This post is sponsored by our friends at MightyNest. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible for Root + Revel to provide free content and healthy living inspiration.
If you're as big of a fan of smoothies as I am, you're likely no stranger to plastic straws. I know when my smoothie habit first started, I relied on plastic straws in mason jars to get my daily fix.
That was until I learned that plastic straws are bad for you, bad for the environment and just plain toxic. Let's break it down:
Are Plastic Straws Bad for the Environment?
Did you know that 500 million straws are thrown out every single day in the U.S.?
It's hard to image what 500 million of anything looks like, let alone plastic straws. But the folks at Eco-Cycle calculated that 500 million straws would fill 127 school buses!
What are plastic straws made out of? Plastic straws are typically made from polypropylene (#5) or polyethylene (#2), which although safer than how they used to be made with BPA-laden polystyrene (#6), is still not ideal.
Because let's face it–even if you live in a city that allows you to recycle plastic straws, most of us are using the straws once and throwing them away in the regular trash. And plastic straws are not biodegradable.
So what's a good alternative?
Why You Should Use Stainless Steel Reusable Straws
Anytime you can make the switch from a one-time-use product to a reusable product, you'll be doing yourself and the environment a favor.
When it comes to straws, that means tossing plastic straws in favor of reusable straws–the options range from stainless steel straws to glass straws and even bamboo straws, but I recommend those made from 304-grade 18/8 stainless steel.
This grade of stainless steel (304, 430, 220, etc.) speaks to the straws quality, durability and temperature resistance, while the numbers (18/8, 18/10, etc.) refer to the amount of chromium and nickel (respectively) in the product.
As not all stainless steel is created equal, it is important to note 304-grade 18/8 stainless steel is of superior quality–it's durable, corrosion-resistant, rust-resistant (the chromium binds oxygen to the surface of the product to protect the iron from oxidation) and will not leach into foods.
How to clean reusable straws
Fortunately, stainless steel reusable straws are dishwasher safe, though I recommend rinsing the straws immediately after use. Then put the straws in the dishwasher. For any tough to get spots, use a handy Straw Cleaner brush.
Where to Buy Stainless Steel Reusable Straws
Whether you're looking for drinking straws for your Yeti, a tumbler or mason jars, or you need reusable straws for hot drinks or smoothies, most retailers now sell reusable straws, including Walmart, Target, bulk and wholesale stores, etc.
Of course, my favorite eco-friendly retailer is MightyNest, an online store stocking a plethora of sustainable and environmentally friendly products on a quest to help people create a healthier home and planet.
From MightyNest, you can buy The Endurance Stainless Steel Straws that I love–these reusable straws come in straight or bendy shapes, and look how pretty they are even in a glass of water!
Plus, these stainless steel straws are also BPA-free, lead-free, PVC-free and phthalate-free. Score!
Save Money on Eco-Friendly Home Products
A fun way to transition your house to more eco-friendly, green products is with a MightyFix Subscription.
MightyNest launched a monthly subscription service called MightyFix back in 2015–you may remember we talked about it in this post all about tossing toxic plastic wrap.
MightyFix is THE BEST way to save money on eco-friendly home products, as it allows members to try out alternative ways to do things at home by sending a tested, safe, natural and sustainable product every month.
So you can slowly replace something that’s not particularly eco-friendly or natural, like plastic straws, with something that is, like reusable stainless steel straws.
Remember how we talked about making the transition to natural living as being a process…that whole celebrate progress not perfection thing?
I always tell people to start by just making one healthier choice the next time you run out of something. You don’t have to throw everything out and start over all at once.
Make the transition to natural living slow and steady–it’ll be easier for you, less expensive and you’ll be more likely to actually stick to it long-term.
Take a look at how MightyFix works:
- A subscription to MightyFix is $11/month, and every item is worth at least $11, if not more. In fact, you can expect a 30% retail savings! Or you can do an annual subscription for just $99, which is 2 Free Months!**
- Shipping on your MightyFix is ALWAYS FREE! And if you want to add other sustainable items to your order—there’s over 2,000 products to choose from, like eco-friendly laundry detergent or a new set of essential oils or an all-natural hand sanitizer—you’ll still receive FREE shipping on your entire order!
- You can stop/cancel your subscription at any time; there’s no mandatory subscription period.
- Each monthly product arrives with a cute note detailing how to use the new item and a healthy recipe. Plus, how fun is it to get a surprise in the mail every month?!
Note: The MightyFix is available to U.S. customers with free shipping and to Canadian and Australian Fix users for a small shipping surcharge