A growing global movement to eliminate plastic straws is underway, thanks to the exceptional efforts of Milo Cress. Milo started the Be Straw Free campaign when he was nine. Over the last six years his movement has expanded throughout the U.S. and in Europe.
Why Do We Need to Eliminate Plastic Straws?
According to Milo’s research, in the U.S. people use 500 million straws per day. This is an average of 1.6 straws per person per day. To help you visualize the impact this could have, consider that 500 million disposable straws would fill about 46,400 large school buses per year. That’s 127 buses per day.
The problem is that all of these disposable straws end up in our environment. They are made from synthetic materials that do not biodegrade. The majority make their way into our waterways and into the oceans.
I watched a video today of a group of environmental researchers pull a plastic straw out of the nose of an Olive Ridley sea turtle. It illustrates perfectly the reason why we need to eliminate plastic straws and consider how our lifestyle habits impact the natural world.
Before I continue, please watch the video below. It may be unpleasant to watch, but it is a much needed reminder of our collective need to stop using single-use items like disposable straws.
My goal is not to upset you or bring you down. But the reality is that we are literally suffocating planet Earth and its creatures with plastic. So instead of hiding under a blanket of denial, start making small changes in your daily habits so you don’t have to feel bad when you watch this type of footage.
Making a difference starts with your own actions and habits. No everyone is made like Milo Cress and inspired to start a global movement. Which is fine; we all can play our role.
Start with taking the pledge to be straw free here. Join Milo’s movement to eliminate plastic straws.
One Person Can Make a Difference
Ditching plastic straws is a simple thing. Because, helllloooo, we don’t really need a straw to drink!
First, consider: when you eat at a restaurant, you really need a straw? Probably not. I know that restaurants give these suckers away like they are going out of business. But you can just say, “No, thanks. No straw for me!”
Next, let’s think about takeout. Getting a drink to go is different because you probably feel you need a lid on your drink…so you need a straw. But we can figure this out, too. How about you get a few reusable water bottles, and keep one extra in your car. Once you get your drink, can pour it in your bottle. Then, you can opt out of the plastic lid, too (bonus!).
Another argument for straws arises when you have children. Kids need a lid and a straw on their drink, right? Well, not necessarily.
I get it. With kid #1 and #2, I was all about the sippy cups and straw cups. And, of course, all plastic cuz God forbid they drop and break a cup. But, you know what, with my third child, I stopped buying plastic for my kitchen (and having moved to a different country I had none of my stuff from the other kids). So, my youngest boy just used mugs and glasses since he could hold one, and it all worked out. He had a few spills, but then he learned how to drink without a lid and that was that.
I understand that children like straws. I also use them myself when I drink superfood smoothies. Therefore, for the house I bought stainless steel straws. They are totally better than disposable ones.
Other options for reusable straws include bamboo straws and silicone straws (which are recyclable but not biodegradable). Yet for me, the stainless steel ones have lasted and have been the best option.
If you are willing, please help Milo, me and thousands of others eliminate plastic straws. Buy a reusable set for your home. Then, practice saying no when eating at a restaurant. Also, share this article with others and encourage them to go straw free.
Finally, consider your habits when it comes to other plastic wares in your kitchen. Start decreasing the amount of plastic dishes, cups, bags, etc. that you are buying. The glass options are much better anyway because they won’t leech chemicals into your food and drinks.
In addition, there are now plenty of options for compostable plastic bags if you can’t do without your ziplocs. (Being on the go, it’s just easier. I get it.) My favorites are BioBag Resealable Food Storage Bags and IF YOU CARE 100% Unbleached Paper Sandwich and Snack Bags.
Today, we have options. We have choices. Let’s make them smart choices that make a difference for the planet.
Please share your arguments for or against disposable straws and any other comments.
This article (Join the Global Campaign to Eliminate Plastic Straws, Started by this 9-Year-Old) is copyrighted by Awareness Junkie, 2017. You may not copy, reproduce, publish or distribute any content therein without written permission. You may contact us here.