Today I’m rounding out my week-long series on Earth Week, and how our family is reducing our footprint on this fragile planet, by talking all about reusable straws!
Recycling Disposable Straws
I had the idea for reusable straws several years ago when I realized that we were throwing away too many straws. However, I recently saw that City of Phoenix Waste Management recommends that you keep your disposable straw attached to the lid and throw it in the recycle bin that way. Otherwise, straws get lost in the commingled mess. That made me feel better about using disposable straws, but sometimes you don’t have a lid to throw away with it. Plus, think about where you are when you use a straw without a lid. You’re probably at a restaurant, right? You’re not the one to throw that straw away, the staff does that, and more than likely, it’s not going to get recycled.
There are many materials to choose from when shopping for reusable straws. I had a couple of stainless steel straws that I had tried out but didn’t like because they get really cold when you sip a cold drink from them, and it’s uncomfortable. I tried silicone straws, but the ones I bought were way to wide-gauged for everyday use, although they are great for shakes and smoothies. There are also hard plastic straws, but I’m trying to get away from plastic as much as possible. Another alternative is glass, but we are a dropsy family, so those could be dangerous. What I finally settled on was stainless steel straws with silicone tips to give your mouth a barrier to the cold steel.
Keeping Them Handy
The beauty of these straws is when you can refuse a straw from a business when you are out and about. That means that you have to keep them handy in your purse or car. I found a perfectly-sized resealable plastic bag that I use to keep my straws in my purse, otherwise they would never stay clean. I even had to add tape to my plastic bag because it developed a hole in the bottom. I’m pretty sure I’ll eventually have to find an alternative. Maybe I could use one of my produce bags! If you order the stainless straws below, they come with a bag, but I think I’d have to try it out to see if it can be closed tightly enough to keep out the lint.