Help keep the Earth healthy by ditching single-use plastic items. You can make a paper straw to use instead of a plastic one, which is one of the top items found at beach cleanups and can hurt ocean animals that mistake them for food.
By Allyson ShawPhotographs by Shannon Hibberd
- Nat Geo Kids straw pattern or printer paper
- Non-toxic glue
- Glass jar
- Paraffin wax
- Candle warmer or large cooking pot
- Paper towel
Print out the Nat Geo Kids straw pattern and cut it out, or use a piece of printer paper cut into 1.5-inch-wide strips.
Add a long line of glue on the side without the pattern.
Place a chopstick at an angle on the back of the paper. Then roll the paper around the chopstick until it’s completely covered. (Be careful to roll the paper on top of itself so you don’t get glue on the chopstick!)
Wait 10 minutes for the glue to dry, then wiggle the chopstick out from inside the paper tube.
Cut both ends of the tube to make them even.
Grab a parent and put the wax in a glass jar. Melt the wax by either putting the jar on a candle warmer or in a pot of warm water on the stove.Kids vs. Plastic10 tips to reduce your plastic useMake pom-pom puffsPlastic Pollution
Dip the paper tube into the melted wax one half at a time (this part might get a little messy!) Then gently wipe the tube with a paper towel to get off any extra wax. Let the straws dry about 10 minutes before using. PLANET PROTECTOR TIPThese paper straws will last only about a day. Ask your parents to purchase reusable straws made of bamboo, metal, glass, or silicone that you can use forever!
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