Saving the planet has always been Bert’s passion. Bert Balas is just an ordinary man doing his best to change the world however he can. Bert saw that the world was in need of some kind of a change if it were to continue sustaining life on it. And that is when he realised one of the biggest enemies of the earth was wasteful plastics. Even though many countries are placing a ban on plastic bags and other such things, Bert saw this as an opportunity to nudge everybody in the right direction. Although it might not seem like much, but Bert’s “The Straw” has significantly reduced the use of plastic by introducing to the world a reusable straw, which is what made them the world’s best selling reusable straws.. Such a small invention that has had a huge impact on our planet. The Straw eliminates the use of wasteful one-off plastic straws. Instead, people get to have their own personal, portable Straws that are their own. They can take them anywhere and use them anywhere. It comes with a carrying case which also doubles as a cleaning device so everybody can stay germ free.
What do we know about Bert Balas?
Bert Balas might be known as the Straw guy right now, but he is much more than that. Before TheStrawShop, Bert owned and operated several other businesses and ventures. Over the years, he has started construction companies and manufacturing companies as well. Bert has been an avid outdoorsman all his life which is why he feels such a connection to nature. When he saw what our actions were doing to this planet, he realized that something had to be done. Some could say that became his inspiration to introduce the world to reusable straws. He believes that change begins at home because everyone is responsible for their own actions.
How successful is Bert Balas today?
In his opinion, success is not defined by the amount of money he has but by the value he brings to the lives of others and to this world. It is about the legacy he leaves behind as an advocate of a positive change. And because of that, he considers himself quite successful in his endeavors of past and present. Everything in his life has led him to this moment, to the moment where he could invest into his passion, something that actually mattered to him; saving the environment. Thus he came forth with the idea of The Straw.
Over the years, he has felt somewhat lucky in being able to build storage facilities, residential and commercial buildings. He has owned and operated several other companies like concrete forming company and design and manufacturing of roll up doors and motorized bug screens. All of his companies are still functional and he is proud of what he has created. But all these are a stepping stone for what he really wanted to do, building reusable straws.
What is so unique about The Straw?
As people are becoming more aware of what plastic products are doing to this planet, they are looking for more ways to be environmentally conscience. Since then many companies have put forward such ideas and products but The Straw is different from them.
The Straw is a one of a kind reusable straw. It is sophisticated in its ability to add water to the sleek, compact case for a quick rinse on-the-go. The versatility of four sizes in one allows the user to comfortably enjoy various drink sizes. The case is comparable to the size of a lighter, and fits easily inside your pocket or purse with an option to attach to a key ring or lanyard. It is portable in a way that is much more convenient than other reusable straws.
Has Bert encountered any tragedies in his personal or professional life?
Bert considers himself quite fortunate in his lifetime. He has been blessed in whatever life choices he has made so far. However, nobody’s life is ever perfect. Bert, too, faced a mishap sometime ago. Ten years ago, he got into a partnership where he had not thought things through. Due to the difference in philosophies and clashing ideas, that partnership had to end as they both moved their separate ways. But the tragedy was that that partnership ended up costing him over a million dollars. But Bert learned his lesson and learned from the mistake he made. It only made him tougher and smarter and he did not give up on himself.
Bert reinvented himself and went on to live a happy and fulfilling life instead of focusing on the negative. “A person can let hardships take him down, or he can use them as motivation for something better to come.”
What are his hopes for The Straw going forward in today’s society and environment?
The Straw is a great idea but it is only the first step. He wants to revolutionize all things plastic with sustainable materials. He hopes to inspire a sustainable future where everybody is aware of what the plastic is doing to our land and our oceans, our people and our animals. He intends on providing an alternative for every essential item that people can carry with them to eventually eliminate plastic altogether. So to him, millions of single use straws will be a thing of the past as more and more people become aware of the problem.
Any Quote or “words of wisdom” that he lives by?
Bert doesn’t have one but many mottos that inspire him, “Continuous improvement by design. Don’t hold hate for others, simply go on and live a happy life. Design to inspire a sustainable future. Pay it forward.”
How is he making the world a better place today?
He believes that since we only have one planet and it is our responsibility to take care of it, at whatever level we can with whatever resources we have. And so he is using the resources at his disposal to build a sustainable future and providing value wherever possible. “This world has always taken care of us, it is our time to return the favour.”