It’s day two of the zero waste challenge! The beginning of the challenge focuses on simple swaps. We’re currently addressing the big four.
These are four items that create a lot of waste that’s fairly easy to avoid. Today, I challenge you to ask for no straw with your drink order.
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Did you know in the U.S. alone, over 500 million straws are used every single day? That’s an average of 1.6 straws per person. The saddest part is a lot of that straw use is unnecessary.
Plastic straws are not recyclable. Almost no curbside program accepts them.
If your curbside recycling program doesn’t take straws and you include them anyway, you are creating contamination. This can cost cities millions of dollars per year to remove.
Today’s straws are made from polypropylene, a plastic known by the number 5 in the resin identification code. While this resin number is normally easier to recycle, that’s not so for straws.
On top of this, it takes a lot of energy and resources to produce all these single use straws. If it only takes one day to use 500 million straws, just think about the amount of resources that takes.
Thankfully, it’s really simple to refuse single use straws. Typically, most straws are used at a restaurant setting, so it’s unlikely you’ll take the straw home with you.
When the waiter asks you at a bar, or restaurant, “what would you like to drink today?”, you say “I’ll have a (insert drink here), no straw please.”
It’s that simple. Of course, sometimes you will still get a straw, even if you asked not to have one. That’s just a part of life. So, if you get one, don’t be upset, don’t make a big scene. Just be polite.
That said, a good portion of the time, you won’t get a straw in your drink when you ask. Which is great, because you’ll help reduce some of that straw waste.
If someone asks you why you don’t want a straw in your drink, use it as a time to spread the message of the zero waste movement. It can a real conversation starter!
If you like straws, there are reusable straws such as glass, stainless steel, bamboo and silicone.
Check out this post with a detailed explanation with pros and cons for each type of reusable straw and take the cheeky quiz which reusable straw is right for you?
Stainless steel: Use with caution on hot beverages, recyclable, super durable, great for messy purses, modern sleek look, dishwasher safe.
Bamboo: Great for hot or cold drinks, compostable, great for kids and parties, naturally antibacterial, dishwasher safe.
Glass: Great for hot or cold drinks, recyclable, clear which makes it easy to clean, smoothie straw options, tons of fun colors, dishwasher safe.
Silicone: Super soft and no risk of hurting yourself, great for kids, good for hot or cold drinks, tons of fun colors, long lasting, dishwasher safe.
Personally, I love glass straws because you can “see the clean” and they also make some great smoothie straw options.
Also, if you love drinking bubble tea, they make stainless steel boba straws that are wide enough for the tapioca balls. I love my boba straws!!
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take the challenge:
Practice your normal drink order 20-30 times out loud so saying, “No Straw” at the end becomes habit. The next time you’re out of the house and order something to drink ask for no straw!
Just starting out? Have 1,000 burning questions!? Get access to my private Facebook group, where I’ll be hosting weekly lives throughout the challenge and I answer all of your most pressing questions.
miss a day?
- Day 1: Buy Less
- Day 2: Say No to Straws
- Day 3: Bring Your Own Reusable Water Bottle
- Day 4: Zero Waste Coffee
- Day 5: How to Actually Remember to Bring Your Bags to the Grocery Store
- Day 6: Use Real Stuff
- Day 7: Zero Waste Snacks
- Day 8: Declutter Your Life the Zero Waste Way
- Day 9: The Ultimate Guide to Zero Waste Cleaning
- Day 10: How to Compost
- Day 11: Conserve Natural Resources
- Day 12: Pick Up Litter
- Day 13: Zero Waste Grocery Shopping
- Day 14: Fight Food Waste
- Day 15: Meal Prep
- Day 16: Repair Something
- Day 17: Pack a Zero Waste Lunch
- Day 18: Use Cloth Napkins
- Day 19: Bring Home Leftovers
- Day 20: Zero Waste Dishwashing
- Day 21: Recycle the RIGHT Way!
- Day 22: Zero Waste Toilet Paper
- Day 23: Reduce Waste in Your Beauty Routine
- Day 24: Vote with Your Dollars
- Day 25: Be Prepared
- Day 26: Stop Junk Mail
- Day 27: Shop Secondhand
- Day 28: Shop Local
- Day 29: Start a Local Zero Waste Group
- Day 30: Get Involved in Local Government
- Day 31: Do a Trash Audit