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I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about plastic straws lately either in the news, on social media or maybe from me.  🙂

So, I figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to provide some info about why they have such a bad rap AND how you can cut down on using them with these alternatives to plastic straws.

How Many Straws Do We Use?

Check out this statistic…

Last year it’s estimated that Americans used over 500 million straws EVERY DAY!  What the *^#@??!!!

This is amazing – and not in a good way. :-0

If you think about it, every time you go to a fast-food restaurant, a regular restaurant, or even a coffee shop you are probably getting a plastic straw.

Although, I am finding that lately a lot of places – at least where we live – are only giving a straw out upon request.  Yeah!!

Problems With Plastic Straws

So why are plastic straws so bad?

The days of tossing trash out your car window (yes, people really used to do that!) are over but a lot of trash still makes its way into the environment.

Many of these plastic straws end up in waterways like lakes, rivers, and the ocean.  They also wash up on our shores littering beaches. According to Ocean Conservancy plastic straws (and stirrers) are number 8 on the list of the top 10 items found washed up on beaches!

Marine mammals and seabirds mistake plastic straws or pieces of plastic straws for food causing harm or even death.  You’ve probably seen the picture of the sea turtle with the straw stuck in his nose, right?  It’s hard to look at but you can do your part to stop it from happening.

By the way, plastic straws are not recyclable.  They won’t decompose or go away completely.  They can break down into smaller and smaller pieces but they won’t fully break down.

So, plastic straws are around for a really long time – like forever!!

Alternatives to Plastic Straws

Now that I’ve convinced you (hopefully) about why it’s important to skip plastic straws, I won’t leave you hanging without some options! 🙂  I know you all like your straws!!

Maybe you like using a straw so you don’t mess up your lipstick.  Or maybe you’re grossed out about putting your lips on a restaurant cup.  Or maybe you really just like enjoying your beverage with a straw!

All are totally legit reasons to use a straw but let me offer you a few other options.

Here are three alternatives (available from EarthHero) to plastic straws that we use at home AND on the go – which totally embarrasses my kids.  BONUS!  🙂

The first one is from FinalStraw.  It comes in a handy portable case and includes a cleaning brush.  It’s a stainless steel straw but has a silicone tip so for those of you who don’t like the way stainless steel feels on your lips.  reusable straw

Another great option for an on-the-go reusable straw is also from FinalStraw but is silicone.  It also comes in fun colors! 
At home, we use these stainless steel straws.  They come in a set of six straws plus a teeny cleaning brush.

reusable straw

So there you have it – easy alternatives to using a plastic straw at home or when you’re out!  I hope you find one that works for you!! 🙂

I’d love to hear how you skip the plastic straw!!