Why I No Longer Use Plastic Straws

Last year I was given the opportunity to get a reusable straw for less than 50 cents after a coupon was given to me on an online site. That’s when I started my research into reusable straws and why they are all the talk. What I learned was crazy. Here are some quick facts that I learned when looking into the importance of reusable straws.

  • It is impossible to recycle straws.
  • The U.S. uses 500 million straws a day!
  • Scientists predict that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans.
  • Americans use straws at an average rate of 1.6 per day.

Think about the last time you used a plastic straw. Where did it go when you were done with it? I bet you didn’t bat an eye when you threw your straw in the garbage. Most people don’t. They just carry on with their day. I’ll be honest… that was me.

Strawless Lids

Many businesses have made alterations to their policies to enforce the straw-free lifestyle. Starbucks, for example, pledged to entirely remove plastic straws from their locations by the year 2020. They plan to replace straws with recyclable lids (pictured left). They also sell hard plastic cups that you can ask your order to be served in. You can bring those cups back and get all your future orders served in them as well.

I also noticed that my university has banned the distribution of plastic straws as well. It was super exciting to see the movement expand to my university of roughly 17,000 students.

Let’s do the math real quick.

1.6 straws used a day  x   17,000 students =   27,200 straws prevented from entering our environment!

If every student at my university adjusted to the strawless lifestyle for only a day, we could prevent 27,200 straws from getting into our environment!  And that’s just at my school. Do the math for your school and see how many straws your campus would eliminate if they converted!

When I pull my straw out of my purse or backpack, I get a lot of mixed reactions from those around me. I’ve had friends laugh at me and say I’m ridiculous. I’ve also had friends who encourage me and ask where they can get their own straws. It feels good to know that although I am only one person, I am making a huge impact on the people and environment around me.

I have two different styles of straws. I preferred stainless steel over paper, but that was just my choice. If you’re into paper straws, GO FOR IT! At the end of this article, I linked the straws that I use so you can purchase your own and get started on making the change!

The style that I was interested in first was the collapsible stainless steel straw with a hard case. It was really easy to throw in my backpack before school and it’s even attachable to a keychain. I found a better quality version of the one I have on Amazon and I decided to link that one rather than the one I have because there were some issues with mine when I got it. This type of straw is great for drinks with more of a watery consistency because the rubber inside makes it hard for thicker drinks to travel through. So if you’re one who is constantly on the go and drinking water, pop, or juice, check this straw out!

I also own stainless steel straws that are not collapsible, but they came in a pack of four with two different styles- bent and straight. These straws also came with a carrier, however, this one is made of cotton. They’re great for tumbler cups or Starbucks drinks if you’re one of those whose lives just won’t go on without a straw in their frappuccino. These straws come in packs of 4 and packs of 8, so you don’t need to wash one before using another. Each pack comes with at least one cleaning brush (depending on the pack you purchase).

If you STILL think adjusting your straw habits won’t make a change, watch this TEDx Talk by Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff.

SOURCES:

http://www.thelastplasticstraw.org

http://www.nrdc.org

http://news.starbucks.com

 

GET YOUR OWN STRAWS:

Collapsible Straw

Rainbow Straws

 

 

5 Things I Learned When I Redirected My Focus to My Blog

Another year has come to a close so that means another year of MegannLouise.com has come and gone. 2018 was an eventful year for this site. Toward the end of the year, I took the bull by the horns (sorry PETA) and focused more time on writing.

When I started writing for MegannLouise.com, I had no intention of posting regularly. I just wanted a platform for me to post my work when I did write. And for roughly 75% of the time I’ve had this site, that’s exactly what I did. But now I dedicate time out of my day to work on new content. In doing this, I learned a lot about myself as a writer, creator, and individual. I know that sounds extremely corny. I’m sorry. But here’s the top 5 things I learned after I focused on my blog this year.

1. Writing isn’t always easy. And writer’s block is real.

There have been days where I’ve spent hours just trying to write an introduction or even come up with a topic. Since I’ve been writing for a long time, I know my style and whenever my brain fails me and I don’t do my best work, I get upset. I’ve spent entire days working on posts before, arguing with myself over wording or formatting. At the end of it all, I’ve felt defeated when I give in and post whatever I came up with even when I wasn’t happy with it.

And here’s the thing- writer’s block happens. It can kick your ass at the worst times but that’s how it goes. I had to learn to roll with the punches and give myself breaks while writing to recoup. Sometimes nothing would pop into my head for days or even weeks. It wasn’t pretty. I would usually go into a dark place whenever that happened. It’s pretty devastating to fall into a place where doing what you love takes a brutal toll on you. But like I said- it happens. I just had to accept that and work with what I had.

2. Writing ahead of time saves my sanity.

To piggy-back off the last point, my self-deprecation took up so much of my time and made it almost impossible for me to crank out content like I wanted. I eventually mustered up the ability to “mass produce” posts. I would write three or four posts in a day and schedule them for later dates so I wouldn’t have to worry about them the day I needed something to go up. This helped a lot during Blogmas since I had to have a post up every single day for almost two weeks. I think the best part about writing in bulk is that I can pump out a lot of content whenever I’m feeling really creative, and relax on the days where I can’t come up with anything.

3. Quality over quantity.

This one was a hard pill to swallow. Once I found time and motivation to write, I wanted to keep writing and create an arsenal of posts stocked up for scheduled posting. However, during Blogmas I realized that the short posts that didn’t take as much effort weren’t as good as the longer ones that I put more of my heart into. It took a lot out of me to know that although I was getting these posts done early, they weren’t as good as they could have been if I worked a little harder and didn’t spread myself thin.

Now I look at it as a reader instead of a writer. What would I want to read? What would I think if someone posted something like this? Would I continue to read their work?

4. It takes determination.

No successful blogger made it where they are now without determination. Slacking isn’t an option. Consistency is really important- just as important as content. Sure, breaks are great for the mind and can lead to better content, but disappearing for large chunks of time really doesn’t work. It leaves everyone wondering where you are and if you really take writing seriously. Trust me, I’ve been there. I had no motivation for this site and it ruined the great path I had made for myself. I had to almost completely start over.

5. This is a community.

I had to repeatedly remind myself that people actually read this. When I write, deep down I know that people will read it but I sometimes forget about it and throw all caution to the wind. So it’s freaky for a second when I get to meet people who read my blog and they bring up something that I forgot I wrote about. I’m always like, “HOW DID YOU KNOW THAT?!” and then it freaks them out. Sometimes I really feel like I’m writing in my diary.

I found myself heavily relying on my blog to write about my feelings. This is still true at times today. I always say that I try to remain open with my readers, and although it’s hard, it’s extremely empowering at times too. When I feel like my voice does not matter, I come here and I feel heard. I can be happy, sad, or just not myself and I know I have a community here who is willing to listen.

With that, I also had to learn how to censor myself. Although I believe it is crucial to be open with your readers, a line has to be drawn. I used to be far too open and it would ultimately backfire on me. Sometimes I post about something and look back at it later in regret. Now I have to use my better judgment whenever I write about something personal. It’s hard to hold back on occasions, but it’s for the best.

 

How to Stay on Top of Syllabus Week

Spring semester is just days away, and it’s time to get back into college content (ugh). The break was great and I definitely needed it, but toward the end of it, I was missing school a lot. It felt like when I took a semester off and had nothing to do. Sure, I loved getting to relax and be with my family, but I also really love learning and taking notes.

For those who aren’t aware, “syllabus week” is the first week of classes every semester when professors pass out and discussing the class syllabus. It’s super nice and laid back. You normally get dismissed super early because unless your professor really sucks, they cannot stretch out a discussion about a syllabus for an hour and a half.

People like syllabus week because it eases you into the class routine after a long break, but you still have to stay on top of your shit. Here are my tips for staying on top of syllabus week this semester!

1. Go to class!

I really shouldn’t have to say this. There are so many people who skip the first class of the semester just because it’s not material you will be tested over and it’s just going over the same mundane information put into different words by different professors. But I promise you it’s a bad call. Some professors will take attendance on the first day. Whether they count that attendance for a grade or not, they’re still seeing that you made an effort which will benefit you later in the semester.

There are also times when professors will give out freebie tips and tricks to passing the semester that aren’t typed out on the syllabus. They could mention sites that will help you throughout the semester or particular things they are looking for on papers or other assignments.

2. Save the syllabi!

Never have I ever thrown away my syllabi, but I sure as hell know people who have. And to those people, I ask- why? You are handed a piece (or multiple pieces) of paper that literally has the class schedule, due dates, and contact information for your professor. You would be stupid not to cherish that thing. It’s like the roadmap to success. Just make sure you keep it in a safe place where it won’t get lost. If I use a binder, I put it in a sheet protector. If I use a folder, I put it in the left pocket where all my most important papers go.

3. Take note of important dates!

As soon as I get my syllabus, I highlight due dates for projects/homework in pink, exam dates in yellow, and any other important dates in green. I think color coding is really important because you can just glance at your syllabus and know what’s coming up.

Not only should you highlight the syllabus, but you should also write those important dates in your planner and put them in your phone. Last semester I used an app called myHomework to stay on top of my assignments so I suggest finding an app if you’re more of a tech person than a physical planner type. Or you can even use both to make sure you don’t slip up on anything.

These are just a few of my tips for taking advantage of syllabus week and staying on top of things your first week back to school! Good luck to everyone going back to get that dang degree. That’s what’s up.

 

 

 

 

Planning My Dream Wedding| My Pinterest Plans

I’m 20 years old and nearing the age where marriage is becoming normal.

Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamt of my wedding day and how beautiful and sacred it would be. I still think about it from time to time. I randomly get into these moods where I open Pinterest and pin every little thing I can find that I would love to have at my future wedding. After realizing how sadly obsessed I was with it, I set my board to private. I thought it could be fun if we take some looks at the pictures I’ve pinned on my “Wedding Plans” board.

Reception Centerpieces

simple holiday decor Greenery and Candles Centerpieces

Cakes

Naked Wedding Cake - Larmer Tree Gardens Dorset Wedding With Bride In Alan Hannah Bridesmaids In Navy ASOS Dresses With Images From Razia N Jukes PhotographyThere are a few pieces of your wedding, however, that you need to look at spending more on to be able to get the most out of your budget for your wedd...Minimalist weddings are a seriously hot trend for 2016, and it really takes into account the well-known saying ‘less is more’. From chic wedding stationery to simple statement wedding cakes, newlyweds are swooning over the latest modern wedding style. To kick start your wedding planning, indulge yourself in a few of our favourite ideas…                                                                                                                                                                                 More

Ceremony Locations

If you imagine the equivalent of a Disneyland for brides, this California wedding would be it. Prisca and Cash tied the knot in style and their dream wedding couldn’t be more magical! The bride shares that she allowed her wedding to also be her mother’s as the two made all the decisions together — a […]This is the look of the ceremony with the tree and the two wine barrels behind the chairs. I've pinned another example of floral arrangements we're thinking of to go on the wine barrels.Rustic Wooden Wedding Aisle Signs / http://www.himisspuff.com/outdoor-wedding-aisles/

Dresses

Martina Liana Luxe Vintage Wedding Gown (STYLE 904)nice Stylebeach wedding dresses idea: Marie LaporteChiffon elegant wedding dress,sexy long sleeves and flirty peek-a-boo back wedding dress,Backless dressFile 9128d8b173 original

Miscellaneous Pins

Cute idea for wedding favorsRustic wedding ceremony sign {Photo by Anne Nunn via Project Wedding}Sabemos que estaría aquí hoy si cielo no era hasta ahora A Sky Full of Stars: Lee and Yuyu’s Wedding at Enderong Resort More15 amazing wedding guest book ideas - Message in a bottle | CHWV

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Meg On the Mic Ep.5 -Blog & Life Update

Excuse all the “um” ticks I disperse throughout the pod. Whenever I’m recording by myself I don’t really know how to make sentences without it haha.

In this episode, I talk about my plans for the site in the new year and ask you guys for your help to make this site the best it can be! It’s also a bit of a pointless rant at times too, so buckle up.

See you guys on Tuesday!

 

My socials:

twitter: @_megannlouise_

instagram: @meg.rosecrans

snapchat: megyloui

2019 New Year’s Resolutions

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First and foremost, happy new year everyone!

2018 was an amazing year for me. After being on and off with my writing, I made me official “return” to writing for MegannLouise. I slowly eased back into things and by the end of the year, I was comfortable enough to participate in my first Blogmas series. 12 days of writing was extremely tiring, but it didn’t scare me off. Now I’m here in the new year, still keeping up with my writing!

Every year at around this time, we are bombarded with people’s New Year’s Resolutions. I know we’re all thinking, “yeah right” every time we see one. Well, I usually don’t make resolutions because I know after the first couple of weeks I’ll give up on it (like I gave up on writing for a while). However, this year I’ve made a list of goals for this year, and by sharing them with you guys, I will feel like I’m being held accountable and I can’t give up on them. So without further ado, here is my list of goals for 2019!

Life

  • Give myself more time to relax
  • Don’t push things off until the last minute (plans, school, etc.)
  • Get active
  • Do something out of my comfort zone
  • Be more confident in myself
  • Read more
  • Journal
  • Take lots of pictures
  • Eat healthier
  • Drink more water
  • Stop using plastic straws

Blog

  • Follow a posting schedule
  • Only post what makes me proud
  • Be more confident in my writing
  • Post at least once a week
  • Meet more fellow bloggers
  • Take risks with my work

 

Thank you all for an amazing 2018 and “return” to writing. I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for me. Hopefully it will be even better than the year before!

I hope everyone has a healthy, happy, and love-filled 2019. ♡

 

 

Planning My Dream House |My Pinterest Plans

Today I had an idea to start a new series. I’m obsessed with Pinterest, so why incorporate that into my site? I’ve got a lot of boards for a lot of different things. How fun would it be if I shared my favorite pins from these boards in order to digitally collage my plans for the future? Maybe you guys won’t think it’s as fun as I do, but it’s happening anyway.

Everything I did growing up was to prepare myself for the future. I’ve been planning my dream house for years, pinning my favorite pictures on a board titled “my future home” (https://pin.it/zw5q3v2mnufyqs). I’m sure it’ll be clear once you see the photos, but I have a deep love for the farmhouse style. It’s so cozy and welcoming. I also really like neutral colors, so that will play a huge role in my future home.

Kitchen

Indian Kitchen Cabinet Ideas and Pics of Small Kitchen Cabinet Sets. Tip # 26795923Painted Kitchen Cabinet Ideas Before And After and Pics of Painting Kitchen Cabinet Doors. Tip # 66929873  Off white kitchen with grey quartz countertop. The surrounding countertops are Grey Expo Quartz. #Offwhitekitchen #greyquartz #greyquartzcountertop off-white-kitchen-with-grey-quartz-countertop Alicia Zupan

Master Bedroom

Rustic Farmhouse Bedroom Decorating Ideas To Transform Your Bedroom (5)Beautiful neutral  colors for a master bedroom creates a calm and peaceful space for easy restEmbracing all that’s simple and sweet about farmhouse style—without the farm!

Bathroom

pinterest: camilleelyse Cozy cottage farmhouse style dwelling in the California foothills

Dining Room

A former Fixer Upper client reveals what it’s really like to have Chip and Joanna Gaines renovate your home. Here, the dining room table is farmhouse beautiful!Nice 47 Simple Dining Room Decor Ideas With Farmhouse Style. More at https://dailyhouzy.com/2018/09/10/47-simple-dining-room-decor-ideas-with-farmhouse-style/Custom built, solid wood Modern Farmhouse Dining Furniture. 7' L x 37" W x 30" H Baluster Table with a traditional tabletop stained Dark Walnut with an Ivory painted base. Pictured with a Dianne Bench and Henry Dining Chairs.

Living Room

I like the stairs and the open, airy feelRustic Modern Living Room With pops of greenery Love that floorFarmhouse living room from Julie Warnock Interiors; modern farmhouse, farmhouse style

Backyard

 this is the perfect outdoor space. patio inspiration, summer patio, outdoor spaceRequiring ways of methods to set up your backyard? You could find all types of ideas to accessorize or even search for the proper method that will meet just what exactly fulfills you.

Miscellaneous

 Picking a paint color can be confusing and challenging! If you love gray, you'll love this beautiful neutral grey color - Sherwin Williams Silverplate.Some of the BEST Farmhouse Kitchen Decor Design Ideas like this Farmhouse Kitchen Baker's Hutch

 

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