It starts with a single straw.
This month, as part of our Sustainable Summer, the team at Solight Design will be participating in #StrawlessSummer and encouraging everyone to do the same! Since our founding, Solight has been committed to sustainability in everything that we do. From our packaging, to our SolarPuff lights, to our lifestyles, we are driven by a desire to ensure that future generations are able to thrive. The Solight team will be saying no to straws for the entire summer, and hopefully for the rest of our lives! We want you to do the same. If you choose to participate, post an instagram or an insta story of your strawless drink with the hashtag #StrawlessSummer and a caption about your #StrawlessSummer experience! At the end of the month of July, we’ll pick three of the most active strawless summer advocates and send them a reusable straw kit and SolarPuff set.
Did you know? There are currently 12.7 million metric tons of plastic in the ocean. Plastic is broken down into microscopic particles, creating emissions that are harmful to both animals and the environment. One of the most dangerous types of plastic that ends up in the ocean is single-use plastic straws. These straws are often mistaken for food because of their small, round size and are consumed by a wide variety of marine animals.
Most people believe that because straws are plastic, they’re recyclable. This is NOT true!! Most plastic straws are too lightweight for recycling sorters and so they drop through sorting screens and end up in landfills. Once in these landfills, plastic takes over 2,000 years to break down. Most straws also come individually wrapped either in paper or thin, non-recyclable plastic. This means that when you drink out of a straw, you’re not only throwing out the straw, but the packaging as well!
Straws are extremely harmful to humans and animals even before they break down. Thousands of people end up in the ER each year because of straw-related injuries. Lots of straws end up in the ocean, either because they’ve been littered in beach communities or because they are blown out of trash cans or transport boats and vehicles. Once these straws are in the ocean, they are often mistaken for food. 71% of seabirds and 30% of sea turtles are found with straws in their stomachs and they often get lodged in their throats and cause them to choke.
How can we help?
One way that anyone and everyone can help to reduce their plastic waste is by choosing to eliminate single-use plastic straws! An average person will go through an estimated 38,000 straws in 60 years. Just one person making the decision to cut out straws can make a HUGE impact. It’s as simple as saying no when offered one with your drink.
Just say no! Choose to sip directly from your cup instead of accepting straws when given them. It can be a challenge at first but soon it will become second nature to say no!
Ask for alternatives! Ask your local coffee shop for a strawless lid or look for shops that offer paper or pasta straws.
Be prepared! Reusable, durable, and sustainable straws are available on Amazon and in most eco-friendly grocery stores. The most popular ones are stainless steel, glass, and bamboo.
Make your drinks at home! When you make your own drinks, you will not only save money but also save plastic. This eliminates both straws and single-use plastic cups.
Start a conversation! When people try to offer you a straw, or when they ask why you’ve refused, explain what you’re doing!! Help spread the movement!
What is Solight Doing?
Here at Solight Design, we understand the importance of reducing our plastic use. Our SolarPuffs are made out of a 100% recyclable PET material that is manufactured here in the U.S. ensuring that, when properly disposed of, our SolarPuffs will continue to live on as another product. Our minimal packaging is also made out of the same PET materials so it can be recycled too. It was designed to be reused with a resealable zip lock at the top. This has proven to be especially useful in many of the developing countries where our lights are distributed. We encourage the creative reuse of our products and our packaging in every way that you can!