The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish
April 15, 2011

Initiative: Getting Restaurants to Stop Giving Out Plastic Straws Automatically

 

Wouldn’t it be nice if restaurant servers asked if you wanted a straw before sticking one in your drink automatically? Right now, it’s up to us to refuse those straws ahead of time.  And sometimes, we have to ask more than once for our request to be remembered and fulfilled.

Glass Dharma glass drinking strawThat’s one of the reasons I carry a Glass Dharma glass drinking straw with me wherever I go.  Whipping out my straw is a memorable way to get the server’s attention and sometimes to start a conversation about the environmental impact of plastic.  I also have sensitive teeth, so drinking cold beverages through a straw is just easier.  Some of you have mentioned that you don’t need any straw at all.  So let’s tell restaurants to quit giving them to us!

Take Action

1) Choose your restaurant(s) to write to.  Any restaurant. Preferably one(s) you frequent and that you have noticed gives out unwrapped straws automatically.

2) Write a snail mail letter.  Paper letters get more attention, so you’ll have to look up the company’s address. I’ve included my own letter to a restaurant at the bottom of this post. Feel free to use it as a model, but do try to use your own words in case more than one person writes to the same restaurant.

3) Copy your letter into a comment on this blog, including the address of the restaurant so others can write to the same establishment if they choose.  (Delete your personal contact information before posting your comment here where everyone can see it.)

 

My Letter to Pasta Pomodoro

Okay, here is the letter I am mailing today:

Beth Terry
Address
Address
Email

April 15, 2011

Pasta Pomodoro
1550 Bryant Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
E-mail: pasta@pastap.com

Dear Pasta Pomodoro:

As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your food but also the fact that it is served on beautiful, durable dishes, with real flatware and glasses. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a waste-free meal — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws. I don’t need or want one. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not to bring me one, they stick a straw in my drink automatically, generating plastic waste that will last for thousands of years.

In honor of Earth Day, I am writing to ask you to change your plastic straw policy.

1) First, please train your servers to ask customers if they want a straw instead of automatically giving them one. Some people don’t like straws and will appreciate being asked. All others will get a chance to stop and think about whether they actually need this disposable plastic item in the first place. It’s like grocery stores training their employees to ask whether customers want a bag.

2) Second, I would love it if you’d switch to paper straws for those customers who request one. Yes, they are still disposable, but at least they are compostable and will not last in the environment, potentially harming wildlife. One company that offers paper straws is Aardvark (http://www.aardvarkstraws.com).

3) And third, please consider participating in an upgrade program, offering customers the opportunity to pay extra for their meal and receive a reusable straw to carry with them. I have been carrying a glass straw from a company called Glass Dharma for the past few years so that I don’t have to waste plastic. On their web site, they describe the Menu Upgrade program for restaurants (http://glassdharma.blogspot.com/2010/11/whats-on-menu.html), which I think is a great idea.

Please respond and let me know which steps you are willing to take. I do appreciate your restaurant and thank you for the free meals on my birthday and good food the rest of the year.

Sincerely,

Beth Terry

Update: After publishing this post, I was contacted by the team of BeStrawFree.org letting me know about 9-year old Milo’s project to reduce single-use plastic straw waste. Please sign on to and pledge to live plastic straw-free.

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129 Comments on "Initiative: Getting Restaurants to Stop Giving Out Plastic Straws Automatically"

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Jill Scott
1 month 2 days ago

Great that you feel you’re saving the planet but don’t impose your ideas on those that don’t agree with legislation that impacts my love of straws. And no, I’m not carrying a straw around with the damn brown bag that forced on us in Austin.

5 years 4 months ago

I am so excited! Thank you so much!

I’m starting a food cart and I told David that I would love to become a reseller for him. I can’t wait to start bringing this great product to PTown. It’s exactly the kind of thing I think would go over great here.

5 years 4 months ago

Sarah, no worries. David said he’d send your straws today or tomorrow.

5 years 4 months ago
I am so heartbroken right now. I was just wondering if something had happened to my straws in the mail so I searched for earthday@glassdharma.com in my email account and discovered that my very lengthy email to them had been saved as a draft instead of sent. I sent a plea to ask if they could please honor the promotion still or just send me one straw even. Beth, if you have any pull could you root for me? I have been telling people all over Portland for weeks about these straws arriving and I’ve already started sewing utensil pouches… Read more »
Annika Kaye
5 years 4 months ago

Anyway, point being that people have finally come around to reusable drinking bottles and shopping bags, I think reusables will be taking over more and more.

Annika Kaye
5 years 4 months ago
5-10 years ago, the people in my grocery store looked at me like I was nutts whenever I said the magic words “I don’t need a bag”. After a while it turned into a more neutral response but I always felt like I was expected to pack the groceries myself, almost like the cashier is thinking “Well fine then, if you don’t want our bags then do it yourself.” Did you ever get that vibe or was it all in my head? These days it’s just so common to have green bags and sometimes the cashier will take the bag… Read more »
stellans
5 years 4 months ago

He didn’t seem that excited to me:

“Thank you for your email, however, the Earth Day letters to restaurants promotion has expired (4/30/2011) and all of the letters received by then are being processed. We will be shipping the straws promised between now and Wednesday, May 4th. Should you need to communicate with us, please send an email to: info@glassdharma.com.

Thank you,

David Leonhardt
GlassDharma”

I mean, I sent my letters out on 4/19 and was only forwarding a copy of the reply I received, as you requested.

stellans
5 years 4 months ago

I got an answer from O’Charley’s:

———
Dear Ms. Sloop,
Thank you for your recent letter regarding plastic straws. I appreciate your suggestions and will investigate their viability for our company. I had no idea that paper straws existed! Thanks for the tip. Your letter spurred me to think of other ways O’Charley’s could be more friendly to the environment and I will research some of those possibilities also.

Thank you for being a guest of O’Charley’s!

Mickey Mills
VP of Operations
O’Charley’s Inc.
P: 615-782-8841
C: 615-767-1621
mickey.mills@ocharleys.com

5 years 4 months ago

Stallans, that’s great. Will you forward it to Glass Dharma too? David will be excited. He’s collecting these response letters too. This campaign is having some amazing results.

Mirza Molberg
5 years 4 months ago
Mirza Molberg xxxxxxx April 30, 2011 Back To The Land 142 7th Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11215 (718) 768-5654 Dear Back To The Land Thank you for providing wonderful organic and natural groceries to the Park Slope and Brooklyn community. It is always a pleasure to stop by when I am in the area, or to travel to your store for specialty items. In honor of Earth Day/Earth Life, I am asking that you look at an eco-friendly alternative to the plastic straws used in your juice bar. 1) First, please train your servers to ASK customers if they want a… Read more »
Mirza Molberg
5 years 4 months ago
Mirza Molberg x April 30, 2011 Grill’s Delight & Juice Bar 587 5th Ave 
 Brooklyn, NY 11215 (347) 529-5445 Dear Grill’s Delight: The convenience of your location for tasty all fruit smoothies and juices is excellent. Thank you for providing healthy options in an area where they are otherwise unavailable. In honor of Earth Day, I am writing to ask you to change your plastic straw policy. 1) First, please train your servers to ASK customers if they want a straw instead of automatically giving them one. Most of us don’t use straws at home anyway. Some people don’t… Read more »
Colleen
5 years 4 months ago
Colleen Rogers PRIVATE April 15, 2011 Applebees 8800 Main Street Birch Run, MI 48415 989.624.4307 E-mail: unknown Dear Applebees: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your food but also the fact that it is served on beautiful, durable dishes, with real flatware and glasses. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a waste-free meal — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws. I don’t need or want one. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not to bring me one, they stick a straw in my drink automatically, generating plastic waste… Read more »
robbiekay
5 years 4 months ago
Note: I twice tried calling the phone number that I found on various websites for Fat Tuesdays and it just went to what sounded like a fax machine after about 10 rings. Therefore, I was not able to reach anyone to ask for an email contact for their restaurant/bar. Fat Tuesdays 809 Washington St Vancouver WA 98661 Ph.: 360-735-7199 Email: Unknown April 29, 2011 Attn: Fat Tuesdays Management We are excited to have discovered your establishment. It is difficult in this area to find cornbread that does not have too much sugar in it, but yours passes the test. Your… Read more »
Amanda
5 years 4 months ago
Here is the letter I mailed out today! April 28, 2011 North China Buffet 300 Bell Boulevard Belleville, ON K8P 5H7 (613)771-9988 Dear Management: I have been enjoying the deliscious variety of foods and freindly atmosphere at your restraunt for a few years now and have alway had a good experience. As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your food but also your friendliness towards children. There is only one thing that troubles me, and that’s the disposable straws that you serve us with our coconut water. We try not to use disposable plastic because it’s wasteful. I most… Read more »
Dana
5 years 4 months ago
name address contact April 25, 2011 La Casita 465 East Fry Boulevard, Sierra Vista – (520) 458-2376 Dear La Casita: I recently went to your restaurant and loved the food. Your dishes are spot on and I’m sure I’ll be back frequently! Thanks for making our girl’s day out a little more delicious! There is only one thing that troubles me, and that’s the disposable straws that you serve us with our drinks. I try not to use disposable plastic because it’s so wasteful. While our drinks did not arrive with straws IN them, the waitress simply placed wrapped straws… Read more »
Eve Stavros
5 years 4 months ago

Thank YOU Beth and thank you Glass Dharma! I mailed my letters off last Friday and today I received my glass straws and wonderful letter from G.D.! That was fast!!!!! I plan to continue to communicate with local businesses and carry on the campaign.

Emily Harper
5 years 4 months ago
Buffalo Wild Wings 3575 West Stetson Avenue Hemet, CA 92545-9740 (951) 925-6111 To Whom it May Concern: 4/26/11 This is just a friendly letter asking you to do a very simple, yet very important thing! In honor of Earth Day, I am writing to ask you to change your plastic straw policy. We are all trying to be Earth conscious, and Im sure your establishment wouldn’t mind joining the ranks… all you have to do is please retrain your staff to ask customers if they would like a straw, rather than automatically just putting one in their glass before it… Read more »
Emily Harper
5 years 4 months ago
Millie’s Restaurant 2020 East Florida Avenue Hemet, CA 92544-4727 (951) 658-9068 To Whom it May Concern: 4/26/11 This is just a friendly letter asking you to do a very simple, yet very important thing! In honor of Earth Day, I am writing to ask you to change your plastic straw policy. We are all trying to be Earth conscious, and Im sure your establishment wouldn’t mind joining the ranks… all you have to do is please retrain your staff to ask customers if they would like a straw, rather than automatically just putting one in their glass before it is… Read more »
Emily Harper
5 years 4 months ago
Chili’s Restaraunt 2100 W Florida Av Hemet, CA 92545-3642 (951) 652-2777 To Whom it May Concern: 4/26/11 This is just a friendly letter asking you to do a very simple, yet very important thing! In honor of Earth Day, I am writing to ask you to change your plastic straw policy. We are all trying to be Earth conscious, and Im sure your establishment wouldn’t mind joining the ranks… all you have to do is please retrain your staff to ask customers if they would like a straw, rather than automatically just putting one in their glass before it is… Read more »
Emily Harper
5 years 4 months ago
Duke’s Steakhouse 360 North San Jacinto Street Hemet, CA 92543-3110 (951) 260-0335 To Whom it May Concern: 4/26/11 This is just a friendly letter asking you to do a very simple, yet very important thing! In honor of Earth Day, I am writing to ask you to change your plastic straw policy. We are all trying to be Earth conscious, and Im sure your establishment wouldn’t mind joining the ranks… all you have to do is please retrain your staff to ask customers if they would like a straw, rather than automatically just putting one in their glass before it… Read more »
Gena Alltizer
5 years 4 months ago
Gena Alltizer April 27, 2011 Millie’s Restaurant Bakery 2020 E. Florida Ave Hemet, CA 92544-4727 951-658-9068 428@millies.com Dear Millie’s: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your food but also the fact that it is served on durable dishes, with real flatware and glasses. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a waste-free meal — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws. I don’t need or want one. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not to bring me one, they stick a straw in my drink automatically, generating plastic waste that… Read more »
Gena Alltizer
5 years 4 months ago
Gena Alltizer April 27, 2011 Mimi’s Cafe 1778 W. Florida Ave Hemet, CA 92543 951-929-2201 mimis_121@mimiscafe.com Dear Chili’s: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your food but also the fact that it is served on durable dishes, with real flatware and glasses. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a waste-free meal — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws. I don’t need or want one. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not to bring me one, they stick a straw in my drink automatically, generating plastic waste that will… Read more »
Gena Alltizer
5 years 4 months ago
Gena Alltizer April 27, 2011 Chili’s Bar & Grill 2100 W. Florida Ave Hemet, CA 92545 951-652-2777 C01093@chilis.com Dear Chili’s: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your food but also the fact that it is served on durable dishes, with real flatware and glasses. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a waste-free meal — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws. I don’t need or want one. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not to bring me one, they stick a straw in my drink automatically, generating plastic waste… Read more »
Gena Alltizer
5 years 4 months ago

oops forgot to change the address on the last one. Steer N Stein is at 3104 West Florida Ave, Hemet, CA 92545

Gena Alltizer
5 years 4 months ago
Gena Alltizer April 27, 2011 Steer N Stein 2200 W Florida Ave # 410 Hemet, CA 92545-3670 951-658-6838 (would not give me email, says manager does not use it) Dear Steer N Stein: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your food but also the fact that it is served on durable dishes, with real flatware and glasses. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a waste-free meal — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws. I don’t need or want one. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not to bring… Read more »
Gena Alltizer
5 years 4 months ago
Gena Alltizer April 27, 2011 Samurai Sushi 2200 W Florida Ave # 410 Hemet, CA 92545-3670 ichipark@gmail.com Dear Samurai Sushi: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your food but also the fact that it is served on durable dishes, with real flatware and glasses. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a waste-free meal — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws. I don’t need or want one. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not to bring me one, they stick a straw in my drink automatically, generating plastic waste… Read more »
Anne
5 years 4 months ago
Very unoriginal, but hopefully they will listen. Anne Lawrie 27 April 2011 Tara Thai 245 E. Bell Road – Suite 9 Phoenix, AZ 85024 To Whom It May Concern: As a long-time customer of your restaurant I not only appreciate the delicious food and welcoming service, I also appreciate your use of real dishes, flatware, and glasses. There is one thing I am bothered by, however. This is the fact that plastic straws automatically arrive in each glass. In honor of Earth Day I am writing to ask you to change your straw policy. They are such a waste, and… Read more »
David William
5 years 4 months ago
Sushi Deli 135 Broadway, San Diego, CA (619) 233-3072 Dear Sushi Deli: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your food but also the fact that it is served on beautiful, durable dishes, with real flatware and glasses. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a waste-free meal — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws. I don’t need or want one. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not to bring me one, they stick a straw in my drink automatically, generating plastic waste that will last for thousands of years.… Read more »
Meg
5 years 4 months ago
One of my favorite restaurants under my yoga studio….. Meg Neil 2635 Logan Ave. San Diego, CA 92113 meg.neil@gmail.com April 28, 2011 Naked Cafe 3555 Rosecrans St # 109 San Diego, CA 92110-3232 (619) 226-7866 Dear Naked Cafe: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your food but also the fact that it is served on beautiful, durable dishes, with real flatware and glasses. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a waste-free meal — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws. I don’t need or want one. But unless I ask the server… Read more »
Sarah Johnson
5 years 4 months ago
Great promotion! I LOVE my glass dharma straws and give them as gifts every year. I’m converting all my friends, one birthday at a time! I went for a mixture of local and national chain restaurants. Here are my letters: April 27, 2011 Kerby Lane Café Marketing/Catering/Food Development 2111 Dickson Dr. Ste A
 Austin, TX. 78704
 512-448-3330 Dear Kerby Lane Café, As a satisfied customer, I not only appreciate your food but also the fact that it is served on durable dishes, with real flatware and glasses. I know that when I eat at Kerby Lane, I’ll have a waste-free… Read more »
5 years 4 months ago

Oh good! Thanks, Beth!

5 years 4 months ago
Here’s mine: April 27, 2011 Akasaka Japanese Restaurant 457 Paterson Avenue Wallington, NJ, 07057 201-507-8383 Dear Akasaka, I have eaten a few times at your restaurant and I am always thrilled by the elegance and deliciousness of your food. I also appreciate the lovely reusable cups and dishes that you serve your food on. However, the meals I eat at your restaurant are not completely waste-free. The chopsticks you provide me for eating my meal are the disposable wooden ones that I can use once and then throw away. Also, when I order a drink that is not hot tea… Read more »
Brianna
5 years 5 months ago
Brianna Lopez address address email April 26, 2011 Red Robin Gourmet Burgers
6312 S. Fiddlers Green Cir., #200N
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Phone: 303-846-6000 Dear Red Robin, I have always loved your restaurant and quite often choose you when I’m celebrating a birthday or just having date night with my boyfriend. Every time I go I always get the Freckled Lemonade which comes in a beautiful glass with a plastic straw in it. I have never been asked by a waiter/waitress if I want a straw, it’s always just automatically there. It’s not something I thought there were other options for in the… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago

Hi Beth,

I hope my letter is okay. Now that I’m looking at what others wrote, I see that everyone basically used the exact same format – and I didn’t. But I think I covered all the points! :)

Thanks for this opportunity, to you and Glass Dharma!

5 years 5 months ago

Yancy, your letter is perfect. I only included my letter as an example to make it easier for people, but I don’t expect everyone to write the same thing!

5 years 5 months ago
Yancy Contact info deleted for privacy April 26, 2011 Green Plow Coffee 436 SW 6th St. Redmond, OR 97756 pat@greenplowcoffee.com Dear Green Plow staff: First, I would like to say how much I enjoy your coffee shop. I am a part of the knitting group that meets there on Monday evenings, and I really love visiting your establishment. Your drinks are delicious and your staff is extremely warm and friendly. I especially love that your shop allows customers to use real dishware instead of disposable cups and that it encourages “to-go” customers to bring their own mugs. This is a… Read more »
Adam
5 years 5 months ago

I avoid plastic packaging. Some of the foods I regularly buy include cereal, granola, rice, nuts, beans, and quick oats. I’ve also purchased couscous, steal cut outs, rolled oats, Bulgar wheat, barley, and nutritional yeast.

Thank you so much for sharing this information with the world…nice to know there are many others out there doing what they can to use little or no plastic in an effort to be kinder to our beloved planet.

5 years 5 months ago
Last two. . . April 25, 2011 23rd Street Brewery 3512 Clinton Parkway Lawrence, KS 66047 E-mail: matt@brew23.com Dear 23rd Street Brewery: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your excellent burgers and terrific beer, but also the fact that the meal is served on beautiful, durable dishes with real flatware and glasses. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a low-impact, waste-free meal — except for the disposable plastic straws. In honor of Earth month, I’m writing to request a change to your plastic straw policy. 1) First, please train your servers to ask… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago
Three letters. Two more to come. April 25, 2011 Dempseys Burger Pub 623 Vermont Street Lawrence, KS 66044 Dear Dempseys: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your excellent burgers, terrific beer and commitment to supporting local farmers by sourcing local food but also the fact that the meal is served on beautiful, durable dishes, with real flatware and glasses. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a low-impact, waste-free meal — except for the disposable plastic straws. In honor of Earth month, I am writing to request that you to change your plastic straw… Read more »
Khaleelah Jones
5 years 5 months ago
Khaleelah Jones April 25, 2011 The Hornet Attn: Sean Workman, GM 76 Broadway Denver, CO 80203 Phone: 303-777-7676 Dear Mr. Workman: As a long-time customer at the Hornet, I not only love your food, but the Hornet’s continuing commitment to helping the environment. I would like to suggest another initiative for the Hornet to look into: getting rid of disposable plastic straws. I don’t need or want one, but unless I ask the server ahead of time not to bring me one, they stick a straw in my drink automatically, generating plastic waste that will last for thousands of years.… Read more »
Alicia
5 years 5 months ago
JP Licks 659 Centre Street Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 Dear JP Licks: As long-time customers, my family not only appreciates your ice cream and food but also the fact that you are wonderful community members. As spring (and iced coffee/tea season) approaches, we have been thinking more about what we can do to reduce waste. We have recently noticed a movement away from disposable plastic straws, and we thought we would ask if you could help discourage their use. I don’t need or want one. But I notice that without a visible suggestion or alternative, many people take a plastic… Read more »
Nikki Krempasky
5 years 5 months ago
(all five posted together) Nicole Krempasky x April 23, 2011 Red Hot 349 7th Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11215 (718) 369-2577 Dear Red Hot: I not only appreciate your excellent all-vegan food selections, but also the fact that it is served on beautiful, durable dishes, with real flatware and glasses. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a waste-free meal — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws. I am trying to eliminate single-use, disposable plastic from my life and our environment. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not to bring me one,… Read more »
Suannette Moux Fiol
5 years 5 months ago
P.Terry’s Burger Stand Barton Springs and S. Lamar 404 S. Lamar Blvd. Austin, Texas 78704 pterry@pterrys.com Sandy’s Hamburger 603 Barton Springs Rd Austin, TX 78704 no email (512) 478-6322 Wahoo’s Taco 1722 South Congress Austin, Texas 78704 gdellc@wahoos.biz Chick Fil A 500 E Ben White Blvd Austin, TX 78704 no email Taco Cabana 9705 Manchaca Rd Austin, TX 78748 no email 512 280-5626 To Whom It May Concern, In honor of Earth Day I really enjoy taking my kids to eat out at your restaurant.The staff is always happy and cheerful making it very kid friendly. I thank you for… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago
Dear Infusion Tea, I am writing to you on this Earth Day to let you know about two cool options you could use to replace plastic straws. Besides the good food, atmosphere and great teas, I have always appreciated your efforts to “go green” (containers, local food). Instead of plastic straws, you could offer customers paper straws: http:://www.aardvarkstraws.com. Or offer an “upgrade” and sell a sturdy reusable glass straw with the drink. They glass straws are so sturdy they have a lifetime guarantee (my friend’s baby uses one!) and they’re easy to clean. Straws are so bad for the animals… Read more »
Nikkai
5 years 5 months ago
Here is letter number one: Revelations Café 112 North Main Street Fairfield, IA 52556 revelations@lisco.com Dear Revelations Café, As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your fantastic food but also the fact that it is served on nice, durable dishes, with real flatware and cups. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a waste-free meal — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws. I don’t need or want one. Automatically sticking a straw in my smoothies, etc, generates plastic waste that will last for thousands of years, and for that reason I am trying… Read more »
Lydia
5 years 5 months ago
Here are my letters! April 22, 2011 Country’s BBQ 2016 12th Ave Columbus, GA 31901 Dear Country’s BBQ: I love your food! I have been coming to your restaurant for as long as I can remember, especially the one on Mercury Drive. I love everything on the menu, particularly the ribs. I always get great service and enjoy my meal. There is only one thing that has ever kept my experience at Country’s from being great. It’s the fact that you give out plastic straws with every single drink. I don’t need or want one. Every time I have visited… Read more »
Teaching kids about Earth Day | Parentella
5 years 5 months ago

[…] ashamed to admit that I also through at least one straw away daily. Thankfully, I found this blog: My Plastic Free Life, As part of my Earth Day commitment, I am going to get rid of straws as well. I am going to […]

5 years 5 months ago
Here’s my letter! Sunset Grill & Tap 130 Brighton Ave Allston, MA 02134 Dear Sunset Grill, Ever since I discovered your amazing selection of beer and delicious vegan burrito, I have been a very happy costumer at your restaurant, as well as at Sunset Cantina. As an environmentally conscious eater, I’m glad that your food is served on real dishes and that you have real flatware, something that can be sometimes hard to find in the fast-food packed streets of Allston-Brighton. Eating a waste-free meal is important to me, which is why I’m writing about your use of disposable, neon-colored… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago
Noel Phillips cello_pandora@yahoo.com April 20, 2011 Denny’s 5025 Central Avenue NE Columbia Heights, MN 55421 Dear Denny’s: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your food but also the fact that it is served on beautiful, durable dishes, with real flatware and glasses. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a waste-free meal — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws. I don’t need or want one. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not to bring me one, they stick a straw in my drink automatically, generating plastic waste that will… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago
Melissa Brown somewhere Whole Foods Headquarters re. Green initiative 550 Bowie St. Austin, TX 78703 Dear Whole Foods Market, Green Initiative, I am currently living close to your Lamar store and I think of getting a fresh mixed juice as a bit of a treat. Unfortunately, it is rather difficult to get one without plastic. My Klean Kanteen thermos could not be used – sanitation issues – and of course one must drink a mixed drink with a straw. Next time I will bring a glass jar and see if that will work. But what about the straw? In honor… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago
And my last set of two is to Applebees. See my previous comments for the Olive Garden. April 20, 2011 Applebees Restaurant 10172 SE 82nd Ave Happy Valley, OR 97086 Applebees 5330 West Main Street Kalamazoo, MI 49009-3304 Dear Applebees: In honor of Earth Day, I am writing to ask you to change your straw policies. I have noticed that many restaurants, including Applebees, have a habit of serving cold drinks with a straw already in the glass or already unwrapped. The impacts of plastic on the environment, regardless of the size, will contaminate our environment and wildlife for centuries… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago
My second two are going to two different Olive Gardens. One is in Oregon and one is in Michigan. I actually don’t go to national chain restaurants at all anymore and the last times I did was last year when I visited family back in Michigan. I noticed that many of the conservation and recycling practices I take for granted in Portland are non-existent back there so I wanted to reach out and put a but in the ear of a restaurant that may not otherwise hear from a different opinion. April 20, 2011 Olive Garden 8700 Se Sunnyside Clackamas,… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago
Here’s my first one. I changed the intro to make it more personal but the steps are very well worded so I’m keeping them the same. April 20, 2011 Paddy’s Bar and Grill 65 SW Yamhill Portland, OR 97204 Dear Paddy’s: I stopped into your restaurant last week for a late night dinner. I was very saddened to see that you seem to have a policy of automatically giving straws to the customers when they order cold drinks. I’m not sure if you are aware of how harmful plastic is to the future of our environment but even the simplest… Read more »
Jerami
5 years 5 months ago
April 20, 2011 Native New Yorker 1559 S. Gilbert Road Mesa, AZ 85204 E-mail: contact@nativenewyorker.com Dear Native New Yorker: In honor of Earth Day, I am writing to ask you to change your plastic straw policy. My whole family and I are fans of Native New Yorker’s food and great customer service. We have been eating at your restaurants since I was in elementary school and I am now twenty-seven. As I delve into the world of waste reduction, I have come to appreciate how your restaurants use dishes and flatware that can be reused over and over. However, I… Read more »
Rachel
5 years 5 months ago

Yeah, those are copies of my original letters. If they get the same letters I’d think they’d be more likely to brush it off. Just a thought.

Stephen
5 years 5 months ago
April 20, 2011 Applebees 14 Manchester Rd Derry, NH 03038 Dear Applebees: I have visited your restaurants regularly over the past few years. I enjoy your good pricing as well as your food and drinks. For this reason I want to write you a letter hopefully inspiring you to become more earth friendly in honor of the upcoming Earth Day. Plastic has becoming a very popular topic when it comes to being more Earth-friendly. This is usually represented through plastic bags. Another high-frequency plastic item that goes under the radar is plastic drinking straws. I am writing to ask you… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago

Hey Tracey and Stephen, are you both sending the exact same letter? I wouldn’t send the exact same letter to the same address.

Tracey Furtado
5 years 5 months ago
April 20, 2011 Applebees 14 Manchester Rd Derry, NH 03038 Dear Applebees: I have visited your restaurants regularly over the past few years. I enjoy your good pricing as well as your food and drinks. For this reason I want to write you a letter hopefully inspiring you to become more earth friendly in honor of the upcoming Earth Day. Plastic has becoming a very popular topic when it comes to being more Earth-friendly. This is usually represented through plastic bags. Another high-frequency plastic item that goes under the radar is plastic drinking straws. I am writing to ask you… Read more »
Eve Stavros
5 years 5 months ago
Oops – #2 April 19, 2011 Grills Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar 505 Glen Cheek Drive Cape Canaveral, FL 32920 Dear Grills: As one of the best places for seafood in our area, I’m sure you appreciate the importance of healthy oceans and the creatures that live in them. In honor of upcoming Earth Day, I’m writing to ask you to take one small step to help support the environment we all depend on. As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your food but also the quality of the service, except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws. I… Read more »
Eve Stavros
5 years 5 months ago
#5 April 19, 2011 Olive Garden 205 E Merritt Island Causeway Merritt Island, FL 32952 Dear Olive Garden: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your food but also the fact that it is served on beautiful, durable dishes, with real flatware and glasses. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a waste-free meal — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws. I am trying to eliminate single-use, disposable plastic. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not to bring me one, they stick a straw in my drink automatically, generating plastic… Read more »
Eve Stavros
5 years 5 months ago
#4 April 19, 2011 Dana James, Manager Rusty’s Seafood & Oyster Bar 628 Glen Cheek Drive Cape Canaveral, FL 32920 djames@rustysseafood.com Dear Ms. James: As one of the best places for seafood in our area, I’m sure you appreciate the importance of healthy oceans and the creatures that live in them. In honor of upcoming Earth Day, I’m writing to ask you to take one small step to help support the environment we all depend on. As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your food but also the quality of the service, except for one thing: the disposable plastic… Read more »
Eve Stavros
5 years 5 months ago
#3 April 19, 2011 Florida’s Seafood Bar & Grill 480 West Cocoa Beach Cswy. (520) Cocoa Beach, Florida 32931 info@floridas-seafood.com Dear Florida’s Seafood Bar & Grill: As one of the best places for seafood in our area, I’m sure you appreciate the importance of healthy oceans and the creatures that live in them. In honor of upcoming Earth Day, I’m writing to ask you to take one small step to help support the environment we all depend on. As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your food but also the quality of the service, except for one thing: the… Read more »
Eve Stavros
5 years 5 months ago
How spectacular!!! I’m in – #1 April 19, 2011 Jim Pinter Carrabba’s Italian Grill 60 Palmetto Ave. Merritt Island, FL 32953 Dear Mr. Pinter I am such a fan and have been a long-time customer. I not only appreciate your excellent food but also the fact that it is served on beautiful, durable dishes, with real flatware and glasses. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a waste-free meal — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws. I am trying to eliminate single-use, disposable plastic from my life and our environment. But unless I ask… Read more »
Eileen
5 years 5 months ago
NY & C Pizza 1120 Wilshire Blvd Santa Monica, CA 90403 April 19, 2011 Dear NY &C: You must already know that Los Angeles is a place where great pizza can be hard to find – yet here you are. East coast transplants like me are very happy you opened your doors in Santa Monica. I know my entire office is thrilled when we order pizzas up from you all and that they also like the vibe at your location. Since you seem like the kind of hip place that would be on the forefront of environmental initiatives, I’m writing… Read more »
Heather
5 years 5 months ago
I sent my letters on Friday and already have a response today! I thought I’d share so everyone could see that it is working!! YEAH Hello Heather, I received your letter today about our straws. I have actually been trying to source a compostable straw four Pastini, but haven’t yet found an affordable alternative. But, I never even thought about a paper straw! I will definitely look into that and let you know what I find out. Thank you so much for the great idea. About the glass straws…I just don’t feel that is a practical idea for us. Customers… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago

Heather, this is great. I hope that whatever kind of straw she decides to go with, she will train her servers not to give them out automatically unless customers want them.

Rose
5 years 5 months ago

We have a young man named Milo Cress in the area with the same idea!!! He has worked with area restaurants and spoken to the State Legislature several times about this issue. Here is the link to an interview. Oh, yeah, he is in fourth grade!

http://www.wcax.com/Global/story.asp?S=14229825

Rachel
5 years 5 months ago
Woo, 5 restaurants…I gotta stop eating out so much! Rachel April 19, 2011 Moe Joe’s 2175 Canida Rd Manchester, NH 03104 Dear Moe Joes: I have visited your restaurants regularly over the past few years. I enjoy your good pricing as well as your food and drinks. For this reason I want to write you a letter hopefully inspiring you to become more earth friendly in honor of the upcoming Earth Day. Plastic has becoming a very popular topic when it comes to being more Earth-friendly. This is usually represented through plastic bags. Another high-frequency plastic item that goes under… Read more »
Rachel
5 years 5 months ago
Rachel April 19, 2011 The Coach Stop 176 Mammoth Rd Londodnerry, NH 03053 Dear Coach Stop: I have visited your restaurants regularly over the past few years. I enjoy your good pricing as well as your food and drinks. For this reason I want to write you a letter hopefully inspiring you to become more earth friendly in honor of the upcoming Earth Day. Plastic has becoming a very popular topic when it comes to being more Earth-friendly. This is usually represented through plastic bags. Another high-frequency plastic item that goes under the radar is plastic drinking straws. I am… Read more »
Rachel
5 years 5 months ago
Rachel April 19, 2011 T-Bones 39 Crystal Ave Derry, NH 03038 Dear T-Bones: I have visited your restaurants regularly over the past few years. I enjoy your good pricing as well as your food and drinks. For this reason I want to write you a letter hopefully inspiring you to become more earth friendly in honor of the upcoming Earth Day. Plastic has becoming a very popular topic when it comes to being more Earth-friendly. This is usually represented through plastic bags. Another high-frequency plastic item that goes under the radar is plastic drinking straws. I am writing to ask… Read more »
Rachel
5 years 5 months ago
Rachel Fowler April 19, 2011 Applebees 14 Manchester Rd Derry, NH 03038 Dear Applebees: I have visited your restaurants regularly over the past few years. I enjoy your good pricing as well as your food and drinks. For this reason I want to write you a letter hopefully inspiring you to become more earth friendly in honor of the upcoming Earth Day. Plastic has becoming a very popular topic when it comes to being more Earth-friendly. This is usually represented through plastic bags. Another high-frequency plastic item that goes under the radar is plastic drinking straws. I am writing to… Read more »
Rachel
5 years 5 months ago
Rachel yadda yadda April 19, 2011 The 99 Restaurant 41 Nashua Rd Londonderry, NH 03053 Dear 99 Restaurant: I have visited your restaurants regularly over the past few years. I enjoy your good pricing as well as your food and drinks. For this reason I want to write you a letter hopefully inspiring you to become more earth friendly in honor of the upcoming Earth Day. Plastic has becoming a very popular topic when it comes to being more Earth-friendly. This is usually represented through plastic bags. Another high-frequency plastic item that goes under the radar is plastic drinking straws.… Read more »
stellans
5 years 5 months ago
letter to O’Charley’s: April 18, 2011 O’Charley’s Inc. Enterprise 3038 Sidco Drive Nashville, TN 37204 Attention: David W. Head, CEO Dear Mr. Head:  As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your food but also the fact that it is served on beautiful, durable dishes, with real flatware and glasses. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a waste-free meal — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws. I don’t need or want one. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not to bring me one, they bring one anyway, generating plastic waste… Read more »
stellans
5 years 5 months ago
Letter to Outback: April 18, 2011 Outback Restaurants c/o OSI Restaurant Partners, LLC 2202 N. West Shore Blvd., 5th Floor Tampa, FL 33607 Attention: Elizabeth Smith, CEO Dear Ms. Smith:  As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your food but also the fact that it is served on beautiful, durable dishes, with real flatware and glasses. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a waste-free meal — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws. I don’t need or want one. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not to bring me one, they… Read more »
stellans
5 years 5 months ago

oh, and I wrote to Outback’s CEO (Husband’s favorite) and to O’Charley’s (my favorite). I used your letter, Beth, as a template making a few changes to personalize it for us. :)

stellans
5 years 5 months ago

I’m a new reader, but I am so on board with getting plastic out of my life. I’ve written 2 letters today, because I would like a glass straw for my husband and myself to carry with us when we eat out. I already bring a titanium spork apiece (thank you, Think Geek!) so we can turn down plastic utensils when offered.

Lisa Coons
5 years 5 months ago
Lisa Coons [Removed] April 19, 2011 Mazatlan 1525 Tullamore Ave. Mankato, MN 56001 Dear Mazatlan: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate the food and service at your restaurant, I appreciate your use of real dishes, flatware and glasses. However, there is one small area of change which I believe would have a big impact on the environment I would suggest to you. Those pesky plastic straws. I don’t want or need one. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not to use one, they stick a straw in my cold drinks automatically, generating plastic waste that… Read more »
lisa dembouski
5 years 5 months ago
This is so awesome it’s unbelievable! Yay! Thank you Beth and Glass Dharma! I am sending the identical letter (pretty much, I am tweaking the first paragraph to be restaurant-specific) to what I’m copy/pasting here, so to save time and space I’m not going to include them all. Rather, I’ll share the one letter and then follow it with the different restaurant names and addresses to which I am sending it. If you want me to use a new post for each letter, please let me know. Otherwise, here it is: April 19, 2011 Lisa Last Name address email Dear… Read more »
Lisa Coons
5 years 5 months ago
Lisa Coons [Removed] April 19, 2011 Red Lobster 1890 Madison Ave. Mankato, MN 56001 Dear Red Lobster: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate the food and service at your restaurant, I appreciate your use of real dishes, flatware and glasses. However, there is one small area of change which I believe would have a big impact on the environment I would suggest to you. Those pesky plastic straws. I don’t want or need one. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not to use one, they stick a straw in my cold drinks automatically, generating plastic… Read more »
Lisa Coons
5 years 5 months ago
Lisa Coons [Removed] April 19, 2011 Tom Frederick Pub 500 500 Front Dr. Mankato, MN 56001 tom@pub500.com Dear Tom: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate the food and service at the Coffee Hag, I appreciate your use of real dishes, flatware and glasses. I also appreciate the recycling that the Pub incorporates as part of your business approach. However, there is one small area of change which I believe would have a big impact on the environment I would suggest to you. Those pesky plastic straws. I don’t want or need one. But unless I ask the server… Read more »
Lisa Coons
5 years 5 months ago
Lisa Coons [Removed] April 19, 2011 Jennifer Melby Coffee Hag 329 N. Riverfront Dr. Mankato, MN 56001 jennifer.melby@yahoo.com Dear Jennifer: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate the food and service at the Coffee Hag, I appreciate your use of real dishes, flatware and glasses. I also appreciate the recycling that the Coffee Hag incorporates as part of your business approach. However, there is one small area of change which I believe would have a big impact on the environment I would suggest to you. Those pesky plastic straws. I don’t want or need one. But unless I ask… Read more »
Lisa Coons
5 years 5 months ago
Lisa Coons [Removed] April 19, 2011 Mongolian Grill 1876 Madison Ave. Mankato, MN 56001 Dear Mongolian Grill: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate the food and service at your restaurant, I appreciate your use of real dishes, flatware and glasses. However, there is one small area of change which I believe would have a big impact on the environment I would suggest to you. Those pesky plastic straws. I don’t want or need one. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not to use one, they stick a straw in my cold drinks automatically, generating plastic… Read more »

[…] Copy your letter into a comment on this blog. * remember to exclude your personal information and include restaurants contact information only See: Great Sample Letter! […]

[…] also going to refuse plastic straws at restaurants as part of  an initiative by Beth Terry over at My Plastic Free Life to get restaurants to stop automatically handing out plastic […]

5 years 5 months ago

Thank you for this post, Beth!

As a (Darden company) server I keep straws in my apron and give them to guests upon request. I also check with parents before bringing a kid’s cup. Older children do not want one and younger children probably have a sippy cup packed with.

A note to your readers- if you do not want something, tell your server to take it away immediately. If you do not use a straw, paper coaster, drink napkin, etc., but leave it on your table, we have to throw it away when you leave.

Theresa
5 years 5 months ago
April 17, 2011 West End Café 916 West 4th Street Winston-Salem, NC 27101 Dear West End Café, West End Café is one of my favorite restaurants in town. I love your regular menu (particularly the Veggie Rueben) as well as your creative and delicious specials. I do have a recommendation that would bring even greater enjoyment—helping the environment by reducing West End Café’s use of disposable plastic straws. In honor of Earth Day and to help avoid generating plastic waste that will last for thousands of years, I’m writing to ask you to evaluate your restaurant’s plastic straw usage as… Read more »
Theresa
5 years 5 months ago
April 17, 2011 Sweet Potatoes 529 North Trade Street Winston-Salem, NC 27101 Dear Stephanie and Vivian, Sweet Potatoes is one of my favorite restaurants in town. I love your menu (particularly the fried green tomatoes like no other!) as well as Sweet Potatoes wonderful and welcoming southern hospitality that makes it a must-visit when our northern friends come to town. I do have a recommendation that would bring even greater enjoyment—helping the environment by reducing the restaurant’s use of disposable plastic straws. In honor of Earth Day and to help avoid generating plastic waste that will last for thousands of… Read more »
Theresa
5 years 5 months ago
April 17, 2011 Breakfast of Course! Mary’s Too 723 Trade Street Winston-Salem, NC 27101 Dear Mary, Breakfast of Course! Mary’s Too is one of my favorite restaurants in town. I love your menu (particularly the Breakfast Club with its delicious avocado & pesto mayo) as well as what a fun & funky gathering place it is. I do have a recommendation that would bring even greater enjoyment—helping the environment by reducing the restaurant’s use of disposable plastic straws. In honor of Earth Day and to help avoid generating plastic waste that will last for thousands of years, I’m writing to… Read more »
Theresa
5 years 5 months ago
April 17, 2011 6th and Vine 209 West 6th Street Winston-Salem, NC 27101 Dear 6th and Vine, 6th and Vine is one of my favorite restaurants in town. I love your menu (particularly the flats) and what a great atmosphere you’ve created for gathering with friends. I do have a recommendation that would bring even greater enjoyment—helping the environment by reducing 6th and Vine’s use of disposable plastic straws. In honor of Earth Day and to help avoid generating plastic waste that will last for thousands of years, I’m writing to ask you to evaluate your restaurant’s plastic straw usage… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago
#5 April 17, 2011 Chili’s Bar & Grill 8454 S. Kipling Parkway Littleton, CO 80127-5008 Dear Chili’s: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your delicious food, but also the fact that it is served on beautiful, durable dishes, with real flatware. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a waste-free meal — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws, and the plastic cup/lid/straw combo you offer with children’s food. I don’t need or want them. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not to include them, they bring these things automatically,… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago
#4 April 17, 2011 Panera Bread 8501 W Bowles Ave # 1D476 Littleton, CO 80123-9516 Dear Panera Bread: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your delicious vegetarian food options, but also the fact that it is served on beautiful, durable dishes, with real flatware. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a waste-free meal — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws and lids used for the smoothies, and disposable flatware included when I order my meal to go. I don’t need or want them. But unless I ask the server ahead of… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago
#3 April 17, 2011 Crooked Creek Saloon 401 Zerex Fraser, CO 80442 Dear Crooked Creek Saloon: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your delicious food, but also the fact that it is served on beautiful, durable dishes, with real flatware. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a waste-free meal — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws, and the plastic cup/lid/straw combo you offer with children’s food. I don’t need or want them. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not to include them, they bring these things automatically, generating… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago
#2 April 17, 2011 TGI Friday’s 8334 Willow St. Lonetree, CO 80124 Dear TGI Friday’s: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your delicious food, but also the fact that it is served on beautiful, durable dishes, with real flatware. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a waste-free meal — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws, and the plastic cup/lid/straw combo you offer with children’s food. I don’t need or want them. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not to include them, they bring these things automatically, generating plastic… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago
#1 April 17, 2011 Buffalo Restaurant & Bar 1617 Miner St. Idaho Springs, CO 80452 Dear Buffalo Restaurant & Bar: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your delicious food, but also the fact that it is served on beautiful, durable dishes, with real flatware. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a waste-free meal — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws, and the plastic cup/lid/straw combo you offer with children’s food. I don’t need or want them. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not to include them, they bring… Read more »
Theresa
5 years 5 months ago
April 17, 2011 The Old Fourth Street Filling Station 871 West 4th Street Winston-Salem, NC 27101 To The Old Fourth Street Filling Station, The Old Fourth Street Filling Station is one of my favorite restaurants in town. I love your menu (particularly the grilled salmon salad with goat cheese and candied pecans) as well as what a wonderful gathering place it is for friends—particularly on warm spring evenings outside on the patio. I do have a recommendation that would bring even greater enjoyment—helping the environment by reducing the restaurant’s use of disposable plastic straws. In honor of Earth Day and… Read more »
Val
5 years 5 months ago
Here are my letters. The third letter is being sent to all three locations of Fresh, since I know they use compostable takeout containers, but still gave me a plastic straw the last time I was there. name, address, email April 17, 2011 Rawlicious 3092 Dundas St. W. Toronto, ON M6P 1Z8 info@rawlicious.ca Dear staff of Rawlicious: I’m a big fan of your restaurant. I often go out of my way to stop in when I have the time to, even though I’m rarely in your neighbourhood otherwise. In honor of Earth Day, I am writing to ask you to… Read more »
Elizabeth B
5 years 5 months ago

Beth, this is awesome. I don’t have the energy to participate today (I’m recuperating from an appendectomy [!!!]), but I’ve posted this on my Facebook and will try to get to it in the next week or so.

In case no one has called you “inspiring” lately, let me rectify that situation. ^_^

Laura A.
5 years 5 months ago
Laura my info here April 15, 2011 Cafe This Way 14 Mount Desert Street Bar Harbor, ME 04609 (207) 288-4483 Dear Cafe This Way: As a local resident and repeat customer, I not only appreciate your food but also the fact that it is served on durable dishes with real flatware. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a waste-free meal — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws. I don’t need or want one. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not to bring me one, they stick a straw in my… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago

I love this! What a brilliant idea! I’m going to do this, and also suggest on my blog that other people do the same. I’ll post my letter later on this week. Thanks for this!

Coccinelle
5 years 5 months ago

Am I the only one that doesn’t have this problem?

I don’t even remember seeing a plastic straw being handed with a real glass (a glass made of glass). Maybe it happened once or twice when I was a kid but it’s really fuzzy…

I did buy glass straws two years ago and so far I LOVE them but I keep them at home, I don’t really need them when I’m out.

Anyway I applaud the initiative though!

Annie
5 years 5 months ago
As a parent to a young child, a pet peeve is when they bring the child’s water in a to-go cup with straw before you have a chance to even say no thanks. I always send it back, but I worry that they throw them away in the kitchen. I hope that doesn’t always happen. (We try to preempt by asking for a “regular” cup or glass with no straw, but there are a couple of places where the people who bring the water do it with no communication with the person who seats you or takes your order.) Need… Read more »
Emily Walter
5 years 5 months ago
Emily Walter April 15, 2011 Bon Boniere Ice Cream 1550 Bryant Street 215 F St, Eureka, CA 95501 Dear Bon Boniere: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate the quality and tastiness of your food but the fact that much of it is local. I have additionally always had great service at your establishments, the only thing that I find upsetting is the use of disposable plastic straws and the plastic sword/toothpicks you put in sandwiches. I don’t need or want a straw with my meal. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not to bring me… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago
I generally refuse the straw and don’t use it when the server bring it to me when I forget to ask but that’s just as wasteful as using it. I’m writing to the parent company of Der Dutchman Restaurants and also owns Dutch Kitchen. Lisa Dutchman Hospitality Group, Inc. PO Box 158 4985 Walnut Street Walnut Creek OH 44687 Phone: 330-893-2926 Fax: 330-893-2637 Dear Dutchman Hospitality Group: Not long after I met my husband his family introduced me to Der Dutchman and The Dutch Kitchen. We enjoy your food so much that we had you cater our wedding rehearsal dinner.… Read more »
Amanda R.
5 years 5 months ago
I know I might be disqualified for addressing a second issue, but yesterday at lunch I remembered to ask for no straw, and then had a small (mostly internal) meltdown when my food arrived with two little plastic cups on the side! I can’t find an email address for them on their site. ——— April 15, 2011 Gentle Ben’s Brewing Company 865 E. University Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85719 website: http://www.gentlebens.com Dear Gentle Ben’s: As a relatively new arrival to Tucson, I have enjoyed getting to know Gentle Ben’s. I not only appreciate your food but also the fact that it… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago

Amanda, of course you can address as many issues as you need to! I love that you gave a resource for purchasing durable dipping cups. That’s great. I too have been surprised by the occasional salad dressing cup in an otherwise plastic-free meal.

Jolene
5 years 5 months ago
University Book and Bean 1203 Chestnut Street, Suite A University Plaza Murray, Kentucky 42071 I must say that until my recent move away from Murray, I was a loyal and regular customer. There were many days that the only thing that kept me going was the promise of a Happy Hour frozen Book and Bean Mocha. And I must also confess that there was more than one occasion that I took advantage of the all day half price Sunday more than once in a day. As you can tell, Book and Bean is an establishment that I love and support.… Read more »
Heather
5 years 5 months ago
April 15, 2011 Old Spaghetti Factory 0715 Southwest Bancroft Street Portland, OR 97239-4299 E-mail: info@osf.com Dear Old Spaghetti Factory: As a long-time customer, I love bringing my family to your waterfront location. We enjoy great food, service and drinks. Great drinks — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws. I don’t need or want one. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not to bring me one, they stick a straw in my drink automatically, generating plastic waste that will last for thousands of years. In honor of Earth Day, I am writing to ask you to… Read more »
Laura
5 years 5 months ago
Hello Beth, A few years ago I wrote to the Claim Jumpers Restaurant the head person responsible for service at the restaurant. I did use email, however, they changed their straw policy for all restaurants. When I order water, I ask for water, no ice, and no straw, please and thank you. It was their policy to always put a straw into each glass at the back of the restaurant. Now, their policy is to offer straws that are covered at the table so that if you request no straw they will not provide you one. It is not the… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago

Laura, that’s a great story! Will you please post the letter? Send it to Glass Dharma with your story and see what they say. It’s their call. But I think the fact that you got a business to change is a big PLUS! How often does that happen?

Ellen Sattler
5 years 5 months ago
Here is the letter I sent to two restaurants (Beth’s letter with some tweaking!) April 15, 2011 Family Sports Concepts 5510 W. LaSalle Street Suite 200 Tampa, FL 33607 Dear Family Sports Concepts (Beef O’Brady’s): As a frequent customer, I not only appreciate your food but also the fact that it is served on beautiful, durable dishes with real flatware and glasses. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a waste-free meal — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws. I don’t need or want one. In honor of Earth Day, I am writing to… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago
Ok here’s my last letter, they are all going out in the mail today. This is such an awesome opportunity! :) Olive Garden 601 Juan Tabo Boulevard Northeast Albuquerque, NM 87123 To Whom It May Concern: As a long time customer, there is an issue I would like to address with your restaurant: plastic straws. I understand why you offer them, but they are very wasteful. These small pieces of plastic don’t get recycled, they get tossed in the trash, used or not. Eventually many of them migrate into waterways and into our oceans. If you’ve never seen a picture… Read more »
Heather
5 years 5 months ago
Thanks for clarifying Beth!! April 15, 2011 Pastini Pastaria 911 SW Taylor ST Portland, OR 97205 E-mail: feedback@pastini.com Dear Pastini: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your food but also the fact that you have been taking initiatives to reduce your impact on the environment. The measures you have taken to reduce waste, buy local and decrease plastic in your take out containers our commendable. However I challenge you to go one step further with the disposable plastic straws. I don’t need or want one. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not to bring me… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago
Ok great, thanks! :) Here’s my 4th letter which is the same as the 3rd since it’s the same restaurant just a different location: Sweet Tomatoes 10126 Coors Boulevard Northwest Albuquerque, NM 87114 To Whom It May Concern: As a long time customer, there is an issue I would like to address with your restaurant: plastic straws. I understand why you offer them, but they are very wasteful. These small pieces of plastic don’t get recycled, they get tossed in the trash, used or not. Eventually many of them migrate into waterways and into our oceans. If you’ve never seen… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago
Here’s my 3rd letter! I am on a roll :) This restaurant has 2 locations so I am sending letters to both of them. Sweet Tomatoes 4901 San Mateo Boulevard Northeast Albuquerque, NM 87109 To Whom It May Concern: As a long time customer, there is an issue I would like to address with your restaurant: plastic straws. I understand why you offer them, but they are very wasteful. These small pieces of plastic don’t get recycled, they get tossed in the trash, used or not. Eventually many of them migrate into waterways and into our oceans. If you’ve never… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago
I’m using basically the same format for my letters, I hope that’s ok! Here’s my 2nd one: Applebee’s 2600 Menaul Boulevard Northeast Albuquerque, NM 87107 To Whom It May Concern: As a long time customer, there is an issue I would like to address with your restaurant: plastic straws. I understand why you offer them, but they are very wasteful. These small pieces of plastic don’t get recycled, they get tossed in the trash, used or not. Eventually many of them migrate into waterways and into our oceans. If you’ve never seen a picture of a bird filled with plastic,… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago

Ashley, it’s totally fine to use the same format! Applebee’s won’t know that Bucca di Beppo got the same letter. :-)

Heather
5 years 5 months ago

Wow! This is a great deal! I’ve been wanting to buy the glass (or stainless) reusable straws for sometime now and this is a super incentive! I’ll get working on my letters now.

Just to clarify, we email a copy of our letter to earthday@glassdharma.com, not copy it in the blog comments, correct??

thanks!

5 years 5 months ago

Heather, you do both. You copy it here in a comment so others can see who you’ve written to. It will help them write their own letters and inspire others to give it a shot. But in the comment, you give the restaurant’s contact info but not your own.

THEN you also copy the letter in an email to earthday@glassdharma.com and include both your contact info and that of the restaurant: name, mailing address, email address for both.

5 years 5 months ago
YAY! I am so excited about this! I have been wanting to get glass straws for my daughter and I just for when needed. We both don’t use them, but it’s nice to have them when she gets a taller cup, just in case. I have sensitive teeth as well but I’ve just asked for no ice and done without a straw. So here’s my first letter: Bucca Di Beppo 6520 Americas Parkway Northeast Albuquerque, NM 87110 To Whom It May Concern: As a long time customer, there is an issue I would like to address with your restaurant: plastic… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago

I guess I’m lucky in that I don’t frequent any restaurants that force opened straws on people. In fact, I can’t think of a single one, fast food inclusive, that doesn’t just give the straws to me wrapped or offer me the option of picking one up from the drink location in-store on my own if I choose. Good thing for the environment, bad thing for getting a free awesome glass straw I guess :) How cool of that company to offer such a promotion!

5 years 5 months ago

Tori, you could look at the comments and choose one or more of the companies that participants have already written to. It’s preferable for you to be a customer but not absolutely required. Really, they should hear from multiple people!

Melissa
5 years 5 months ago

What a great idea! I personally don’t frequent any places that hand out straws, nor do I use them in my personal life, but what a great activity for those who do! I am going to use your letter templete to write to Staples. I recently bought a box of recycled content paper, and unknown to me at the time, each ream was wrapped in plastic. They even said that their packaging was recycable, which its not! ARGGGGG!!!!!! Totally pissed me off. I’ve been meaning to write a letter for a while, and now I have a good tool! Thanks!

Kourtney
5 years 5 months ago
This is on its way… Kourtney (last name, address, and email removed) April 15, 2011 Ennio’s Pasta House 384 King St N, Waterloo, ON N2J 2Z3 E-mail: arenon AT snapedge DOT ca Dear Ennio’s: As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your food but also the fact that it is served on beautiful, durable dishes, with real flatware and glasses. I know that when I eat at your place, I’ll have a waste-free meal — except for one thing: the disposable plastic straws. I don’t need or want one. But unless I ask the server ahead of time not… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago

This is very cool. For my kids, I’d like some stainless steel straws (should I not be concerned about the glass breaking?), but I’d love to try a glass one myself. I’m gonna admit that I’m not a huge eater outer, but I can think of a few places I go that could ditch the straws. Very cool of GD to do this!

5 years 5 months ago
and finally for now… name address contact April 15, 2011 The Lakeview Lunch 1132 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON (416) 850-8886 ‎handshakes@lakeviewrestaurant.ca Dear Lakeview: We started to come to your restaurant 19 years ago when when we lived a block away. Your restaurant was always my kids’ favourite place to eat. As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your food but also your friendliness towards children. We know we will always see friends there. There is only one thing that troubles me, and that’s the disposable straws that you serve us with our drinks. We try not to use… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago
This one is almost the same because it’s all equally applicable, except Nazareth is the owner and her mother in the kitchen, so referring to “staff” is too weird. Rua Vang is a family operation, but at least there are more than two family members! name address contact April 15, 2011 The Nazareth 969 Bloor St W Toronto, ON M6H 1L7 (416) 535-0797 FoodPages@FoodPages.ca Dear Nazareth: We started to come to your restaurant years ago when it was tiny. Your restaurant is my kids’ favourite place to eat. As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your food but also… Read more »
5 years 5 months ago
Yes!!! Thank you for this opportunity to interrupt my bad habit of forgetting every time I order drinks! name address email April 15, 2011 The Golden Turtle 125 Ossington Avenue  Toronto, ON M6J 2Z6 – (416) 531-1601 FoodPages@FoodPages.ca Dear Golden Turtle aka Rua Vang: We started to come to your restaurant when we lived at Ossington just north of Dundas. Your restaurant is my kids’ favourite place to eat. As a long-time customer, I not only appreciate your food but also your friendliness towards children. We know we will always see friends there. There is only one thing that troubles me,… Read more »
Leslie
5 years 5 months ago
Red Robin 9945 Sowder Village Square Manassas VA 20109 Dear Red Robin: Red Robin is a favorite of my entire family, from my three year old daughter to her 62 year old grandfather. We love your food and the family friendly atmosphere. I really appreciate that your food is served with real flatware, plates and glasses, it greatly reduces the amount of waste that ends up in the landfill. However, one of my concerns is the disposable plastic straw that is provided with drinks. These plastic straws are used once and then end up in a landfill forever. In honor… Read more »
sudha
5 years 5 months ago

this is a major peeve of mine as well..

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