Protecting Mother Nature From Straws

When I was in India recently, I used so many straws to drink coconut w  to the world’s plastic garbage problem in my face.  It also reminded me of a short article I wrote recently for one of our GreenFriends Newsletters.  I am going to reprint that article here both to give you information and to remind myself of the importance of changing my behavior. 

 Straws as Litter

(Reprinted)

by Karuna

Straws as Litter by Karuna   Photo Credit: Wikimedia Our last three newsletters have had one or more articles addressing the problem of plastic waste.  This article will report on one specific type of litter- plastic straws. A National Park Service report said that it is estimated that Americans use 500 million straws a day.  That averages 1.6 straws per person per day or 38,000 straws per person between the ages of 5 and 55 years.  648,015 volunteers participated in this year’s Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup day.  They covered 12,914 miles of coast and picked up 12,329,322 pounds of trash.  Straws were, and always are, in the top ten items. Straws can damage recycling machines so they usually end up in landfills, the ocean garbage patches or in the stomachs of seabirds, marine mammals or other birds and animals. In 2011, at 9 years of age, Milo Cress recognized the problem straws caused the environment and started his Be Straw Free campaign.  He has taken his message to national and international audiences.  Here is a message from Milo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQAXEFdQboc To learn more go to: http://ecocycle.org/bestrawfree. **** Consider making a decision to go straw-less or to substitute plastic straws with reusable ones.                                                         Simply Straws Reusable Glass StrawsStainless Steel Straws from Amazon.com To take Ocean Conservancy’s Last Straw Challenge go to: https://secure.oceanconservancy.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=795 Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

 

Our last three newsletters have had one or more articles addressing the problem of plastic waste. (To see those previous GreenFriends newsletters …August, September and October 2014…. look here.) This current article will report on one specific type of litter- plastic straws.

A U.S. National Park Service report said it is estimated that Americans use 500 million straws a day. That averages 1.6 straws per person per day or 38,000 straws per person between the ages of 5 and 55 years.

648,015 volunteers participated in this year’s Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup day. They covered 12,914 miles of coast and picked up 12,329,322 pounds of trash. Straws were, and always are, in the top ten items.  In 2014, they came in #5.

Straws can damage recycling machines so they usually end up in landfills, the ocean garbage patches or in the stomachs of seabirds, marine mammals or other birds and animals.

In 2011, at 9 years of age, Milo Cress recognized the problem straws caused the environment and started his Be Straw Free campaign. He has taken his message to national and international audiences. Here is a message from Milo:

To learn more go to: http://ecocycle.org/bestrawfree.

****

Consider making a decision to go straw-less or to substitute plastic straws with reusable ones.

 

Simply Straws Reusable Glass Straws
Simply Straws Reusable Glass Straws

 

Stainless Steel Straws from Amazon.com
Stainless Steel Straws from Amazon.com

 

The Ocean Conservancy asks us to take the following pledge:

The Last Straw Challenge

I pledge to skip the straw!

When eating out…

I pledge to ask my waiter or waitress to skip the straw! By taking part in the Last Straw Challenge, I can help prevent plastic straws from entering the ocean and our landfills.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]

 

To accept the Ocean Conservancy’s Last Straw Challenge click here.

*****

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16 thoughts on “Protecting Mother Nature From Straws

  1. I love drinking from straws, but I too have been concerned with the environmental impact. I’ve been using those stainless steel straws you pictured above for years. I also have a set of thicker ones for smoothies. I hadn’t thought about restaurant use though, so thank you for this reminder.

    Like

    1. I’m going to order some of the stainless steel ones this week. They sounded like the best alternative to me, because I also like to use straws. It seems like it would be easy enough to take them to restaurants too. I hadn’t thought about smoothies. I will look for the thicker ones too.

      Like

  2. Wow thats an amazing amount of straws.. We use far far too much plastic full stop.. We live in this throw away society . Plastic in everything. Its heartbreaking when you walk along a country lane and see the things discarded.. Plastic items being the main culprits ..
    great post
    Blessings Sue

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome post and good reminder. It immediately inspired a haiku,
    straws
    adding to clutter
    mindboggling

    but then it inspired me to write a haibun:) Thanks for the inspiration…have not had much time to write so reading through your blog has helped:) Namaste

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I am in India I notice they use them in places where they sell coconut water and also in sodas. In U.S. they use them wherever sodas and iced tea are sold. I know your name is Indian, but where do you live?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sorry but I cannot tell right now, because I don’t want to reveal too much relating to my identity online. But I do see them in every soda shop and Cafe in India. I can only imagine that they would be everywhere in America.

        Liked by 1 person

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