iStock/AltaybThe answer to protecting and saving marine wildlife can start with cutting back on something Americans use every day—plastic drinking straws. Actor Adrien Grenier, best known for playing Vincent Chase in the 2015 movie Entourage, has launched a campaign to reduce the amount of single-use plastic usage in this country in order to protect and save marine wildlife and the environment. Plastic drinking straws are among many single-use plastic products contributing to the devastating loss of marine life, but they’re a great place to start because they’re something Americans are using by the hundreds of millions without any clue that they’re so damaging.
According to Ecocycle, Americans use more than 500 million straws daily, which is enough to fill 127 school buses each day, and they can’t be recycled. That means plastic straws end up in landfills or oceans, where fish and other marine wildlife mistake the small bits for food and ingest them. After seeing a photo of a whale beached on the shore with a belly full of plastic, Grenier felt the inspiration to launch the Lonely Whale Foundation, hoping to inspire and educate others on the challenges facing marine life.
Along with stopping the use of straws, Grenier hopes to educate consumers on the dangers of other single-use plastic items such as grocery bags and water bottles. While many Americans use these plastic products in their daily life, there are more sustainable alternatives that can help protect the environment. Ecocycle recommends the use of straws made from stainless steel, glass, and even bamboo instead of plastic. You can buy a number of these environmentally friendly straws online and in stores.
Along with quitting your straw habit, you can further help the environment by taking the I Choose to Reuse pledge, and stop your use of single-use coffee cups, checkout bags, bottled water, and polystyrene to-go containers. Instead, take advantage of any number of alternative reusable products, including stainless steel water bottles and reusable grocery totes. In your effort to reuse, you may want to consider reusing these items around your home too.
Need another reason to stop sipping from straws? According to celebrity esthethican Renée Rouleau, using straws can cause wrinkles. In an interview with Marie Claire, Roulealu revealed that when drinking out of a straw, “the movement of the mouth area that you have to make will encourage the breakdown of collagen and elasticity more quickly, causing unnecessary wrinkles and lines.”
Make your efforts to go green more effective by separating the myths from the truths when it comes to being kind to the earth.