As we become more aware of the effect we have on the planet, one of the things people are starting to boycott is plastic straws. Much like plastic bottles, they can pile up in our landfills if we don't recycle and cause problems in our ecosystem.
But even though restaurants are trying to phase out plastic straws, there's not doubt that they're going to be around for a while.
That doesn't mean they have to be waste, however. There are a ton of uses for plastic straws that don't involve drinking, but all of which are extremely helpful.
1. Hull Strawberries
Summertime means delicious strawberry recipes, and even just snack on strawberries themselves!
No one wants to eat the leafy part of a strawberry, but cutting them off can waste a lot of the good fruit.
Why not use one of the plastic straws you have lying around to hull the berry and get optimal strawberry snacks? Push the straw from the bottom of the berry to the top, and you'll have a ready-to-eat berry in a breeze!
2. Vacuum Seal
Vacuum sealers can be expensive and take up a lot of room, but did you know a plastic straw will do almost the exact same job?
Close most of the bag you want to seal, leaving only a small space to fit the straw in. Then suck out the remaining air until the bag is at your desired tightness.
Then seal the bag completely. You can keep crackers more crisp, and keep meats from getting freezer burned!
It's also a great way to save space when you're packing for a trip.
3. Clogged Ketchup
How many times have you gone to use the ketchup bottle and there's dried up ketchup in the hole? Too many.
Instead of scraping it out with your fingers or fork, you can use a plastic straw to unclog it!
You can also use a plastic straw to help get ketchup moving from a glass bottle. By inserting the straw all the way to the bottom of the bottle, you're allowing air into the ketchup which will help break up any clog and get it flowing.
4. Label Herbs
I don't know about you, but I love growing my own herbs. It means I get fresh flavor all year wrong. The problem, though, is that when they are first growing, the plants are pretty much indistinguishable from each other.
I then realized I had a bunch of plastic straws lying around, and figured they were a perfect solution!
You can write the name of the herb on the straw and stick it in the planter. Easily identifiable, and a great way to recycle!
5. Hair Curlers
For tight ringlets, plastic straws are you best friend! All you need are some straws, a spray bottle, and a little patience!
Wet your hair in sections, then wind it around the plastic straws at whatever thickness you want. Fasten your hair, then sleep on it overnight. When you wake up, you'll have perfect curls!
It is very important to NOT use a blow dryer with this method, as the straws can start to melt, and no one wants that.
6. Necklace Holder
If you travel a lot for business, you know that it can be hard to keep your jewelry from tangling and getting knotted together.
An easy way to fix this is with a plastic straw!
Thread the chain of your necklace through the straw and clasp it at the other end. It becomes tangle-free, and it's easy to transport! If you chain isn't long enough to clap at the other end, you can always trim the straw.
7. Camping Supplies
Anyone who camps understands how inconvenient it is to pack everything in a limited space. Don't worry though, we've got you covered.
With a hot glue gun, seal one end of the straw. Then pour in whatever you need to bring a small amount of! Whether it's salt, sugar, shampoo, body wash, matches, anything!
You can seal the straw using a small amount of cotton, or even using a paperclip. If you don't need to re-seal the straw after using it, you can also glue the other end together to make it a single-use tube.
It's an easy, creative way to carry your supplies while leaving room for the better things, like marshmallows.
8. Wire Organizer
My desk is currently filled with wires, all plugged into the same place. My computer, keyboard, mouse, monitors, phone charge, and headphones all have wires that fall behind my desk into some wire abyss of sorts.
It makes things tricky when I'm trying to solve a problem or unplug just one of those things. But plastic straws have helped me a ton!
Cut down one side of the straw lengthwise, still keeping it in tact, but allowing for it to open up. Then wrap the straw around one of the wires and label it.
Not only will it help you identify which wire is which, it will also stop them from getting tangled.
9. Store Sewing Needles
My sewing kit is a mess, much like my desk, but it's a little more dangerous because of all the needles and pins that are lying around inside! I find that pin cushions take up too much space, and the pins still fall out.
Using the same technique as the camping supplies, you can create a small holder for your pins and needles, labeling each small container to make things a lot easier when you're in a rush!
Few things are more frustrating than when you're racing to fix a ripped seam and you can't find a needle to fix it.
10. Nail Art
I love doing my nails, but a solid color starts to get boring. I'm not really good with nail pens, so straws are an easy trick!
Dip the end of a straw into a bottle of polish, and use it like a stamp on your nails! You'l get perfect circles and a really cool design.
You can also put a dot of nail polish on your nail, and then use the straw to gently blow the nail polish around. This will give a really cool splatter look.
11. Flower Arrangements
Flower arrangements are really pretty, but getting all the stems to stay in place while trying to preserve a specific pattern can be difficult.
An easy way to fix this is my sliding the stem of the flowers through plastic straws, while will help them stand taller and stay wherever you put them!
If you're going to go to the effort of making the arrangement, you may as well make sure it lasts.