This is our first Earth Day Challenge!
This one is pretty simple - say no to straws. (But, let's be honest, all of these challenges are going to be really simple. It's an easy way to jump into plastic-lite living / saving the world.)
Americans use 500 million single-use plastic straws every day. That's 182,500,000,000 each year or roughly 1.6 straws for every person, every day.
It adds up to a huge problem, which is largely unnecessary. Of course, many people need straws to drink due to certain medical conditions. This post is in no way meant to shame anyone or call for the removal of all straws ever.
It's simply for those of us who are able bodied to take a second and think - do I need a plastic straw?
When I got out to eat, I normally ask for my water with no ice and no straw.
Of course, if you really like straws they make a number of reusable options. They have glass, bamboo, silicone, and stainless steel. Some bend, some twirl, and some stand up straight - there's a reusable straw for everyone.
My favorite reusable straws are glass straws! With glass straws, you can see how clean they are.
When you buy reusable straws, they often come with cleaning brushes so you don't have to worry about leftover smoothie getting stuck on the inside.
For the rest of April, get in the habit of asking for no straw with your order.
If you don't like not having a straw, order a few online. They are relatively inexpensive around $5 for a pack of four, and get in the habit of carrying the straws with you while out - just slip one in your bag!
Are you a no straw master?
Take on the advanced challenge. I Challenge you to email 5 local restaurants and ask that they change their policy to straws on request ONLY.
This means in order to get a straw someone has to ask for one. They aren't automatically placed in the drinks.
This will significantly reduce the amount of straws given out on a day to day basis. If you want to take it even further, since the requests for straws will plummet the restaurant will be saving quite a bit of money.
To reduce the amount of plastic even further, you could ask that they use those savings to invest in paper straws that are biodegradable instead of plastic.
Which challenge are you taking? Tweet us @pelacase and let us know!