OPINION

Simple Solutions with Chloe DuBois

Nebraska City News-Press

Drink Sustainably

As someone who struggles to function without coffee or tea on a daily basis, I have changed the way I drink a lot of times over the years. The first thing I knew I had to change was how many plastic straws I was using.

The United States uses millions of single-use plastic straws each day which explains why they are among the top ten contributors to the waste filling our oceans globally. Our oceans are polluted so badly that 1 out of 3 fish caught for consumption contains plastic.

An easy fix you can make is carrying reusable straws in your purse or in your car so that you can decline straws in cafes or at drive-thrus.

There are many options such as straws made of glass, bamboo, paper, steel, wheat, silicone, or reusable plastic ones. Straw waste may seem like a minuscule issue but that is what makes it the perfect change to make in your life. It is a simple and small enough task to help people start thinking about our global pollution problem without getting overwhelmed by the whole picture.

A change you can make that saves even more plastic than trading out straws is bringing your own coffee cup to coffee shops.

The pandemic did put a pause on using your own containers, but some shops are starting to allow it again and you will find some even offer discounts if you use one of their reusable cups! These cups are also perfect for any other beverage and make it easy to bring drinks wherever I go!

If you tend to make your own coffee at home and skip the coffee runs then there are still ways to make your kitchen plastic-free.

Keurig’s are incredibly convenient and easy for making a quick cup of coffee, but each coffee pod is made of plastic that cannot be recycled in certain communities and the ability to be recycled depends on the brand you purchase.

A solution that does not require much time and saves you money, in the long run, is reusable pods! You just need to buy ground coffee or grind your own beans, then fill the pod with a few spoonfuls and pop it into the coffee machine.

The cleanup is not difficult either. If you wait for the pod to dry out then the grounds will dump right into your trash can when you open it. When the grounds are still wet they will not budge so you will need to use something to scoop them out.

This task only takes a little more time than buying premade coffee pods and will save you money since buying a bag of grounds gives you more cups of coffee for a cheaper price. A set of these refillable pods are usually $10 or less online or at stores like Walmart.

I hope this saves you money, helps reduce our plastic waste build-up, and leaves you excited for the next article!

Chloe DuBois