One of the most recent additions to my growing collection of sustainable products are a set of stainless steel straws and a 4 piece stainless steel cutlery set. These have been a great way to incorporate sustainability into my life that is about as easy as it gets. I bought the two items separately, but have gotten in the habit of keeping one of the straws in my bag so that I’m always prepared for a spur of the moment iced-coffee run.
At first, I thought I would use the straws the least frequently, I never drink out of straws at home so I only really use them when I get iced coffee or a drink at a bar. But in practice, I’ve found I get the most use out of the straws. It has been incredibly hot in Tacoma lately and so I’ve been having more iced drinks than usual. I don’t like drinking iced coffee without a straw so even when I get iced coffee to enjoy in-house at my local cafe, I’ve been using a plastic straw. Sure, straws aren’t a ton of waste, but even little bits of waste adds up over time. The set I bought comes with four straws and a brush for easy cleaning. There are a variety of reusable straw options in bendy and straight options and various lengths. I’m happy with the pack I got, but I recommend taking time to look at the options to see what type of straw you think you’ll be happiest with. My biggest fear with the straws is that I’ll leave the straw behind somewhere, but somehow I’ve managed to hold onto all four of them.
I bought my cutlery set the same time I bought my straws. There are a variety of options for reusable cutlery ranging from plastic, to bamboo, to stainless steel. I opted for stainless steel because it looks less childish than the plastic options and seems more sturdy than bamboo. My set came with a knife, fork, spoon, and a set of chopsticks. They come with a zippered pouch too so that cutlery stays clean when I take it with me and doesn’t get food on my purse after I’ve used it. The chopsticks came in handy this weekend when I got lunch at Uwajimaya market in Seattle. I found a vendor that served food on reusable trays instead of in styrofoam containers and with my chopsticks, my lunch was practically waste free (except for the napkin, maybe it’s time to get a reusable version of those too).
The only problem I’ve found so far is that the straw is a bit too long for my cutlery pouch so it doesn’t zip all the way closed (definitely not a deal breaker) and the pouch doesn’t fit in the smaller of my purses. I would highly recommend incorporating these sustainable changes, especially if you’re in the habit of a carrying a purse or messenger bag since they are relatively compact. You may not need them every day, but in a pinch, they will help you find one more way to produce less waste in your daily life.