In all the talk about reusable products and particularly the plastic straw debate I thought it might be useful to have a round up of what the options are. In all things, it’s about finding what will work for your situation and how likely to are to use things. Making an investment in a longer lasting product is worthwhile if you are going to be using them in the longer term, we have found that each option has some pros and cons, so see what might work for you x
1. Metal Straws – ours are from EkoEarth
This was our original choice, we have four kids and we use straws at home and wanted something robust enough to also travel around with us. We bought one pack of 4 straws and a Woolla Woolla Pouch to carry them in. We love the rainbow colours of these, and have just been popping them into the dishwasher which seems to work fine.
They are not great for hot drinks as they can heat up, and a few guests have found the metal to have a ‘taste’ which isn’t our experience but could be yours?
Some people are also not keen on how hard the metal is on teeth and gums, but for our bitey children they’ve been great.
With metal you have a few recycling options, I think they would make great plant sticks once we no longer use straws or more likely they will go in the drinks cabinet for cocktail night…
2. Bamboo Straws – ours are from White Spring (they have been sent to us to review.)
I wasn’t sure about bamboo originally from the cleaning angle – and even though we have bamboo in the garden, I wasn’t confident enough to make my own. Luckily White Spring have kindly sent us a pack to use and review here to allay my fears!
We also have a pack we have added to our Planet Saving Pack, which will be part of a giveaway soon – you can join our FB Group Spend Less, Use Less, Do More to join in x
Bamboo is a great product as it grows quickly and easily, so can be harvested sustainably. It can also be composted once it’s useful life is over, or used to make masts for a ship for toy pirates…
The straws come in a box of 8 with two cleaning brushes. This was all much easier than I had feared, and the bamboo is a really tactile material. I didn’t know you could put bamboo in the dishwasher, and they even came with their own bag so we could take them out and about with us. I’m very impressed with them x
White Spring have given us a 10% off discount code for their Amazon store, so if you want to get some of their bamboo straws (great stocking filler!) you can use this code WS324977.
3. Silicone Straws – ours are from GlugGlug Planet
We are so in love with our silicone cups, they are so tactile and warm that the straws were always going to be popular. We liked that the straws cope well with ice cold or hot drinks, although you should always be careful!
The flexibility is the best if that’s important to you, and they are almost impossible to damage and are very soft to use, as well as soft for your mouth. Each packet contains 6 straws, in a paper bag with a cleaning brush. Silicone can even be boiled to sterilize it; if you do have any concerns about hygiene.
GlugGlug Planet have two funky colours available and you can see our Just One Thing interview with Dani if you’d like to learn more about their ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ x
4. Paper Straws
I had dismissed these as a bit pointless as they only last for one drink, or not even for that when the kids chew the ends. However, if you know that you can’t keep hold of or clean straws they are a compostable alternative.
Paper degrades very quickly so it isn’t as poor a choice as I first assumed. While writing this I was chatting to the kids, and they rightly pointed out that they liked paper straws the best as they come in the most exciting colours… it’s a fair point. It’s also relevant to say they are the cheapest option in the short term, and good for buying in bulk – for a party for instance.
On a more serious note, getting kids engaged is important, so making things fun for them isn’t to be dismissed. We got the rainbow coloured metal straws for exactly this reason. If they love them they will use them!
5. Go Without!
I’m not trying to be cheeky, but our first new state of being when moving towards an ethically frugal life should be to REFUSE. If you don’t need a straw for medical reasons then just don’t use them. You will need to get used to telling the people preparing your drink that you don’t want a straw. We have been slowly weaning the kids off them, but it’s no easy task! The tricky place we have found are the straws attached to kids carton drinks. Of course we try to avoid them too by being prepared and taking our own drinks – but things don’t always go to plan, or they are given them on school trips or by others.
I’m teaching my kids to push the straw right down into the carton once they have finished their drink, this is to reduce the chance of the straws being blown away and not put in the bin properly. It’s not perfect but it’s better than nothing…
Have you given up straws? Or are you using an alternative?
We’d love to hear from you x