SAVE THE STRAWS … AND THE ENVIRONMENT: 76 WAYS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

There is no question that when it comes to the environment, our time is up, we MUST do everything we can to preserve our precious planet.

A lot of folks are caught up in the straw banning movement. Are single use plastics (single use anything for that matter) awful? Absolutely. But vilifying straws is doing a disservice to the many people who utilize them as an adaptive tool. In this rare case, plastic is best. These straws make drinks accessible for a lot of people. Paper falls apart, compostable cracks, metal can be dangerous, and reusable are sub-par.

It almost feels like we need a save the straws movement, but who’s got time for that?

As we celebrate Earth Day, let’s do an assessment of our Activities of Daily Living to see what changes we can make to do right by this planet, and leave those straws alone. Here’s a not so short list to start with:

  1. Refuse a straw if you don’t need it
  2. Ban balloons
  3. Save those plastic Easter eggs for next year
  4. Stop using disposable stirrers
  5. Recycle your bottle caps along with your bottles
  6. Better yet, stop buying bottles
  7. Demand stores sell milk and other beverages in glass that can be returned
  8. Don’t buy beverage cans that come in plastic rings
  9. Bring your own bags – everywhere
  10. Pack your lunch with reusable containers
  11. Take a to-go thermos to your coffee place
  12. Ditch those juice boxes/bags
  13. Invest in a reusable water bottle
  14. Bring your own doggy bag to a restaurant
  15. Ladies evaluate tampons – do you need one with an applicator?
  16. Use bars of soap instead of body wash in plastic bottles
  17. Demand water fountains make a comeback
  18. Tell your grocery stores to do better and cut back on excess packaging
  19. Use cloth towels rather than paper
  20. Turn the water off while you brush your teeth
  21. Compost your food waste
  22. Stop using wrapping paper
  23. Stop handing out plastic bags filled with plastic toys at birthday parties
  24. Ban plastic lollipop sticks
  25. Limit Amazon buys, frequent purchases = excess packaging and a big carbon footprint from deliveries
  26. Switch to energy efficient light bulbs
  27. Take shorter showers
  28. Combine errands so you can make them in one trip and use less gas
  29. Buy used toys
  30. Rethink that remodel. Think of the toll that dream kitchen takes on Mother Earth
  31. Properly dispose of cigarette butts (or quit smoking)
  32. Recycle more
  33. Flush less
  34. Dress for the weather and adjust your thermostat accordingly
  35. Refuse utensils with your take out
  36. Eat less beef
  37. Carpool
  38. Work from home
  39. Buy bulk using reusable containers
  40. Demand Apple, Samsung, etc. make sustainable electronics
  41. Research the clothing and bedding you buy to ensure it’s not shedding plastic into our waterways – microfibers are terrible for our oceans
  42. Buy used furniture
  43. Repair what you have
  44. Buy sustainable products
  45. Plant a tree
  46. Do laundry in cold water
  47. Use a drying rack/clothes line
  48. Don’t wash clothes unless they are truly dirty
  49. Swap your showerhead
  50. Use biodegradable dish soap
  51. Use covered containers instead of plastic bags for food storage
  52. Download your music
  53. Don’t bag your produce, if you wash it anyway, why not let it be free?
  54. Shop local
  55. Turn off your lights
  56. Recycle your cell phone
  57. Use matches instead of lighters
  58. Pay bills online
  59. Eat package free snacks: carrots, grapes, apples, oranges are healthier anyway
  60. Plant your own garden
  61. Dine at a restaurant instead of getting carryout in single use packaging
  62. If disposable cups are a must, label them and limit how many you hand out
  63. Look for energy efficient appliances
  64. Sign up for renewable energy
  65. Opt out of unsolicited mail
  66. Reuse scrap paper for lists, art, doodling, etc.
  67. Collect rainwater to water plants
  68. Unplug items you are not using
  69. Donate unwanted items instead trashing them
  70. Make your own tea, lemonade, etc. instead of buying bottles
  71. Stop using disposable coffee pods
  72. Toss used coffee grounds into your garden
  73. Shut your computer down at night
  74. Make homemade baby food
  75. Make your own cleaner or buy concentrated refills
  76. STOP upgrading everything, it’s downgrading our planet

What are we missing? What would you add to this list?

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