Saturday, January 31, 2009

Acting on a Question

I do my best to avoid “The News”. Our TV is reserved solely for select DVDs, it doesn't even have an antenna. I'm careful about what I let into my head. You know the “What you focus on expands” stuff. I think that is why so many boomers “got lost” after the sixties (myself included). We bought the media package and “went with the program” instead of following our hearts – at least I did.

Even still, “The News” still creeps in from time to time. Especially on the internet. I am finding more and more reports about the dangers of BPA leaching into our foods and beverages. I must conclude that using glass would be the best option for all food storage and serve-ware.

My own common sense approach to the news is that we have gradually "collected" so much plastic over the years (remember when mayonnaise came in glass jars?) that the parallel of human disease and the excessive use of plastics are a wake up call.

I do not understand the approach to avoid action because “We do not have enough evidence to be sure about the causes of”… Global Warming, Holes in the Ozone or Plastics in our Diet are real issues. To me, if it's happening, what can I do to mitigate the situation regardless of cause? What do I tell my grandchildren when we live in a toxic garbage dump? That I wasn't sure what caused it, so I did nothing? That it was too big of a problem for me to solve, so I didn't try?

No, I'm not perfect. I drive a car, I still use some single-use plastics, but in the past several years, I have been asking myself certain questions and step by step, finding ways to avoid them (the plastics, not the questions).

A quick unplanned trip to the store – yeah, I forgot to bring the bags – I got 4 items – do I REALLY need a bag? Don't my hands and arms still work? At the restaurant: “Water please, no ice, no straw”.

I cannot begin with perfection, but I can start with where I am, and with one foot in front of the other, participate in the greening of the planet rather than watching it decay. Anybody else? Hop on board – the party starts here!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Making The Glass Difference

Adventures continue as GlassDharma continues to grow, keeping me humble as I discover that this company and it’s mission to educate about the benefits of glass vs. plastic, brings education back to me, full circle. My idea to design a line of glass drinking straws and make them available became the catalyst for being able to provide information to the public about the glass difference and the effects that our plastic use has on our environment. I had no idea that such a huge response would occur, gradually changing the way I think about each simple task that I take on.

As the Customer base builds and the Bloggers and News Reporters respond to the GlassDharma website, it is my privilege to have direct contact with the caring and kindness of others. These people do not take their place on this earth for granted. They see that the planet we all live on needs great care and they are willing to play the part, and make the difference, no matter how large or small. They realize the impact that repetitive behavior has on our environment. And, how quickly the accumulation of waste can change one’s surroundings. They pay attention to safe dispensing of food and beverages and stay on top of health issues. They are nurturing individuals that place a high value on the care of themselves and all living things.

Therefore, my simple mission has expanded. Collectively the difference made becomes even more powerful….

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Touch of Glass...

It was about two years ago that I noticing the glass drinking straws displayed in the GlassWorks shop I was working at since our relocation to Fort Bragg. My occupation as a lampworker for more than a decade exposed me to many new ideas in glassworking, but I was intrigued by the design of the glass straws and their elegant simplicity coupled with the idea of everyday function. I had been reading about how plastics leach toxins into our foods and knew for quite some time how plastics not only increase our landfill, but huge amounts of plastic never even make it through the recycling process. These massive amounts of plastic end up in our environment, destroying wildlife on land and in our oceans.

A plastic straw may not seem very threatening, and to be sure, there are bigger forces out there in our society that seriously need to be addressed. However, my interest was peaked. I started doing research on how many plastic straws are used on a daily basis worldwide. I saw this as having potential to make a significant difference. It is not so much teaching people how not to pollute – most of us recycle to an extent. We know the basics, but I find myself pulling “Baggies” off the store shelf and tossing them into my cloth shopping bag. What's up with that!? Just how silly is it to have so many single use plastics in our society, knowing how damaging they are? All the while, knowing that a large percentage of recyclable plastic is not being recycled and nothing is being done about it?! A moment of clarity took place when I realized that “all we need to do is change the way we think!”

My vision crystallized as I realized that Glass Drinking Straws could be a teaching tool. How easy is it to learn to say “no straw, please” when ordering drinks in a restaurant? How difficult is it to insist on a paper bag at the grocery store – or better yet, buy fabric reusable bags to bring when grocery shopping? My thought process continued… what else are we doing that negatively affects our planet just because it was the way we have always done it? What if – someday - the concept of single-use plastics becomes nothing more than a dim memory?

This was the beginning of a new idea for me and it was at this time that GlassDharma was born. GlassDharma has become the vehicle with which to implement my new mission, reducing the carbon footprint while providing a quality product that brings beauty and style to everyday experiences. Our company was founded on the belief in that we all deserve the best life has to offer; healthy living in a healthy world – with “A Touch of Glass”

I now feel myself fully coming to life again ... coming into my own. Here is where I can make a difference on this planet. Now, I am more than just taking up space and sucking air...