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Be Straw Free

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Replies to: Be Straw Free

  • eyemamomeyemamom 5428 replies79 threads Senior Member
    The other night I listened to a Podcast from Oprah's SuperSould Conversations. It was with Michael Pollan: Conscious Eating. I thought it was going to be a "diet" conversation, but the conscious eating is also being about being aware of how your food is being harvested. Agriculture can have a huge impact on the environment. It wasn't about being a vegetarian either, it was about being mindful of where you food came from, how were the workers being treated at those locations, how humane are they being about procuring the meat, what kind of pesticides are being used to maintain the crops, etc. Anyway, an interesting listen.

    What's the old saying, necessity is the mother of invention. I'm guessing we're all saying now we need to do something urgently about the oceans and water sources of the world.
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  • dietz199dietz199 3964 replies78 threads Senior Member
    @TatinG oh don't get me started on junk mail.

    I have POA on all of my elderly mom's accounts. Last night I tried to opt her out of phone calls, surveys, sharing of her data with other related companies, mail offerings etc. This particular financial company explained to me that while my POA and my name being on all her accounts as a co-owner would allow me to issue trades, make withdrawals - even close the account, I could not opt her out of all the danged junk.

    In order to do that I'd need to go to court and get a DPA. Yup, could drain her of all her funds but at least she'd still get the option to answer a survey.

    As for straws - I really prefer not to be legislated into the current moral behavior of the day. The only time we use them at home is to drink lemon water - thereby saving some tooth enamel.

    However, as was the case with the legislative death of certain lightbulbs, I decided to stock (hoard) some of the item. We have a couple of large Tupperware storage boxes full of 75 Watt and 60 watt incandescent bulbs. They will be joined by a smaller hoard of straws. Should arrive from Amazon today.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 26820 replies269 threads Senior Member
    Again, there are straw alternatives to plastic straws. Have you considered them at all, @dietz199? Starbucks, in their recent announcement, is looking at non-plastic straw options. If you have a disability that requires the use of a straw or if you just prefer to use one, (lemon water or whatever), no one is saying no to ALL straws.

    I really think, as @eyemamom mentions in post #181, we all need collectively to be more conscious and less selfish and do our best in our own corners to reverse what is happening to this planet. Straws are just one little change and an easy one to make. It has made me more conscious of other changes I can make. I'm not perfect but am slowly making incremental changes. With a growing population, we've got to do something about all the trash and waste that is created. In the past, we've counted on other countries to deal with our waste and recycling and that shouldn't and won't be the case in the future.
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  • TatinGTatinG 7309 replies119 threads Senior Member
    https://www.ecowatch.com/these-5-countries-account-for-60-of-plastic-pollution-in-oceans-1882107531.html

    60% of the plastic pollution in the ocean comes from 5 countries. Hint: The US is not one of them.

    China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and The Phillipines.

    We can do what we can but until these countries reduce their plastic use and adopt more responsible landfill/recycling plans, the problem will continue.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 26820 replies269 threads Senior Member
    To China's credit, they are attempting to make changes.

    http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6167

    A strict Chinese limit on ultra-thin plastic bags significantly reduced bag-related pollution nationwide during the past year. The country avoided the use of 40 billion bags, according to government estimates.


    Additionally, they changed policies and are no longer accepting plastic waste from Western countries. Until we learn to deal with our own trash, I think we should focus on our own efforts in our own country, something we can control if we choose to do so. I don't really buy the excuse that because other countries have issues, that it is okay for us to continue to operate as we have in the past. I don't think it is hard to adapt and change without really affecting our quality of life. Someday, I hope I have grandchildren and I am concerned about what kind of planet they will be living on.
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  • TatinGTatinG 7309 replies119 threads Senior Member
    The problem of disposal of plastic would be mitigated if there wasn't so much plastic packaging. Remember when soda bottles were glass and we returned them to the store for a deposit. The bottling company washed them and refilled them. Why not go back to that?

    Eventhough I don't eat much take out or fast food, grocery store food is still overpackaged. I think a lot goes back to the Tylenol poisoning case. After that a lot more plastic protections were put on products to prevent contamination.

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  • doschicosdoschicos 26820 replies269 threads Senior Member
    I agree that packaging needs to change. There has been some progress in that regard but a lot of room for improvement remains.

    Whenever I see good take out packaging (Whole Foods and a few independent businesses in my area), I make an effort to thank them, both in person and on social media. Unfortunately, we still have businesses that refuse to update. A local ice cream/coffee shop in my town insists on using styrofoam bowls and cups. Both family members and I have asked them to use something else. It falls on deaf ears. We no longer go there.
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  • TatinGTatinG 7309 replies119 threads Senior Member
    Well, there again, just as with going out for coffee, I don't go out for ice cream either. I buy a gallon and keep it in my freezer.



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  • ScipioScipio 8480 replies478 threads Senior Member
    I still go out for ice cream, but I almost always get a cone. That way I just eat the packaging.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 26820 replies269 threads Senior Member
    I only rarely go out for ice cream these days. Always a sugar cone but even that is wrapped in paper these days unlike when we were kids. Germ phobia I guess. Doesn't stop me from suggesting on the business' choice of bowls, though. :)
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  • TatinGTatinG 7309 replies119 threads Senior Member
    Ha. If only all food came in edible cones or bowls. Problem solved. What's the song with t but e phrase "we eat all the dishes"?
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35411 replies399 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2018
    The rewashing takes energy, too. Also, transporting bottles back. Biodegradable makes better sense. We had paper straws when I was a kid.
    edited July 2018
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  • eyemamomeyemamom 5428 replies79 threads Senior Member
    You can even eat the dishes - comes from Willy Wonka. I'm not fan of government mandating things, but if we all did a little something we'd all be a lot better off. However, Asia is a mess. They're wearing face masks in China from the pollution - are they working on reducing their pollution? Just because they pollute more doesn't mean it's okay for me. I'm sure my carbon footprint is enormous, but I try and educate myself on a variety of issues.
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  • dietz199dietz199 3964 replies78 threads Senior Member
    Tangentental rant to follow..be trigger warned....

    I am all for being environmentally conscious. Without even knowing the term we were raised that way. No paper bags for lunches - it was a metal box, and it had a refillable thermos. Sandwiches were often wrapped in the paper the cold cuts came in from the local deli. We reused foil, I still wash out ziplock baggies. Almost all of our table scraps go to the chickens instead of down the garbage disposal. Heck, I even reuse that plastic straw for the better part of a week when drinking the lemon water. H uses a stainless steel cup with stainless steel straw for his morning ice coffee. We walked, oh man did we walk, because gas cost money - and it polluted. Clothing was worn for a long time, and patched if needed. We reused paper napkins when possible. I still only do full loads of laundry and hang it out to dry 8-9 months out of the year. Same for the dishwasher. And the environment loving behavior has been passed to the next generation - S washes out the red solo cups used for beer pong...they get reused. B-) Why waste?

    I have a knee jerk response to those 'feel good' measures which really don't do much except make those who decide they're a good idea...feel good about themselves. Our local version of Whole Foods has big signs asking people to contribute a per mile fee to offset their carbon foot print. Oh, Please! If I want to do that I would go to the grocery store that's 1 mile away - instead of 7. I'd not buy the organic produce shipped from Mexico, I'd buy the conventional stuff shipped from down the road. I'd go to Costco once a week and stock up instead of buying local and fresh at the farmers market - which really needs to be done several times a week.

    We have a fantastic local bakery. Most amazing sour dough bread - made in the traditional manner. I buy 4-6 love at a time and freeze them. That way it's only one car trip every few weeks. They now voluntarily assess a .25 fee (as per the suggestion of the local city council) for take out items over $6. Well, except for their higher end loaves which are $7 and exempt. Oh, if you go and buy one sandwich for $6.00 no fee. But if you buy 2 then there's a fee. So H ordered his and then I ordered mine separately. No way to get out of paying the danged .25 cents if you buy a pie - well, unless you bring all your friends and eat it in the shop. It's a case of the sillies.

    Just as silly is the 'requirement' to wash out containers before putting them in the recycle. How many restaurant glasses of water does it take to wash out a mustard jar? How about the yogurt container or the daily cat and dog food can? But we are told to only ask for water at dinner if we really want it, because it looks good in public to be a water saver. So nope, I don't clean the recycle stuff before tossing. Don't get me going on CA water policy and where the waste is taking place. (hint 80% goes down the drain and back to the ocean).

    Straws were most likely on few peoples' radar. If restaurants stopped bringing them my guess is most folks wouldn't have asked or even noticed. Now however, it's a big arse deal.

    Okay...back to the regularly scheduled programming
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  • PetraMCPetraMC 944 replies7 threads Member
    I have a knee jerk response to those 'feel good' measures which really don't do much except make those who decide they're a good idea...feel good about themselves.

    Well, I've noticed a difference at my local beach since plastic bags were banned and mylar balloons have been strongly discouraged. It might not make a huge impact on the world but it makes a difference to the sea life swimming just off the shore.
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  • anomanderanomander 1885 replies4 threads Senior Member
    Styrofoam vs paper cups isn’t really a cut and dried issue. Sometimes styrofoam is actually the more environmentally friendly choice when you include the environmental cost to produce.

    https://recyclenation.com/2010/03/styrofoam-paper-cups/
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  • doschicosdoschicos 26820 replies269 threads Senior Member
    @anomander I do agree that one needs to look closely at options as they aren't that cut and dried however in addition to the article saying this "Unless you’re using a paper cup that is biodegradable (most are not), there are some aspects to consider.", the article is 8 years old. There has been a lot of progress since then in making better paper goods that are more green and biodegradable. Lots of the newer cups use plant-based instead of wax or petroleum-based coatings.

    The article also concludes with this, which I agree with:

    "There are better ways to drink your hot beverages, such as using a reusable tumbler, coffee mug or other container you wash and use over and over. If you have to use a disposable paper cup, find out if the establishment you are buying your drink from uses biodegradable cups. If they do, that is the way to go. As the cup industry moves away from the traditional method of manufacturing the current unrecyclable paper cup into a more biodegradable version, the battle between Styrofoam and paper cups may take a turn. In a scenario where the paper cup is biodegradable, a paper cup may win."

    Plastic has its uses. It's more about getting away from single use plastic products which have increased exponentially in the past few decades.

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  • anomanderanomander 1885 replies4 threads Senior Member
    Yup, I’ve been using the same vacuum-insulated tumbler I bought from Starbucks for the past 15+ years! That thing is indestructible.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35411 replies399 threads Senior Member
    Lol, notice you diss "feel good efforts," but willingly tell us yours. Sorry, but little bits do add up. The alternative is to give up and live only for one's own wants.

    And Tatin might suggest you don't need red Solo cups to play beer pong. Back in the day, people used jars or other glassware. Let's not forget the pollution created by manufacturing and transporting. And washing.

    Just do your best, folks. Try to be aware.
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