For a quick, sweet moment, pause whatever you are doing in this given moment. Take a few seconds to inhale deeply through your nose, and simply appreciate the sensation of your lungs expanding. Hold your breath for as long as you wish, then slowly exhale. As you feel your body shift into a more calm and mindful state, close your eyes and envision yourself in a perfect, healthy world. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you feel?
I believe that too often, we disregard our power as individuals to create the change we wish to see. The idea of making a significant difference can be so overwhelming that we completely disregard the possibility of anything changing, and we give up on our dreams off a perfect world.
In the United States, the average person uses about 2 plastic straws on a daily basis. That means in one country alone, over 182 billion plastic straws are thrown away every single year! Since plastic straws cannot be recycled, after they are thrown away they either sit in landfills for 500 years or make their way to the ocean. Boo!
It is hard for some of us to fathom that our individual use of plastic straws could heavily contribute to pollution and degradation of ecosystems all over the world, but one less person using plastic straws means 700 less straws being thrown away every single year. All it takes to accomplish a majority of the population saying no to single use plastic straws is one person making conscious, sustainable lifestyle choices to inspire others to do the same.
A re-usable metal straw costs no more than 3 - 6 dollars, is extremely easy to carry around, and also looks a lot cooler than a cheap plastic straw. When ordering a drink at a coffee shop or a restaurant, all you need to do is kindly ask for no plastic straw. From my personal experience, you may even get a high five or a “heck yeah!” from the barista or server. Special shout out to Alexis from Public Square Coffehouse in La Mesa who gave me a huge hug today and already knew that your girl wasn’t about to use a plastic to go cup!
You can buy a re-useable metal straw for $3 at the Totem Boutique at Trilogy Sanctuary in La Jolla that comes with a straw cleaner, and many local coffee shops now carry them as well! Purchase a re-useable straw whenever you get the chance, and you’ll be surprised by how many people will be inspired to follow your conscious footsteps. Until we speak again, sleep well, nourish your body with colorful food, and feel the sun on your skin every now and then.
With love and compassion,
Aya Chabayta || Totem Boutique Eco Warrior
President & Lead Teacher of Aya Art Co.