Straws and other Disposables
Recently, I initiated a discussion and lab about disposable straws with the students in my college course "Know Watts Cooking - The Physics of Energy Efficient Cooking." This was motivated by a documentary Straws by Linda Booker shown on Appalachian State's campus about the environmental impact of disposable plastic straws.
In class, we tested several non-disposable straw options (stainless, silicone, hard plastic) and even disposable paper with some delicious home-made ginger ale (you should really try some of this!). A couple students from this class then participated in the panel discussion after the film.
I was impressed with the level of engagement in the class and audience aroud this topic which then lead to important discussions about other unnecessary disposable packaging.
While straws may seem like a tiny and insignificant step when compared to other parts of our inefficient food system, making a commitment to no straws or reusable straws is a step ALL of us can take today. And, I believe these small steps can have enormous "trickle down" impact as this first step can lead to larger ones in the future.
Here's a glimpse at our class experiment (https://vimeo.com/259797464) ...