The Final Straw

Ansley Sinclair 

Like many of you this summer, I have woken up to news headlines like “Starbucks Will Ban Plastic Straws by 2020” and “Disney Bans Plastic Straws at Theme Parks Worldwide.” While this coverage lifts my spirits in humanity, it also sparks the question “what are the non-fortune 500 companies doing?” Often times - nothing. And while some cities like San Francisco and NYC have successfully implemented straw bans, Fort Worth has stayed essentially stagnant.

Don’t get me wrong, I do feel quite proud to say Righteous Foods is one of the first and few restaurants in Fort Worth that not only uses eco-friendly straws, but many other green products as well. That said, I acknowledge most people can’t spend all day, every day at Righteous. For that reason, I’ve researched some eco-friendly alternatives to plastic straws - all of which are reasonably priced and highly effective.

Alternative #1: Stainless Steel Straws

Many people hear the words “stainless steel straws” and become fearful of a metallic aftertaste. However, after months of owning my own, I can guarantee there is no such problem. In fact, I prefer the stainless steel design for cold drinks because it makes every sip as refreshing as the last and keeps the liquid cold. Continuing my rave, these straws are reusable and dishwasher safe, and fit into nearly all cups and tumblers.

My Favorite Stainless Steel Straws 

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Alternative #2: Silicone Straws

While stainless steel straws seem to be the most common alternative, they are far from favorable among avid coffee drinkers or those who’ve developed a habit of chewing their straws. If you fall into either of these categories, I suggest silicone straws for you. Soft silicone remains at room temperature, regardless of the contents in your cup. Even better, they are thin enough to fit through most lids, yet flexible enough to fold and carry.

P.S. The straws linked below are durable and long lasting, but when their time is up, you can skip the trashcan and go straight for a match - Koffie straws turn into 100 percent biodegradable ash when burned.

My Favorite Silicone Straws

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Alternative #3: Biodegradable Paper Straws

Let’s face it, half the fun of plastic straws stems from picking out a bright color or unique design. With paper straws, you don’t have to relinquish that perk. Paper straws are perfect for birthday parties, weddings, or anything that calls for celebration. I will admit the paper eventually becomes soggy and the straws are only good for one use. But when we’re talking about the environment, paper beats plastic any day.

My Favorite Paper Straws 

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Alternative #4 Bamboo Straws

I know what you’re thinking, “bamboo straws?” But bamboo is one of Earth’s fastest growing plants, which means it’s a highly sustainable alternative to plastic. Bamboo is also biodegradable, which essentially means it is capable of being decomposed by bacteria and other living organisms. Righteous has discovered the beauty of bamboo straws for quite some time now - using them to taste test drinks behind the bar before they go out or find a spot on our menu.

My Favorite Bamboo Straws 

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So there you go! It doesn’t matter what coffee shop you choose to visit in the morning or what theme park you wait in line for. With these green alternatives to plastic straws, you can be eco-friendly at home, in the office, or out to eat (gasp!) not at Righteous.

We encourage you to use the hashtag #siprighteously every time you use an eco-friendly straw on the go. Additionally, feel free to send us some of your favorite tips and tricks so we can spread the wealth of knowledge together.

Ansley Sinclair