RICESTRAWS and Lonely Whale: Little Fish, Big Waves
When we set up RICESTRAWS, we had a mission; to support the movement that is striving to clean our oceans. From years of living as a UK national in Vietnam, Dags Hofrats, RICESTRAWS founder, had absorbed a lifetime’s education on the impact of plastic waste on less privileged countries. He saw first-hand, stretches of beautiful South East Asian seas and shores littered by our careless abandonment of plastics.
And so, RICESTRAWS was born.
We were now providing an alternative to plastic straws. That was good, but it wasn’t enough for us! What could a small team like us do to make a bigger difference? Perhaps that’s why we felt an affinity with Lonely Whale in the first place; one solitary social enterprise in a vast ocean of choppy commercial seas. However, unlike poor 52 Blue, our ‘whale call’ was answered.
Befriending the Lonely Whale …
Lonely Whale provides support and advice to help businesses adjust their sails and steer their businesses towards a more globally inspirational outcome. It’s a small organisation with a strong belief that ‘little fish can make big waves’ – and they do! Lonely Whale holds online and in-person youth activist boot camps, and provides support to organisations who wish to become part of the solution to cleaning up our oceans. As word of their work spreads, involvement is growing from many organisations – just like me – who want to make a difference in the world.
Having spoken with the dedicated team at Lonely Whale, we came up with a plan. First, our contribution; for every packet of RICESTRAWS sold, we donate 5 cents. That might seem small, but donations add up quickly as word spreads on the benefits of RICESTRAWS over other eco-friendly alternatives.
Secondly, we would use our influence as a company to promote the movement in any way we could, connecting people with the work of Lonely Whale, and those who support them. (You’re reading this now. Result:)
And as we at RICESTRAWS see it, every biodegradable straw sold is one less plastic straw in the ocean. The majority of the world’s nations still need to take a more pro-active stance on banning straws. Still, by promoting the benefits of doing so, Lonely Whale and its many supporters like RICESTRAWS can help to adjust their course in the long-term.
RICESTRAWS makes its Mark on Land and Sea
For Dags personally, however, setting up RICESTRAWS had another social purpose. Having lived in Vietnam for many years, he was keen to do something that would help the rural community too. That’s why RICESTRAWS products are produced from rice purchased from Vietnamese farmers, supporting them as it contributes to the work of #strawlessocean activists worldwide. That completes the circle; win/win all round.
So if you’re looking for a success story that has it all, consider this humble biodegradable, edible straw. Together with Lonely Whale, RICESTRAWS provides another drop of clarity in our oceans; a wage in the hands of Vietnamese farmers, and a guilt free cocktail (or Coke) for Western consumers.