Those of you who know me know that I have a straw obsession. Or rather an obsession with making them obsolete. While making up a small amount of our overall plastic waste in the world it is also absolutely unnecessary. I constantly watch people get a drink at a bar, take the straws out, and proceed to drink. That straw will almost without fail end up in the garbage. In fact, 500,000 straws are discarded every day in the US alone. Watch the turtle video once, and you’ll agree with me.
So, a few months ago I finally got in the habit of remembering to ask for no straw. I’ve become aware of the bars that only give them on request, or not at all. Partially because of my increased awareness, and partially because research for a paper helped me learn even more I determined to ‘track my plastic’ for the month of May. In June I’m going to see how little waste overall I can create. All of this will culminate in two podcast episodes I’ll record in July.
First, during the research for a paper I learned that New York City is doing all kinds of things to achieve a zero residential waste goal by 2030. In short, they won’t make it. But, part of the journey is the goal, right? Online you can sign a pledge to reduce waste and they send you a free bag. My inner consumer took over, I signed the pledge, and here it is! As an aside the bag came in a padded envelope. Not recyclable…. Here is a link to get one too.
The city’s website says:
About a third of New Yorkers’ waste can be recycled through the City’s curbside recycling program; another third can be recovered through the City’s organics programs; and another 10% (textiles, electronic waste, harmful household products, and plastic bags) can be diverted through donations and take-back programs!
Instead of sending trash to a far-away landfill or incinerator, pledge to reduce, reuse, and recycle!