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...