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Some restaurants, like Block 16 in downtown Omaha, have already made the switch to paper straws.

The Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium is part of a nationwide campaign of 22 aquariums aiming to help marine life by encouraging businesses and people to skip plastic straws.

The Aquarium Conservation Partnership is encouraging businesses to make straws available upon request rather than include them in their beverages. Businesses that pledge to come aboard will get free publicity in the zoo’s conservation effort, and they can order coasters to help spread the message.

The aquariums are also launching a one-week miniature text message newsletter for folks who want tips on how to be more eco-friendly. By texting “TURTLE” to 49767, people will receive one daily message for a week.

The zoo’s chief conservation officer, Dr. Cheryl Morris, said the new strategy for promoting eco-friendly behavior is focused on making it easy for businesses and individuals to do their part.

“They really aren’t going to have to put forth a lot of effort,” she said. “They’ll just have to say ‘We’re on board,’ and put the straws behind the counter.”

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