Are stainless steel straws the future?

 

Straws have definitely been causing a quite a stir lately. Pun completely intended.

Plastic straws are everywhere. From the local coffee shop to our favorite smoothie place. Most of us pick up these items without even considering the environmental impact of one-time use plastic products. Unlike some other materials, plastic can take up to 1000 years to decompose in a landfill.

The recent Plastic Straw Ban aims to change this, ordering business to nix plastic straws by 2020. Many plastic products, including straws, can be washed into the ocean and significantly injure marine life. With local governments expediting this change, many are scrambling to find alternatives to plastic straws.

Where do we go from here?

For many, giving up the use of straws is simply just not an option. How can you drink your favorite boba tea without a straw? Fortunately, with the purchase of a reusable straw, you can enjoy your boba tea and save the environment at the same time.

When it comes to reusable straws, you will most likely have to decide between bamboo, silicone or stainless steel. Reusable straws are made from several materials, but bamboo and stainless steel appear to be the most popular.

 

While both types of straws decrease our dependence on plastic, stainless steel seems to be the prime option.

Bamboo is more delicate than stainless steel, so the bamboo straws are more likely to get damaged in your backpack or purse. Stainless steel straws also last quite a bit longer than bamboo straws. These straws can last as long, and in some cases even longer, than regular stainless steel cutlery.

Bamboo straws will need to be replaced every few months to years, depending on the amount of use.

The University of Guam’s Sea Grant Program, an initiative focused on restoring clean oceans, suggests stainless steel straws are the best place to start.

Taking care of your reusable straw

Washing your straw at home is quite straightforward. You can rinse the straw with hot water and disinfect with soap. If you have a stainless steel straw, it is also dishwasher-safe. It really can’t get too much simpler than that!

 

Using the straw while you are out may take a bit more planning. After you use the straw, make sure to rinse it under warm water. You don’t want liquid from your sugary drink getting stuck in your straw. After the rinse, you can just put the straw back in its’ pouch and take it home to be washed. No muss, no fuss.

Change starts with us…

Each day we make small choices that can either negatively or positively impact our environment. If all work towards using fewer plastic straws we can make a significant difference in the health of the planet. When all of us come together with a common goal, you would be amazed at the impact that we can make.

 

 

Stainless steel cutlery, silverware, and drinkware are rising to popularity for its durability, strength, ease of use, and eco-friendliness. By making a stainless steel straw a token accessory you take with you, you could inspire others to do the same.

 

Credit: Fedsteel, Google

BEAUTIFUL BALLOON DECORATION – DIY

 

Today, we’re going to make the colorful table decoration together, as it really is a must alongside all kinds of tasty treats. And as we love sweet fruit so much in summer, today we’re going to use ordinary balloons to make a strawberry balloon decoration.

 

What you’ll need

 

 

Decorating has never been easier – for your balloon decoration, grab a few normal shaped pink or red balloons, some thin green crepe paper, scissors and glue of course, and a black marker pen.

 

Let’s get started

 

 

 

We first make the green leafy crown. So, blow up the balloons and cut the crepe paper into leaf shapes of various sizes.  Just like in nature, they shouldn’t all be the same, but rather occur spontaneously. Use a pencil to draw any shape, your imagination will create some amazing leaves.

To make it easier to glue them to the balloon decorations, place the blown up balloons on a cup or something similar so that they are held in place. You then stick the crepe paper leaves to the top of the balloon layer by layer. It’s best to use liquid glue for this. Don’t worry, the traces of glue will dry.

 

One final step – the dots

 

 

And what does every strawberry need? Exactly, the little seeds which are a characteristic feature of this fruit. And we can now draw these onto the balloons. It won’t take you any time at all, and the best garden party decorations require a little bit of effort, right? Once again it’s not an exact science and is more about spontaneous creativity.

From table decorations to lovely gestures: you can also release the balloons into the air of course – fill them with helium and tie a pretty ribbon around the end. Now grab some postcards or photos and write a few kind words or a wish on the back. You can release them with your guests to inspire these wishes.

Credit: My postcard Blog

All you need for Valentine’s Day in 5 Info Graphics

62% of adults say they celebrate Valentine’s Day. They say love makes people do crazy things, however, the holiday comes with added pressure for both men and women to live up to the hype. Every Valentine’s Day couples prepare well-thought out (or last minute) romantic gifts and plans.

Do you celebrate the most romantic day of the year? Whether you love it or hate it – here are 10 funny and interesting Valentine’s Day infographics for you to explore.

1. Valentine’s Day by numbers

Source: Column five media

 

2. Valentine’s Day tradition around the world

 

 

 

3. Valentine’s Day personas

 

 

4. ‘I Love You’ in 50 different languages

 

 

 

 

5. State of Love Report in the US

 

 

Credit:Natalija Snapkauskaite

Reusable Silicone Straw FAQ’s

 

 

 

 

 

Many consumers have moved away from disposable plastic straws in favor of eco-friendly, BPA free reusable silicone straws.  Below we cover a lot of the common questions consumers have regarding silicone reusable straws.  Are they safe, how do you clean them, how do they compare to plastic, glass, and metal reusable drinking straws.

 

What materials are Softy Straws made from?

Softy Straws are made from non-harmful food grade silicone. Silicone is a non-plastic BPA free material that has unique properties which make it an ideal material for drinking straws and other kitchenware. Each batch of silicone used to make Softy Straws is inspected for quality and purity by the FDA.

 

 

Are Silicone Straws Safe?

Silicone straws are free from BPA, BPS, Phthalate, Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, PBBs, and other harmful carcinogens commonly associated with plastic straws. Further, silicone is a very stable material – this means it doesn’t leach chemicals when exposed to temperature variations and liquids the way coated metal and plastic does.

Silicone is also flexible, soft, and bendy. This means they don’t pose a risk of chipped teeth, eye pokes and throat gouges when drinking. In recent years there have been lawsuits filed which revolve around kids getting gouged by hard straws made from plastic, glass, and metal. Silicone is soft enough to bite down on, yet rigid enough to resist tears. For straw biters and people with sensory issues or special needs, silicone is the go-to straw, as mentioned by many of our customers, including a recent mom of special needs child:

“I have a 3 year autistic girl that chews on everything all her Sippy cups’ straws are chewed and that was driving me crazy, because she only wants to drink from a straw, I even got the stainless steel ones and she didn’t like them because she couldn’t chew them (lol that was the point), anyway when I found these silicone straws I gave them a try and OMG they were a hit.

These are very flexible, they can be chewed and are very easy to clean.

I recommend them 100%, especially for special needs kids.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is silicone exactly?

Many people believe that silicone straws are made from a type of plastic or plastic rubber. This is false. Silicone straws are made from Silicon – a unique material that has no relation to harmful plastic. Silicone material is made primarily from the element Silicon. Plastic is made from petroleum, food grade silicone uses no plastic or petroleum base. For more information on the silicone we use, such as the FDA report, please reach out to us.

 

 

How to clean reusable straws?

Cleaning reusable straws are very important for preventing the buildup of mold and germs. How to clean reusable straws depends on what type of material the straws are made from. For instance, plastic straws can melt in the dishwasher, so people generally only run them under the faucet and clean them out with a bristle cleaner. Since silicone straws can handle extreme temperatures, cleaning them more thoroughly can be achieved to prevent the build of up mold and germs in the following ways:

  • Cleaning the inside of the straws with a bristle cleaner
  • Completely cleaning the inside of the straws by squeegeeing with a Straw Squeegee cleaner
  • Cleaning and sterilization by running the straws through the dishwasher
  • Boiling the straws in water for a short period of time

 

 

 

How do you get mold out of a reusable straw?

It only takes a small amount of gunk build-up inside of your straws to grow germs and mold. The best way to prevent mold is to clean them after each use. If they do build a mold, the best way to get mold out of a reusable straw is to use a Straw Squeegee cleaner or bristle brush, then run them through the dishwasher. It’s very important to get the gunk out with a cleaner, such as the mentioned Straw Squeegee, then sterilize the straws in the dishwasher to prevent any further bacteria growth.

 

Are silicone straws dishwasher safe?

Yes. Silicone straws are dishwasher safe and can safely withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees. This is very handy for cleaning, sterilization, and germ/mold prevention.

Further, silicone is frequently praised for its non-heat conduction property — it doesn’t quickly become hot when exposed to heat or cold when exposed to cold — like that of metal, glass, and plastic. This is great for drinking hot and cold beverages in addition to being safe to be cooked with, microwaved, frozen, and sent through the dishwasher.

 

 

Do silicone straws have BPA or are they BPA free?

Food grade silicone is BPA free and BPS free. In fact, food grade silicone like that used in Softy Straws is completely free from Phthalate, Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, PBBs, and other harmful chemicals commonly associated with plastic straws — as verified by 3rd party testing.

 

Silicone vs. Plastic

Plastic is a petroleum-based material that frequently contains BPA or BPS. Plastic is a hard material that does not have stable properties when exposed to temperature variations – cracking when cold and melting when hot and also leaching chemicals in the process. Plastic is not reliable for putting in the freezer or dishwasher. Lastly, plastic is much cheaper to produce.

Silicone is a Silicon-based material that is free from BPA, BPS and other carcinogens associated with plastic. Food grade silicone is a dense material, heavier in weight than plastic, but more flexible and bendy. Silicone doesn’t conduct heat the way plastic does, thereby not quickly becoming overly hot or cold when exposed to temperature variations. Silicone is extremely heated tolerant, safe for freezing, microwaving and dishwasher without cracking or melting. Because silicone is such a stable material, it doesn’t leach chemicals the way plastic does. Silicone is a much more expensive material than plastic – which is why silicone products cost more than plastic products.

 

 

 

What kind of bottles do silicone straws work with?

There are a variety of silicone straw sizes and styles to fit different tumblers, bottles, mason jars, and kid’s cups. Since silicone can also be cut down with scissors, it’s easy to fit those to smaller drinking bottles.

 

 

Can Silicone Softy Straws be recycled?

Silicone Softy Straws can be recycled – but not simply like plastic or aluminum by throwing it in the recycling bin. Most recycling processes can recycle silicone, but make sure to get it to them separate from your typical recyclables.

 

Credit: Softy Straws

10 Strange Reasons Why Kids Hate Bath Time & How to Fix it.

Bath time a struggle?

Although bath time may be relaxing for some children – there are many kids who go running in the opposite direction when they hear the word “bath.” Kids fight bath time for many different reasons.

 

 

If your little ones have to be chased down for their bath, it is possible there is something behind their opposition.

I often work with families in my therapy practice who misinterpret their children’s intense avoidance of bath time as “bad behavior” – when in fact there is often fear or discomfort driving their behavior.

I am doing something and I don’t want to take a bath!

 

There are other reasons that are often missed. Here are a few of them:

 

Hard time with transition/change of activity

 

Afraid of Bedtime– which often occurs right after bath time

 

Fear of bugs in the bath (even those small, microscopic mysterious black dots)

 

Sensory issues related to the feeling of water on their body

 

Sensory issues related to the temperature of the water

 

Sensory issues related to the sound of the water pouring into the bath

 

Fear of getting soap in their eyes

 

Aversion to getting water on their face

 

Fear of slipping in the tub

 

Fear of getting sucked into the drain

 

This is not an exhaustive list, but it addresses the most common reasons why kids may want to avoid bath time. With that being said, how do you get your little ones from being scared to loving their bath?

 

As with many kid issues, it is not effective to get into a power struggle and out-power your child. Getting to the source of your child’s fear will get you much farther in the long run!

 

Below are some approaches to help get your kids back to loving bath time:

 

 

Avoid sensory overload in order to get your child IN the bath.

 

If your children are sensitive to noise or temperature – there are many triggers around bath time that might overwhelm them. Parents do not always realize that their children may have some sensory issues.

 

OTHER ARTICLES:  End Your Child’s Fear of the Dark with These 9 Sure-Fire Tips!

If children hold their ears around loud noises they might have some auditory sensitivities. If your children have noise sensitivities, it might be helpful to fill up the bath prior to bringing them into the bathroom. A nice quiet bath might be more inviting than the roar of rushing water.

 

Some children have issues with temperature or with the feeling of water around their body. A possible indicator of this would be if your child stands and refuses to sit in the water through the entire bath.

 

To help alleviate this sensitivity – have your children sit in the bathtub as you fill up the water. This will help them acclimate to the water as it envelopes and tickles their little body. It will also help them adapt to the temperature and allow you time to make adjustments if the water gets too hot or too cold.

 

 

Avoid soapy eye disasters!

The most common bath time issue is the fear of getting soap in one’s eyes. Kids have a good memory for pain and it only takes one soapy, teary experience for them to want to avoid bath time altogether.

 

Besides soapy eyes, many kids don’t like water on their face. Take precautions to avoid both of these nightmares!

 

Also, I always recommend keeping a dry washcloth right next to the bath. This instills confidence in your children that if they were to get their face wet, you got it covered!

 

Put stars or a mobile above the tub so your little ones will look up for a longer period of time when you are rinsing their hair.

 

Help associate bath time with fun time!

This point may be obvious – but if your children are having fun, they are less likely to focus on their worries.

 

Adding bath toys, bath paint can turn your bath time into fun play time.

Conceal those little black specks that freak your child out!

Trust me, this is a bigger problem than you think. Younger kids get very paranoid about little black specks that they view as large, scary bugs that can eat them.

 

As irrational as this might sound, the fix can be quite easy. Bubble bath. A beautiful sea of white bubbles that consume and conceal anything that might possibly be analyzed and deemed as a threat to your kid. You can also add color to your child’s bath. There is a kind of bath drops that don’t stain your bath and make beautiful, colorful baths.

 

 

 

Don’t drain the bath with your child still in it.

If your child is sensitive to noise or just tends to be on the nervous side – the obnoxious, aggressive sucking sound your drain makes might be pretty unsettling for your kid.

 

This nervousness about drains sucking them to their death will pass – thank goodness – but in the meanwhile, why have all that drama?

 

Take your children out of the bath without pulling the drain. As they are drying off you can pull the drain as you distract them or as you are leaving the bathroom. Their fear of the drain will most likely naturally go away as they develop.

 

Give plenty of warnings about when bath time will start and finish.

Ironically the biggest complaint I hear from parents is something like, “He fights us tooth and nail not to take a bath and then weirdly he refuses to get out of the bath!”

 

This isn’t really that big of a surprise. Many kids don’t do well with transitions. Also, once your children are having fun in a warm, soapy oasis – who can blame them for not wanting to get out!

 

Before bath time is going to begin, give your children a ten-minute warning. For younger kids, anchor your warning around an activity, not a time. You can tell them something like, “After you are done drawing that picture it will be bath time.”

 

OTHER ARTICLES:  Child Therapist’s List of Best Kid’s Books for Worries

I have transitional theme songs with my children that I have made up. My bath time rendition is “bath time is fun time…bath time is fun time….who wants to take a bath?” luckily you are not hearing me sing it – it gets worse.

 

But…my children know what is coming when they hear the bath time jingle. I also have a bath time jingle to end the bath – I won’t subject you to that one. Anyway, my point is – let your children know what is coming before it comes.

 

Have a fuzzy towel ready for your little ones so you can wrap them up as soon as they hit that cool air.

 

My parenting motto – whether to myself or to the families I work with is “this too shall pass.” I have whispered that many times under my breath as I have endured hardship after hardship with my kids.

 

My first child actually had occupational therapy to address her fear of bathing. My third child month-long long aversion to the bath – where she cried and screamed every time it was bath time.

 

I am happy to report that my oldest child is now eleven and laughs when I tell her she needed therapy to eat and take a bath (we’ll talk about the eating issue some other time)! My little one is still a toddler and now she loves her bath! On to the next phase and struggle…

 

Does your child hate baths? What has been your experience? Leave a comment and share.

 

Credits: Natasha Daniel

Creative Art Helps Children Develop across Many Domains

 

 

 

Creative art activities can help children in all areas of development. Child care providers should plan creative activities with the child’s overall development in mind. Here are some ways that art activities can support young children’s development.

Physical Development

When child care providers offer art activities, they are supporting children’s large and small muscle development, as well as their eye-hand coordination. Using crayons, markers, and paintbrushes helps children practice the fine motor control they will need for writing later on.

 

 

Social Development

When children work together in the art area, they learn to share, to interact with others, to be responsible for cleanup, and to put materials away. These are positive and important changes in social learning.

 

 

Cognitive Development

Young children can learn the names of colors and shapes through creative art activities. They find out what happens when they mix two primary colors together and get a secondary color. Sending older children outside to carefully examine a tree, feel its bark, and study the shape and color of its leaves, and then asking them to draw or paint trees helps them develop observational skills needed for science.

 

 

 

Emotional Development

Through creative art, children may be able to represent experiences that they cannot verbalize. They may draw pictures out of proportion, exaggerating things that are important to them. When we value children’s creativity, we help them feel valued as people, raising their self-esteem.

 

 

Imagination and Experimentation

Children’s active imaginations can take form through art. For example, Gene wonders what will happen if he uses three paintbrushes at one time? He asks his teacher to help him tie a rubber band around three paintbrushes. Through active experimentation, he invents a new way to paint. Although tying three paintbrushes together may not be earthshaking, Gene is learning skills that could help him invent something new, like the car that runs on solar power or a cure for cancer, when he grows up.

 

 

Credit: Extension

 

Question: How can I become a better artist?

 

 

Answer: Simply painting or doodling for the fun of it is a worthwhile effort, but you can become a better artist with a bit of practice. Vincent Van Gogh, a very famous artist, taught himself to draw mostly by copying the work of other great artists. Once he’d learned a few tricks, he created his own art.

Extra Credit: Fun & Easy Science for Kids

 

The Benefits of Stainless Steel Straws

 

With the increasing climatic changes and the growing concern about the harmful effects of plastic, it’s time we switch to healthier and more environmentally friendly alternatives. According to Isfoundation, plastic straws contain BisphenolA (BPA).

BPA is a harmful chemical found in plastics that mimic the activity of hormones, most commonly estrogen, which can lead to a number of reproductive disorders and other conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.

 

 

 

Plus, just imagine, if a single person were to use a plastic straw every day for the next ten years, there would be 3,650 straws worth of landfill! It is thus imperative you switch to reusable items and recycle plastic items as much as possible.

There are dozens of alternatives to plastic straws, some of which include:

  • Glass Straws
  • Bamboo Straws
  • Stainless Steel Straws

 

 

While glass straws may add elegance to any dining table, it is not safe to use for the kids or for travel. Likewise, bamboo straws may only seem a good option if you are throwing a tropical themed straw party. Stainless steel straws are ideal for just about any occasion. Not only do they add elegance to your dining room but are considerably more durable as compared to plastic straws.

Benefits and Uses of Using Stainless Steel Straws

There are many reasons why you should update to stainless steel straws. Here are some listed below:

 

Environmentally Friendly

Haven’t we polluted the earth enough? According to Mother Earth Living, the manufacturing of plastic products releases a whole set of carcinogenic, home-disruptive and neurotoxic chemicals into the atmosphere. These products eventually find their way to our ecology through the air, water, and land pollution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teach your kids the importance of switching to environmentally friendly products, such as metal straws to protect the environment. This will encourage them to reduce the use of plastic made products and recycle.

Reusable

Stainless steel straws are reusable and can last for ages if you clean them properly. In addition, stainless steel does not leach chemicals and does not interact with the product you are consuming. On the other hand, plastic straws can only be used once and leech harmful chemicals.

 

 

 

Easy to Clean

Rest assured, cleaning a stainless steel straw is as easy as it could be. Most metal straws are dishwasher safe so all you have to do is rinse the straw and toss it inside the dishwasher and you are good to go.

 

In addition, aside from being dishwasher free, Eslekker Straws come with their own cleaning brush, to ensure that every inch of the straw remains spick and span. What’s best is that the cleaning brush is also great for cleaning sports bottles and Sippy cups too!

 

 

 

Perfectly Safe to Use

Unlike plastic products, stainless steel straws are perfectly safe to use and BPA free. Plastic straws have been known to leech harmful chemicals into the bloodstream Plastic products and containers manufactured to store food and beverages, such as water bottles and straws may contain BPA. According to Mayo Clinic, Bisphenol A is an increasingly common industrial chemical used in the industrial production of certain plastics and resin. Over the years, BPA has been known to increase the risk of health problems, such as reproductive disorders and diabetes.

 

Great Gift

Do you have a friend who is obsessed with fitness and spends most of their time making healthy and refreshing fruit juices? A set of stainless steel straws would be the perfect gift for anyone who is fitness conscious and concerned about the environment.

 

Get your friend a set of Eslekker Straws and you will not regret it. These straws feature an elegant and sophisticated design that is bound to become a favorite, especially during the summers.

 

 

 

These straws can be used to enjoy all sorts of delicious drinks including frozen cocktails, iced tea, fruit juices, milkshakes, and smoothies. Plus, you get a lifetime guarantee with the product. What more could you want?

 

Unique and Elegant

If you like fine cutlery, complete your silverware collection by purchasing a set of stainless steel straws. These straws will elegance to your dining table, making it the center of attraction every time you have guests over.

 

 

Increased Tensile Strength

Did you know steel straws have enough tensile strength so you could enjoy orange juice directly from an orange? That is right, just push the straw into the fruit and enjoy! Imagine trying that with a plastic straw.

 

Enjoy Your Drink Longer

What’s worse than preparing a cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day only for it to turn warm before you even enjoyed it? Steel retains the temperature of your drink and prevents it from melting down.

 

Stainless steel straws allow you to enjoy your drinks for longer periods of time so those glorious sips do not go to waste. With stainless steel straws, you no longer have to gulp down your drink in one go.

 

 

Safe for Kids

In terms of durability, stainless steel straws are the best compared to other types of straws. Unlike reusable glass straws, metal straws are not fragile and can easily be used by children. Hence, if you have young children who like to throw things around the table during breakfast, invest in stainless steel straws and you won’t have to worry about breakage again.

 

Great for Travel

Due to its sturdy metal build, stainless steel straws can be carried wherever you go. These straws are ideal for fitness freaks that are always on the road. Just pack the straws with a cleaning brush and you are good to go.

In addition, stainless steel straws are great for people who like drinking fruit juices and smoothies at work. The straws can be packed with you wherever you go without fear of breakage.

 

Conclusion

Invest in stainless steel straws. Not only are they environmentally friendly but will last longer than any other plastic straw.

Credit: ThrivaHolic