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

 

 

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A Gifting Guide To Make Holiday Shopping Easier | Blogmas Day 4

Does anyone else get stressed out over gift giving? Don’t know what to get someone?

I worked really hard on a video that was supposed to be posted today, but in WordPress’s good fashion, it won’t upload… even after 2 whole days of loading. You could say I’m a little distraught. But instead of moping, I buckled down and prepared a replacement post for everyone. In yesterday’s post I said I’m not very good at making gift guides, but I decided to challenge myself today.  I chose a few different categories and compiled some different gift ideas that your loved ones would be sure to love. I even added some purchasing links for you guys! I hope you enjoy!

Book Worms

A Bullet Journal 

They read enough books, so maybe it’s time they create one of their own!

https://bulletjournal.com

A Kindle

For the readers on the go who can’t always get to the bookstore.

https://www.target.com/p/amazon-kindle-e-reader-6-wifi-8th-generation-2016/-/A-51467832?preselect=51441527#lnk=sametab

https://www.target.com/p/amazon-kindle-paperwhite-e-reader-6-wifi/-/A-51468065?preselect=51441624#lnk=sametab

Amazon Gift Card

So they can get some new books for their new kindle 😉

https://www.amazon.com/gift-cards/b/?ie=UTF8&node=2238192011&ref=nav_cs_gift_cards

Custom Photo Books BY YOU

Shutterfly offers printed copies of books you can create by yourself!
https://www.shutterfly.com/photo-books

Gym-holics

Fitness Apparel

It’s always a confidence booster to know you look good while you’re working out!

https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/nike-womens-pro-warm-training-tights-18nikwprwrmtghtxxapb/18nikwprwrmtghtxxapb

https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/calia-by-carrie-underwood-womens-essential-heather-leggings-17ca2wbsclggngxxxapba/17ca2wbsclggngxxxapba

https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/nike-womens-pro-dri-fit-feather-printed-3-shorts-18nikwpr3fthrprntapb/18nikwpr3fthrprntapb

https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/under-armour-womens-3-play-up-shorts-2-0-16uarwplypshrtxxxapba/16uarwplypshrtxxxapba

Water Bottles

You can never have enough water while you’re at the gym, so why not have some cute water bottles by your side?

https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/nike-hyperfuel-32-ozwater-bottle-16nikuhyprfl32zwtcac/16nikuhyprfl32zwtcac

https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/camelbak-insulated-25-ozwater-bottle-18cbkunsltdbttl25btt/18cbkunsltdbttl25btt

Tennis Shoes

A new pair to a gym-holic’s collection is always exciting!

https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/nike-womens-air-zoom-resistance-tennis-shoes-17nikwrzmrsstncwhtnn/17nikwrzmrsstncwhtnn

https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/new-balance-womens-fresh-foam-cruz-running-sneakers-18nwbwcrzvskntxxxftw/18nwbwcrzvskntxxxftw?recid=Product_PageElement_product_rr_3_9073_&rrec=true

Duffle Bag

Obviously it would be helpful to have something to carry all the new gear in!

https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/under-armour-undeniable-3-0-small-duffle-bag-17uarundnbldffl30trva/17uarundnbldffl30trva

Earbuds

It’s a little rude to play your pump up playlist loudly for everyone to hear, so a pair of earbuds could really come in handy.

https://www.target.com/p/beats-174-powerbeats3-wireless-earphones-neighborhood-collection/-/A-52904572

Phone Strap

Can’t work out with your phone in your hand, can you?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06ZYSYXVJ/ref=s9_acsd_cdeal_hd_bw_b7ijcfT_c_x_w?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-4&pf_rd_r=HGVX9WH9EW9T0706E0YM&pf_rd_r=HGVX9WH9EW9T0706E0YM&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1e89a640-1142-50d7-93be-8b4c6e34f8b3&pf_rd_p=1e89a640-1142-50d7-93be-8b4c6e34f8b3&pf_rd_i=7073962011

 

Makeup Gurus

Morphe Eyeshadow Palettes

Morphe has AMAZING palettes that any makeup lover can’t live without.

THE JACLYN HILL EYESHADOW PALETTE

24G GRAND GLAM EYESHADOW PALETTE

Brush Sets

Can’t apply the shadow without brushes!

EYE SLAY

Travel Bags

I never realized how important travel bags are for makeup until I had to haul all my makeup everywhere I went.

ZMB4 – 'LOADER' SET BAG

Face Masks

A great way to pamper your skin after wearing lots of makeup.

https://www.sephora.com/product/super-mud-clearing-treatment-P376409?icid2=products%20grid:p376409:product

https://www.sephora.com/product/sheet-masks-P429529?icid2=products%20grid:p429529:product

 

Advice to High School Seniors Looking into Colleges

I’m writing this with one week left of my first semester at University. As you all may know by now, I attended a semester of community college in Fall of 2017, but chose to take the next semester off to focus on a career path that I really enjoyed at the time. However, that career ended abruptly (by choice) and I decided to go back to school.

Picking the right school for me was extremely easy. I first visited CSU when I was a junior in high school and my school offered a field trip to tour the campus. I immediately fell in love with the area and everything the school had to offer. I knew right away that I didn’t want to go anywhere else. I was sold on Cleveland State. Looking back at it, I should have done a lot more research before committing to CSU. I don’t regret my decision, but I sometimes wonder if I would have been amazed by any other campus had I opened my mind to other schools.

My sister is a graduating senior in high school this year, and she has decided on following my lead in becoming a fellow Viking at CSU come Fall 2019. This was a decision that was urged by many financial and convenience matters. However, she did have many other options on the table.

I originally wanted to post this before she made her final decision, but I figure if I do it now, it may help someone else too. I compiled my best tips and tricks to finding the perfect college for you. These are all things I wish I knew before I chose CSU. I really love my school, but I could have done some things differently. So please, please, take these tips into account before you chose the school you will spend the next four (or more) years at.

1. Have a good idea of what majors you plan to study.

Yes, I said majors. Have backups and plenty of them. There is a good chance that you will want to change your major at some point. You will want to know that the college you are going to will offer great opportunities and educations for whatever you may change your major to.

2. Don’t follow friends.

Those of you who haven’t listened to the episode Meg on the Mic with Zach, I briefly discussed the backlash I received for “following” my boyfriend to college. I explained that I wanted to attend CSU before I dated Zach. I just planned on attending after another year at a community college. However, the idea of having a friend who was going through the same freshman experiences as me encouraged me to skip the second year at community college. It made things so much more exciting and it gave me strength since I’m such a scaredy-cat.

BUT I really encourage everyone to branch out if possible. If you and your best friend both happen to chose the same school, that’s great. But please don’t base your college decision on where your friends are going. College is your time to make new friends and make memories with new people. Sure, you can still do this with your old friends, but sometimes it’s easier to be thrown into a pool of strangers believe it or not. I’ve made a lot of friends in classes full of people who were in the same situation as me- alone.

3. Reach out to people who attend schools you’re interested in.

This helps a lot with getting the feel for a college. Campus tours are meant to really fluff up the campus, student life, and education programs. The only true way you will know what a school is like before attending yourself is to talk to someone who currently goes there. Even better- talk to someone majoring in the same thing as you. Remember, tour guides are often times students who are paid to say certain things to you while you’re on your tour. Talking to students who aren’t obligated to hype up the campus will be brutally honest and answer all your questions without holding anything back.

4. Consider location.

Are you planning on bringing a car? Are you allowed to bring a car? Do you want to be close to home? Far from home? Near certain resources? These are all important questions to answer. I live about an hour away from campus, and I’ve found that it’s the perfect distance for me. I don’t have a car (I don’t drive. I think we’ve been over this) so I can’t get home by myself in case of emergency. But I can always rely on a family member or friend coming to get me since it’s not too much of a trip. It’s a good distance to test my independence while still have my family a drive away if I need them. Maybe that’s not for you though. Maybe you want to be far away from home. If you think you can do it, go for it.

5. Don’t disregard schools because of the cost.

You most likely will not be paying full price for college. With scholarships, financial aid, and other sources of financial assistance, tuition will be much more manageable than it may seem at first.

 

I have so many more tips that I could share, but for the sake of this becoming a long read, I’ll cut it off at five tips for now. If you guys have any questions or tips of your own, let me know and I could do a follow up post.

Remember to follow megannlouise.com to be updated when posts are published! 12 Days of Blogmas is right around the corner and you’ll want to be in the know when the holiday posts are up and ready to read!