I’ve become one of those people. Now before you judge me, please hear me out. I tried to go without. I tried to go cold turkey and start behaving like an adult.
But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t handle the ice sloshing onto my nose and the lack of sipping was making me blue. In the end, despite my best efforts I found that I was weak. I couldn’t give up my straw.
I recently subscribed to National Geographic and let me tell you, they have no patience for me and my plastic straw. Every other issue has pages and pages about how plastic is filling the ocean and the food chain is filling up with terrible things like microplastics. And in every plasti-mageddon story there are artfully done photos and in every photo there is an evil straw, wreaking havoc on the planet so I can sip a drink making me some sort of Nero fiddling while Rome is burning.
I have tackled other plastics. I’ve managed to get rid of plastic water bottles and plastic bags. I’m opting for products that aren’t packed in 17 layers of plastic display material. I’m even considering the toothpaste that comes in a glass jar like a bunch of gumballs versus the plastic tube. Yet I have been struggling to give up straws.
I know there are many people for whom plastic straws are needed. They have health issues and plastic straws are going to have to be around for those folks. But I have no such excuse. I needed a guilt free alternative. I had replaced plastic straws at home, but I needed something I could use when eating out. And this, my friends, is how I became one of those people.
I’m one of the people who carries around her own straws.
Hey, stop rolling your eyes. At least not where I can see you!
Anyway, I’m now one of those people. I am a person who, at a restaurant, pulls out one of two types of reusable straws from her purse. I’ve got a stainless-steel telescoping straw that comes in a blue metal case, and a foldable silicon straw that comes in a case that looks like one of those prize bubbles you get from a gumball machine. Both of them have a little cleaning rod and both elicit stares (or barely restrained eye rolls) when I pull them out.
Worse yet, I’m a bit of a huckster about these straws. I’m like a friend of mine who has 500 boxes of LED lightbulbs he hands out because he is convinced that it’s going to make his corner of the world better. Yes, this means if I know you well, you may be getting a reusable straw in your Christmas stocking.
In the end, I may only do enough that I can read my magazines without feeling terribly guilty about my straw habit. And while it may not make even a dent in the ocean of plastics, and we’re all likely to continue eating a tablespoon of plastic in the food chain every month, at least you can rest assured that you won’t be eating any of my used straws anymore.