As the founder of the The Green Straw Company I’d like to share how this company began.
I moved to the coast, a little village called Salt Rock, KZN in August 2017. I try and walk the beach as often as possible, it’s good for my soul, enjoying the fresh sea air, the sound of the ocean, on lucky days watching the dolphins and whales and picking up the endless growing amount of plastic pollution washed up on our shores.
Before moving to the coast I think its fair to say that although I knew largely through social media and the news that the plastic pollution is a growing global concern it wasn’t until I regularly visited the beach that it really it home for me. Its relatively easy to look the other way and to ignore the massive impact this huge issue is having both on a mircro and macro scale unless we are faced with it head on.
I’ve always had a passion for the environment, and this beautiful planet that we live on but like many of us have not been particuarly pro-active, besides refusing to use plastic bags and the odd bit of recycling.
My “day job” for want of a better term, for the past 7 years has been as an Executive Coach. I work predominantly with succesful individuals, self development, leadership skills and through coaching skills learning the skills to be true to themselves their desires and wishes. It was after coaching a particular gentlemen who was on the verge of giving up his corportate life to follow his dream ( a life far removed from the strict structure of the corporate monster) that two things dawned on me.
Firstly, I needed to follow my passion and be true to myself and secondly, yes it okay to have more than one passion and be succesful at more than one thing at the same time.
With this small light bulb moment, I slowly but surely started on the path I find myself on today.
I decided to focus my attention on one specific area, an issue that irritated and bugged me – the use of single use plastic straws.
I began by speaking to many restaurants, trying to persuade them to give up the plastic straw. Time and time again I was told that restaurants where happy to switch to “offering straws only on request” but that they needed an alternative for when a straw was requested. After much research and testing samples I found my three key materials – paper straws, bamboo straws and glass straws, the latter two both being re-useable.
So, that in short is how it began. We are still in early stages but growing on a weekly basis with more restaurants switching from plastic to biodegradable alternatives.
We are excited and proud to be part of this important movement.
The key to remember is we can all do our thing, however, small that may appear the impact can be big.
If you know of an organisation, a school, a shop, a restaurant that would like to make the switch send them our way.
Oh, and please refuse the plastic straw, every time.