As promised and in keeping with our theme of “The Long Game” in this issue of ETM, we are posting about small things you can all easily do that will make a large positive collective impact for our environment.
This month’s environmentally-friendly life hack is inspired by an initiative from our local Girl Scout troop. A few weeks ago, while I was waiting for my Boba tea order, I was looking at the flyers posted on the bulletin in the shop and I spotted one which simply asked customers not to take a plastic straw for their Boba drink. A relatively small ask of most people frequenting the Boba Tea Shop. The Girl Scout troop who had posted this flyer had teamed up with The Last Plastic Straw.org. The goal is to limit the amount of single-use plastic straws that end up in our landfills and waterways. Additionally, the troop asked the Boba shop to sell packs of reusable straws to their customers to give them another opportunity to not take a single-use plastic straw. The Boba shop did exactly that. For a limited time, they are selling packs of reusable straws to their customers.
On that day, I did not take a plastic straw for my drink, nor have I since taken a single use plastic straw at any restaurant, tea house, or smoothie shop. And to be honest, it was not a difficult thing to give up. As for the rest of my family, my husband decided to jump on the bandwagon and my daughter had already gotten into the habit of not using straws since last year. Her school had a large “step away from plastics” awareness month and boy did that message sink in. She has been urging me ever since to reuse, reduce, and recycle the plastics that come through our household. She’s run a tight ship so far!
We now have a choice of metal, paper, or compostable straws at our house. And I make sure I have a small pack of reusable straws in my car so if we are out and about and happen to grab a drink on the go, we have our more earth-friendly straws at the ready. It’s a small gesture that can keep you from adding one more straw to the 500 million single-use plastic straws that are used and discarded every day in this country alone, and it is so easy to do!
The Last Plastic Straw is a project of the Plastic Pollution Coalition whose mission is to eliminate, from the source, single-use plastic pollution in our environment.
This is a very interesting and telling article from The Guardian about an all female scientific expedition to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and how much plastic waste we are exposed to every day through our air and water. Voyage to the Garbage Patch: the female sailors taking on plastic.