When reading other blogs, I notice that several people always mention that this life style is time consuming, more expensive, and not obtainable for people with families and careers. I think this is because most of us, myself included, only see the zero waste finish line and need the instant gratification of being completely zero waste over night. This is a process for all of us. For those of us, who don’t have access to many of the things that make going zero waste easy like bulk stores and conveniently located farmer’s markets, we have to look for other ways to reduce our waste. The goal isn’t to have a squeaky clean and empty trash can instantly. It’s about making EASY changes that, in turn, can create a huge difference!. Simply by refusing something is easy and time effective and can help us reduce a little more that we’d otherwise just throw away.
When most people think of eliminating single use plastics, the straw usually doesn’t come to mind. We’ve all gotten so use to unnecessary plastic and packaging that we fail to see a lot of it in our day to day. When, as a society, did we all agree that drinking from a straw was absolutely necessary in order to drink from a glass? We use 500 million of them a day! Plastic straws cannot be recycled which means, every straw that has been created, is still on this planet, somewhere. Most likely a landfill or the ocean. A sliver of this amount has been incinerated which is disgusting considering plastic is made from polypropylene (a derivative of oil).
Now, if you still prefer to drink from a straw, like me, there are alternatives to the yucky plastic straw. After researching my options online, I came across some pretty sexy stainless steel straws that were super cheap that you can purchase here! I was able to get 4 straws and a cleaning brush for under $12. I keep two in my purse, for my husband and I, and keep 2 in the kitchen. There are also glass straws available as well.
When I’m at a restaurant, I refuse their plastic straw and use my beautiful stainless steel one instead. We ask for alterations to our food and drink orders all of the time, so how is saying “No, straw please” any more unusual than saying, “easy ice, no lemon wedge, or extra olives”?
Our plastic usage is out of control and we as consumers have the power to change this. I know refusing a straw may seem insignificant but the more we refuse single use items, the more impact it’s going to cause. Together, we can make a difference, one straw at a time!