Soon You Won't Be Sipping Out Of A Straw, But Don't Freak Out, That's A Good Thing

Soon You Won't Be Sipping Out Of A Straw, But Don't Freak Out, That's A Good Thing

Give it a try and say no to the straw.

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Two words: Plastic Straws. Something that if you see it, you wouldn't think that it would make that much of an impact because it's so small. And honestly, they are some of the most useless things in the world. The truth is, that many drinks that we use them for we can go without or find another way to drink those drinks.

So while at first, this small straw may not seem like a lot, when its usage is added up, plastic straws create a big problem for the environment. So while they amount to the tiny amount of ocean plastic, their size makes them one of the most insidious polluters because they entangle marine animals and are consumed by fish.

The Plastic Pollution Coalition estimates that 1,800 "restaurants, organizations, institutions and schools worldwide have gotten rid of plastic straws or implemented a serve-straws-upon-request policy. Straws are just one of the many items on an expanding list of individual plastic products being banned, taxed, or boycotted in an effort to help reduce the amount of seaborn plastic trash in the ocean before it outweighs fish. Flexible straws were invented by Marvin Stone in the late 19th century. He didn't like how the traditional ryegrass straw people used for drinking would disintegrate and leave gritty residue in their drinks. In order to help fix that, Stone wrapped strips of paper around a pencil, glued them together, then tested his new invention, it worked and eventually became known as the plastic straw it is today. What does this have to do with restaurants now? Seattle has become one of the first places to have a ban on straws in restaurants. In the beginning, almost 150 restaurants participated in a new campaign called "Strawless in Seattle" which helped reduce the number of straws entering the waste system by 2.3 million. From there the campaign grew to almost 5,000 restaurants this year. If caught using a straw the restaurant could face up to a $250 fine.

Even so, there are some exceptions. For example, a bendy straw may be given to anyone that requires it medically or for dine-in/ take-out as long as they are recyclable.

So, whats the big deal, it's just a small piece of plastic and shouldn't be so harmless? It may be a small piece of plastic but that doesn't stop it from being harmless.

Here are the facts:

The USA alone uses 500 million straws every day which is enough straws to circle around the Earth 2.5 times!

Straws cannot be recycled and pose a significant threat. This is because they are made of polypropylene, a resin of plastic known by the number 5 in the resin identification code. While this is normally a highly recyclable plastic, many places are cautious about the types they accept and straws are one of those.

Plastic straws are the 11th most found in ocean trash.

For a continuation of facts, click here.

Did you know? The average person uses 1.6 straws per day. Want to help limit that number and join the movement, Click here or sign up.

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One Of The Most Impressive Things A Human Being Can Do Is Finish An Entire Tube Of ChapStick

It is the only thing more impressive than the creation of ChapStick itself.

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Mankind's most impressive accomplishments include inventing the wheel, walking on the moon, and, of course, the creation of ChapStick. The air outside is beginning to get dry, and thus, chapped lips are coming, and once chapped lips season begins, millions of poor souls will begin to suffer from the tragedy that is chapped lips. Luckily, we have ChapStick, and Burt's Bees, Carmex, Blistex, and plenty of other lip balm brands as well.

There is nothing worse than feeling your lips begin to dry up, signaling that chapped lips are in your not too distant future. Actually, there are probably many things in life that are worse than this, but it's still pretty bad.

ChapStick is a savior for the chapped, a larger than life hero conveniently available in a small tube at most local stores. Thank goodness for ChapStick (and other brands of lip balm, I guess.) I truly believe that the invention of ChapStick is one of the most important, groundbreaking, and impressive feats that mankind has accomplished.

However, the only thing more important, groundbreaking, and impressive than the creation of ChapStick, is someone finishing an entire tube of it.

I'm not sure if it's even possible to do this, and I'm starting to think that it might not be. Before it can be done, the vast majority of people will either lose the tube, or no longer need it because their lips are no longer chapped. Then, by the time their lips become chapped once more, the tube will then be lost, never to be seen again.

It is a vicious cycle, one that prevents us all from ever finishing our ChapSticks, and probably also helps lip balm companies sell more products.

If anyone has actually used up an entire tube of it from beginning to end, I wonder what life is like for them now. Did they stumble upon some sort of hidden code allowing them to understand the true nature of life and the universe? Did they open a gateway to another dimension with different laws that govern time and space? I think there is a very good chance that one of these events occurs when one finishes an entire ChapStick tube.

It has to signal some sort of mind-bending event releasing the most well-kept secrets of the universe. Nothing else really makes any sense.

If you have finished an entire ChapStick tube, you have my deepest and utmost respect. You have shown the ultimate form of perseverance, prevailing despite the odds of the universe being completely against you. You have shown that you know how to follow through with something, no matter what. You can now live the rest of your life knowing that you have accomplished what most never will.

Be proud of yourself, and make sure to tell everyone you possibly can that you have finished an entire tube of ChapStick. Make sure it's the first thing you say when you meet someone new, tell random people in the street who you have never even met, and put it at the top of your resume when you apply for a job, because they will be sure to hire you on the spot once they learn of your wonderfully impressive feat.

As of now, my lips are beginning to feel chapped, and I have just applied ChapStick to them as a means of combating this dreadful ailment. As I stare at the tube in my hand, my determination to use the entire thing has greatly amplified, and I am more determined than ever to finish the thing and unlock the secrets of the universe. But, who am I kidding? I'll probably lose it before the tube is even halfway gone.

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Making a Decision: an Indecisive Guide

To all the indecisive people out there: you are not alone

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I am the queen of indecision. For me, making a choice will have me frantically calling both of my parents, asking all of my friends' advice and postponing all studying until the decision is made. Of course, this is because I do not want to make a choice that I regret – such as the time I decided that starting my job at 6:30 am would be a good idea, or the time when I scared my friends with how hyper I was after drinking both coffee and Boba tea. Yet when I take this caution of making the wrong choice too far, the decision-making process itself ends up being regrettable. So much so that I called my mom approximately seven times this weekend to ask her advice on a decision. So much so that my brother used an example of me not being able to choose what kind of shoe I should wear in his article.

This weekend, I was presented with two amazing opportunities to make a difference in the world this summer and I entered a stage of decision paralysis that I did not know was possible. No matter which angle I looked at each situation from, they both would provide me with a phenomenal experience, and would both require sacrifices. Despite not (as of yet) reaching a concrete decision, I learned a lot about the decision-making process and what to do in the next time I am faced with a difficult choice. So, in the spirit of finding summer jobs, gearing up to register for classes and deciding what on earth we want to do with our futures, here are the tips and tricks that I would follow to make the best decision that you can.

Don't overthink it.

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Really, this goes without thinking! Or, unlike most of us, it goes with a LOT of thinking! Seriously though, if you overthink things, they will turn into a pudding mush in your brain until you don't know what you don't know anymore. There is a very fine line between thinking through all your options and overthinking them – and judging by the number of times I called my mom this weekend, definitely crossed it.

Always use the pro-con list

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Ah, the Gilmore Girls. Not only did you inspire me to read every single book under the sun or have a witty conversation full of cultural references no one else understands, but you also taught me the beauty of the pro-con list. Choosing what you want can be messy and difficult to find because of the fears you might have. distinguish from the fears. Writing it all down on paper can often illuminate the right decision and show you which path is ultimately better.

Decide on your make-or-break factor

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Sometimes even the best pro-and-con lists will not be enough and will leave you in a frantic analysis ("should I go for the decision with 3 cons or 3.5 cons?") When even the Gilmore method fails, fear not! Consider which factors you truly do not want to compromise on and go from there. This can mean that even the worse decision may be the right one for you.

Trust your gut

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As much as it is difficult to dig through your feelings to find your true motives behind a decision, your gut can sometimes tell you what you are most passionate about and therefore what decision is best for you to take. As my Emory Reads friends tell me, passion trumps everything. Choosing which decision aligns with your values will often lead you to make the best and most-satisfying decision.

But trust your head as well

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But your gut can't always be trusted. It can lie to you, and when you overthink too much, it can change its mind. Your gut feeling may be one that is furthermore borne out of fear of the other option. In that way, I have made many a good decision based on the pure basis of rationality. Using only our heart to make important decisions allows fear to be one of the factors, whereas looking at the decision rationally can help you see the ultimate path.

Ask around

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When I am puzzled about making a risky decision, I often consult the people in my life who are on my side and want the best for me. These people can help you gauge what your heart truly desires, bring up factors that you haven't considered and even act as a support network for you while making this decision. When your mind kicks into over-analysis, sometimes a fresh perspective is all you need to truly make a confident choice. Decisions are hard, people. Don't make them on your own.=

Don't ask everyone

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There is such a thing as consulting others to make an important decision, and there is such a thing as relying on them to make your decision. If you ask too many people from too wide a pool, you'll end up having opinions for and against what you are proposing, which means that someone will always be disappointed in your decision. The bottom line is, asking too many people for their opinions is frustrating, no matter what – whether they have contradicting opinions, or they just nod their heads and go "hmmm, tough choice" (thanks, I guess?). In order to avoid frustration, consult the people in your life who know you the best and are dearest to you, rather than the stranger in front of you in line for fries at the DUC.

"Would my dad be proud?"

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Or your granddad, or your mom, or your professor, or even a TV character. Whoever you know whose morals you can measure your decision up to will often provide reason and illumination. If the decision you are making is not too wild and you feel that you will have their approval, then it is likely not detrimental.

Stick with your decision!

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Resolutely make up your mind and refuse to turn back. Exercise your right as a free individual to make a choice for yourself, and then do not second-guess it. Please don't do what I did and email a company two days later saying you've changed your mind. Please.

There is not always a right decision

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Sometimes both decisions you are presented with have different but equally good opportunities. In that case, lucky you! You have two amazing opportunities and therefore cannot mess up. Rather than stressing that you are picking the wrong choice, know that you cannot go wrong in either.

Realize you will grow no matter what

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Decision-making should be viewed as a challenge and a privilege rather than a burden. Make big, bold and beautiful decisions. Making up your mind can lead to a phenomenal experience that you will adore or a difficult experience that will only fashion you into a better person. Positive consequences can come out of any decision, even if we land in an upsetting position. Each choice we make can positively contribute to our character, fashioning us into the person we are becoming, day by day.


By the time this article is published, I will know my decision. And hopefully, by the end of this article, you will know yours. Let's continue to make decisions courageously, following both our heads and our hearts. Let's be determined to grow through our decisions, realizing that we have made the best choice we could, and never looking back.

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