Aaron’s word of inspiration this week is plastic.
With the removal of plastic straws from more establishments, people are now struggling with having to find alternatives for their sucking needs (please no R rated comments, you know who you are lol).
I absolutely HATE paper straws. Like if I’m just going to inhale a drink, then yeah sure whatever give me a paper straw and I’ll be done in 35 seconds. But I like to enjoy my drinks. And if I’m getting a frozen slushy type drink, I can’t enjoy that without the straw turning to mush in the bottom. And if it’s mush, how can I stir the slushy liquid before drinking it? I can’t, is the answer! I CAN’T!
So I have tried to find a better solution. Last summer I purchased a pack of silicone straws from Amazon.
They were super cute and I liked that they all came with their own cleaning wand. I gave one to my mom and dad, and my brother and his then-girlfriend, and kept 2 for myself. They are ok in a pinch but they still don’t give the sturdiness I need to stir up a Chocolate Chill from Tim Hortons!
I had one in my purse when I went to visit my parents last week and was using it during my drive down and I accidentally threw it out with the cup it was in…so that was a great choice LOL
Being so meh about this purchase, I decided to seek out another option. My dad’s only concern with these reusable straws is that he can’t clean the whole thing. Most will come with a cleaning wand but the wand is always smaller than the straw and you can’t push it all the way through. And I get it. Stuff is bound to get stuck in the middle! People say to just clean from both ends, but ya know what, that just pushes leftover residue into the middle where it can turn gross and ew, no thank you.
Every night before bed, I like to wind down by watching videos on Facebook. One of those videos lately has been watching packing videos for Mermaid Straw. A company that has all these reusable products. And I started to look into them, and while their prices were a bit more expensive, I really liked what I was seeing.
As a year-end gift for the staff at my school, I ordered a set of 20 straws! I did so many because I needed 14 for the staff I wanted to give them to and the website had a deal on that day that the 20 pack was 50% off. So I liked that I had some leftover for the staff from the charity who really helped me out this year.
The pack came with 20 metal straws and cleaning wands, and 20 silicone tips to put on the end of the straws. I would hate to drink from a metal tip so I needed the silicone thingy to put on the end.
The shipping was outrageous! $23 was their cheapest option! But since I have Honey on my Chrome browser, I ran it and it got me a coupon for $14 off, which dropped the shipping down to $9, which is a little more reasonable. In total, for the straws and the shipping, I paid $79. Again, a little expensive but whatever.
The shipping on the website said 6-10 business days to ship to Canada. This was perfect because it got the package to me a week before the end of school. After paying and getting my confirmation, the email said it would take 3-5 business days to process and package the order. This was cutting it a little tight, but it would still fall into the last week of school window and I could get the straws to everyone before the last day.
Two days later, I received an email that the tracking number had been created for the package. Perfect! No worries now, it was on its way. The email even said, “your package has shipped!” It took a few days for the tracking number to even be activated though. And once it had been, it sat in a Chicago distribution centre for a whole WEEK before leaving. It left Chicago on June 20th and the 24th was the last day of school. I knew I wouldn’t get it on time.
I emailed the company. Why was it taking so long? My confirmation said 6-10 business days. I chose international shipping, I didn’t think this was going to be an issue.
They replied that they are committed to getting orders out in 3-5 business days. And they got mine out in 2 so they were well within that window, and once it leaves their facility it’s not in their control. But, since I was asking, international shipping (which I am since I am in Canada and they are in the US) takes 4-6 WEEKS! FOUR TO SIX WEEKS! Guys this was not mentioned in the cashing out part or the shipping selection at all.
I replied that they needed to make that clear on their website and that if I had known, I would have purchased from a different seller since I needed to have the product by a specific date and now they were not going to be arriving on time. There was no further reply from them.
My package arrived in Canada on the 24th. The last day of school. And it arrived at my house on the 27th while I was already on holiday at my parents. Thankfully the guy who gets the mail, who lives in the apartment across the hall in the basement, took in the box and when I got back to the city he brought it out when I first arrived and welcomed me back.
Since I knew I was going to be making a post about this whole ordeal (although not that it was the Sunday Scribblings topic for the week, that was just a happy coincidence), I documented the unboxing for you! Take a look here! The only sound is from the box, Im not talking in it or anything lol
And here are some of the pictures of the actual product:
And here is what is being given out to my coworkers:
I had to go to work on June 30th to get ready for summer camp as July 1st is a holiday up here, so I took the box with me. I knew the principal was going to be there, and her favourite colour is blue so I got one ready for her. She took a light blue one, and then she picked a dark blue for her husband (he works with us). And then I was able to give out over half of the straws! I only have my summer camp staff left which will be easy to give out. They probably won’t get their favourite colour since I just asked everyone on Thursday for their favourite colour (my work husband’s is green if you’re wondering lol). One office worker said her’s was green but as WH had just taken the last one, she couldn’t have it. I did offer to go and take it back from him but she picked pink instead lol. I set aside a yellow one for myself, a purple one for my EA who isn’t doing summer camp with us, and then orange for my other EA who was in my room and I want her to get her favourite colour. She said green as well but I only had 4 and everyone seems to love green! GAH By the end of next week, every straw will have a loving home and I won’t have any extras laying around haha.
So overall, I am happy that I have a reusable straw that will be able to hold up to the slush of my favourite summery drinks. I’m happy that I can skip the paper and plastic straws. I am happy that I was able to donate some of my money to an ocean fund with my purchase. And I am so happy with the smiles on everyone’s faces when they read the cute little tag and get their straw (because we don’t have to wear masks anymore!! YAY!) And I’m super happy with the adorable goofy smile on WH’s face and the really cute “wow T you’re the best” I got and the belly laugh over the little tag, cos wow I am really enjoying our friendship now that I know nothing is going to happen between us.
But, I am not really happy with their customer service and the length of time it took to get my order. If it’s going to take so long then the website should reflect that, because I ordered with a week’s grace period just in case something happened and it still arrived 4 days too late. One of the staff isn’t returning next year and he isn’t doing summer camp with us so he just doesn’t get one since the package was so late. Not cool.
I haven’t used my straw yet, but I have washed it realllllyyyy well and will be trying to get a little carrying case for it. I wanted a case from the website but it was $23 for a set (2 straws and a cloth drawstring bag, tips were going to be extra), or $33 for a zipper pouch, 2 straws, 2 tips you didn’t get to pick the colour of, plus the $23 shipping and that was, again, an ew no thank you.
Do you use any types of reusable straws? How do you like/dislike the paper ones that are being used now? Have you ever purchased from Mermaid Straws or watched their packing videos? Lemme know in the comments below.