Happy Earth Day!! Today I hope we’re able to celebrate and appreciate the wonders and beauty of the natural world that has been gifted to us by God. Unfortunately, much of our earth is now riddled with different types of pollution, including that of air, land, and water.
One way to help dramatically decrease the amount of pollution in our oceans is to use fewer plastic disposable drinking straws. You know the kind: the ones that are found and used at practically every restaurant, whether it’s five star or fast food. According to The Last Plastic Straw — an initiative to alter the nonchalant use of plastic straws that so dramatically affects the environment — about 500 million straws are used daily and discarded in the United States alone (1).
The reasons straws are so impactful in our environment and oceans is because it is easy for them to get swept away from recycling bins and trashcans. A jolting statistic shared by Strawless Ocean, “An estimated 71% of seabirds and 30% of turtles have been found with plastics in their stomachs. When they ingest plastic, marine life has a 50% mortality rate” (2). Many animals mistake these pieces of plastic for potential items of prey. With a seemingly infinite access to plastic straws, today’s society heavily contributes to the pollution that is observed and experienced in the environment. Many people aren’t necessarily aware of the impact that straws have, but there are changes that can be made to catalyze the reduction of environmental pollution.
Step 1: Make a personal commitment to stop using plastic straws. Simply saying “no straw, please” when ordering a drink is an action that can easily impact the amount of plastic that you use cumulatively use weekly, monthly, and annually.
Step 2: Ask businesses to only offer straws to guests upon request, thus reducing their overall production of plastic waste and preventing an unnecessary waste of straws.
Step 3: Expose those restaurants to the array of alternatives to plastic straws, those of which include paper (AardvarkStraws.com), bamboo (Brushwithbamboo.com), glass (BeOrganic.me/), metal (Ecoatheart.com), or silicone (Reuseit.com)!
All of these steps are actions that can help the conservation and preservation of the natural world and its inhabitants, including ourselves. With less potential to be affected by invasive plastic straws, sea life — including fish, whales, sea turtles, and birds — can continue to flourish and keep our ecosystems in-check. Though in a big world it may be hard to feel like you’re making a difference, an individual's lifestyle change to stop their use a plastic straws could be the difference between life and death for any number of creatures on our planet.
1 Thess. 2:2
"...but with the help of our God we dared to tell His gospel in the face of strong opposition."