Straws Are For Suckers

So we all know that plastic plays a significant role in our carbon footprint.

Whole cities, like San Francisco, Washington D.C., and San Jose have banned plastic bags from their grocery stores.  Montgomery County Maryland, the 49th largest populated county, just north of the Nation’s Capital, with a 1.3 residents went bag free in 2012 and more and more counties and municipalities are following suite every year – 100+ at last count.

Even my college, Washington University in St Louis eliminated all bottled water sales on campus. People seem to be getting it.

Plastic is used in many productive ways, but many of them are unnecessary.   In the U.S. without government stepping-in, the only way we can reduce manufacturing demand for these not too smart uses for is by pairing down our demand for life’s little plastic conveniences.

So how about the most superfluous plastic product out there: the drinking straw? Ever consider reusable straws?

Okay, so there isn’t a lot of research on the environmental impact of drinking straws. But they are made out of polypropylene, a petroleum bi-product harmful to both the environment and our bodies. And with approximately 25% of our landfill waste being filled with plastics, in addition to the massive amounts of energy that goes into production, packaging and shipment, wouldn’t it be the easiest thing on the planet to just stop using plastic straws?

That’s it. Just stop using them.  

OK, it’s a small step for mankind, but combined with all the other things you are doing to green your lifestyle, this will  add to your reduced carbon footprint.

Why Reusable Straws?

Using a straw is not going to save you from any bacteria in your drink, and it’s also proven to cause wrinkles around your lips to the likes of smoking wrinkles.

So unless you cannot drink without one (in that case, please disregard this point-of-view), next time you’re at a restaurant and the waiter brings over your drink make sure to say “no straw please.”

In fact, tell the counter person to also skip the lid as well!  Why do you need a large plastic lid if you’re drinking it there!

For those of you who just can’t cut the habit just yet, consider glass drinking straws.

Dharma makes glass straws in several lengths and diameters for prices starting a $7. I realize it’s a little more expensive than the 100 straw package for $1.99, but if you’re an avid straw user you will definitely get your money’s worth and consider it an extra dollar or two for a good cause. Plus it’s a better experience drinking through a more substantial, better constructed item.

Glass Dharma Beautiful Bends 9.5mm Drinking Straws, Set of 4 with Brush or Glass Dharma 9.5mm Beautiful Bends Glass Drinking Straw or Glass Dharma 12mm Beautiful Bends Glass Drinking Straw or Glass Dharma Beautiful Bends 12mm Drinking Straws, Set of 4 with Brush

So give reusable straws a serious consideration. You’ll get plenty of use from them and its one small step towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Go green with reusable straws.

Suckers !

green writer samantha frapartEditor’s pick of other great Green Blizzard thought-provoking articles: Spring Gardening In A Low Carbon Way,  Green Valentines Day, and Hot Water Conservation Tips.


About the author

Samantha Frapart

Samantha was the first staff writer at Green Blizzard, way back during the start-up phase, and has written a series of fresh and spirited articles from the millennial's perspective. Samantha's portfolio of green living tips ranges from green apartment living, urban transportation options, green underwear choices, re-usable coffee cups, bathroom habits, and even…. drinking straws.