green|spaces is hosting three Straw Take Over events as a part of their “Skip the Straw” campaign, an effort to "the number of plastic straws that pollute the environment."
The first Straw Take Over will be Oct. 19 at Bluegrass Grill from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., followed by the second Straw Take Over on Oct. 25 at Niedlov's Breadworks from 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
The Straw Take Over events all lead up to the Oct. 30 screening of “STRAWS,” a documentary that charts the history of straws, highlighting the "current culture's obsession with single-use conveniences," hosted at green|spaces from 5-6:30 p.m.
"As a nonprofit organization, green|spaces works toward regional sustainability by progressing the way people live, work and build in Chattanooga and the surrounding region," officials said. "A primary goal of green|spaces is to serve as a community forum in which people can gather and discuss the most environmentally sound choices while also raising awareness where it is lacking and educating sustainable practices to the surrounding region.
"With the common focus in sustainability, green|spaces has partnered with Tennessee American Water to raise awareness of the 500 million plastic straws that are used daily in the United States."
“Plastic straws have become a normal part of our daily life,” said Dawn Hjelseth, green|spaces director of development.
“We don’t think anything of the straw that comes in almost all of our drinks or where it goes after we throw it away. They seem harmless, but straws present a major environmental threat, especially to marine life. We think when people understand how easy it is to refuse a straw in their drinks, they will pledge to ‘Skip the Straw.’”
With the Straw Take Over events, green|spaces is encouraging participants to take the “Skip the Straw” pledge. Their goal is to get 1,000 people to take the pledge. Pledgers will receive a free stainless steel straw sponsored by Tennessee American Water, monthly eco-tips and "Perk" Days that give pledgers a chance to go to local establishments with their stainless steel straws and have the chance to sign up for free items that will help them reduce plastic in their life.
Along with the Straw Take Over events, green|spaces hopes to raise greater awareness through the screening of “STRAWS.” This short film by Linda Booker traces the life of the straw to present day, showing its harmful effects, as well as providing professional insight on how to make a sea of change with “Skip the Straw.”
For additional information on green|spaces and the “Skip the Straw” campaign, or if you are a restaurant interested in hosting a Straw Take Over, contact Dawn Hjelseth at firstname.lastname@example.org.