate change!

The Circle
ERF's newsletter


"In the end, we will conserve only what we love. We only love what we understand. We only understand what we are taught."
-Babia Dioum Senegalese Ecologist

P.O. Box 12364 Costa Mesa, CA 92627  |  Tel:(949) 645-5163  |  Fax:(949) 645-5173  |  e-mail: