This One Change To Your Drinking Habits Could Help Save The Planet

Unsplash/Pete Bellis

When you sit down at a restaurant and your waiter or waitress pours you a glass of water, do you immediately ask for a straw?

Yeah, that’s what we thought. We often did the exact same thing… until we realized the ramifications of this tiny little habit we’ve nurtured over the years.

It takes your average plastic straw 200 years to decompose, and as it breaks down, it leaves us with a bunch of tiny, toxic particles. Now just think about how many straws you’ve probably gone through in your life thus far — coffee cups, fast food drinks, cocktails, water glasses… it’s dizzying. Americans alone use 500 million straws per dayPer day.

Luckily, our plastic straw use arose entirely out of convenience. We don’t need them at all in order to live — or hell, even thrive — as human beings. If we can, en masse, decide to rid our lives of plastic straws, just imagine how much of a positive impact we could have on the world around us rather than let it rot from exposure to even more harmful chemicals.

Unsplash/Danielle Macinnes

Even the most avid straw fans can work around using plastic ones. There are biodegradable paper straws, stainless steel reusable straws and plenty of other straw options that won’t fill our waters and landfills with toxic byproducts centuries from now. We just have to make the call and stick to our decision even when convenience seems like the better way to go.

Plenty of organizations, from the Plastic Pollution Coalition to Strawless Ocean to The Last Plastic Straw, are advocating for this habit change. And, we really can’t think of a reason not to give it a go. It’s the simplest little switch you can make that can lead to such a large, positive change.

All we have left to say is don’t suck… refuse the straw.