As an avid wearer of red lipstick, I love a straw. It keeps my glass clean + my lipstick from smudging. Single-use straws can be a girl’s best friend. They are not a friend to the environment, however. Because plastic/BPA never breaks down, plastic straws can basically live forever in some form or the other. They’re also too small to be recycled + often fall through the cracks + end up in our oceans to be swallowed by sea creatures. ?
You may be thinking that straws are small + couldn’t really be causing that much damage, but every straw adds up. In the US alone, 500 million single-use straws are used EVERY DAY! That’s enough straws to fill 125 school buses. Though they’re small, single-use straws + stirrers account for 7.5% of the plastic in the environment. Do we really need that many straws? Corporations, local governments, and even foreign countries don’t seem to think so. Universities, ballparks, museums, and even airlines have started to get rid of single-use straws. Some cities + countries have even banned them altogether.
It’s great that countries + businesses are taking a stand against this nuisance, but what exactly can you do? You’re just one person + straws add such convenience to your life. I’m not here to suggest you give up single-use straws completely. For some people, not using a straw isn’t an option. I’m just proposing we all be a little more cognizant of our consumption + exhausting the available alternatives at our disposal (pun intended).
How to Survive Without Single-Use Straws
- Use paper straws. They’re still single-use straws, but they biodegrade + are super cute.
- Try hyper-biodegradable straws like these that are edible.
- Purchase reusable straws. FinalStraw even comes in a case for your keychain so you always have it. You can also get steel, glass, and even reusable plastic.
- Ask Starbucks for a sippy lid or just skip the single-use straw at the drive-thru.
- Buy a cute reusable cup that comes with its own straw. Here’s my latest one – I have a cup hoarding problem.
- If you have to get a single-use straw, use it more than once. It’s plastic after all.
- Take existing straws + upcycle them into something new. That travel container hack is genius + I will totes be trying it.
- Ditch them cold turkey.
I was lucky enough to get a straw in my last FabFitFun box + I keep paper straws in my desk at work. That doesn’t keep me from ever getting a straw, though. That’s why this month, I’m doing a No Straw September. Understanding when + how many single-use straws I actually go through will hopefully be the kick in the pants I need to see this straw-reduced life through.