How many times do you or your friends go out to eat? Once a week? Twice a week? Four times? And how many of those times do you get a drink? How many of those drinks come with a disposable straw? Probably most of them. Somewhere around 5 million plastic straws are produced every day only to be tossed out the same day they are used.
Milo Cress recognized this was a major problem, and he decided to start something called the Be Straw-Free project. The goal was to raise awareness of the problem and to encourage restaurants and patrons to refrain from using as many disposable straws when they go out. Today Xanterra is rolling this out starting with lodges in National Parks and historic sites.
What else can you do to help? If you work in the food business, considering asking if your customer wants a straw. If they are inclined to ask you why you’re asking them, tell them a bit about this project. If you’re going out to eat, inform your waiter that you’d rather sip without a straw. You can check out more about the Be Straw-Free Project here.
If you aren’t familiar with Xanterra and their previous environmental works here is a short list: They are the first hospitality company to commit to an absolute reduction target in greenhouse emissions through a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund and the center for Energy & Climate Solutions. Xanterra was the eighth company worldwide to make this commitment, and it is more than half way to meeting its goal.
They also publish and implement their own Guidelines for Environmentally Sustainable Design and Construction of buildings in national parks, set and publicly disclose long-range environmental sustainability goals, and they recycle grease on-site into biodiesel for use in fleet vehicles.