Milo Cress

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Milo Cress
  • Student
  • Environmental Activist
Years active2001–present

Milo Cress is the founder of and spokesperson for the Be Straw Free campaign[1] which has a partnership with Eco-Cycle.[2]


Founding the campaign in 2011 when he was 9, Cress works to get restaurants and other venues to cut down on their use of disposable straws.[3][4] The National Restaurant Association recognized his “offer-first” policy as a best practice. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) cited Cress's activism in a 2013 proclamation that made July 11 a straw-free day in the state[5] and the mayor of Manly, in New South Wales, Australia, declared “offer first” a best practice.[6] He has a large following in South Korea and is mentioned in a textbook there.[7] Milo has traveled around the world talking to organizations about his “offer first” idea and about how children can become activists in their own ways. In 2014 he was a finalist for the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes.[8]


  • "Here's the thing: This planet is not a place that kids will inherit at some point, far off in the distant future. We live here right now, and share this planet already, which is why it's so important that we take individual and collective responsibility for its well being." (Upon meeting Peter Shumlin, February 9, 2011)
  • "Acting with foresight beats reacting in hindsight pretty much every time." (Given in testimony to Vermont House of Representatives Energy and Technology Committee regarding development and implementation of Artificial Intelligence technologies in Vermont, February 14, 2018)


  1. ^ Staff, Meghan Foley Sentinel. "Vermont teen fighting plastic pollution to speak in Keene". Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  2. ^ "Longmont 11-year-old campaigns for 'offer first' policy on drinking straws". Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  3. ^ York, Will Pavia, New (2017-06-27). "Boy, 9, fights to turn tide of ocean plastic". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  4. ^ "NPS Commercial Services". Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  5. ^ Kehoe, Megan (2014-11-19). "No more straws? Yes, says Bend student". The Bulletin. Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  6. ^ Hasek, Glenn. "Milo Cress Pushes Restaurants to 'Be Straw Free,' Or at Least Initiate 'Offer First' Policy | Green Lodging News". Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  7. ^ "A 10-year-old urges restaurants to 'be straw free'". Christian Science Monitor. 2012-07-06. ISSN 0882-7729. Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  8. ^ Kehoe, Megan (2014-11-19). "No more straws? Yes, says Bend student". The Bulletin. Retrieved 2018-01-16.