San Diego Food Bank Receives Thanksgiving Paper Straw Donation from OkStraw

OkStraw Gives Back. An Eco-Friendly Donation to the San Diego Food Bank.

The San Diego Food Bank received a generous paper straw donation from OkStraw today.  Afterall, what do all things about Thanksgivings have in common? Everyone needs a paper straw, of course! Here at OkStraw, we created our own Thanksgiving tradition.  We ditched plastic and switched to paper straws. We hope our tradition becomes part of every Thanksgiving dinner. To honor this tradition, OkStraw donated over $1500 dollars worth of paper straws to the San Diego Food Bank.

Thanksgiving Traditions – Mark them with Holiday Paper Straws

At OkStraw, Thanksgiving Traditions mark a part of our corporate culture. Perhaps Boba Tea is your Thanksgiving tradition? OkStraw offers 4-Ply Bubble Tea straws! Or maybe you love the NFL.  Shop for our Sports Paper Straws. No matter the reason, make our paper straws your newest Thanksgiving tradition.  We will honor your purchase with future donations to the San Diego Food Bank.

Food Waste and San Diego Food Bank Solutions

We often talk about changes we can make to live more sustainably.  For example, shopping with reusable bags.  Or, replace plastic with paper straws. What we often don’t talk about enough, however, is food waste. Uneaten food that goes to waste puts a huge burden on our planet.  In fact, it makes food insecurity worse. However, organizations like the Jacobs & Cushman North County Food Bank chapter are leading the charge against food waste.  They provide hunger relief to vulnerable people in San Diego county.

Food Waste be gone.  Distributing 28 million pounds of food in 2018 alone, and serving an average of 350,000 people in need each month, the Food Bank is the largest organization of its type in San Diego County. With 1 in 7 adults and 1 in 5 children in San Diego County facing food insecurity, the San Diego Food Bank is a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of people. It is also a role model for sustainability, and the fight against food waste.


SD’s Food Bank is making a major local contribution toward the global fight against food waste.

Food waste is a significant threat to the health of our planet. Globally, an estimated $750 billion worth of food is wasted, and according to a study by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, food waste is responsible for 3.3 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. If the emissions resulting from food waste were a country, it would be the third largest contributor to climate change behind China and the United States.

Food waste is also causing serious harm to world nutrition. In 2015, more than 150 countries assembled at the United Nations to agree on the Sustainable Development Goals, with 2030 as the year to reach these goals. In order to meet the goal of meeting food security, the world must cut down its food waste by 50 percent.

The only food distribution center in the world with an LEED v4 accolade

San Diego Food Bank is also a role model for sustainability in the County. Thanks to 1,400 solar panels, the Food Bank’s 90 thousand foot warehouse is completely energy independent, significantly reducing its carbon footprint. With this energy saved, the food bank provided for families in need with an addition 600,000 meals each year.

The San Diego Food Bank also boasts an impressive composting machine that can separate food waste from plastic, paper and aluminum food packaging, which is sent to recycling. The Food Bank then sends this compost to nonprofit organizations that run community gardens. All of these green initiatives led to the bank’s acility being first and only building in the County to attain LEED v4 Gold Status certification, and the only food bank in the world with an LEED v4 accolade.

OkStraw Paper Straws is proud to be the latest local business to contribute to the San Diego Food Bank’s mission

Additionally, OkStraw donated over $1500 dollars worth of paper straws to the San Diego Food Bank to show our thanks to the local community!

The San Diego Food Bank relies on donations from local individuals and businesses to provide residents with the necessary help. OkStraw is proud to continue contributing to their mission, by donating 100,000 biodegradable paper straws. This amounts to over $1500 dollars worth of paper straws, which will go to local community centers, churches and food drives. We at OkStraw Paper Straws are honored to contribute to San Diego Food Bank’s mission to end hunger in the County, and lead the fight for sustainability.

OkStraw Donates Paper Straws to Father Joe’s Villages

Last Saturday, OkStraw Paper Straws to lent a hand to Father Joe’s Villages. We donated $300 worth of pillows, and $600 worth of paper straws. Our COO, Brent Ohlendorf, and Director of Client Relations, Edward Nickerson, along with other OkStraw volunteers, helped serve 500 hot meals to people in need. When you buy from OkStraw Paper Straws, you both reduce plastic waste, and support a business that gives back to its community!

OkStraw’s mission is is to safeguard land and sea habitats by supplying global markets with reliable, premium strength, paper straws. We believe that mission is strengthen by supporting the needs of our community in every capacity possible. OkStraw has donated paper straws to the San Diego Food Bank and plans to continue supporting Father Joe’s Village and other valuable community resources. When we say our service is as strong as our straws, we mean our community service too!

Brent, Edward, and Savannah from OkStraw Paper Straws

When we say our service is as strong as our straws, we mean our community service too!

If you live in San Diego, then chances are you’ve heard of Father Joe’s Villages. A fixture of the city and appearing on TV, the Villages gives a helping hand to the 9,000 San Diegans experiencing homelessness every day, and the 5,000 who are forced to sleep in the streets every night. 

Father Joe’s Villages welcomes 2,000 men, women and children facing homelessness into safe shelter every night, and serves more than a million hot meals every year. When people have food, water and shelter, they can take the next steps to improve their lives. Father Joe’s Villages also provides healthcare, dental care, mental health counseling, job placement and training, and childcare services.

Father Joe’s Villages has helped 11,000 people experiencing homelessness achieve permanent housing

All of these services are there to help people better their lives, and help break these vicious cycles of poverty and homelessness. In the past 10 years alone, Father Joe’s Villages has helped 11,000 people experiencing homelessness achieve permanent housing. This includes several individuals with disabilities that require paper straws. Helping these people is why OkStraw set out to start our paper straw donations with the organization. We plan to continue donating our paper straws to the disabled and those in need on a continual basis. 

Father Joe’s Villages is also in the process of serving even more people through its Turning the Key project. The organization plans to add 2,000 more affordable housing units for San Diegans overcoming homeless. With the 4th largest homeless population in the US, and the 3rd largest population of veterans experiencing homelessness, Father Joe’s Villages’ services are in greater demand than ever before. It is through the Turning the Key project that OkStraw and our sister brand EcoTrueBamboo that we donated $300 worth of bamboo pillows. You can follow EcoTrueBamboo on Facebook here: EcoTrueBamboo Facebook.

When you buy from OkStraw Paper Straws, you are supporting a business that gives back to its community

Father Joe Carroll, for whom the nonprofit is named, moved from the Bronx, New York to San Diego in 1963, with little money to his name. Ordained in 1974, Father Joe led a parish for the next years, until 1982, when Bishop Leo Maher approached him, and asked him to take over the St. Vincent de Paul Center. 

Throughout the 80s, Father Joe made the innovative decision of creating a one-stop place to help people experiencing homelessness. In 1987, Father Joe opened the $12 million Joan Kroc Center, which provides healthcare, food, housing, job training, and childcare services to families and single adults in need. Although Father Joe retired in 2011, he continues to help out San Diegans experiencing homeless, and is a lasting pillar of the community. 

OkStraw is very proud to support Father Joe’s Villages with both community service hours and donated paper straws and pillows!

Do your part saving the Earth – There’s something YOU can do about it! Reducing or not using plastic straws. Join the cause for paper straws!

Join us: Facebook – Instagram – Twitter

OkStraw Donates Paper Straws to the San Diego Food Bank

We often talk about changes we can make to live more sustainably, such as shopping with reusable bags, and replacing plastic with paper straws. What we often don’t talk about enough, however, is food waste. Uneaten food that goes to waste puts a huge burden on our planet, and makes food insecurity worse. Organizations like the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank and its North County Food Bank chapter, however, are leading the charge against food waste by providing hunger relief to the most vulnerable people in this county. 

 

Distributing 28 million pounds of food in 2018 alone, and serving an average of 350,000 people in need each month, the Food Bank is the largest organization of its type in San Diego County. With 1 in 7 adults and 1 in 5 children in San Diego County facing food insecurity, the San Diego Food Bank is a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of people. It is also a role model for sustainability, and the fight against food waste.  

San Diego Food Bank is making a major local contribution toward the global fight against food waste.

Food waste is a significant threat to the health of our planet. Globally, an estimated $750 billion worth of food is wasted, and according to a study by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, food waste is responsible for 3.3 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. If the emissions resulting from food waste were a country, it would be the third largest contributor to climate change behind China and the United States. 

Food waste is also causing serious harm to world nutrition. In 2015, more than 150 countries assembled at the United Nations to agree on the Sustainable Development Goals, with 2030 as the year to reach these goals. In order to meet the goal of meeting food security, the world must cut down its food waste by 50 percent. By distributing food donated by local restaurants and businesses, the San Diego Food Bank is making a major local contribution toward the global fight against food waste. 

The only food distribution center in the world with an LEED v4 accolade

San Diego Food Bank is also a role model for sustainability in the County. Thanks to 1,400 solar panels, the Food Bank’s 90 thousand foot warehouse is completely energy independent, significantly reducing its carbon footprint. With this energy saved, the San Diego Food Bank has been able to provide families in need with an addition 600,000 meals each year.

The San Diego Food Bank also boasts an impressive composting machine that can separate food waste from plastic, paper and aluminum food packaging, which is sent to recycling. The Food Bank then sends this compost to nonprofit organizations that run community gardens. All of these green initiatives led to San Diego Food Bank’s facility being first and only building in the County to attain LEED v4 Gold Status certification, and the only food bank in the world with an LEED v4 accolade.  

OkStraw Paper Straws is proud to be the latest local business to contribute to the San Diego Food Bank’s mission

The San Diego Food Bank relies on donations from local individuals and businesses to provide residents with the necessary help. OkStraw is proud to be the latest local business to contribute to the San Diego Food Bank’s mission, donating 75,000 biodegradable paper straws. This amounts to nearly 2000 dollars worth of paper straws, which will go to local community centers, churches and food drives. We at OkStraw Paper Straws are honored to contribute to San Diego Food Bank’s mission to end hunger in the County, and lead the fight for sustainability. 

OB Street Fair

Fiesta Island Trash Cleanup

OkStraw Paper Straws is planning to join FIDO (Fiesta Island Dog Owners) for a Trash cleanup at Fiesta Island in Mission Bay, San Diego, on June 9thLet us know if you would like to join the cause!

Clean up will be from 9:30am to 11am.

Volunteers helping with the pick-up: Bring your own gloves if you prefer. FIDO will have single-use latex gloves along with trash bags to fill. If you have a picker-upper, we recommend bringing that too, unless the reason for helping is the wonderful ab exercising!

Styrofoam Ban within San Diego City Limits – Polystyrene Foam Outlawed by San Diego City Council

Styrofoam Ban within San Diego City Limits

Polystyrene Foam Outlawed by San Diego City Council

The San Diego City Council voted 6-3 on Tuesday, in favor of an environmentally friendly ban against the use of polystyrene foam within the city limits.

City Councilman Chris Ward is the author of this bill – and he made sure to cast a wide net on the ban.  The ordinance bans the use and distribution within city limits of products like egg cartons, food containers, coolers, ice chests, pool or beach toys, mooring buoys and navigation markers made fully or partially of polystyrene foam, otherwise known by the commercial Dow Chemical Co. designation, Styrofoam.

San Diego City Council voted to ban polystyrene foam

As the face of the bill, Councilman Ward advised, “By passing this measure, the council supermajority has assured San Diego’s role as a national leader in pursuit of a safe, sustainable future and has made San Diego the largest city in California to ban Styrofoam. The negative impacts of Styrofoam are permanent and threaten the health of San Diegans, wildlife, and industries critical to our region. The time has come for us to listen to community groups, nonprofits and businesses that have been advocating for this change for years and move away from Styrofoam and plastics in San Diego.”

Styrofoam (polystyrene foam)

Naturally – there has been push back from small restaurant operators primarily opposed the ban. This cohort contends they cannot absorb the added cost of renewable alternatives like compostable paper.  In fact, the San Diego Chapter of the California Restaurant Association asserted that small restaurants and food-service businesses could be forced to pay up to 145 percent more for products other than polystyrene.

Environmental organizations like the 5 Gyres Institute and the Surfrider Foundation, argue that polystyrene’s environmental strain outweighs the benefits of consumer convenience. Polystyrene degrades over the course of hundreds of years; and even then only break down into small particles called microplastics. This is critical since marine and terrestrial fauna mistake polystyrene for food.  This consumption of plastics into the food chain, makes its way back into human diets as well.

“We’ve found (polystyrene) alternatives to be comparable in quality and price, and in some cases, our costs have actually gone down,” said Mikey Knab, a board member of Business for Good San Diego and director of operations of Ponce’s Mexican Restaurant. “This ban levels the playing field for restaurants of all sizes, eliminating the opportunity for anyone to pass on the external cost of using Styrofoam that ends up in our oceans as micro-plastics to marine life and to future generations.”

OKSTRAW Paper Straws are an eco-friendly alternative to plastic and styrofoam alternatives

Other actors on city council threw their support behind the ban as well. New council members Monica Montgomery, Vivian Moreno and Jen Campbell voted on the ban for the first time. During the 2018 mid-term campaign, all three said they support taking action against climate change. However, Montgomery and Moreno suggested the city needs to perform more outreach to restaurant owners who will face the brunt of the cost.

The ban will take effect in 30 days. Restaurants with a gross annual income of fewer than $500,000 can also apply for a waiver of no more than two years.

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