One Plastic Straw at a Time

Let me be very honest, I cannot call myself an eco-justice warrior in any capacity. I'm somewhere in between the guy that calls climate change a hoax, and the woman who screams, "Fur is murder!" to your face. I mean, I sign petitions, segregate my waste, never litter, and moderate my water usage. So, it's not like I don't care, but I would prefer not to adopt changes that might hinder my otherwise convenient existence. Sounds familiar?

 

People seem reluctant to make more sustainable choices because they assume it's a full time job. Unless you are at a beach defending turtle eggs or protesting a mining site, it's not significant enough. But that isn't entirely reasonable. We are overlooking the cumulative outcome of collective effort. Thoughts like, "What will one chips packet do," is choking the aspirations of many potential 'planet enthusiasts' much like a plastic straw strangling marine life. Let's substantiate this mathematically. If Rita continues to use plastic straws because,"It's just one straw," she would have used 365 straws by the end of the year. Now, if there are 10,000 people like Rita, the non biodegradable waste would amount to 36,50,000 from the area that year. And that is not even a fraction of the garbage that ends up in dumping grounds. Instead, if people were to think, "It's just one straw," while paying for a bamboo or steel one, the outcome could probably be a few turtles not choking to death. It's the same thing with plastic bottles. The sustainable alternatives like glass and copper are not just healthier but look much better hanging from your bag, or on your table; compared to that withering Bisleri bottle. You already have two new options. And if those are somethings you already do, there are several other plastic straws that need to be replaced.

 

Allow me to recommend an article, 100+ Simple Tips To Live a More Sustainable Lifestyle for inspiration.

 

That "Must Do" section on the Environmental Studies textbooks — you know the ones that had diagrams of a hand picking up garbage and closing the tap — is right; every little effort matters. Sara Nicholas, an environmental conservationist and founder of Sarashley Thrifts, an online thrift store, points out that while we are the first generation to experience the impact of climate change, we are also the last who can do something about it. "Let that empower us. The choices we make in the next 8 to 9 years will determine the quality of life for the next 200 to 300 years. Imagine the power we have. We all have it in us to be compassionate. We just need to focus on the solution and do our bit", she says.

 

So, to all the in-betweeners out there, continue to do your bit as you pursue to find other plastic straws, try an online thrift shop, maybe. And for those of us who still toss the soda can carelessly outside the bin, let's start from the diagrams in the Environmental Studies textbooks, shall we?