Change your view on straws

I was sitting at a restaurant drinking a cool refreshing beverage. I sipped the liquid up the straw and rejoiced in the taste as it filled my mouth. Suddenly it occurred to me…here’s an opportunity for change!

All plastics are made from oil based products.  The scary part is when you look around and see how much of our daily lives are made of plastic. The oil/fossil fuel/climate change problem is bigger than the gas we put in our car – SO MUCH BIGGER!

Every piece of plastic is part of the problem.

(Note: This is funny. A friend of mine said that if I keep putting up such controversial posts, I would lose my readership and nobody would hire me to come speak to their group of organization. Wow….wanting to making things better is controversial now?  Who knew.)

But we have really gotten use to all o9f our plastic stuff, I mean looking at children’s toys (especially toddlers).  I know what you’re thinking…great Chad, now you want me to get rid of all of my plastic stuff?  Not really…as much as it would be a good idea, I can’t do that so I’m not going to ask anyone else to do it either.

Let’s start small….because the small things are the most numerous, and they are often not on our radar at all…because they are so small. When you friend sits in a plastic chair, you look the chair up and down and think…wow, that’s a lot of oil use. But it’s not like you’re going to try to eradicate plastic chairs.

Let’s think…what is small, extremely numerous, made of plastic, and billions are used everyday and thrown away like they are nothing?

That brings me back to the original story of me sitting at the restaurant…..plastic straws.

I got up from my seat and asked the restaurant manger how many boxes of plastic straws he goes through on a daily basis. He didn’t know but he did know that every week he has to stock up on straws and he buys 5 boxes a week and 500 comes in each box….that means his little restaurant (since it’s not one of the big chains…that’s another blog post) uses 2500 straws per week or 10,000 per month or 120,000 per year. Wow!  That’s 102,500 feet of straws….and this guy is only open from 5am-2pm. Imagine what a big chain like Chillis, Applebees, or even McDonalds is using on a daily basis.

So small…..a very very big problem when you’re looking at billions, possibly trillions per year being used and disposed of every day. Remember…nobody recycles straws.  They are recyclable however!

I mean have we lost the ability to lift a glass to our mouth?

Here is a great place to start creating positive change with this issue.

1. I went researching and this is already a cause that is being taken up (this was a relief since I previously thought that nobody cared). Please go to this website and sign the petition and send it to all of your friends.

2. Visit this site and see the alternatives to using straws and some ideas of what you can do.

A scary fact off of that website:

More than 500 million disposable plastic straws are used in the United States every day and would fill more than 127 school buses daily, or more than 46,400 school bus loads per year. (40ft. – long buses)*




3. Stop using straws and begin asking restaurants that you frequent to stop using straws or at least educating their customers on the use of straws.   You could create flyers and ask your local restaurants to post it about straws.

4. Real change – You can contact a chain, or if you know someone who works at a change…contact them, and ask them to reduce the use or recycle them or eliminate straws altogether.  I mean we use and reuse silverware, why couldn’t we create durable straws and use and reuse them?

This is your campaign and this is your change to make.

Change comes in ways that we often don’t see. There are ways to improve our world all over the place, all we have to do is look around. The smallest items are often the ones that go unnoticed, but are clogging our landfills, our lungs, and our bodies the most.

There was a time that a small amount of ddt(a deadly chemical) was used in pesticides and home spraying…this little amount was killing people.  There was a big campaign and now DDT deaths are almost nonexistent…but it took a lot of people to change it.  You are one of those people!

No matter what, when in doubt look to the past and see what use to be “normal”….all the changes were made by peopel who took that cause on their shoulders. You can too!


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