You’ve probably heard about the big push to eliminate the use of disposable plastic straws. With over 500 million disposable plastic straws being use DAILY in the US alone, it’s a serious environmental problem. Most of which are not being recycled and ending up in our landfills where they take over 200 years in our to biodegrade!
Think about that the next time your lips touch a plastic disposable straw, if not recycled it will take 200 years for it to breakdown in a landfill.
And who knows the environmental impact of all this plastic breaking down in landfills and filtering into our precious earth, undoubtedly contaminating our soil and water indefinitely.
The plastic waste created from America’s daily straw usage is enough to cover the earth’s circumference 2 1/2 times! With over 8 million metric tons of plastic contaminating our ocean in a single year, estimates say that in the year 2050 the ocean will contain more PLASTIC than FISH!
Straws are the latest on an expanding list of individual plastic products being banned, taxed, or boycotted in a effort to halt the environment destruction plastics contribute to. Last fall, California became the first state in the US to ban plastic bags, joining Kenya, China, Bangladesh, Rwanda, and Macedonia. France not only banned plastic bags, it has become the first country to also ban plastic plates, cups, and utensils, beginning in 2020. San Francisco banned polystyrene, including Styrofoam cups and food containers, packaging peanuts, and beach toys. And in Rhode Island, the release of celebratory balloons is being targeted by activists, after almost 2,200 balloons were picked up on the shores of Aquidneck Island in the last four years.
By simply choosing to Ditch the plastic, single use disposable straws we can collectively change the world for the better. Wether this is your first step to living a more eco-friendly or yet another feather in your more sustainable lifestyle cap, I beg you to do your part.
Here’s 5 Tips to Help you Ditch Plastic Straws:
- Just Say No – Learn to add “No Straw Please” to every drink order. Even if it’s a drink that doesn’t typically come with a straw, it’s a great reminder to yourself and the person you are ordering from, that we shouldn’t hand out straws willy-nilly. You can always drink from the lip of a cup/glass, sans straw.
- Re-Evaulate your Beverage Consumption – I’m going to be honest with you, I rarely encounter plastic straws in my every-day life. There’s a few specific reasons, first of all from a health perspective, I strictly limit my beverage choices. Yes, I enjoy an occasional Friday morning Target-Starbucks black coffee but that’s pretty much the only drink I buy outside of a beverage with a meal out, and yet we eat out less than once a week. When we do go out to eat, I only drink water with meals and/or a glass of wine… which should also give you an indication that we don’t do fast food, sticking to sit down meals at better restaurants who ideally support our local farmers. If you’re drinking beverages from a disposable cup and plastic straw on the daily, not only are you spending excess money on said beverages there’s a good chance you aren’t supporting your health.
- Be Prepared – Maybe you love straws and aren’t quite ready to ditch them completely, in that case be prepared! Keep reusable or paper straws in your car, desk, purse, etc. I keep a set of stainless steel straws with me at all time, just incase I encounter a situation that requires a straw. While I prefer stainless steel (for durability and ease of use), you can also choose glass, bamboo and unbleached biodegradable paper straws for healthier options.
- BYOB – Yep. Bring your own beverage, ideally water. One thing that everyone notices about Ray and I, is that we always have our stainless steel insulated bottle of water and/or travel cup with us filled with purified, filtered water from home. I honestly cannot remember the last time we had to purchase a plastic bottle of water, let alone any beverage other than my treat-yo-self-Friday-black-coffee. When you run out of your from-home beverage get it refilled or find a glass option instead of plastic, always.
- If you Stand for Nothing, You’ll Fall for Anything – I know, life is busy. You hate having one more thing to think about, however, if we all don’t take a stand and say enough is enough, then there won’t be a healthy earth left for future generations. It’s not just plastic disposable straws it’s all the little things that we mindlessly consume without putting thought into where it came from and where it’s going. Take pride in your life, take pride in your choices, lead a life that you are proud of. Each and every single one of us can choose better! Are you part of the change our world needs or are you contributing to the problem, the choice is yours.
Eliminating single use plastic straws in our own personal lives (mine & hubby Ray) is an essential part of our healthy hydration lifestyle. Our passion for living a healthier, more sustainable and eco friendly lifestyle is what created this blog and my support for companies like Healthy Human. Small inexpensive investments have not only helped to hydrate our bodies in a healthy manner, but have reduced our environmental impact and saved us THOUSANDS of dollars by purifying our own tap water and taking it with us in healthy reusable vessels.
Be mindful of every plastic container, cup, straw, lid and disposable item you ‘consume.’ Choose stainless steel, glass and unbleached compostable items, use reusable not disposable and always, always, always recycle what you can.
What tips and tricks to you have to help transition away from single-use plastic disposable straws? Please comment with your suggestions, we’re all in this journey together!