You’re sitting in a restaurant, trying to decide on your entree when the waitress puts your cocktail down beside you. You take a sip and realize the straw is made out of paper.
If you’re like most first-worlders, you probably cringe a little bit. Paper straws are biodegradable and thus a welcome alternative to plastic — we have all seen the video of that poor turtle — but, similar to the saliva-drowned packaging of Pixie Stix, there are many, many other sensations we would prefer on our tongues than mushy paper.
But there is another way to ditch plastic: metal straws.
Many restaurants have shied away from these types of straws because they are difficult to clean en masse. Paper straws may become gross as they dissolve, but that isn’t as bad as finding lipstick stains or a piece of food in your supposedly clean straw. Cue the gagging noises.
So, as an environmentally conscious millennial with a sensitive gag reflex, what can you do? Buy your own metal straws.
That’s right. For our purse-carrying readers, all you have to do is spend about $5 to get a set of metal, reusable straws that you can keep in your purse at all times. This is great for reducing your individual plastic waste even if a restaurant chooses not to. Just remember to ask your server not give you a straw, and you’re golden.
As for people who venture outside without a bag, well, that’s just mind-boggling. Hopefully, you have enough space in your pockets for straws. Our world and its creatures depend on it.
So, in all seriousness, if we can’t trust our government to enforce policies to protect the environment, we probably can’t rely on local or franchised businesses to provide metal straws (or even biodegradable ones, honestly).
Be the strong, independent human you were born to be. Treat yourself to some straws and take charge of your own carbon footprint.
Need your own but don’t know what to get? Buy the starter kit Ally has.