Sustainable Saturday – Stop Sucking

Photo courtesy of Lonely Whale and Adrian Grenier’s Instagram

Have you heard of the #stopsucking campaign? It a challenge and a movement to stop using single use plastic straws, and it has some celebrity power behind it too. If you’re a fan of the show Entourage, you may have heard Adrian Grenier talk about this. 

Anyway, refusing a plastic straw is actually easier to do so than you think! I haven’t used a plastic straw since January, and that was only by mistake. I’ll share my tips on how to #stopsucking below.

But first, let’s get into some ugly, straw related facts…

  1. 500 MILLION straws are used DAILY in the United States.
  2. Every minute, the equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into the ocean. Each year, between 8 to 12 million metric tons of plastic trash enters the global ocean.
  3. Plastic never disappears but instead breaks down into small pieces known as “microplastics.” These microplastics have been found in the deepest part of our ocean.
  4. Plastic straws are consistently among the top 10 items found during beach cleanups around the world and nearly all plastic straws are NOT recyclable.
  5. Compostable plastic straws are NOT a universally suggested alternative to plastic. Why? Because if a compostable plastic straw ends up in the water, it will act the same way as a regular plastic straw.
  6. Compostable plastics need to undergo the industrial composting process to ensure that they are not harmful when they reach the water. Many cities don’t have industrial composting and even in those cities that do, it requires individuals to dispose of compostable plastic straws properly.

Ok so by now we understand that plastic is toxic to make, never biodegrades, and is harmful to human and animal life as well.

So what can you do to help?

  • First, accept the challenge to #stopsucking. This can be a public statement via the Strawless Ocean campaign, your own social media, or just a pledge you commit to personally.
  • After you’ve accepted the challenge, it’s time to put it into practice. Anytime you’re out, the only thing you have to do is #refusethestraw. Whether you’re getting iced coffee with friends or out to eat, or even having cocktails during happy hour, simply say “I don’t need a straw” when ordering your drink. If you are out getting coffee and you’re using your own reusable cup, this should be pretty easy for you.
  • If you’re germaphobic or have some kind of condition that requires the use of a straw, simply obtain some reusable ones. There are many stainless steel, glass and bamboo options out there. I’ve included links to some on Amazon for your convenience. If you already have some plastic reusable straws at home like I do, don’t toss them out. Use those instead of the single use plastic straws. And don’t forget, just like our reusable shopping bags, it’s a good idea to keep some reusable straws in your purse, laptop bag, backpack, workout bag, glove box/console, etc. so you always have one on hand.
  • If you’re already #strawless or carrying your own with you, level up by talking with management at your local coffee shops, restaurants and/or bars about them ditching the single use plastic straws too. Many cities are banning these straws (here’s just one example) and you encourage the businesses in your city to do so too. It all starts with a conversation. But keep in mind that plastic awareness is still relatively new to many parts of the world.

Another thing to keep in mind is to not get upset if you forget to refuse the straw in the beginning, just like everything else, it takes practice. Like I keep saying, it’s not about perfection, but doing your best.

If you #refusethestraw, but still receive one, you have the opportunity to open up a discussion about it. First, understand that mistakes happen and this could be a brand new movement in your area. I never advise being a jerk to others, so gently remind your barista, server, or bartender that you would like to go #strawless. It may be too late for this specific moment, but by reminding them of this, and maybe speaking to why you’re going strawless, you can present the information in a positive manner, which will will help them remember not to serve you a straw going forward (at least for this visit). We had a great conversation with our server last night at PF Chang’s as he was confused as to why 3 of us were refusing the straw. This opened up a great discussion and allowed us to help educate him on a topic he had no awareness of. And by the end of our meal, when I refused the plastic take out bag, he smiled and said “I almost forgot”.

Have patience, be the change you wish to see, and help influence others with your own practices. The more I #refuse the straw, the more those around me do too. I don’t pressure them to do this, because no one wants that. Instead, I provide info when I’m asked and I don’t judge others on their own actions. Some people aren’t ready for change, and that’s ok. Just do you and soon, you’ll notice that others are following in your footsteps.

You have a bigger impact than you know!

I’ve signed up for this #stopsucking challenge and you can too! Just click this link to do so. And #stopsucking isn’t the only #strawless campaign out there. You can also #bestrawfree, and I’m sure there are many other campaigns out there too. You can even start your own!!

So, if you’ve read this entire blog and agree to #gostrawless, comment down below or on the Sage & Crow Instagram or Facebook page with a little fish emoji and tell us that you have committed to #stopsucking!

As always, I’m sending you all the love!

~Stephani

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

0

Your Cart