One of the more noted green movements of lately is the move to remove plastic straws from restaurants. I got thinking about it and McDonalds restaurant has served over 300 billion customers since its inception. According to research it takes over 200 years for a plastic straw to decompose, so that means there is easily billions of straws around the world in our landfills. I always had a hard time grasping the difference between a million of something and a billion. Then I read that 1 million seconds is roughly 12 days, whereas, 1 billion seconds is 31.7 years. That is an astronomical difference and to imagine straws in the billions is almost unimaginable.
In the Pacific ocean there is what is called the North Pacific Garbage Patch and is 3 times the size of France, containing over 1.8 trillion pieces of garbage. To give you an idea using our seconds reference that would be over 31,000 years. It's no surprise we are finally realizing that plastic is an issue, what is surprising is how long it took for us to realize something has to change. And as we have said before that change needs to be you and I make responsible choices.
Our family a few years ago made the switch to reusable straws for here at our home. Our children often like to drink with a straw and we decided we could make a small difference going to reusable straws. The only place we made this difference was in our home but we want to go a step further. We are deciding that moving forward we will keep a supply of reusable straws in our vehicle so when we go out, we won't need straws.
Again throwing away a plastic straw is absolutely the easiest thing to do, but having a reusable straw that won't go into landfills is the right thing to do. And while yes plastic is easier, the impact we can have with reusable straws is worth the extra effort. We have both stainless steel and glass straws that we use. Another alternative is paper straws, which some places have already begun to switch to as the more environmental choice. If you currently use reusable straws or want to join us in this move towards being more green give us a shout out and use #revolutionsolution.