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Stories and green tips related to nature, adventure, placemaking, and food systems, written by a beginning farmer/gardener and seasoned sustainability educator who loves to grow, cook, ferment, and eat local and ecologically happy food.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Why I'm Making This Blog

All over the internet you can find tips to "green" your lifestyle. They're all useful, but some just aren't feasible for teens and children; many of the things in our lives and homes we don't control and many times parents don't want to change, can't afford to, or just don't care. I consider myself pretty environmentally friendly. I have the right mindset for making a change in my own life to leave less of an global impact.

Education is key, and I want this to be a place where I can both share my own tips and help to remind myself of the things I need to keep in mind each day. It will be my own personal green tips guide for teens and children (and adults who want some simple things to do to make a change). Start minimizing your impact!

Green Gal Tip #1
Hold the Straw

Starbucks, diners, nice restaurants, McDonalds, and other places that serve drinks are to blame for an unnecessary waste of plastic: the straw. Straws are fun to blow bubbles with, and come in handy with thick drinks like frappuccinos, Jamba Juice smoothies, and milkshakes. But do you really need to use a straw to sip on water? You have a mouth that is perfectly capable of sipping from the side of the cup - you don't use straws when drinking hot beverages, so why use it when drinking cold ones? At Starbucks, simply take off the plastic lid and sip from the side, and reattach the plastic lid to avoid spills when resting it on a table or in a car--or catch the barista before he slaps that lid on and say no thanks. At restaurants, catch the waitress before she pulls those pesky little plastic tubes of waste from her apron, and tell her that you don't use straws. Maybe explain to her why you don't use straws. A waitress at T.G.I. Fridays once asked if we needed straws and my family said no. She was so happy and explained that she always asks first because she's trying to save plastic. That made my day!

So next time you're out, remember to opt for no straw. Once it becomes a habit, you'll realize how silly straws are for drinks like water and iced tea. Think about how much plastic you'll be saving annually!

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The future is not something we enter. The future is something we create.

-- L. I. Sweet

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