Friday, April 29, 2011


Wow! over 600 letters have been mailed to favorite restaurants asking them to look into ways to reduce their trash - specifically - straw trash!

Why straws?

Think how many you have used in a lifetime ... where do they go once you have finished your beverage?

Earth Day 2011 - GlassDharma "write a letter for a free glass straw" campaign continues through April 30th. There is still time to get a free straw! - But wait - There is a momentum that seems not so much about getting a free glass straw... might the letters continue and multiply?

We want to thank our dedicated Blog Team for helping us get word out that each of us is able to do something to improve our Home Planet that we all share together. Yes, we are all roomates - sort of..... we need to get along and keep things cleaned up! :)

Introducing our Earth Day 2011 Blog team:

Safer Choices

My Plastic Free Life

It Starts With Me

Sip The World

Retro Housewife Goes Green

Clean Eating Chelsey

Seven In The Ocean

It’s not the destination

The Green Phone Booth

That’s The Spirit

More importantly, We thank YOU! Over 500 letter writers that approached their favorite Establishments asking them to lead the way to better future......

Not everyone was so excited about the 2011 Earth Day Capmpiagn.

David Leonhardt recieved this email from Ginger:
"I came upon your website and found it interesting. The concept seems fine but I don't see how it would work. Are you suggesting that people bring their own glass straws to the restaurant? I can't see the restaurant providing these since they seem to be pricey.

I don't really think that I would have a use for them. I am concerned about the cleaning and breakage issue and what if the children chew on these. I do not think this is something that I would trust for use with my little grandson. I can see that over time there could be an issue with chipping and that could lead to something serious. I think that this is an expense that people could do without. Thank you for your time."

His response:
"Thank you for your concerns and comments.

I am not a big straw user either except when it comes to thick shakes or smoothies (My wife Gail is though). Yes, why do we need a beverage delivery system, anyway? Well the fact is, is that there are plenty of folks out there that do use straws. And they might as well be sustainable if they do. McDonald’s serves over 60 MILLION meals a DAY!! How many do you thing were given plastic straws? Straws are here to stay – we just need to make them more sustainable. And, yes, many folks do carry their straw with them. Sometimes with their To-GoWare or similar paraphernalia similar to folks that bring their own grocery bags when shopping.

As for children, we have a very large customer base that includes kids (even toddlers). We always advise age appropriate supervision. We have not had a single report of any injuries. If they can learn to drink out of glass (instead of a sippy cup), they should be able to learn to handle glass straws – the danger factor in my mind would be the same. Obviously, if a straw becomes chipped or broken it should not be used. This is one reason we offer our Lifetime Guarantee against Breakage. Return any broken or chipped straw made by GlassDharma to us and we will gladly replace it.

As for the cleaning; we offer cleaning brushes and for carrying your straw with you, we offer hemp sleeves.

As for pricing, yes 1 glass straw costs much more than a plastic one, but the plastic one is used once and thrown away (BTW - where is away?). We have reports of folks that buy plastic straws by the box repeatedly. A glass straw will last a lifetime – much cheaper in the long run.

All in all, our society has a disposable mentality and plastic has certainly filled that mind set. However, we are just now finding out how damaging plastic is to the environment and to our bodies. If you have not heard much about this, I recommend Beth Terry’s blog “”. She is an excellent writer and researcher on the subject of plastic and entertaining as well.

My hope is that I have alleviated at least some of your concerns as stated in our email. I welcome civil conversations with differing viewpoints and if I have not addressed your concerns to your satisfaction, I invite you to continue this conversation."

Sip The World recieved so many comments so quickly that the comments section got all jammed up (a nice problem to have)!  If you are having trouble posting in the comments section, please use this post or any of the above mentioned posts.  Your letter counts!

We are all in this together!

Now here is a very cool part of the whole story: Through this campaign, GlassDharma has connected with Milo Cress! It turns out that Milo and GlassDharma community members were doing the exact same thing!

See this video -->

Check out some more suggestions from Milo.  Thank you, Milo!

Happy Earth Day - Please Sip Responsibly!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Earth Day 2011 - Free Glass Straws!

David Leonhardt walks along the beaches of the Mendocino Coastline, occasionally bending down to pick up a piece of trash to carry away with him in an effort to preserve the beauty of this magnificent area. He realizes how futile some would think this simple act is to remove a couple of pieces of trash, when the problem of more trash seems so daunting. Yet, most of David’s philosophies about making the world a better place start with a simple item, a simple act, a simple change in habit. He believes in the power of just starting somewhere… and how a simple, small act can gain momentum and become the catalyst for greater solutions that have a huge impact!

David and Teddy on Mendocino Beach - David is holding a broken plastic oar that he found lying on the beach.

David founded his Company, GlassDharma on the idea and principle of starting with something small, simple and ordinary, a drinking straw! This example of replacing an everyday single-use plastic item with a reusable straw has become a “teaching tool” that inspires many to make a switch toward reducing waste and eliminating the need for plastics in general. His vision of a clean Planet and Healthy environment for all who live here is only attainable if we just start somewhere. Awareness is the key toward action.

For Earth Day 2009, GlassDharma gave away Free Glass Straws. Determined to get 500 free glass straws into the hands (or lips) of those who never considered the impact of “throw away” straws, was David’s goal and he succeeded well beyond that number. Earth Day 2010, he and his wife, Gail Johnson approached CafĂ© Gratitude with the idea to co-brand 1000 Glass Straws to give away at their locations. The successful Earth Day project brought together ideas and philosophies of Food and Gratitude linking to a desire for Planet Care.

 As Earth Day 2011 draws near, David turns to his trusted friends and mentors, the Blogger Community who faithfully promotes his Company and products. The group quickly brought forth ideas to expand on the idea of giving away free glass straws and how the “gift” might produce the most impact.

 You are invited to participate in The GlassDharma Free Glass Straw Giveaway for Earth day 2011!

To enter, simply choose a restaurant and write a letter to the managers/owners suggesting they take responsibility for the growing amounts of single use straw trash that is clogging waterways, choking wildlife and littering our entire Planet. The letter is intended to spur thought and contain helpful suggestions of how they can be leaders in the changes that will heal our Earth’s trash problems. Keep in mind there are many people that do not even give a thought to where plastic straws might go to once they are “thrown away” or just how many accumulate over time!
This link will show some example suggestions to restaurants.

Here are the steps to take to win a your free GlassDharma Glass Straw and qualify for the Grand Prize of $100.00 Gift Certificate for GlassDharma products:
1) Write and send a letter to a restaurant -- (up to 5 different restaurants for up to 5 free straws)
2) Copy your letter (please include full contact information of the restaurant) into a comment on this blog.
3) Send an email to with a copy of your letter and please include the contact info of the restaurant AND your personal contact info so that a free GlassDharma Glass Straw can be mailed to you.
Note: *Contact information for entrants and restaurants must include, full name, mailing address and email address.

A GlassDharma Simple Elegance Glass Straw (SE9.5NA8) will be mailed to each participant directly from the GlassDharma manufacturing facility in Fort Bragg, CA for writing the letter and including the contact information. Yes, each participant gets a free glass straw!  One free straw per entry (limit 5 per participant, one for each letter/restaurant).

 GlassDharma will award one Grand Prize Winner a $100.00 gift certificate coupon code. There will be a few bloggers involved in this project, but only one Grand Prize Winner. Entries will be received through 4/30/2011 and all straws will be shipped between May 2nd and 4th. The Grand Prize drawing will be held on May 4, 2011.

*Participants from USA and Canada only will be eligible for this contest.

 Some additional Earth Day 2011 promotions hosted by GlassDharma include:

Earth Month Special Buy a “Shorty” bamboo straw case and a cleaning brush to receive a free 12mm X 6.25” Shorty” Glass Straw!

Finally, but more importantly GlassDharma reaches out to Japan in this time of great need. David Leonhardt and Gail Johnson are designating 100% of your purchase dollars for a SE9.5x8 inch glass straw to be sent directly to the city of Otsuchi, sister town of the GlassDharma manufacturing facility location - Fort Bragg, California.

Together – we make the difference!

- Happy Earth Day 2011 – from GlassDharma -

note: As the days near the end of our campaign, our comments section has been so busy that there are a few bugs being reported.  If you are having trouble posting in our comments section there are more options:  Please see -->
You might want to post your letter in the comments sections of either of these posts OR in any of the featured Bogs listed.  Your letter counts!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rethinking Plastics

David Leonhardt and Gail Johnson, owners of GlassDharma attended the “Rethinking Plastics” seminar on March 25th . The event was held in Fort Bragg, CA and featured Stuart Moody of Green Sangha who spoke to their own local community about the effects of plastics in our oceans and on our planet.

Their interest in this topic is at the core of why their company is manufacturing Glass Drinking Straws, presently sold in over 30 countries around the globe. Promoting the idea of reusable glass straws is a powerful tool to teach the idea of choosing reusable items vs. single use plastics. One small item like an ordinary drinking straw can spur a much broader thought process, which is applicable to other choices that are environmentally sound.  David is seen in this photo with "Teddy" as they scour the Mendocino coastline beaches for trash.

Moody is a representative and advocate of Green Sangha, an Oakland-based spiritual group dedicated to environmental activism. The philosophy of inspiring “awakened” action has helped create several active chapters in Marin, Sonoma and the East Bay. In is talk, Stuart Moody inspired Mendocino Coast residents to increase their awareness of using single-use plastics by keeping track of how much they actually use in a year.. “This includes everything from dental floss to the stickers from your organic fruit, he said. “Save it up and weigh it at the end of a year,”

He spoke of fellow Green Sangha member Beth Terry who is also a friend of Gail and David’s. Beth Terry, Founder of “My Plastic Free Life” (formerly fakeplasticfish) began with her quest by simply tracking the plastic in her life. .

Moody isn’t a plastics hater. He started the presentation by laying out the history of innovation and adaptation that made plastics one of the most amazing products in human history.

Moody spoke at the meeting, detailing the downward spiral of harm this ingenious product is causing and will continue to cause. Ideas that other communities have developed with the help of Green Sangha include setting up meetings with merchants that track the costs of single-use plastics, not just bags. Other ideas include special beach cleanups and getting people to see how long they can stick to the pledge of not buying any single-use plastics.

The event, sponsored by ‘Mendocino Coast Transition Towns’ Recycling and Reuse Working Group was co-sponsored by MendoPower Employment Services. MendoPower offered a barter pile during the meeting where people brought one or more reusable items and in return, they were invited to take an equal number away. “Reuse is really important. Recycling is often just a fancy way of throwing things away,” said Moody.

During the meeting, MendoPower detailed plans for its April 2 “Whale-of-a-Sale” Live Auction to be held at the Senior Center. Whale-of-a-Sale will raise money for both the Senior Center and MendoPower and will help to create a community recycling and reuse center as well as temporary employment services. Co-sponsor Mendocino Coast Transition Towns is part of a national and international movement to recreate new regional economies so that they are local, sustainable, and resilient.

If you were unable to attend, and would like to get involved, please email us at
or call Charles Cresson Wood at 707-937-5572.
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