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Are edible rice straws good for the environment?

edible rice straws
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If you’ve decided to ditch plastic straws and switch to eco-friendly disposable straws, then great decision! Edible rice straws and other biodegradable disposable straws are excellent alternatives to plastic that work exactly the same.

If you’re still researching edible straws, however, one of the questions you may have is whether these straws are good for the environment. Eco-friendly is a term that can be used for the good, the bad, and the neutral. Often, companies use the term to describe products that are neutral – they don’t harm the environment, but they don’t impact it positively either. Some others greenwash their consumers, and claim a product is eco-friendly when the emissions produced by its manufacture and transport actually indicate otherwise.

So, what’s the lowdown on edible rice straws? Is it good, bad, or neutral? Let’s go over the good, the bad and the neutral, and then you can make an informed decision on which applies best to our product.

 

The good

The first thing we should mention here is that we have partnered with Seed The Change, and for every product you buy from us, a tree is planted. So every time you make a purchase from us, you make the earth a little bit greener. Some brands do this while actively contributing towards deforestation which nullifies the effect, but our product is made from rice and cassava flour, grown in a sustainable manner.

Trees contribute a tiny per cent to the total Oxygen on Earth, but they do contribute to it, and they harbor many beautiful life forms, ecosystems, and they are rich in resources that mankind needs for survival. Many of your beauty products and food items are made with the help of ingredients that come from our lush, green forests.

We suggest that everyone plant trees when and where they can – whether it’s in your lawn, or on your grandma’s estate. However, when that isn’t a possibility, the next best thing is to support companies that’ll do it for you (at no extra cost to you).

Another wonderful thing about our product, that few other straws are able to offer, is the fact that it has two uses. You can use our straws normally for drinks and beverages, and you can cook them – separately, or at the same time! This means, in other words, that after you’re done using the straw, instead of simply throwing it away like you would a paper straw, you can cook and eat it. Or, if you find an unused box lying in your kitchen cabinet and you realize you don’t really use straws very often, you can just cook them instead!

Their having two uses means they’re more likely to get used, and they have a much smaller carbon footprint. Sugar straws and other edible straws, while edible, aren’t quite the same as our rice straws because they will affect the taste of your drink, they have a lot more calories, and you can’t munch your way through the entire pack – whereas you can cook an entire pack of our straws if you can’t find another use for it.

 

The bad

The elephant in the room. There’s a downside to just about everything, but companies rarely address this. We want to be different, and we want you to make an informed decision, so here goes:

You don’t need straws – reusable, disposable or edible. While our edible rice straws may be the best type of straw out there, the fact is, they fulfil a need that isn’t really a need if you’re willing to make slightly more drastic lifestyle changes. You can drink beverages straight from a reusable cup or mug without a straw – whether it’s at home, outside, or on the go.

Some people use a straw to drink things like coffee and soda, because they can be bad for your teeth and/or cause staining. That’s a solid argument companies make to sell their product, but if you realize a particular drink is bad for your dental health (and doesn’t have any actual health benefits to balance it out, like in the case of soda), it might be better just to skip the drink altogether. Or if it’s something you enjoy drinking once in a while, just savor the moment and brush your teeth especially well that night.

So there you go. Our edible rice straws may be better than most other straws – including metal, plastic, glass, bamboo, sugar and paper – but they aren’t actually something you need. They’re more something you want, or prefer. So if you’re willing to make the switch to healthier drinks and a reusable cup sand straw, more power to you! However, just in case you aren’t ready for that step yet, here’s a link to our product (wink).

Another point, though minor, is that our product is not packaging free or zero-waste. While the entire product (box and all) is biodegradable, that doesn’t make it waste-free. So it will add to the amount of waste in our landfills, if only for a shortish time.

 

The neutral

There’s some amount of carbon emission involved in practically every industrial process. In fact, even if you’re baking cookies at home and selling them locally, they have a carbon footprint. So, our straws don’t lack a carbon footprint. They’re made in an industry, packaged, and then they’re shipped to you where you live.

However, relatively speaking, our product is better than options such as metal and glass straws, because it requires less energy to produce, and there’s no upkeep or maintenance involved in their usage. Food materials are easily sourced and don’t need to be mined, unlike metal.

In addition, the packaging used is completely biodegradable. You may notice when you open a box that the straws come packed in a plastic-like material inside the box. This is to protect the straws from humidity and other environmental factors, and is not exactly plastic – it’s a slightly more Earth-friendly material that readily decomposes while providing the benefits of plastic.

We always strive to learn and improve, so we are currently in the process of redesigning our product packaging. Look out on this space for updates, and an exciting new design which is a little bit more eco-friendly. We still don’t expect to be carbon negative, but we’re slowly improving.

 

Environmental issues our edible rice straws don’t contribute to

While our product does create some waste and has a carbon footprint due to manufacturing and shipping, there are a lot of environmental issues it doesn’t contribute to, which most other brands do. These include:

  • Resource depletion – Our product doesn’t use metal or other finite resources that may end up in the trash
  • Plastic pollution – Everything is fully biodegradable, so you don’t have to worry about adding to the plastic pollution problem we’re currently facing
  • Unsustainable agricultural practices that kill our pollinators, pollute water bodies, damage soil and cause deforestation (and species extinction)
  • Palm oil use – Palm oil use leads to catastrophic deforestation, wildfires, species extinction and more. We are happy to say that our product uses no palm oil.
  • Climate change and global warming
  • Pollution – Since our product and packaging is entirely biodegradable and the product is created sustainably, there’s minimal to no pollution involved in the process

Greenwashing is a term most consumers are familiar with these days, because the practice is rampant. In case you aren’t familiar with the term, it refers to when a company states their product or company’s good qualities while hiding the negative attributes or the damage it causes to the environment. A good example may be a company that promotes their recycling program, but continues to use plastic containers, and doesn’t clearly state what happens to the returned containers once they’re sent in.

 

Buy our edible rice straws today!

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly alternative to plastic straws, or a disposable alternative to metal or glass straws, this is the perfect product for you!

Our straws are made with rice and cassava flour, so they’re a healthy alternative to other edible straws such as sugar straws or chewy flavored straws. You don’t have to worry about not liking the taste, about the flavor affecting your drink, or about the straws adding calories. Plus, unlike paper or hay straws, our straws last a while in drinks without getting all soggy and wet. You can expect them to last a sufficiently long time in a hot drink, and for hours in cold ones.

With these straws, you don’t have to worry about carrying them back home if you use them while on the go. Just toss them into the trash and they’ll biodegrade soon enough. You also don’t have to bother with cleaning (like you would a metal straw), because they just need a quick rinse before cooking. Pasta and noodles go with just about everything, so you can add these straws to whatever you happen to be cooking – one noodle won’t make a lot of difference.

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