Appalachian State University uses 696,600 straws per year, which equates to 2,154 straws used each day the dining facilities are open.
Dining hall patrons may have noticed new signs next to the straws that ask “Do you need that straw?”
Starting in February, the Office of Sustainability and Appalachian Food Services have worked on an educational campaign to inform students about the impact straws have on the environment.
The United States consumes 500 million disposable straws every day. Because they cannot be recycled, straws end up in the landfill or as litter. Ocean Conservancy ranks straws as the fifth most found litter item on beaches.
“As always, Food Services is committed to working with the Office of Sustainability to move our mission forward,” Director of Food Services Pam Cline said. “We were happy to get involved in the discussion over how we use straws on campus. And, a part of that is educating our customers and allowing them to participate in this endeavor. The choices we make have a real impact.”
On April 10 the Office of Sustainability, University Documentary Film Services, Geological and Environmental Sciences, and Food Services sponsored a viewing of STRAWS, an award-winning documentary by Linda Booker who interviews activists, business owners, researchers and artists who are affecting change in how their community uses straws.