Gab Mejia is a part of the WWF Youth Council. He is also aiming to be the youngest Filipino to climb the 7 summits. He is all sorts of amazing! As I was scrolling through his Twitter feed, I saw a tweet that piqued my interest. I want to share with you my opinion on it in hopes to have a discussion about it.
Don’t get me wrong, I do agree that using metal straws doesn’t help the environment too much but it does help because we are opting for a more sustainable option compared to single-use straws. The cost of producing one might (and I have no proof for this whatsoever) be equal to just using a plastic straw but if you use it consistently enough, won’t it still help?
I hated the way it was put across. It’s like saying “Nice try. But is that all you can do?” I felt belittled because I opted to buy a metal straw rather than not using one completely. Buying a metal straw was my small way of helping the environment. I’m not yet at a point of my life where I could completely cut off straws. I hope to get there someday but saying things like YOU JUST CONTRIBUTE TO THE PROBLEM doesn’t inspire me to be better. In fact, reading it discourages me to even try.
I love that there are people out there who are 100% committed to helping the environment. I love that they are extremely passionate about it. It’s just sad that amidst the good that they are trying to share with the world, things get lost in translation just because how I tried to help isn’t up to par with what they believe in.
For me, the bigger picture is this, saving the environment goes far beyond changing our habits and opting for greener alternatives. If we really want to save the environment, we have to put everything under a microscope and change the way we look and do things. It’s not just simply saying no to plastic straws, it’s completely stopping from buying food from establishments. Why? Because we don’t control the whole process of how they manufacture their food. We don’t know if the establishment we are buying from is even practicing anything green. We don’t know and what we don’t know is something we can’t control. Are we ready for that?
Metal straws won’t help if you don’t use it continuously and if you only look at it as current it thing. Metal straws won’t save the world if you still throw your trash everywhere. But using metal straws consistently does help the environment compared to flying across the world to climb seven mountains (Hello, CO2 emissions), right? 😉
The moral of this story, if you did buy a metal straw, please, and I beg you, please use it. Use that small step to challenge yourself to be a better and greener consumer. Use it as a tool to educate and inform the people around you that using single-use plastics isn’t the way to go. Take it upon yourself to inspire others to be more eco-friendly even if the only step you can do for now is replacing your plastic straw with a metal one.
In no way is this post trying to humiliate or embarrass Gab Mejia. We are all different. His level of ecofriendliness is probably higher than mine hence the difference in opinions with the metal straws. I just thought it would be apt to share a different take on metal straws and remind everyone that it’s alright to buy it just make sure you’re using it.