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Proper Green: No More Drinking Straws?

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Eating out’s a treat, but asking the waiter or waitress to hold the straw can lead to an awkward moment. Proper Green offers advice on how to get your local restaurant on board with forward green thinking.
Dear Proper Green,

Is it rude to ask my waitress to not bring me a straw with my drink? I think straws are wasteful and I'm happy to sip out of my glass, but I've definitely gotten some weird looks when I ask.

-Jane L.

Dear Jane L.,

Not rude at all! It's probably not a request the wait staff gets very often, which is why you'll receive the occasional quizzical look, but you're not alone in your desire to make an impact by doing away with these seemingly innocuous drinking instruments.

Milo Cress started his Be Straw Free campaign in 2011 when he was 9 years old. The campaign's research had found that Americans use 500 million straws daily (DAILY!) and he set off to make a major change in our drinking habits.

The campaign encourages consumers to take a pledge to ask for your beverages without a straw when eating out or to use reusable straws when at home. For businesses the campaign asks that restaurants practice an "Offer First" policy where they check to see if their patrons would in fact like a straw, versus plopping one in your beverage automatically.

So, next time you're in a restaurant that automatically serves your drink with a straw or you receive a bewildered look when you ask to hold the straw, bring up the story of Milo Cress to your waiter or to the restaurant manager. This inspiring story may be what helps the business turn a green corner.

To read more about the Be Straw Free Campaign and Milo Cress, please visit!

How do save resources when you're out to eat? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
About Proper Green

Proper Green is all about good manners in a green world. Ideas about what constitutes proper behavior within the green movement are still evolving; we aim to help smooth the way, so you can lead a greener life and so we can all be respectful of all shades of green. Good manners, like our planet, need care, attention, and dedication. Proper Green is here to help and inspire!

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Proper Green
Proper Green

Proper Green is Recyclebank's green advice column. From promoting good manners in a green world (because ideas about what constitutes proper behavior and... more