Say No to Straws!

There are so many things we do automatically every day. Brush our teeth, feed the dog, put cream into our coffee, and put a straw in our drink. Wait! Back up a minute. Our teeth need to be brushed, the dog needs to be fed, and coffee without cream is not acceptable. But the straw – that is a different story.

Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of restaurants instantly give out straws with their drinks. They either place them on the table or pop them into your drink wearing a paper hat from the remnants of the wrapper. You’ll use that straw for maybe 45 minutes and then it will be around for several hundred years. As consumers and citizens of Earth, we have to break the automaticity of straws.

There are several organizations that encourage us to lose this wasteful habit – Skip the Straw and The Last Plastic Straw, are a couple. They all have the same message – we don’t need plastic straws and they are harmful to the environment and the creatures in it.

Make a difference – commit to not using plastic straws. Tell your waiter or waitress – No thank you. If they put a wrapped straw on the table, tell them you won’t be using it and tell them why.  Ask your favorite eateries to stop providing straws automatically.  This small action from many people can make a huge difference in getting plastic straws off the Top 10 list of marine debris. We can do this.


Lori Wnek’s education about environmental issues started at a young age. Her mother was the environmental writer for the local paper in New Hampshire. She quickly embraced a respect for nature and all its inhabitants and an awareness about reducing humans’ impact on both. Lori lives a short walk to the Atlantic Ocean and firmly believes that small actions by individuals have the largest impact over time.