(Okay – I’m tired this morning and accidently sent out a Green Thought I was working on for next week so you get a bonus this Friday!)
One think I stopped doing a few years ago was using straws and the disposable lids on my drinks. So far I haven’t had a major spill and I’m hoping this not only helps the environment (reducing waste) but I won’t have the wrinkly lips when I get old! J
Why This Matters
A lowly plastic straw may not seem like an environmental menace but consider this for example: 500 million straws are used in the United States every day. That’s enough to fill 127 school buses daily and 46,400 buses a year, and it means the average American will use around 38,000 straws between the ages of five and 65.
These straws end up as waste shortly after we plunge them into our drinks. Most of them become the worst kind of trash there is: lightweight bits of plastic that are easily windblown, able to float, and frequently end up loose littering the environment where they choke wildlife and threaten marine species. A recent Plymouth University study of fish in the English Channel found that over one third had ingested plastic.
That literally sucks. If you like straws, the trick is to use more sustainable varieties.
There are lots of reusable plastic-free options available for slurping smoothies. Straws made from stainless steel, shatterproof glass, and even bamboo are eco-friendly and dishwasher-safe. You'll also avoid the chemicals in plastic getting into your drink of choice. Sip on.
Some alternatives to plastic (I haven’t used or purchased any of these but just wanted to let you know products like these are available. Always to your own homework before buying!):
Strawesome Reusable Glass Straws Dress up your lemonade, smoothie, or mixed drink with an elegant--yet durable--glass straw from Strawesome. Handcrafted in the USA from borosilicate glass, Strawesome says they are non-toxic, dishwasher safe, and guaranteed against breakage, so you can use them over and over.
Onyx Stainless Steel Straw Hmm, a single-use, shoddy plastic straw versus a reusable, indestructible, dishwasher safe, sleek stainless steel straw? It really is no contest. And, frankly, icy drinks just taste better when sipped through stainless particularly when it comes with a built-in bend--now that's easy living! I couldn’t find a website for them but they are available through Amazon.
If anyone knows of a local store that carries reusable straws, please let me know! One thing I know I need to get better at is letting the the wait staff know I don’t use or need straws!
If you want to get serious about being straw-free check out want a 9 year-old started http://www.ecocycle.org/bestrawfree .