Eliminating plastic straws won’t stop our ecological crisis, but it does start the conversation

Out of all the things the US president has done, selling plastic straws is not the worst, by far. But it is symbolic. It is symbolic as much as not using plastic straws is (if that’s accessible for you). ⁠

We know this won’t save the world from ourselves. It’s a starter. None of us here tend to jump in with people who don’t have much exposure to conservation with talk on soil degradation, climate justice or environmental policy. We work our way up to it. And plastics in our oceans, rivers and lands are a major, species threatening issue. It takes a lot to be able to swallow any guilt or empathy away when looking at suffering animals & humans due to plastic-for-convenience.⁠

It might start with somebody hearing straws are a problem. They might go and research more. They might stumble on the low-waste movement. They might ask one of their friends. They might try #plasticfreejuly. They might read blogs and learn about ableism. They might learn that plastics are made from fossil fuels. They might learn about alternatives and monocrops. That might lead them to the food industry. They might travel and see plastic pollution everywhere. They might start to dig into why it’s so much more visible and stumble into capitalism, equity, poverty and environmental racism. They can read on the problems with recycling. And on.⁠

Opting out of single-use plastic is opting out of the system that says you need it & you can’t change it. Opting out gives us agency. It makes us assess what we’re consuming and reduce. And reducing is where consumer magic lies. ⁠

Selling/buying plastic straws when there are reusable alternatives or the choice to use none because you openly despise those who are concerned for the environment whilst limiting every policy move on positive action for climate change, biodiversity & pollution and reversing numerous others, is a deep level of illness. ⁠

These things are served to distract us from the bigger problems. If straws are what gets you into environmentalism that’s been ideal (it’s a great way to get kids involved too). We all start somewhere and must quickly realize it doesn’t end there. We have to start and accelerate progress. Stay focussed.