What is a footprint?
Footprints are remnants, deposits, or after usage effects left behind on this earth from the things we use in our day to day lives. Something as small as a disposable straw will leave damaging ecological footprints, for thousands of years. When we use products, even in the way they were intended, it usually produces some kind of waste left behind to be disposed of. The type of waste, the amount of waste, and other conditions all cause potentially damaging effects on the earth and its inhabitants. It is important to know the products we use and what we are leaving behind as a result, and to make any adjustments we can to lessen the size of the footprint we leave behind. Our footprint that we leave today is going to affect the future of our children, our family, and the environment for generations. Think of a footprint in terms of forensics. Footprints found at a crime scene leave behind many clues about an individual. We can find information out about that person, such as foot size, gender, activity performed at the moment the footprint was left, what direction they were going, and how long ago they were there, etc. Our ecological footprint holds the same concept, I think you get the point.
Your Disposable Straw Footprint
Your disposable straw footprint, is linked to you, your kids, and your family's use of plastic straws. You may be thinking, straws are so little , that it cannot possibly make that big of an impact. Right? WRONG! Just because it is small in size, disposable straw chemical manufacturing and breakdown are damaging to the earth and animals. If you want to measure your disposable straw footprint, we first need to evaluate your use. Start by asking yourself the following questions:
Over the last 30-60 days:
- How many times have I used a plastic straw while dining out at a restaurant?
- How many times have I ordered a drink with a disposable plastic straw in it for someone else?* (For example, a “to-go drink” for my child, or similar)
- How many times have I bought disposable straws for use in my home?
- How many times have I disposed of straws after one time use? In my home?
- How many times at work have I used a disposable straw?
Now you should have a better idea of your personal use of disposable straws. Whether your number was low or high, you are going to be shocked at some of the information you are about to read.
Even if your usage numbers are low, consider a one time use of a disposable straw for a moment. Seemingly little in significance, this one time use has enormous effects that outlast generations! The break down equation - One straw, times each person on the planet, equals around 8 billion straws- used one time only! Keep reading….
In America alone, we consume over 500,000 disposable straws per day! Now, think of that over a 30 day time frame, then multiply the average lifespan of the human being (around 75-80 years) and suddenly, we have a number that isn’t so small as our little plastic straw wants us to believe. Our little, insignificant disposable straw use has now turned into a gigantic footprint. A footprint that will be here for approximately 1,000 years! It takes 1,000 years for straws to decompose, making this disposable straw footprint quite large. Is there good news? Of course there is!
Be the Difference
Changing your disposable straw use habit is completely realistic, affordable and fun. In fact, use of these straws have now become part of a new ban, and law in some cities, states, and even countries. Legislation on the ban is restricting restaurants on distributing straws, statewide in California and in various other cities across the nation. Jamaica has banned them completely, along with other countries that are also enforcing a NO Straw or NO disposable plastic ban, with strict penalties if caught violating the ban.
There are alternatives to disposable straws in all forms- metal, bamboo, paper, etc. and they come in fun designs and colors. Even better, cases to carry your reusable straws (in style) are available right here on my website. Each one is handmade and is a way for you to be a part of the solution. The colors are bright and fun, the designs are chic and make great conversation pieces- all while promoting change. The cases are a great reminder to be footprint cautious and get other people to do the same.
The bonus? A portion of my sales go to conservation groups that are making a difference in the lives of many animals around the world. It is the best alternative to the plastic planet we have created. You can help me make a difference, check out some of the new designs. Let me know what you think!
Ignite change! Be a part of the solution, be the difference!