Have you ever given much thought to the all the plastic straws used when dining out? Or maybe you use plastic straws at home, too. True be told, plastic straws are everywhere. And I do mean everywhere! They are laying around on beaches (I've picked many of them up during beach cleanups), they are harming sea animals, and they sitting in landfills. Since they are made of plastic, they don't biodegrade, and due to the type of plastic they are made from they are not recyclable. They are an environmental nightmare is what they are. The problem here, too, is that it is estimated that 500 million plastic straws are used every day! It's estimated that the average person will use 38,000 straws in their lifetime. That's a lot of waste.
About a year and half ago, I stumbled across a video that made me cry. It also made me cut out using plastic straws at restaurants (which was the only place I was using them). Watch the video here and see for yourself and see how people are working to get a plastic straw out of the nose of a sea turtle.
I was so sad from watching that video, and determined to ditch plastic straws when dining out. About a decade ago I had purchased a set of stainless steel straws for home, but that still left me using plastic straws when dining out. I didn't want to take my reusable ones to the restaurant for fear I may walk out and leave them sitting in the glass. I also didn't want to go straw free, because I prefer using one. So I did some research to determine what I was going to do, and I came up with an idea.
On January 2017, one of my New Year's resolutions was to ditch plastic straws when dining out. I bought a box of 500 plain white paper straws from Aadvark Straws. It was important to me that the straws were made in the USA, so that they didn't have an additional carbon footprint from being made around the world and shipped over here. I bought in bulk, because I knew they would last me a long time. I then bought a travel toothbrush holder to use as a paper straw carrier. There are tiny holes at the ends of the case, so I covered them with a piece of tape. Bam! I had a paper straw carrier that was cheap, keeps them from being crushed, and holds about 10 straws.
Since January 1, 2017, I have taken my straws each time I dine out. Not only do I use them, but I offer them up to everyone at the table who I'm with. We are saving a lot of plastic straws! There have been a couple of times when it didn't work out, because the waitress brought my drink with the straw already in it and I didn't know ahead of time that would happen. But around 95% of the time, I get to use a paper straw, and I don't worry about leaving it behind. I've even shown my setup to numerous waiters and waitresses and they love it. I wish all restaurants would switch to paper straws (and eco friendly take out containers).
You can pick up Set of 8 Stainless Steel Straws cheap for at home and you can use them for many years. When you done with them they can go in the recycling bin, but they will last many years (I've been using mine a decade and they look good as new). They wash easy and are great! Buying the paper straws to carry in my purse gives me peace of mind that I'm doing one more small thing to help the environment and animals.
Below is a picture of my paper straw holder.