Spring, Earth Day and a Compostable Straw

Spring, Earth Day and a Compostable Straw

I went running today and I could smell spring in the air…finally. At nearly 9,000 feet, it takes longer for this season to reach our house and I often get ‘cabin fever’ this time of year – but the wait is always worth the extra weeks somehow when it does finally arrive. It’s a time that makes me really thankful and grateful for what I have and where I live. It makes me look at things that inspire me and want to share them with others.

A week ago I had to meet a mom in town to swap kids. In doing so – we decided to go grab some food before our trek back up the mountain. We had just driven past a building painted like an enormous cow, after all, and the kids were not going to let that one just slip quietly outside of their ice cream radar. But I didn’t mind. Not only did I feel good about spending some money in Lyons (a majorly hard-hit town like ours from last September’s flooding), but what I found inside totally made my eco-geek heart flutter.

I ordered a large vanilla milk shake and, would you believe it, it came served in a completely compostable cup, with a compostable souvenir lid and get this…a COMPOSTABLE STRAW! Yup, a completely compostable to-go container. Holy milkshake mind melt moment.

Until recently you could not buy compostable tops and straws. Thanks to Eco-Products in Boulder, Colorado – now you can! Tundra Specialties also sells these containers. I’ve run a bunch of zero-waste events in and around the Boulder area and this puts a whole new twist on composting at these events. It actually helps make them really zero-waste! I used to have to educate people NOT to compost the straws and souvenir lids (because they were plastic-and not friendly plastic for recycling even, not in that small amount and plastic grade). Educating people at a big event, especially, is difficult…and especially if you are serving alcohol. Expect the diversion to totally go to crap at those events because people just don’t pay attention. Having these new containers on the market is awesome. It’s a game changer.

Earth Day is just around the corner. People always try and think of something to ‘do’ on this day for our environment. How about simply noticing what kind of containers you are taking away from a restaurant this month. If it’s not recyclable or not compostable, talk to the owner – tell them about Tundra Specialties and Eco-Products, ask them to make a decision to help our planet. All of these little decisions do make a difference. All of our waste is still waste, try to make your usage minimal – recycle and compost where you can.

You know I’ll be making more stops for ice cream as the months keep getting nicer. I’m SO glad to know that Lyons has a shop that’s supporting my goals for the environment. I hope those efforts make the other restauranteurs want to ‘keep up with the competition’ enough to get these compostable containers into all of the food shops. After all, everyone wants to be the ‘cow king’ on a hot day.

Happy Earth Day! Be the change and keep recycling. I’m proud of your efforts!


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