I have enjoyed using straws for as long as I can remember. From playing sports and drinking out of a water bottle as a kid to hitting the local ice cream shop for a milkshake in high school … I have had a relationship with straws since childhood. We took a short break from each other in college when it was easier to carry around a bottle of water but reunited when I graduated and was recruited into a job where I spent the day typing and talking on the phone. Sure, like most people I would start my morning off with a hot cup of coffee or tea but then spent the remainder of the day drinking water. Anyone with a job that involves talking on the phone and typing knows that this is a task easier accomplished with a drinking straw than attempting to multi-task on top of multi-tasking. Straws for sipping are a must have.
A couple years after graduating from college my then fiancé; now husband and I built our home. We shopped until we dropped and filled the house with modern pieces which were great until our daughter was born and we realized some of our taste was less than realistic for family life. Something about a round, glass coffee table really doesn’t scream safety when you have a little one that is learning how to walk. Enter nightmares. Needless to say, the only furniture in our family room right now is a couch and the entertainment system. What that means is we often have drinks sitting on the floor, sitting on a couch cushion, or if we are feeling exceptionally energetic on the fireplace mantel which means we have to get up every time we want a drink. In other words, straws became a necessity. Yes, feel free to laugh, there are now three people in my home walking around essentially with sippy cups or cups with lids that require straws.
Since we are such avid users of drinking straws, we have been looking for alternatives to the everyday plastic straws for a number of reasons. First, plastic, one time use drinking straws are not environmentally friendly. Second, they aren’t sturdy either. Third, when a family of three is using a straw every time they drink something, one time use products aren’t economically friendly either. We tried reusable plastic straws but they stained, were often difficult to actually clean, and on a few occasions we even managed to melt them. We also tried using glass drinking straws but I have to admit that every time we actually used them they made me incredibly nervous. Nobody wants to think about swallowing glass after they accidentally break a straw. I actually refused to allow my daughter to use them out of fear of her getting hurt. The final straw, haha sorry I couldn’t help myself, was when one of the straws rolled off the table and broke into a million pieces. They have been packed away for the long haul. So, no plastic and no glass … what other options are there?
Recently we were introduced to Eco at Heart Stainless Steel Drinking Straws. Eco at Heart is an eco-friendly company that has recently released their first of many products aimed at helping consumers become more conscious about their product choices. While I would not call our family especially green, we are working on taking baby steps to become more earth conscious where we can and I figured this would be a great baby step to take. Then, the product arrived and I became a bit nervous. Who drinks out of straws made of metal? Hmmm … Then, I started to wonder if it would make everything taste metallic. I gave in and became the first person to test our new straws.
First, if you are like me and wonder if using stainless steel straws will result in metallic tasting fluids, the answer is no. I have used my straws for drinking water, lemonade, and a few juices and I have not noticed an unpleasant taste. In fact, it is possible that everything tastes a bit crisper but that may just be my imagination. They straws do not smell like anything or taste like anything, they are just the means to an end. Also known as, yummy in my tummy! ;)
It is noted that the straws can be stored in the freezer to keep drinks chilled; however, I have not yet found this necessary. Anytime I place my straw in a drink that is already cold the straw itself chills which makes my drink colder. Talk about a shocker! The first time I used the straws I was not expecting to find a cold straw but it makes perfect sense considering the fact that we are drinking from a metal object.
The straws are 18/8 Grade stainless steel which means they will not rust or bend and they are dishwasher safe. As a busy momma that is constantly on the go, I love that I am able to pop the straws in the silverware basket and go about my business without a second thought. That being said, I am also thankful for the cleaning brush that is provided. As an avid drinker of lemon water made from fresh lemons there is always the risk of a stray seed getting lodged inside the straw. That is where the cleaning brush comes in handy. For any hard to reach places, I am able to clean my straws by hand but otherwise, they go right into the dishwasher which is perfect for us!
The Eco at Heart package that we received contained 5 stainless steel straws, the perfect amount of many families, and a cleaning brush. Each straw is 3/8” wide which makes them perfect for drinking thicker smoothies and milkshakes and is 8.5” long. The box that the straws come in is made from recycled paper and is cute which makes it perfect for storage or even gifting if you are looking for a unique gift idea for the hard to buy for person in your family or perhaps even a teacher. As an added bonus, each package also comes with a free eBook that includes 25 smoothie recipes. Double score!
In the Future …
While I love the overall concept behind the straws, there are a few things that I would like to see changed in the near future.
First, the straws do not bend; there is no flex. I still have to pay attention when I am using our Eco at Heart straws because I am often busy and will just kind of jam the straw into my mouth without thinking. The straws are made from stainless steel, like silverware, and it can be a bit shocking if not painful when one hits the straw into their teeth or a sensitive part of their mouth.
Second, as the straws are made from metal and do not bend, it is recommended that the user is stationary during use. This is good and well while sitting at the kitchen table enjoying a meal; however, many of us drink fluids throughout the day. Not only am I constantly on the move, I also have a four year old, and she moves around even more than I do. Unless my daughter is sitting at the table for a meal, she is not using our stainless steel straws. I tend to error on the side of safety first and I am not completely sold on the idea that this product is safe for constant use.
Third, soda and stainless steel straws do not mix. I am not a scientist so I will not claim to understand the chemical interaction or what it is that occurs when my straw hit the soda but I can tell you, my soda lost the battle. If you are using stainless steel straws, I do not recommend you use them when drinking carbonated beverages.
Four, Eco at Heart stainless straws are FDA certified; however, they are made in China. Per the company’s website, they are dedicated to helping American families reduce their plastic footprint. While I appreciate the message, I would appreciate it even more if their products were manufactured in the United States. As a consumer, I tend to shy away from products that are manufactured in China so this is a real negative for our family.
Overall, I really like our stainless steel straws. If for no other reason, I am thrilled to add them to our repertoire of kitchen gadgets for milkshake nights and when I am trying to add a little extra nutrition to our lives in the form of smoothies. I would love to see the company make a few changes to the product but I think this is a great alternative for any family that is attempting to make more conscious choices or prefer to live green.
Click HERE to PURCHASE Eco at Heart Stainless Steel Straws!
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.