Individuals have an impact on the Earth

Jenna Hale, Staff Reporter

Imagine, it’s 2018, there are people scrolling through their feed to find more turtles with straws in their airways under the hashtag: “Save the turtles”. This trend quickly blew over as soon as people realized they would have to give up their lazy tendencies of ignoring the planet. 

As more ways to help the planet gain momentum on social media, people continue to ignore them and let them blow over. However, this is not a problem to just forget about and let die with different 2000s trends. This large-scale impact on the environment is too pressing to ignore. Plastic use in America is absolutely out of control, 500 million plastic straws and more than 100 million individual plastic utensils are used everyday in the U.S. (Cress 2019). The thing is, people don’t want cheap options, they want convenience. Metal and bamboo utensils are not too difficult to find or buy, and it reduces the plastic made by cutlery significantly.  A metal straw and utensil set on Amazon  is less than $13. Not only is it cost efficient it’s also a lot cleaner, no one touches another person’s personal straw. It is not a difficult transition to make from using plastic straws and utensils to metal ones. However it’s easy to just mindlessly throw away a plastic straw everytime a friend or family member has a craving for fast food. Using a metal utensil set is not an aesthetic, it’s not a cute trend to use for instagram pictures; it’s a solution to this pressing issue. No one cares anymore because people had something to distract from the fact that every frappuccino came with a free turtle murder. 

It’s difficult to change a habit that people have been learning since they were using sippy cups, so it’s unrealistic to demand or expect instant change. It’s better to try and take small steps to reduce plastic waste and inform people about possible alternatives to their life long habits. One person ignoring the solution won’t make that much of a difference to America’s plastic waste, however, it sure isn’t helping.