New Year’s Pledge: I’ll Reduce by 75% the Amount of Single-Use Plastic I Contribute to the Planet

Pasta straws

In 2019 I promise to refuse 75% of the single-use plastics that I accepted in 2018.

Just last week my family and I had dinner at a seaside restaurant that served pasta straws made by the Amazing Pasta Straw company. 

The ingredients? Flour and water.

And in the three hours we drank through the same ones for water, soda and iced tea, they neither disintegrated, get slimy nor formed any sort of yucky sediment in the drinks.

My review is that they are a perfect, compostable alternative to plastic and even paper. 

“. . . We are trying to solve a huge world-wide problem — one straw at a time.”

And for anyone preferring not to come into contact with gluten, Paradise Cove (where we had Christmas lunch) offers paper straws.

So while I understand that moving toward a zero waste lifestyle isn’t easy — it takes planning and currently can cost more — the planet is suffocating in the absence of these changes.

Zero Waste and Single-Use Plastics

And speaking of zero waste, there is a new company in Denver called Zero Market that offers items in their store and by mail order that make generating less waste easier.

In Laramie, Wyoming where I live, and oodles of other places, co-ops feature walls and aisles of bulk items from tea to olive oil to dish detergent that are cost effective and kind to the environment because they lack bulky and wasteful packaging.

Zero Market, on Dallas Street
in Aurora, Colorado

In 2019 I promise to refuse 75% of the single-use plastics that I accepted in 2018.

So here is a partial list of what I commit to reducing and eliminating in 2019:

•  plastic straws
Already I don’t use them in restaurants, and when occasionally they are served wrapped in plastic or paper, I ask that they be removed. I also carry bamboo and steel ones with me.

•  restaurant food leftover containers
I will begin to bring my own glass container when I know I’ll be eating out.

•  produce grocery bags
You know those green ones that rip off a roll.  I recently bought a slew of organic cotton ones from pataBee.

•  grocery store bags
This one is easy, and many mid- to large-size towns have expectations that shoppers will have their own.

•  hotel amenities
I started bringing my own soap, lotion, shampoo and conditioner and leave the small plastic containers right where I found them.

•  plastic cutlery —forks, spoons, knives
I started carrying in my purse a bamboo set – and yes, remembering they are there is sometimes the hardest part of the plan. 

airline plastic cups
Help! I get thirsty, and this one is harder . . . any ideas?

•  plastic water bottles 
I’m going to be better about carrying a water bottle with me.

“. . . the planet is suffocating in the absence of these changes.”

So . . . what about you?

Take Action!

Encourage local restaurants to use pasta straws. The publicity they get will be great, and drinking from pasta is fun!

Watch Jeff Bridges talk about pasta straws (5 minutes into the Colbert interview).

Check out the Amazing Pasta Straw company.

Shop online at Zero Market.

Find local co-ops to support and while there, buy bulk food using your own containers.

.   .   .

Ellen is a native of northern Maine. Her interest in getting to know Wyoming focuses on ways people and organizations help and protect individuals, wildlife, beauty, and rights. She is a HeartMath® trainer and coach, a Connection Practice trainer and coach, and a biodynamic craniosacral therapist. Her website is: and her email is

“Remember that justice is what love looks like in public.” – Cornel West