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Reusable Straws- The First Step to a Healthier Planet

October 27th 2018

88 pounds may not sound like a lot. It’s roughly the weight of a pre-teen or new-born calf. But, when you think about the fact this is the approximate amount of plastic waste each one of the earth’s 7.6 billion people produces daily, it quickly escalates the significance of those 88 pounds. These days, it seems everywhere you look there’s another way to reduce your carbon footprint. In fact, many companies, cities, and even states are initiating new laws banning the use of plastic straws and, in some cases utensils, as well. So, what are the alternatives? There are actually quite a few effective reusable straws, like those made from bamboo and paper. Here are the best of the best in the category of alternative straws.

Top 4 Reusable Straws:

1. Collapsible Straws

These babies are the constant drinker’s best friend and trusty companion. I always have to have something to drink, but when I’m out and about with four small children, sometimes an open cup just isn’t the best idea. That’s where the collapsible straw comes to the rescue! With a collapsible straw in your arsenal, there are no more ‘mouth hole’ mishaps while trying to hydrate and juggle the kids and all their junk at the same time. You can snag one of these bad boys in a multitude of colors, also. Made of stainless steel, these collapsible straws come in a compact holder, which is perfect for your keychain or pocket.

2. Bamboo Drinking Straws

These durable straws are crafted from natural Bamboo stalks. They are biodegradable, and many people consider them a safer alternative to the reusable glass or stainless steel straws. The drawback to using bamboo straws comes from its limited lifespan, especially if they haven’t been properly cured or finished. Thankfully, you can find quality bamboo straws in decent quantities, so you’ll always be stocked up. There are many affordable choices, so be sure to look into this ‘tubular’ option!

3. Stainless Steel Straws

Classy and elegant, these straws are the perfect choice for entertaining! These sturdy straws are easily sanitized and dishwasher-safe. Grab a set of these shiny rods and their accompanying brushes to make a statement in any environment. You can even personalize your set with gold or multi-colored straws!

4. Silicone Straws

While other types of straws have their time and place,  keeping a silicone straw on hand is one way to ensure you’ll never get burned while sipping coffee or your extra-hot, Grande Chai Tea Latte with 3 pumps of skim milk, lite water, and no foam. Silicone straws are also tough but soft, providing reassurance to those who are worried about chipping teeth on some of the harder options. Pick up a silicone, pre-bent straw and sip the day away!

Leaving Plastic in the Past…

It may seem like a small thing. After all, straws aren’t very big, right? But, if you take into account the 88 pounds per person, per day amount, you can quickly calculate that we’re creating around 300 million metric tons of plastic waste[1]. Did you know it takes up to 200 years for 1 plastic straw to decompose? Or, that they are our ocean’s 11th most common trash[2]? Of course, plastic straws are not the only, or even the most serious, threat to our environment. There are countless ways the human race has contributed to the declination of the earth’s natural state. The good news is, kind, caring people are coming up with ideas to combat these effects every day! There is hope in humanity, yet!

So, what’s the reality of you purchasing alternative straws? Will your contribution to the cause actually have an effect on the environment? Sources say- YES! In a recent UN study, it was found that over 800 marine species have become endangered thanks to the excessive amount of plastic waste in our waters. According to recent statistics, with over 500 million plastic straws being produced every day, only 15% of those are being properly recycled[3]. Taking action by opting to use eco-friendly options, rather than imperishable, plastic items, you can be a part of helping to drastically reduce our overall global waste. “Going green” has become a household term, and, that, in itself, is promising.  But, we need to take it one step further. Become an advocate by living green. Creating a sustainable, eco-friendly environment in your own home is the first step to a healthier planet, overall!

References:

1. Hilary Brueck, October 22, 2018; https://www.businessinsider.com/plastic-straw-ban-why-are-there-so-many-2018-7; article

2. Hugh, January 25, 2018; https://get-green-now.com/environmental-impact-plastic-straws/; article

3. Jess Murray, January 17, 2017; https://truththeory.com/2017/01/17/switching-reusable-straws-save-thousands-marine-lives/; article