This one is really small. STOP USING PLASTIC STRAWS. Just stop it. There is no need for it. Have you ever really thought about it (I'm sure some of you have, but many people go through life not even once considering it)? Plastic straws are used once and thrown away. They do not have a chasing arrows (recycling) symbol on them and cannot be recycled. How many straws have you seen on the beach, on the floor at a restaurant, on the road. Start looking - you'll be surprised.
When did we decide that we had to have a straw with every drink we got at a theatre or restaurant?
There are options. The easiest (which I am working on because I nearly always forget) is to ask for your drink without a straw. "No straw please." It's that easy. Remembering is the hard part. But if I can learn to remember those reusable bags at the grocery store, I can remember the straw thing when I go out to eat.
There are many alternatives to glass straws if you just MUST have a straw. Buy your own and take it with you. You can get glass, metal or even paper (I remember paper straws from when I was a kid - do you??). The glass straws are not fragile. We bought a few from Glass Dharma a while back - they are guaranteed for life and my son actually dropped one all the way down our stairs (a full floor) and there wasn't a nick on it. They are made of very sturdy glass. But if you're worried about that, get a stainless steel one. I prefer the glass because they are prettier and you can see if it's dirty inside (you can get a brush to clean them out).
If you think garbage isn't a prolem, just take a look at this trailer. It might not be a big problem where you live, but it has to go somewhere:
Last week's "Small Steps" post: http://sandiratch.blogspot.com/2011/10/52-small-steps-week-14.html