I hate plastic drinking straws. My children both have been taught to say NO to the straw when we go out to eat. It isn't a perfect scenario. I understand that some people find it easier to drink out of a straw so here are some options to kick the plastic straw habit.
1) Get in the habit of saying No to the Straw. I have to remind myself to ask for "no straws" at a restaurants. It's a work in progress.
2) Purchase reusable stainless steel straws. I keep a container near the fridge where my children and their friends can grab a straw to use around the house. I also have one in my bag and a few in each car's glovebox.
To solve the issue of plastic outside the house, I looked into purchasing paper straws. Though inexpensive, the packaging and shipping can be an issue.
3) Make Your Own Paper Drinking Straws: It seems making paper straws would be a simple enough, and it is. Below are a few templates to make things easy for you. I used beeswax because I have a lot of it on hand for candle making. I'm sure other waxes could be used, but I love the smell of honey. According to members of my family, the beeswax didn't change the taste in anyway. Enjoy!
|I am left handed so if you are rolling the straws|
in the other direction, please make sure the pattern
is at the top. Otherwise you will hide the pattern.
1) The template of your choice
2) Food -grade glue. Click here for my recipe for cornstarch glue.
3) A 1/4" dowel or existing straw
4) Double boiler
5) Jar to melt wax in
1) Choose your template and cut along lines.
2) Each template makes 6 long straws or 12 short straws
3) place a thin, light line of glue on the opposite side of the pattern. Do not over glue. You just need enough to hold it together. The wax will seal it together.
4) Start at one end and roll at a diagonal.
5) Start rolling the paper around the dowel or sample straw.
6) Make sure that the pattern is on the outside and at the top.
7) Once the paper is completely around the dowel, a small nab of glue at the end may be necessary.
8) Gently ease the straw off the dowel.
9) Let dry.
10) Using scissors, gently clip off the pointed ends of each straw.
11) Roll as many straws as you'd like before melting the beeswax.
12) If you find it necessary, cut each straw to be the same size. I don't ever do that. We just use what's there. My family is used to imperfections.
|I had to add more wax because my straws are long|
and this would not have completely covered
I usually do about 20 straws at a time.
13) Melt the wax by placing the jar of wax into a pan of water.
14) Heat the water to boiling.
15) Check the level of the melted wax. The level of wax is important. The straw will be dipped twice, at each end. The level has to reach the midpoint of your straw to completely cover it.
16) Melt more wax if it is necessary to reach the halfway point of each straw.
17) Dip the straw into the wax, keeping the straw straight. Pull it out immediately and gently shake off any drips.
18) It is a light coat of wax and dries quickly.
19) Turn the straw over and coat the remaining part of the straw.
20) Let dry completely before using.
I have the following templates available
*I used scrapbook paper for the crane straws to be able to work out the pattern. Thanks!
© Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Time™ guidebook series. Adirondack Family Time™guidebooks have easy, short Adirondack family hikes for ADK kids, parents, retired, seniors, dog-owners, Adirondack swimming holes, Lake Placid Olympic activities, Adirondack trivia, Adirondack horseback rides, Adirondack snowshoe family trails and more. Look for the Adirondack family guidebooks online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the next Adirondack Family Activities™ guide.