Reduce and Reuse: Your Carbon Footprint and Reusable Straws
One Small Reusable Straw Can Make A Difference
The Deepening Environmental Impact
Let’s put into perspective how damaging single-use plastic straws actually are to our world. Currently, in the USA, alone, approximately 500 million straws are used every single day. This statistic is even more worrying when we consider what happens to all these straws that are thrown away carelessly.
Since plastic straws cannot be recycled in most cases, they end up being dumped in landfills and the ocean. When plastic straws do eventually begin to degrade, they break down into ever smaller particles that permeate into the soil, air, and water, resulting in the release of harmful chemicals that adversely impacts the overall environment.
BENEFITS OF REUSABLE STRAWS
The need to switch to reusable straws is more dire now than ever before. Here are three compelling reasons why you should change your approach and opt for environmentally-friendly straw options:
1. REUSABLE STRAWS PROTECT MARINE LIFE
Approximately 8 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans annually, with 1.15 to 2.41 tons of it being carried into major rivers and waterways around the world. The impact of plastic pollution is so severe at the moment that scientists predict there will be more plastic by weight than fish in the oceans by 2050.
Reusable straws may not completely stem the flow of ocean-bound plastics, but they offer an easy way to do your part and make a difference in reducing waste plastic.
2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Alarmingly, only 9 percent of the 8.3 billion tons of plastic ever produced has been recycled. Since plastic straws are not good candidates for recycling, most, if not all of it, ends up as waste. Making the switch to reusable straws can help reduce the number of plastic straws damaging the environment, encourages reusability, and reduces demand for products that cannot be recycled.
RELATED: How to recycle used coffee grounds
3. Better Tasting Beverages
Did you know that plastic items like spoons, cups, and straws have been demonstrated to worsen the flavor of food and drinks? Using high-quality reusable straws can negate this effect and leave you with a better-tasting beverage, while you also do your part to save the environment!
WHAT STRAWS ARE BEST FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?
Reusable straws can be made of all kinds of materials. So long as they are long-lasting and can biodegrade safely or can be recycled, they are better environmentally-friendly candidates than single-use plastic straws. Below are a few examples of reusable straws that you can search out to enjoy your next beverage - guilt-free!
BEST REUSABLE STRAWS TO DRINK COFFEE
Stainless steel straws are a great way to enjoy cold coffee in particular. Metal is one of the best materials when it comes to retaining flavor and providing a pure coffee experience. It is extremely durable, and as an added benefit, metal reusable straws can be washed easily.
Just note that if your coffee is piping hot, you should take caution when using metal straws as the metal can heat up and be hot to the touch.
2. Bamboo Straws
Add a touch of fun to your coffee drinking experience with some gorgeous bamboo straws. Not only are bamboo straws reusable, but bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants on earth, making it a sustainable material.
One of the defining characteristics of bamboo reusable straws is the fact that they can be reused hundreds, if not thousands of times. When the straw reaches the end of its lifecycle, it is both compostable and biodegradable, leaving no waste behind.
3. Glass Straws
Glass reusable straws are another great option for coffee lovers as it does not alter the flavor of the beverage. These straws are also extremely temperature-resistant and will not shatter, melt, or crack when exposed to varying temperatures – perfect for those who love their coffee boiling hot or ice-cold!
Just be certain to treat glass straws with caution as they can break if they are dropped.
Silicone reusable straws are another great option out there right now. Available in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, these straws are extremely durable, insulate against hot and cold beverages, and are simple to clean.
The only real drawback is that silicone can sometimes pick up the flavor of hot drinks, so be certain to wash your straw thoroughly between uses.
The Straw’s the Limit
Given the impact that single-use plastic straws are having on the environment, it’s time to do our part and consider environmentally friendlier options. With so many types of reusable straws on the market, it’s easier than ever to find a style, material, and design that fits your tastes to a tee. For coffee lovers, the added incentive of using reusable straws to preserve the integrity of your coffee’s flavor is also a strong reason to switch over.
Remember, if a lot of people partake in small actions, together, we can make a real difference!