why we should #stopsucking

Read Time: 10 minutes

It’s the summer of 2017... I’m vacationing on the beach in Miami and realize as the sand sifts through my fingers that plastic is falling through too. My husband, Seth, makes a comment about never seeing so much plastic on the beach before... 

That same summer I heard of a campaign called Strawless Ocean which was launched by The Lonely Whale Foundation (led by celebrity Adrian Grenier). Their solution to a Strawless Ocean is a trendy one... #stopsucking

#stopsucking is a movement that is challenging people all over the world to cut single use, plastic straws from their daily lives and is bringing awareness about how harmful straws are to the environment... specifically the oceans.

“Plastic straws are really bad for the ocean. We use over 500 million every day in America, and most of those end up in our oceans, polluting the water and killing marine life.”

- A Strawless Ocean

I know just saying “Plastic straws are really bad for the ocean.” isn’t going to make everyone a believer, so here is a link to much more helpful information explaining just how harmful plastic really is: The Great Plastic Tide

We have a global plastic problem that is getting out of hand, but the awesome thing about plastic straws is that most people don't really need them. They are a “luxury” that we can easily do without (or there are many reusable options out there if doing without isn’t for you). We don’t even have to spend a lot of money to make a difference. We just have to change our habits!

“Once found mostly in soda fountains of the 1930s, straws have become one of the most ubiquitous unnecessary products on the planet.”

- Laura Parker, National Geographic

Read her full article here: Straw Wars.

I will admit, I thought cutting straws from my life was going to be pretty simple. But once I decided to stop using plastic straws, I started realizing just how much I use them and how socially acceptable (and even expected) they are. I even started ordering drinks and trying to picture what type of glass it would come in to help me determine if it would automatically be served with a straw or not. 🤓

Here’s how my first experience asking for no straw went:

Waitress: *brings drinks and pulls straws out of apron to pass out*

Me: I don’t need a straw today. Thank you! 😊

Waitress: Oh, ok. I will just leave some here just in case!

Me: *counts straws on the table realizing there are more straws than people*

Me: 🤦🏻‍♀️

This waitress was genuinely trying to be nice and make sure I had everything I needed while dining there but what I really wanted was No Straw. I learned quickly that not using a straw while dining out is a two way street and it is also a very foreign idea to most people!

Even though it has its struggles, giving up straws was the perfect place for me to start. If you can cut a straw, you can start cutting more and more plastic from your life! That got me thinking... straws are a gateway to giving up more plastic. Then, I saw this quote from Adian Grenier and he literally read my mind (but he worded it much nicer)!

“It’s a gateway, a way to start,” Grenier says. “A lot of times people are overwhelmed by the bigness of the problem and often give up. We need something achievable for everyday humans. The challenge is if we can get rid of plastic straws, let’s start there. Then we can move on from there.”

Now, not only am I cutting back on plastic straws, I’ve become more aware of the plastic that I use everyday. It’s shocking once you see it! So, what do you think? Is a straw something you can give up?