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Say No To Straws – Day 2 of the Zero Waste Challenge

31 Day Zero Waste Challenge

Last Updated on January 23, 2024

It’s day two of the zero waste challenge! The beginning of the challenge focuses on simple swaps. We’re currently addressing the big four.

These are four items that create a lot of waste that’s fairly easy to avoid. Today, I challenge you to ask for no straw with your drink order.

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Say No To Straws - Day 2 of the Zero Waste Challenge from #zerowaste #ecofriendly #gogreen #sustainable #zerowastechallenge #challenge #sustainablelivingchallenge #straws #saynotostraws

the problem:

Did you know in the U.S. alone, over 500 million straws are used every single day? That’s an average of 1.6 straws per person. The saddest part is a lot of that straw use is unnecessary.

Plastic straws are not recyclable. Almost no curbside program accepts them.

If your curbside recycling program doesn’t take straws and you include them anyway, you are creating contamination. This can cost cities millions of dollars per year to remove.

Today’s straws are made from polypropylene, a plastic known by the number 5 in the resin identification code. While this resin number is normally easier to recycle, that’s not so for straws.

On top of this, it takes a lot of energy and resources to produce all these single use straws. If it only takes one day to use 500 million straws, just think about the amount of resources that takes.

Thankfully, it’s really simple to refuse single use straws. Typically, most straws are used at a restaurant setting, so it’s unlikely you’ll take the straw home with you.

When the waiter asks you at a bar, or restaurant, “what would you like to drink today?”, you say “I’ll have a (insert drink here), no straw please.”

It’s that simple. Of course, sometimes you will still get a straw, even if you asked not to have one. That’s just a part of life. So, if you get one, don’t be upset, don’t make a big scene. Just be polite.

That said, a good portion of the time, you won’t get a straw in your drink when you ask. Which is great, because you’ll help reduce some of that straw waste.

If someone asks you why you don’t want a straw in your drink, use it as a time to spread the message of the zero waste movement. It can a real conversation starter!

reusable options:

If you like straws, there are reusable straws such as glass, stainless steel, bamboo and silicone.

Check out this post with a detailed explanation with pros and cons for each type of reusable straw and take the cheeky quiz which reusable straw is right for you?

Stainless steel: Use with caution on hot beverages, recyclable, super durable, great for messy purses, modern sleek look, dishwasher safe.

Bamboo: Great for hot or cold drinks, compostable, great for kids and parties, naturally antibacterial, dishwasher safe.

Glass: Great for hot or cold drinks, recyclable, clear which makes it easy to clean, smoothie straw options, tons of fun colors, dishwasher safe.

Silicone: Super soft and no risk of hurting yourself, great for kids, good for hot or cold drinks, tons of fun colors, long lasting, dishwasher safe.

Personally, I love glass straws because you can “see the clean” and they also make some great smoothie straw options.

Also, if you love drinking bubble tea, they make stainless steel boba straws that are wide enough for the tapioca balls. I love my boba straws!!


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take the challenge:

Practice your normal drink order 20-30 times out loud so saying, “No Straw” at the end becomes habit. The next time you’re out of the house and order something to drink ask for no straw!

want more?

Just starting out? Have 1,000 burning questions!? Get access to my private Facebook group, where I’ll be hosting weekly lives throughout the challenge and I answer all of your most pressing questions.

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  1. This is so nice! Missed day one but I already stopped buying on impulses, :). And just finished a year of not buying new things, so think I’m alright for day one. I am curious about the next challenge!

  2. I’ve been anti-straw, anti-single use plastic cup for months now, but I keep forgetting to ask for no straw when I order a drink at the restaurants. I very rarely buy drinks outside these days and just drink water from my reusable stainless steel bottle, but still… What annoys me is when you sit down at a restaurant and they give you a glass of water with a straw, and you didn’t even ask for water! Do we really have to go to the lengths of, when the waiter asks how many to be seated, you have to say, "x (number), no straw please"???

    1. Yeah, I wish most restaurants would opt for a straw on request policy only. Next time you’re at a restaurant like this check out my blog post on emailing businesses about their packaging. I actually have an email template to send to restaurants for this reason!