Perhaps you are well aware of the problems of polystyrene foam (frequently called ‘Styrofoam’): it is made from micro-plastic pellets (which were usually made from petroleum or another fossil-fuel feedstock like coal); it is rarely accepted in recycling programs because of its low density; it takes up a substantial volume in landfills; and the low density makes it very likely to get caught in the wind or float away into water, so a lot of it makes its way to the oceans, where it is a major contributor to ocean plastic pollution.
As this information enters your awareness, you may become quite appalled, saddened and/or angry when you see polystyrene foam litter on the landscape. While these reactions are justified, cultivating better responses includes not only attempting to pick up said litter (safety permitting), but also transforming those emotions into an antidote, into a wish for healing.
In Novasutras, we seek to cultivate the practice that our wishes and intentions toward others should only ever be those that we would gladly receive, and that serve agaya and ubuntu. Here are some such healing wishes, such blessings, you may choose to make if you should find yourself reacting to polystyrene foam litter:
May all those who extracted the fossil fuels that were used to produce this material make better choices through agaya and ubuntu.May all those who transformed petroleum into polystyrene foam and other plastics find better careers to protect their health and promote agaya and ubuntu.May those who chose such packing material for their products make better choices for agaya and ubuntu.May all those who marketed consumer goods that required polystyrene foam packaging use their skills of persuasion to better serve agaya and ubuntu.May all those who chose to purchase goods packed in polystyrene foam make better choices for agaya and ubuntu.May those who leave polystyrene foam in places where it can disrupt and harm habitats gain greater wisdom and begin to live more in accordance with agaya and ubuntu.
When you walk outdoors, in gardens, in parks, or in wild nature, what things do you see that cause you to react with outrage, with sadness, with shame and disappointment for our befoibled human species? How can you transform the energy of those reactions into responses that enhance agaya and ubuntu?