It’s National “Skip the Straw Day” the 4th Friday in February.
Have you ditched using plastic straws yet? Well, today is the right time to give it a go for 2019.
According to Treehuggers.com, the good news is, you don’t need a straw! You can return to the old-fashioned act of sipping — you know…”pick up the glass and tip it back as our parents taught us to do when we four or five. It may take some practice and maybe both hands.”
Business owners can check out alternatives like Aardvark paper straws or opt out of offering straws at all, except upon request, at which point the paper straws come out. Individuals can stock up on reusable straws made from glass, stainless steels, or bamboo, keeping one handy in a purse.
My quest from almost a year ago has been fairly easy, most people at least seem aware that it’s an option to NOT have a straw, people still give us funny looks at restaurants sometimes but we are pretty sure it’s just because they don’t have fun party straws coming out of their drinks like we do at our table. On a recent trip to New York, we noticed that most of the restaurants simply don’t offer the option of straw and that’s a great trend. I do like to have a nice variety of straws in my purse which consists of a bent stainless steel, 3-4 plastic and my shortie silicone one along with several paper straws. These usually go to people to use when I’m out to lunch with friends. I get a few colors so I’m always ready for whatever holiday might be nearby.
How to stop the cycle of one-use plastic straws
On Mother’s Day, my daughter was dutifully collecting all the straws from the table of 12 after our celebration brunch. I have always recycled since back in the ’70s but I DO use straws, I do put them in the recycle but didn’t ever think much about it. She told me… No Mom, it’s a big deal, they can’t really be recycled well, they are a one use plastic that is filling up all the landfills, they never break down they get into the water system and eventually to the ocean. So, I started studying. Sure enough, she’s right! It’s cool when the kids you raised start teaching you things when they are adults. She got me started with this Mama Needs Some Wine glass and straw. ( I drink my white wine with ice and fruit so yes, I really do drink wine through a straw!)
I am completely addicted to straws, I almost never drink anything without one.
So I began my search for suitable replacements. I read lots of bloggers talking about this topic but unfortunately, the new blogger deal is to just promote any options and not to actually buy and test things so after reading I realized I was just going to have to bite the bullet and try some out. Below are my results and some ways to handle not using multiple straws a day.
Reusable Straws at Starbucks
Starbucks has always been into recycling and the environment as a company and will let you use any of their cups, thermos’ or plastic cold drink cups to get a drink and they give you a .10 bonus. So, when I have a drink inside I just don’t get a straw and use one from my pouch in my purse. Most of the straws I found on Amazon come with a nice drawstring pouch. If you go through a drive-through at Starbucks or any fast food spot, just say no straw please…. if they look at you funny, and most do I just say… “Trying to do my part to save the planet.” If they think I’m a nut job I don’t really care, it wouldn’t be the first, and it just may get them thinking too.
I already have a few reusable straws from Starbucks that I use quite a bit. They have a green plastic straw and a stainless steel straw. Starbucks no longer sells online but you can pick some up at the coffee shop or on Amazon here. This set of 2 comes with a cleaning brush as well. FINALLY!
Stainless Steel Straws
I actually do like drinking cold drinks from a stainless steel straw, and some folks who want to preserve their newly whitened teeth use them to drink hot coffee too. I prefer the ones with the bend now that I have plenty of cleaning brushes.
Do you remember seeing the “Amazon Choice” options? This is different from the promoted ads at the top, they are the one’s Amazon gets the fewest returns from and the best reviews. Those are always the first ones I try.
The first stainless steel set I tried was this one. This set has 8 straws, 4 bent 4 straight and are 10.5 inch long.
The other issue with reusable plastic straws is the question of health and plastic coming in contact with your food. So, if you don’t like the idea of stainless steel particularly for your children you next will explore the BPA Free options.
This is the set my daughter bought and she shared a few with me. They are Food Grade Plastic. BPA Free, Eco-friendly, BPS Free, Phthalate Free, PVC Free, Non-Toxic, Non-Leaching and Super Cute Reusable Straws.
The next type of straw I needed to try were ones designed for smoothies.
Reusable Smoothie Straws
I tried these first but found them really hard to drink through. Whether it’s the fatter size, the bend in them or the silicone I don’t know but I wouldn’t recommend them. The company did offer me an immediate replacement or a credit and let me keep them so I have given them out to friends to try too.
Reusable Smoothie Straws – Click here to order
This is the order I chose to replace the set above. They aren’t smoothie straws but a nice selection of bent silicone and stainless steel options with cleaning brushes. I’ve also found these cleaning brushes very handy for other purposes like cleaning out hummingbird feeder tubes and someone in a review said they work amazingly well to clean out hairbrushes. I honestly haven’t found a reusable smoothie straw I like yet, so if you have a suggestion please let me know in the comments or on social.
I carry this pouch with a variety of straws in my purse or car all the time so I never have to break down and use a one use one. And you know what else if it happens that I forget to bring one with me I actually go without! It’s been a few weeks since I made the change and they say it takes 30 days to change a habit and I think I’m on track.
Short Reusable Straws
One of my favorite cocktails and mocktails is a Moscow Mule and I used to cut plastic straws in half but I am using what I have but I’ll run out of those soon. So I went on a search for shorter straws I could use.
- 100% Silicone
- Dishwasher safe
- BPA Free
- Microwave safe (I’m not sure why you would microwave them but…)
They are 3 different lengths so you can use in a variety of sizes of cups or glasses. I like the shortest one with my favorite Moscow Mule Cups. This set of straws are actually refills for these tumblers with straws for kids.
I was proud that I remembered to have my straws in my purse for the first time drinking my favorite summertime drink. skinny caramel macchiato at Starbucks.
Biodegradable Paper Straws
I also have several paper straws tucked into my purse at all times to give to people I might be sharing a meal with and I like them to be cute too. My current favorites are these gold & pink fun paper straws on Amazon! Aren’t they cute!?
I try to check to see if the packaging on the reusable straws is also eco- friendly, and this pack of 200 straws in fun colored stripes comes in a paper box. No plastic in sight!
I absolutely fell in love with this set of blue, seafoam green cream and gold, the only problem was that I didn’t check the packaging before I clicked the BUY button and they come wrapped in plastic. I did leave a review letting them know the reason we are now buying paper straws is to get away from one-use plastics!
I hope my honest thoughts on reusable straws help you find some that will work for you, help save the planet and be healthier by not be having plastic come in contact with your mouth on a constant basis. If you have any favorites please share your thoughts with me in the comments or on social.