As you can also see in the above video: Plastic Paradise – Where Can We Go From Here, plastic is a huge environmental problem and really harms the ecosystem, but what can one do?
This is where the ecogal Challenge of the Month comes in: we invite you join us in avoiding single-use plastic straws. It’s a little step but an important one. Try it for just one month, and then decide if you can continue in time.
Just by not using the plastic straws you are also saving the plastic used to package them: the thin plastic doesn’t get recycled and ends up in the landfill along with the straws.
Furthermore, you will bring awareness around you on the plastic issue just by asking the waiters not to bring them and why. One person and one straw at the time, we can change things to the better. It’s important that the straws do not arrive in or with your glass, or they will be thrown and wasted anyway.
The easiest and most natural alternative is of course just drinking from the glass directly and savor your drinks without the interference of the plastic on the way to your mouth…
There are actually alternatives to single-use straws: reusable straws such as glass, bamboo, stainless steel, or disposable papaya stems, instead of plastic. But let’s be honest: we do not really need straws in order to drink, do we?
I some cases, like with frozen drinks, you can just use a teaspoon or drink more slowly – which also prolongs the enjoyment factor.
We don’t need to be fanatic about it
If you save 100 straws then by all means do have that occasional drink with the straw, if it is important and just right.
What matters is to change the habit overall, a little occasional exception won’t hurt. And you may soon find that reusable or ecological straws get more available around: because that is also a change: let’s remember that we vote with our dollars, and any business is eager to sell and have happy customers. So if the demand is to get more sustainable straws they will quickly pick it up and start proposing those.
Cheers and enjoy your straw-less drinks!
And better still: in a real glass-glass or a real cup, no plastic.
Find out more:
Rise Above Plastic Great tips and information on plastic, what to do & grassroots campaign at Surfrider.org
Ten Ways To Rise Above Plastics
Here are ten easy things you can do to reduce your ‘plastic footprint’ and help keep plastics out of the marine environment:
- Choose to reuse when it comes to shopping bags and bottled water. Cloth bags and metal or glass reusable bottles are available locally at great prices.
- Refuse single-serving packaging, excess packaging, straws and other ‘disposable’ plastics. Carry reusable utensils in your purse, backpack or car to use at bbq’s, potlucks or take-out restaurants.
- Reduce everyday plastics such as sandwich bags and juice cartons by replacing them with a reusable lunch bag/box that includes a thermos.
- Bring your to-go mug with you to the coffee shop, smoothie shop or restaurants that let you use them. A great wat to reduce lids, plastic cups and/or plastic-lined cups.
- Go digital! No need for plastic cds, dvds and jewel cases when you can buy your music and videos online.
- Seek out alternatives to the plastic items that you rely on.
- Recycle. If you must use plastic, try to choose #1 (PETE) or #2 (HDPE), which are the most commonly recycled plastics. Avoid plastic bags and polystyrene foam as both typically have very low recycling rates.
- Volunteer at a beach cleanup. Surfrider Foundation Chapters often hold cleanups monthly or more frequently.
- Support plastic bag bans, polystyrene foam bans and bottle recycling bills.
- Spread the word. Talk to your family and friends about why it is important to Rise Above Plastics!
More at Surfrider.org
See what they are doing in Bali: Ending Plastic Pollution in Bali: Reusable Bags and Straws on Ethical Foods.com
Thanks to Glenn and Gaia’s commitment to keeping Bali beautiful, well over a million plastic straws could potentially be diverted from the island’s iconic beaches in the next year alone.
Take action with Plastic Paradise.
Shifting our behavior can start with you! If we all just did our part and REFUSE before we Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, not only will we be more mindful for our environment, but for ourselves as well.
Follow our campaign for Refill and Reuse water bottles (and no straws attached!)