Straws. No, not the one used to make good old thatched roofs – but the ones we use to relish on our smoothies and other cold beverages. Such an insignificant lot, aren’t they? Well, you would think of them otherwise if you knew how much impact these wee things can lay upon our environment.
Surprised? You won’t be, if we told you about the sheer volume of plastic straws that gets dumped off in the sea, only to get swallowed by innocent sea creatures. Never imagined how something so insignificant can cause such harm? It’s unfortunate, but still true.
“What’s all the fuss over plastic straws?”
As much as 8 million tons of plastic gets tossed away each year across the globe, just like that, with no second thought about carbon footprints and the beauty and liveability of our planet. When it comes to plastic straws, studies show that about 8.5 billion plastic straws are used and discarded in the UK alone.
Now, imagine someone (or a group of people, if you may) barging into your ‘sweet home’ and dumping truckloads of garbage without as much as caring to explain why. You would definitely not be welcoming such a ‘guest’, would you? Punching them in the face would also seem to be a nice idea. Well, that’s the exact kind of treatment we have been giving our home, our planet. Yes, let that sink in.
“So, what can be done?”
Decisions, decisions! It doesn’t have to be as difficult as lifting Thor’s hammer or Captain America’s shield, though. All you have to do is take one small step towards an eco-friendly living in the form of purchasing best reusable straws (Yes, it’s that easy!). Don’t know where to start? Here are some alternatives:
- Glass Straws
If you ant to add some elegance to your dining table, glass straws may be your best bet. They are sleek, classy and glossy. There’s no reason not to love them!
- Bamboo Straws
When we talk eco-friendly, there can’t be any list with no bamboo on it. This super fast-growing plant is a great ingredient in the recipe for creating a greener planet. It’s durable, flexible, and great for use in the form of straws. Although bamboo straws tend to leave a green tint on the drinks, but then, it’s completely harmless.
- Metal Straws
Extremely durable, metal straws are perfect for use from Christmas to Halloween (Yes, that’s practically an entire year). You can easily add a splash of colour to your dining table with these metal straws. What’s more? You can use, re-use, and re-use, and re-use, and… Okay, we should probably stop talking now!
“Okay, so what are the benefits of these eco-friendly straws again?”
We can’t really stay mum if the above question just crossed your mind! Using eco-friendly and biodegradable straws comes with a wide range of benefits. The list is going to be longer than Rapunzel’s hair (No, we’re not being funny there), but we’ll try to keep it as short and simple as possible:
- They are cute
Well, we could have used any other sophisticated term here, like ‘aesthetically pleasing’ or ‘a feast for the eyes’, but since we are keeping it simple we would just call a spade, a spade (or in this case, a cute straw, a cute straw). Colourful, shiny, and photogenic, reusable metal straws can make any day seem like Christmas!
- They are safe and ease to use
Did you know that every time you sip your drinks with a plastic straw, some toxic chemicals enter your body and stay there? We bet you didn’t. Eco-friendly straws are made of natural materials, so they ensure that no nasty element enters your body and harms it. You can dispose bamboo and paper straws without worrying about the landfills. And if you are using one made of metal, you can just go ahead, give it a wash and it’ll be ready for use again. Convenient, isn’t it?
- They are portable
Packing plastic straws for a picnic has always been a Herculean task. Even if you handle them as carefully as the your last Rolo (one for the ages), they still end up all squished and distorted. Investing in a metal straw takes that responsibility off your shoulders (Phew!). Carry them in your bag, take them out when you need to sip on a drink, clean it and you’re done. Not a worry about adding to the plastic consumption either.
- They result in less waste in landfills
Millions of straws that get tossed away into landfills don’t disappear magically. Nor does the wizard from Bradford ‘Dynamo’ transport them into daisies. They lie in the landfills for years, contaminating not just the soil, but groundwater as well. Also, since it takes forever for plastic to get decomposed, it ends up making our home, our planet, dirtier than ever. You wouldn’t want to be responsible for that, would you?
Reusable straws like the ones made of metal are the best investment you can make today, because they ‘last’. By choosing to go green, you are not only reducing your carbon footprint, but you are also saving yourself some money. How’s that for an incentive?