Straws: The Habit We Need to Break

I went to go meet a friend the other day for a drink and I'm usually really good about saying no straw, no napkin when I go out, but I forgot this time. The waitress came back with my water which had a straw in it. I looked at the glass of water, and the straw became magnified. Why do we even need to serve water with a straw? I can't think of any good reasons. If I had a health issue that prevented me from picking up the glass and getting it to my mouth, that would justify the use of a straw. Even then, I could use a reusable straw and save the disposable one. I took the straw out of my water and put it in my purse...another puzzle for me to solve.

MacDonald's alone uses about 60 million straws a day globally, and it is said the United States uses 500 million straws a day. A lot of these come in paper/plastic wrap that are not largely recycled either. Many straws are made from polypropylene (#5) which is a petroleum bi-product and because they are not stamped with the #5 plastic symbol, they are not recyclable.

Where do these straws end up?

In our landfills and in our waterways...a great ingredient for our plastic soup. The environmental cost for this habit is huge.

Milo Cress, at 9 years old started the Be Straw Free Compaign; it helps people take action and reduce the use of disposable straws. The restaurant industry is a big one to tackle in regards to reducing straws. I went to Tao Organics for lunch and to my surprise the smoothies came with reusable straws!! They also give you a dollar if you bring them a glass jar. And they don't just "recycle" them...they recycle them by sanitizing them and reusing them for their juices. It's great when restaurants take initiative to change our habits when dining out. If you work in a restaurant a great way to help out is to offer your guests a straw before giving them one by default. Even if one person says no to a plastic straw, it makes a difference.

Back to my straw...

I pulled out a box from my drawer because I wanted to grab a particular necklace to wear, but it was all tanged with my other necklaces. I was annoyed and was wishing there was some way for me to stop the cycle of my  tangled up jewellery. I would love to retrieve each piece as I need it - minus the 20 minutes of untangling. Oh snaps! I thought about the straw that's been haunting me for the last couple days.

Here is how I upcycled it:

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All you need is:

  • a straw - (an accidental straw in most cases)
  • two nails
  • a hammer:

Step 1: Hammer each end of the straw into the wall but don't hammer the nail in all the way..only about half way so you can pull the straw away from the wall to give you room to wrap your jewellery around the straw.

Hammering nail on the end of the straw. 

Hammering nail on the end of the straw. 

Step two: Untangle all your jewellery. 

Sliding the straw away from the wall to create space

Sliding the straw away from the wall to create space

Step 3: Hang jewellery off the straw that you have now saved from the landfill!