Mar, 2015

I Dream Of A Straw-Free Tomorrow! Woohoo!

Today, I got some take-out food for lunch and for the billionth time, I had to ask for no plastic utensils. I was bringing the food home to eat, so I didn’t need them. This drives me nuts and I’d like to do something about it, rather than just complain. My personality is to take action when I don’t like something and this is an issue I’ve been thinking about for a couple years now. So it’s time to put my money where my mouth is.

You all know that there’s a GIANT pool of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean, approximately the size of Texas. Right? If not, thanks for coming out from under your rock and please keep reading. You need to read this the most.

I want to start petitions to restaurant chains to stop giving plastic items to customers (straws and to-go utensils) unless they are requested. When I used to wait on tables, I would see people take the straw out of their drink and lay it on the table, unused. A complete waste and more plastic that will sit forever in a land fill or end up in the ocean, killing our ecosystem. I eat a lot of take out food and always have to ask restaurant workers to please not put plastic utensils in the bag and half the time, they do anyway, out of habit. Think of how many plastic straws and utensils get thrown away without even being used. It’s so frustrating to me. I feel this is just a bad habit we can change and once we get past the weird hump, it will be a no-brainer. Like using re-usable shopping bags.

And believe me, I travel a lot for work, I have a young child and two pets… I get it. We all use plastic sometimes. I just admitted, I eat a lot of take-out food which is not always packaged in an eco-friendly way. No one is eco-perfect, including myself (I made that up, btw) but a small effort from many, could make such a big difference.

If one major restaurant corporation in the US instated this as policy, just think how much of an impact it could have on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch! Then imagine if others followed suit!

For instance, Darden Restaurant Group owns Olive Garden, Yard House, The Capital Grill, LongHorn Steak House and three other smaller chains. Can you imagine what a difference it would make if all of those restaurants stopped offering plastic drinking straws unless they were requested?! The restaurants would save a little money on straws too, so… why not? And then there’s the paper that the straws are wrapped in. We can reduce this waste!!

And ask yourself, next time you eat at a restaurant: Do you really need a straw? Probably not. You probably don’t use straws at home, why do you need one at a restaurant? The glasses are clean! I’ve heard people say they don’t like to put their mouth on a glass from a restaurant, as if it’s possibly dirty. Uh, but you’re ok eating off of utensils that have been used and washed? It doesn’t make sense. Change is good. Take this opportunity to make a difference.

SO, my question to you all – does anyone out there have experience with this kind of thing? I’d rather not waste my time forming petitions that aren’t effective or barking up the wrong trees. Let me know!

If you’re wondering why I feel so strongly about this, watch this video. I chose this video, randomly. It is one of many examples that are so heartbreaking to me. Before you throw away another unused plastic utensil or straw, before you purchase another palette of water in plastic bottles, think about your actions:

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