Remember that September Challenge?
Remember how I said that I would crush that challenge?
Well I did!
C’mon, you really had no doubts in my ability. I made that first challenge super easy. Most of us have been using reusable shopping bags for more than a decade. Myself included.
The hubby even climbed further on board. In the instances that he didn’t have a reusable bag with him, he opted for a paper bag. We then use these paper bags for transporting outgrown clothing and miscellaneous household decluttering to the donation shops.
But what about that secondary goal?
The one about plastic straws.
I was shocked to find that the United States goes through 500 million straws per day. That’s a 5…with eight zeros!! It could wrap around the Earth’s circumference 2.5 times! 175 Billion a year littering landfills, waterways, and oceans.
I’ve heard it said that ignorance is bliss, but the reality is I’m much too curious of a person to spend time in that place. In the past, I’ve never even thought about how a straw might be causing long term detriment.
But now I knew better.
So how did I do?
Over the month of September, I used…
The first one was during Miss Sunshine’s soccer tournament over Labor Day weekend. We went to lunch with some teammates. We were the last to arrive. I sat at a table with some parents I hadn’t met before and it didn’t occur to me to mention to the waitress that I didn’t want a straw. That restaurant happened to bring out drinks with the straws already placed into cups. The second one was at my birthday dinner. I knew that restaurant brought out straws separately. What I didn’t anticipate was that the mixed drink would come out with a straw. The third was at the hubby’s birthday dinner. Again, it was a mixed drink issue. It was different restaurant and one of those giant “one drink per patron” margaritas. It may have been hard to drink without a straw.
It also opened a dialogue with the teens. They often think I’m crazy with my attempts to “save the planet”. They definitely are still in the mode of believing that one person can’t make a difference. While it’s true that my conscientious decision to be mindful of straw usage probably made very little impact, it did do something.
And something is better than nothing.
In fact, when we traveled to Mabry Mill the next day, I specifically said to the waitress “no straw please.”
If you’re curious about the fact that those 3 straws don’t account for the photo above, that was taken in April at the airport in Munich…before I discovered my ignorance.
I learned that I have a long way to go on the sandwich bag usage. However, I did pull out glassware and reusable plastic for stowage of leftovers or open packages that I might have used the bags for in the past. I was also more conscientious of using as much reusable plastics as possible when packing lunches for the teens. While we often use reusable water bottles, I definitely had my eyes opened to the fact that we still use too many one-time disposable plastic water bottles.
I also learned that plastic seems to be in almost every…single…thing… It’s a journey to move away from it. I see the merits of taking each step that I can take, while also being gentle with myself in those that I am not yet ready to take.
My biggest takeaway from the 30 days is the same thing that I’ve said above, but I think it bears repeating:
Something is better than nothing.
In case you are new to my blog or have just stumbled upon this post, the “30 Days of” challenges are set to help me grow outside of my comfort zones during this year of being 40. I will be announce each new one toward the end of the month in case you’d like to join in. I’d love it if you did!
If you missed the announcement of the October Challenge, you can find that here. Feel free to join in. Better late than never!!
Let your light shine!