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Repurposing styrofoam into a useful product has become a serious pursuit at Warm Heart. Biochar is not the only area of research and development at Warm Heart. Styrofoam is actually one of the worst contributors to ecosystem destruction.
Styrofoam is non-biodegradable and non-recyclable. According to Washington University, styrofoam takes 500 years to decompose; it cannot be recycled, so the styrofoam cups dumped in landfills are there to stay.
Warm Heart developed a way to grind up the styrofoam, and mix it with concrete to make bricks. Our video Styrofoam Bricks DIY has had over 285,000 views, so hopefully there is a lot of Styrofoam getting repurposed out there! You can find step by step directions on how to start your own business by repurposing styrofoam, including how to build your own grinder, on our Styrofoam Recycling page. There is no shortage of the waste material, and every piece used in repurposing styrofoam is good for the environment!
Repurposing Styrofoam into an office
Here at Warm Heart we are in the middle of construction of a new office for Dr. Shafer. We began by using plastic bottles filled with sand and a styrofoam/cement mixture. We quickly discovered using styrofoam cement bricks was a much better approach to building the walls.
Michael describes it as “Styrofoam concrete in action. It’s time to step up. Because I am telling everyone that this stuff is so great, I figured that it only made sense for me to build my new office with it. Different building techniques, poured styrofoam cement roof, etc. with biochar plaster on the interior walls to regulate humidity and odors.”
“Did you know on a daily basis manufacturers produce enough styrofoam cups that if you placed them end to end they would circle the globe? That is just the cups. That is a lot of pollution, and it ends up in our dumps, our oceans and rivers.”