11 year-old Milo Cress is a social entrepreneur who founded a project called Be Straw Free to reduce the use and waste of disposable plastic straws. He encourages restaurants to offer straws to customers instead of putting a straw into every drink automatically and encourages customers who don’t need a straw to order their drinks without straws.
Milo started his project a year and a half ago and has already gained national and international attention: He was recognized by the National Restaurant Assocation, which suggested his Offer-First policy as a “Best Practice” for restaurants nationwide, and was invited to Washington DC to meet with the entire congressional delegation of Vermont, he met the governor of Vermont, and the mayor of Burlington Vermont, who became the first mayor to issue a Public Proclamation declaring the Be Straw Free Offer-first policy as a “Best Practice” city-wide.
In 2011, Boulder, Colorado and Burlington, Vermont went head-to-head in a “Going Strawless” competition – in which restaurants participated by simply adopting an Offer-First policy for drinking straws. This competition was the first of its kind.
Milo and his project have been featured on local, regional, national and international press (including CNN three times) and he has spoken at several events, including Boston University (twice) in the past year. Schools in various countries including Malaysia, Canada, Australia, Germany and S. Korea have gone “Strawless” after learning about Milo’s project. Kids and adults, schools, businesses and organizations from countries from around the world are now participating in Be Straw Free.