Metal straws are the new trend

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Metal straws are the new trend

PHOTO BY OCEAN BLUE PROJECT A OREGON NONPROFIT/WIKICOMMONS

PHOTO BY OCEAN BLUE PROJECT A OREGON NONPROFIT/WIKICOMMONS

PHOTO BY OCEAN BLUE PROJECT A OREGON NONPROFIT/WIKICOMMONS

By Alesi Gonzales, CONTRIBUTOR

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In a trendy attempt at saving our planet there has been a huge influx in the purchase of metal straws in the name of saving the turtles.
I too am a part of this trending change; I have a total of three collapsible metal straws that attach to my keys. Have I made a difference yet? Probably not.
The sad and disheartening truth is that a few metal straws will not make up for the immense amount of plastic that is used to package, ship, and make these straws along with everything else we use.
How many of us use these metal straws to poke through the plastic lids that cover the plastic cups that hold our beverages? Too many.
Let us continue to make a difference, the straws are only the beginning. Buying your own cup that you can reuse is a great second step.
The true change begins when the consumer actually commits to using their reusable items instead of opting for the single-use items that establishments provide them with.
If we the consumers do not make use of our reusable cups, metal straws and other items, then we are just creating more and adding to the problem we are attempting to combat.
There is approximately 8 trillion pieces of plastic discarded and dumped into our oceans every year. That’s a whole lot of trash that is harming our marine life, shouldn’t we be better at recycling? Yes.
Unfortunately, even if we did recycle at a 100 percent rate, this would not be the answer. The change we need is with production of these items, not simply getting people to recycle, it must be modified at the source.
Aside from cutting down on plastic use and disposal, we have to be more responsible. This entails using reusable items in our daily life; this can include cups, straws or bags.
Some more helpful tips are to altogether switch to zero waste items in your daily life and home; silicone baking mats instead of foil, silicone cupcake liners instead of paper, metal tin containers instead of paper lunch bags, cloth napkins instead of paper, and glass mason jars that are useful for many things.
By changing our daily use of items that cannot be reused with items that can be used for months if not years, we can make a bigger impact on combating the issue that our planet faces.
If your sole goal is to actually save the turtles, there are things you can certainly do in addition to your purchase of a metal straw. You can start with cutting down on the amount of garbage that you produce. You can also reduce the amount of chemicals you use in and around your homes, a great way to do this is to switch to natural products.
Next, you can volunteer, organize a clean-up day or educate others on these great tips to spread awareness. Lastly, you can donate to organizations that protect and save marine life. The change starts with you.