Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year ~ 2013

Happy New Year from GlassDharma!  


We hope you have had a prosperous and healthy year and certainly wish that for you for 2013!

 It is exciting that so many people are learning alternatives to single use plastic. A couple years ago most people wouldn't have even thought to "Google" Glass Straws and now that is the most common response we get as to "how did you hear about us?" Thank you for your part in spreading the word about greener living. 

GlassDharma has been featured in a range of media this year including Canada's Alive magazine, The Steven and Chris TV show, as well as in the Natural Health Magazine, Retailing Insight and Beth Terry's book, Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too, a practical guide to ridding your life-and the planet-of plastic. 

 In 2012, over 100 positive blog reviews have been written about GlassDharma!

We have partnered with a number of kids who are making a difference educating our youth about the environment:

Milo Cress of BeStrawFree
http://ecocycle.org/bestrawfree 

Olivia and Carter from One More Generation
http://onemoregeneration.org

 Algalita's Youth Summit 2012 POPS
(Plastic Oceans Pollution Solutions)
http://2012.algalitayouthsummit.org

GlassDharma introduces distributors for Canada and Australia as we continue to ship glass straws to World Wide locations. GlassDharma straws have been shipped to over 40 countries to date!
In Canada  ~ Koru Distribution
In Australia ~  ReChusable Pty Ltd

Trying to find GlassDharma products in your own area?
Help us reach out by contacting your favorite stores and businesses to let them know about our products.  Please do contact GlassDharma Customer Service Representatives with your suggestions!

Our Public Relations continue to reach out to new communities as more and more people hear about GlassDharma straws. Contact the GassDharma PR department for unified social networking opportunities. Email Cheryl - cn {at} glassdharma.com

New Breakage Replacement Policy Starting Next Week!
You no longer need to send back your broken straw(s).  Go to the Guarantee option on our home page and follow the instructions for completing our new Replacement Form. 
Any questions? Email Gail at gail {at} glassdharma.com

National Drinking Straw Day is January 3rd!  GlassDharma website orders that are received on January 3rd and have the words "Straw Day" written in the comments field of the order form will receive an additional free straw along with their order.

Together we "Make the Difference"!
Cheers to how we will collectively make a difference in 2013!  We'll sip to that!


Friday, November 9, 2012

GlassDharma Packaging Policy


Refuse
Reduce
Reuse
Recycle

These are the 4 R’s of eco-consciousness. GlassDharma practices take the 4 R’s to heart. And they are prioritized for a reason.

Set of 4 glass straws
with cleaning brush.
Solving the plastics problem takes more than just using your “blue bin” or the “blue barrel” that gets picked up weekly. Recycling should be the last resort at all costs. Why? There is a mindset that has developed through the years. For most folks, if they use their blue barrel to recycle, they consider themselves “eco-conscious”. But if we do not look at the products we buy and how they are packaged, and make our choices accordingly, we run the risk of “feel good” recycling that has very little impact on our environment. First of all, most people do not realize that almost all plastics are not truly recyclable – they are actually down-cycled. The plastic that is “recycled” is not the same plastic that was put into the system. It is a degraded plastic and sooner or later will end up in our landfills and/or oceans. It also lulls us into thinking that all is well as long as we recycle. No thought is given to the other 3 R’s and the end result is that there is no reduction in the demand of plastic. We will still pump oil out of the ground with no end in sight to produce our plastics. There are companies that make money doing this and they will not stop until the demand decreases or is eliminated. They will not stop because it is bad for the environment.

I know of one wholesaler that ships their products with packing peanuts and bubble wrap and they put a sticker on the outside of the box that says something to the effect of “We shamelessly recycle our packaging materials” and they encourage their customers to do the same. This, in my mind, would be an acceptable step if everyone is in agreement with it AND steps are taken to mitigate the amount of packing material received (the other 3 R’s). This looked rather attractive at first and I considered changing our policy of “no plastic in our packaging”. I finally realized that for all its good intentions, it essentially passes the recycling burden to those we would be shipping to whether they wanted that responsibility or not. After talking to our suppliers and getting them to reduce or eliminate plastic in their shipping, we find local business that use these materials (as a last resort.)

The entire GlassDharma staff knows we are on the right track because of the number of emails we receive thanking us for not using plastic in our packaging. Periodically we also receive requests when folks are ordering to not use plastic when shipping to them.

Ready to ship glass straws!
We carry boxes in sizes designed to reduce the amount of filler needed (if any.) We use old newspaper and cardboard for filler when needed. We make larger and less frequent purchases of glass which has a smaller carbon footprint as well as eliminating the packing peanut issue as the glass arrives on a palette as opposed to boxes filled with peanuts. A minimal amount of stretch wrap is used with this process; however there is far less plastic involved that if we brought our glass in through UPS or FedEx.

New packaging options
for store display.
A great deal of time and effort went into our packaging designs, primarily because of the plastics issue. All of our packaging consists of 1) chipboard (100% recycled, 95% post consumer), 2) corrugated (40% recycled, 15% post consumer) cardboard, 3) our cello bags (for hemp sleeves) are wood based and 100% compostable and 4) paper-based tape. Even the glue we use is water based and non-toxic with no VOC’s. We use continuous ink systems in our inkjet printers. We use solar powered hosting for our website. We live fairly close to the shop so our commute is minimal.

I would encourage not just green business, but all business to be more mindful of what can be accomplished environmentally with periodic reviews of different areas of their business. Sometimes the solutions that present themselves also save money!

Separately purchased cleaning brushes are packaged in
 the same box along with the straw, reducing the need for additional boxes.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mermaid Tales


In the glass straw business, one never knows what the day might bring...

Recently, a Mermaid contacted GlassDharma!  As it turns out, this Mermaid is not only a "real" mermaid, but works professionally, appearing in events and photo-shoots.  Her opportunity to connect with GlassDharma was spurred by her passion for healthy oceans and her need for a perfect drinking straw.  Glass Straws are her natural choice, she explained, to teach ocean-care while starring at parties and themed events.

It is known that the Glass Straw business will often present surprises during the busy weeks of glass straw production and world-wide communications. The Dharmanian community has come to expect the unexpected while performing the routines tasks and duties of each department.  David Leonhardt founded GlassDharma on the principal that there is much for each of us to learn as we diligently distribute glass straws far and wide! So, the Public Relations Department did a little research once presented with this idea that Mermaids love Glass Straws!

Raina the Halifax Mermaid
There is an active and lively "Mer-community" online and in many locations around the globe.  One thing mermaids (and mermen) seem to have in common is how important their tail is to them.  The function of their tail dictates their swimming abilities and swimming is their favorite pastime.  There are reputable Mer-tail manufacturers that stay very busy creating these beautiful and functional fins.

You may think that a "Professional Mermaid" is limited to looking beautiful and modeling for photo shoots.  It may surprise you to know how their presence teaches an important philosophy as they bring old legends to life for their audiences.

Meet Raina, "the Halifax Mermaid" from Nova Scotia! Her passion is children and children's events and she holds degrees in Child Development  and Elementary Education. "Every time I speak to children be it a birthday party or festival we talk about plastic pollution and what they can do to avoid single use plastics", explains Raina. "I also celebrate World Ocean's Day where we talk a lot about the pacific garbage patch. Now that I have my glass straws I'll be taking them to all of my events and using them as a demonstration."

Mermaids are health conscious, caring for their bodies in appearance and performance.  They take great care in choices of what to eat and drink as a means of nourishment.  The same great care and respect for their environment is a huge issue as they work tirelessly to show and promote making good choices about ocean and planet care.  After all, Mermaids do not like to get tangled up in plastic in the ocean!

Raina explains, " In the mermaid community the majority of professional mermaids affiliate with a charity of choice, they range from animal and habitat protection to beach cleanups, protests and more. My charity of choice it the David Susuzki Foundation. He puts out excellent information about living sustainably.  Also, the Captain Planet Foundation is another organization that supports environmental education.

Raina founded and works closely with Mermaid Sirena (from Michigan) as editor of the E-magazine, Tail Flip. The free magazine is run by volunteers and will feature different products like Glass Dharma on a routine basis. The intent for these features is the goal of spreading more awareness and showing readers enjoying sustainable products. Raina informs us that most recreational and performing "mers" are very eco-aware, make huge efforts to be sustainable including making tails out of recycled fabrics, wetsuits, and rubber materials.

Ocean's Entourage
"I team up with other organizations such as my local Ecology Action Center, so I can always be informed, and I'm partnering with Fan-Plastic a local company that recycles plastic into jewelry" writes Raina during a back and forth email interview.  "Artist David Ayala created cartoon characters featuring me as "Raina the Mermaid, Fan-Plastic Girl (the owner of "Fan Plastic") and Sola (A lady who makes eco filtered water bottles) into a super hero group named "Ocean's Entourage" and there will be a monthly comic strip of our antics to save the ocean from plastic pollution!"

"And, know this, you don’t have to change EVERYTHING to make a difference. Doing just ONE thing helps. After all, it all happens by your powers combined…." ~ Ocean's Entourage
Mermaids love glass straws

The topic of Raina's straw use was discussed as well.  She let us know, " In Canada, BPA (Bisphenol A) is still allowed in most products and a lot of toxins are absorbed through plastic here. However, due to my many illnesses I have very sensitive teeth and mouth (beyond sensitive toothpaste) so I always used straws. I always felt guilty, rewashed them out when I could, but worried about the effects of plastic straws on my health. Then someone introduced me to GlassDharma straws, and I haven't looked back!"


Epilogue:
Since our interview with Raina the Halifax Mermaid, we have been close in touch with Linden from "Mermaids in Motion", based in the Los Angeles, California area.  She speaks fondly of Raina and her work to improve the environment and is delighted to find GlassDharma glass straws as well. 

The Dharmanians are hopeful that they might get to meet these lovely mermaids in time.  Fort Bragg might be a long way for them to swim - but one never know what might happen in the "Land of Dharma"....


What is a "Dharmanian"?


Dharmanians ~

"smoothie straw"
Dharmanians live in the "Land of Dharma" where a big part of their lively-hood stems from their work at a glass straw factory where they make beautiful drinking straws made of real glass!  They ship the glass straws to many lands throughout the world and they know that each straw takes with it an important message about Planet Care and Sustainability.

Dharmanians believe that each person is traveling at their own pace on their own "Eco-Journey" and that each baby step will matter toward a collective solution to the environmental situations our world faces today.  The older Dharmanians try to teach the younger ones patience in their quest for everyone to make different choices that will be healthier for the places we live, our wildlife and each other.

Fort Bragg, CA

Dharmanians live near the rugged Northern California Coastline where the fog and sun dance in and out of the day and the dense woods surround the open ocean spaces.  It is said that many lucky Dharmanians will get a special, brief glimpse through the misty fog of a beautiful Mermaid leaping amongst the crashing waves of the ocean......

Sunday, August 26, 2012

One More Generation

The discovery of "solution" takes a fresh perspective and the willingness to implement change.  In a world plagued with the results of prior poor choices for environmental sustainability, it is our youth that come forward with the eager willingness and enthusiasm to effectively address the tasks at hand.  Learning how problematic matters evolve is a first step toward understanding what steps will be taken toward attaining the desired goal.  Making active choices toward a healthy and vibrant lifestyle while inspiring others to join the efforts of Planet Care is the next critical step that takes perseverance...  and the results will span one more generation and beyond.

"I believe it will be our youth that will actively lead us in the quest to find real solutions toward saving the environment," states David Leonhardt, Owner/Founder of GlassDharma.  His idea to manufacture glass drinking straws, a product that has become a "teaching tool" toward reusable choices vs. single use plastic options began in 2007.  The GlassDharma message of choosing to re-use everyday items is but one small component in an even bigger equation.  The successful development of ideas and actions are going to take time to have the lasting impact needed for an environmental recovery to take hold.

Olivia and Carter 2010

Meet two elementary students from Fayetteville, GA who decided to make a difference when they learned about Cheetahs becoming extinct. Carter (now 11.5) and his Sister Olivia (now 10) are both extremely passionate about animals and conservation.  They are the Founders of One More Generation.  Olivia and Carter have been adopting Cheetahs in South Africa over the past few years. They started their own nonprofit in an effort to help educate kids and adults about the plight of endangered species so they can save them for at least "One More Generation"…

Shortly after starting their organization, the Gulf oil spill occurred April 2010).  Olivia and Carter decided to contact the four largest agencies involved with the animal rescue efforts.  Each of the agencies gave them a list of badly needed animal rescue supplies.  The two kids spent the next four months going from church to church, and from school to school giving presentations and asking for help collecting the supplies.  They personally delivered the supplies to the Gulf region and worked with the Marine Mammal & Sea Turtle Rescue Center.

The Veterinarian on staff asked Carter and Olivia what they were doing about the environment.  The kids thought that their work towards saving endangered species and helping out during the oil spill was enough to make the difference, but quickly changed their minds once they learned that rescuing animals only to return them to an endangered environment would negate many of their efforts.  The Veterinarian continued to explain that the oil spills are one one danger, but an even more dangerous and growing problem exists that affects the survival rate of all living things - Plastic!  The children learned more about how plastic pollution pollutes our oceans and were told how many of the rescued sea turtles and sea birds would ultimately die from entanglement or from ingesting plastic.

In February of 2011, OMG launched a new campaign, Plastic Awareness Coalition because of discoveries about the impact of our Planet's plastics problems.  Soon after, the Plastic Awareness Curriculum was developed and implemented to be an important science component in the public school system.  The weeklong curriculum, first tested in Carter and Olivia's school, was a huge success with students, parents and teachers learning about solutions to the problematic impact of plastics in our world. Olivia and Carter have since hosted the program to various schools and organizations across the country.  Their goal is to get the Plastic Awareness Week curriculum in every elementary school in the US.  The 5-Gyres Institute has joined the Plastic Awareness Coalition and together, they are now working on ways to help each other spread the word and help kids (and their families) learn how they too can be ‘The Solution to Plastic Pollution’.

GlassDharma straws made their way to Carter and Olivia who quickly recognized how this small product might lead others to choose sustainable choices on a daily basis.  They each have their own decorative dots glass straw and a hemp sleeve carrying case that they pack for on the go.

Carter and Olivia - 2012
Olivia states, "Ever since we got our glass straw from GlassDharma, we proudly take it with us everywhere. I love telling the waiter to bring us our beverage in a glass (not in a plastic or styrofoam cup) and to keep his straws to himself, we brought our own."  Olivia knows that the example she shows speaks for itself and invites curiosity!  Carter adds, "The glass straws we ordered from GlassDharma are the greatest. Everywhere we go people look at us as we pull them out of our backpacks and we proudly tell them that we no longer use plastic straws because we are trying to save animals and to keep our environment clean."

Olivia and Carter would love to invite your help on a current project to save the Rhinos!  They are actively seeking 1,000 kids from all over the world to send letters addressed to the President of South Africa asking him to get more involved with stopping  the poaching of Rhino's for their horn. Unless the South African government quickly gets involved, the Rhino species is guaranteed to go extinct in our lifetime.

Yes, change is in the air... and it will mean a healthy place to call home, for "One More Generation"... and beyond.....

Please check out the One More Generation website for detailed information and updates on the activities of Carter and Olivia. You can learn more about their projects by calling 678-491-6222 or send an email to info@onemoregeneration.org

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What's Sipping?

Responsible sipping is not just about what vessel you choose to sip with - it's also about what you sip! Many drink recipe ideas are posted online. GlassDharma's own "beverages and drink-ware" board on Pinterest is getting a little out of hand and needs to be broken into categories.  We are astounded at the creativity and ideas of healthy and unique drink recipes!

The GlassDharma community has taken us up on our offer to send a free glass straw to  the creator of each drink recipe that we publish.  Simply submit your (authentic) beverage recipe to recipes (at) glassdharma.com for a chance to have us publish your special drink idea.

After school snacking is a most recent topic currently discussed on many social networks.  Smoothies are a great way to "sneak" some healthy foods into a frosty treat that satisfies tired, hungry students coming home from those first energetic days at school. Cool flavored drinks will rehydrate the "troops" and give that much needed break before tackling homework.


From Cheryl  (GlassDharma PR Department)
 "My kids have grown up and moved out and I still have a desire for that afterschool snack time!"

After School Orange Julius

1/2 c. orange juice
1/2 c. coconut milk (unsweetened)
1/2 banana
Blend in a blender or Magic Bullet
Tip: (freeze the banana and/or make orange juice ice in an ice cube tray to keep it frothy)

Here are a few more ideas from our readers and Face Book friends:

From Lizz Clements:

Turbinado Lemonade
INGREDIENTS
1 cup lemon juice
3/4 cups turbinado sugar
Water and/or ice
DIRECTIONS
In a 2-quart container, dissolve the sugar in slightly warmed, room temperature, or from the tap water. Stir or swish until dissolved. Add lemon juice and some ice and fill the rest of the container with cold water to the 2-quart line. Stir. Let chill completely before serving or serve over ice immediately!
Makes 2 quarts.
LizzDelicious.com

From Casy McNemar:

Green Smoothie
•1-2 cups of Kale (or greens of your choice)
•1-2 cups of Fruit (e.g. Honeydew Melon and Strawberries)
•1 cup of Coconut Water ("raw" if available) Check out harmlessharvest.com
•1 cup Yogurt
•1 tsp of Chia Seeds
Blend together; enjoy!


From Stephanie Moram:

GoodGirlGoneGreen.com
The Almond Butter Cup Smoothie
• 1/4 cup of almond butter
• 4 Tbsp of raw cacao powder or carob powder
• 4 dates, soaked and pitted
• 1-2 frozen banana
• 1/2 tsp-1 tsp of almond or vanilla extract
• 2 cups of water
• Optional: 1 tsp of cinnamon
Makes 2 cups.


From Amanda Molnar:

2cups kefir
1cup frozen berries
1 or 2 bananas
A handful of spinach
Blend all and enjoy! Simple, but so refreshing! :)

Editor's note: About Kefir

Chrissy sent in this submission but did not include her mailing address.  Glassdharma will send her free glass straw as soon as her information is available to our shipping department.

"I make spinach and mango smoothies for the kids. Simple refreshing and very healthy. People don't believe me when I say my son loves spinach smoothies. If he wants fish and chips for dinner, I tell him, 'sure, as long as you have a spinach smoothie first!' and every one is happy!"

Large cup baby spinach, water spinach or kale or a mixture
Large cup of water
Large cup of diced frozen mango
Half continental cucumber skin and all (optional)
Blend.
Makes two regular spinach smoothies.
Mmmmm

Thank you to our Sipping Contributers! Keep the recipes coming in by emailing them to recipes@glassdharma.com

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Sippy Project

Watermelon on-the-go in a Glass Sippy
There is a lot of chatter going on amongst sippers and drinkers these days!  Drink-ware and the materials that make up our mugs, glasses, bottles and straws is a factor for the conscious consumer.  Another consideration is the design of drink-ware for on-the-go lifestyles.

Sippy Cups are a most popular option for travel and for everyday drink-ware no matter where you are.  The "sippy" originated for children's beverages using a spill free design.  The idea has since filtered into the adult crowd and many "sippers" are spotted with their adult cocktails in covered vessels with a mouth-piece or straw protruding through the top of the lid.

There are a few people in GlassDharma community circles that conclude the "sippy cup" craze has gone too far.  There was a day when small children learned that liquid might spill from a glass and care to keep a glass in an upright position was learned at a very young age.  Fewer consequences result in careless handling of beverages as children are provided with these spill proof cups in a quest to prevent accidents and keep everyone and everything tidy.  This "no need for the sippy cup" philosophy is not a winner for the majority of people who are trying to keep their sofas, carpets and car interiors free from spills and stains with as little watchful effort as possible.  Hence... the sippy cup is here to stay.

Glass is a preferred material for food and drink storage and as a means to keep taste pure.  Glass eliminates the possibilities of toxins leaching into one's diet.  The availability of durable glass makes this possible and practical for non-plastic choices in all drink-ware. Mason jars are now popular to use for glasses and glass straws are a sought after alternative to plastic and metal drinking straws.

Many DIYers have put these favored options together in creative ways to create a "Glass Sippy Cup" and as the word gets around, there are many GlassDharma customers inquiring about how they might obtain such an item.  Our own photographer followed one DIYer into his local Hardware Store to search for materials for the Sippy Project.  Rubber Grommets were found in various sizes and the drill bit isle displayed a variety of size options for drilling a hole into a Mason Jar lid. "Food Grade" material is the recommended choice for grommets in drinkware,

GlassDharma straws come in various diameters.  7mm and 9.5mm are the most popular options for "Glass Sippy Cups".  The 7mm "Sipper" glass straw requires a 7/16" drill hole and a 5/16" inner diameter size grommet.  The 9.5mm straw (Ice Tea Straw) requires a 9/16 inch drill bit with a grommet inner diameter size of 7/16".  The grommets slip easily into the drilled hole and "hug" the glass straw.
Requests come into our customer service department from sippy cup users for an optional design to keep the glass straw from sliding out of the hole. This function is easily created by placing a GlassDharma "Decorative Dots" straw upside down so that the "dots" inside the glass jar will act as a stopper.  The straw will now have no risk of sliding out of the glass while in use!

Please keep sharing your photos, recipes and ideas as we all find options that will support our lifestyles and sustain our Planet.

"Sip the world. Taste the difference."

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tribute to Teddy

David Leonhardt and Gail Johnson, co-founders of GlassDharma are saddened to announce the passing of their beloved Corgi, Teddy.  His pictures have appeared in several GlassDharma blogs. He was a huge part of the GlassDharma environment, always with us and definitely our “shop puppy.”  He was 14 ½ years old.  His many antics and silliness will be greatly missed and as with anything well loved, he has left a hole in our hearts.  Let this be a tribute to all of the animals in the world who give such amazing service and love to their humans!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

She Got Me On The Plastic Tape!

Are you interested in other ways to reduce your plastic habit? Beth Terry (our favorite blogger at (MyPlasticFreeLife.comhttp://myplasticfreelife.com/) has released her new book: Plastic Free – How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too!  Click here to order your own autographed copy! Make sure you check out Chapter 5 where Beth says, “Keep Your Straw, I Have My Own!”
The book is out!  You might want to check out the contents, knowing that the publisher took great care in the printing and manufacturing of Beth Terry’s  new book “Plastic-Free How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too”.  Unlike so many books published about the topic of plastic and how problematic this material has become, this book offers real solutions and suggestions of how to choose plastic alternatives. The plastic materials used in the making of most books would not be acceptable for this book. The Publisher sought out plastic-free alternatives to the plastic materials traditaionally used to produce most books. The book is actually compostable!

Beth found GlassDharma glass straws while on her journey to learn to live a plastic free life.  She offered to feature a product review for GlassDharma on her blog (My Plastic Free life.com), which GlassDharma ws happy to accomodate as a way to help get the word out about reuasble alternatives to single use plastics. Little did the folks at GlassDharma know that though great care had gone into packaging considerations for environmental concerns, the sample package would still be docked on the Beth Terry rating system for the choice of tape used!

“She got me on the plastic tape,” exclaimed David Leonhardt at a staff meeting!  He immediately began searching for a better alternative to plastic packaging tape.  Over the years, Beth became a mentor, ready to give input when consulted by GlassDharma about materials and methods. She continues to nudge and inspire many companies to make careful considerations in their practices of manufacturing and distribution their products.

Here is a sneak peek excerpt from “Plastic Free” for our readers:

Me and My Glass Straw

One of my favorite reusable items is my GlassDharma drinking straw. No, it’s not necessary. In fact, many people question why we feel we need to suck up our beverages with a straw at all. That’s a matter of personal preference. A straw can be helpful for people like me with sensitive teeth. And reusable straws made from glass are nice because they’re see-through, so you can tell if they’re clean or not. But if you’re worried about breaking a glass straw (which has only happened to me once when I stupidly tried sticking a fork tine inside one to remove something stuck), there are stainless steel straws available as well. I keep my straw in a little cloth wrap, along with my bamboo utensils, but GlassDharma sells cases specifically for carrying their straws.
  In addition to being fun to drink from, my glass straw is a conversation-starter and a way to get restaurant staff to pay attention when I ask for no straw. Many times I’ve requested no plastic straw when ordering a drink, only to have my drink delivered with a straw anyway. Wait staff are in a hurry and work on auto-pilot much of the time.  By showing my reusable straw and explaining why I don’t want a plastic one, I get their attention and help them remember not to automatically stick one in my glass.

One person I hope will remember my glass straw is Project Runway personality Tim Gunn. Project Runway is an addictive reality show in which fashion designers must complete all kinds of crazy challenges to win a fashion spread in a major magazine and big bucks to start their own line of clothing. Being highly critical of the fashion industry’s role in promoting consumerism and waste doesn’t stop me from marveling at the creativity of Project Runway’s designer contestants who must work under strict time constraints to fashion clothing out of all kinds of unconventional materials, including scraps from a recycling center! So when I heard that the website BlogHer.com was sponsoring a contest for a lunch with Tim Gunn, I entered right away. I never thought I’d actually win. And when I found out I had won, I was nervous for days about what I would wear.  Fortunately, I forgot my own self-consciousness for a second and thought about what I could bring Tim. I knew I didn’t have to, but I wanted to bring him a gift to show my appreciation for the grace and generosity of spirit he displayed on the show each week.  I decided to give him an elegant GlassDharma straw.

Meeting Tim Gunn at the Four Seasons in Chicago during the BlogHer conference is one of my favorite memories. Tim was as gracious in person as he seems to be on the show. He accepted my gift with apparent delight, exclaiming, “Oh, how novel,” in his inimitable Tim Gunn style. Once again, the straw was a great conversation starter.  Talking about reducing restaurant waste led to the topic of fashion based on reusing and repurposing old clothing rather than simply buying new stuff. Tim was receptive and easy to talk to. Plus, he told me I have a perfect hourglass figure. So there’s that.  The point is that even in a situation that ostensibly had nothing to do with environmental issues, I found a casual way to work the topic into the conversation.  We don’t all get to have lunch with celebrities, but we can find creative ways to bring up environmental topics with our friends and associates without nagging or preaching."

In 2011, David and Beth had a conversation where David announced that etching services would soon be available.  The etching and sandblasting method would add room for much creativity for customizing GlassDharma glass straws with logs and messages. Beth’s immediate reaction was to question the method used and point out that the tape used in the process was vinyl. (A huge no-no according to Beth’s plastic free ethics.)  David worked with the Engraver to devise a method that uses alternate materials to the vinyl tape.  Once again, Beth’s attention to how we might live plastic free won the decision to make a change toward sustainability in the practices used at GlassDharma.

It was no surprised that as soon as Beth opened her first shipment of her new book before her debut book signing, she would quickly publish a blog post with full color images of the packaging.  She knew she would have to ask the company to change their methods for future shipments. The photos in her blog post displayed how the boxes were taped together - with plastic tape of all things!


Monday, June 4, 2012

World Oceans Day 2012



June 8th is World Oceans Day, the UN-designated day for the global community to celebrate and take action for our shared ocean. One of the greatest threats to the ocean is also one of the most insidious because chances are it’s so mundane you don’t even notice it. Look around you right now: how much plastic do you see?

The ocean is downstream from all of us so no matter where we live, so we can all help address the issue of plastic pollution in the ocean. Each year a huge amount of plastic eventually makes it into coastal waters and harms ocean life. Many animals such as seabirds, sea turtles, dolphins, and whales die every year from plastic entanglement or starvation because they fill up their stomachs on plastic they mistake for food. Take action for World Oceans Day and prevent plastic from harming ocean wildlife!

Reduce plastic use . Help stop plastic pollution at its source! As consumers, we each have the power to reduce demand. And if you encourage family and friends to do the same, the more the more good we can do to keep the ocean clean and safe. Here are a few disposable plastic products everyone can reduce in our daily lives:
Plastic water bottles. Invest in a reusable water bottle, and filter water if necessary. Help the ocean and save money; it’s a win-win for you and the blue. On average, Americans now use 4 plastic water bottles a day—the highest ever recorded! Let’s turn the tide against wasteful plastic consumption.

Plastic bags. People use nearly 1 trillion plastic bags each year, and unfortunately, many of those end up ingested by sea turtles that mistake plastic for jellyfish. Remember to bring a reusable bag for food (including vegetables) and other shopping and save a life!


Clear Decorative Dots Glass Straw by GlassDharma
Straws, cups to-go, food containers, and utensils. Bring your own reusable products like mugs when you get coffee and take a pass on the plastic utensils when you get take-out food. And if you must have a straw, there a number affordable options!

Be aware of packaging. Pay attention to how much incidental plastic that comes with what you buy—your candy, headphones, pens, etc., all come in plastic packaging. Strive to cut down on your daily plastic consumption and reward corporations that package responsibly!
Act for World Oceans Day!

Hold a ‘Switch for the Sea’ contest! Ask friends and family to switch one of their disposable plastic habits for a sustainable, ocean-friendly one: such as bringing reusable food containers from home when eating out for your ‘doggie bag.’

Organize an aquatic clean-up! Head out to your nearest and dearest body of water with some friends and pick up all the trash you find. You’ll be surprised at how much of it is plastic.

Ban the bag in your town. Many communities around the world are banning plastic bags from being used at their stores. Learn how to start a campaign to stop plastic bags use in your town!

There are hundreds of events being held all over the world, find one near you and celebrate with a purpose this World Oceans Day! You can also go the extra mile and organize an event yourself using ideas and free materials provided at WorldOceansDay.org!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mother's Day Mocktail

Mother's Day, a time to celebrate Mothers all over the world. As a tribute to Mothers, we have created a special drink recipe for those who plan to serve a little something special for Mothers Day celebrations this year. 

We call it the "Mother's Day Mocktail" ~

We asked our Face Book Fans for suggestions on what to serve for Mother's Day Brunch and Lynn T. commented, "Fruit Kabobs".  This was the inspiration for this recipe.

coconut ice
A little advance preparation is in order, but the actual serving of the Mother's Day Mocktail is so easy!

First, freeze the cut up fresh fruit pieces on a stainless steel baking sheet, then make the "Coconut Ice".  We used "So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk" and a stainless steel Ice Cube tray.  This part might be prepared the night before or even days before your event.

Recipe:

"Coconut Ice"
Frozen Pineapple Chunks
Frozen Strawberry Halves
Frozen Kiwi Slices
- load them into the pitcher or glass -

add:
1 part Orange Juice
1 part Pineapple Juice
1 part  unsweetened Coconut milk
~ add a GlassDharma Glass Straw to fit your chosen glass-ware and serve.





Serving Mojitos for Mothers Day?

We checked out this recipe and took some advice from our customers who have discovered that the GlassDharma
"underground" Coffee Straw is a perfect Mojito Straw!








Pitchers of water become a festive centerpiece with some simple garnish ideas.  Citrus slices and fresh mint in ice water adds just the right flavors for refreshing thirst quenching.





Edible flowers such as Orange Blossoms and Sage Blossoms are frozen into ice-cubes for a floral touch to this pitcher of ice water.




Whether you are celebrating Mother's Day at home, in a restaurant, resort, beach or picnic ground, please remember to serve Mother Earth as well by choosing reusable serve-ware.


Happy Mother's Day!
2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

GlassDharma - UNDERGROUND


The secret is out! GlassDharma has fielded so many special requests from coffee drinkers that have a regular S*bucks habit that it has produced an underground (off menu) custom straw selection made specifically for the Latte sipper’s favorite reusable drink-ware.

Favorite local coffee houses are starting to offer many different reusable options in drink-ware but the glass straw has not yet made it’s way into their inventory.

The “coffee crowd” has found GlassDharma! – Here is the scoop!

The staff at GlassDharma became familiar with the repeated request for a straw to fit their daily Latte habits. Emails poured into the inboxes of Customer Service at GlassDharma from folks who do not intend to give up their daily habits of stopping by their local coffee house for their morning brew. Reusable drink-ware options have helped curb the trash generated from this trend, but coffee customers have yet to see their favorite coffee & teahouses offer glass straws!


At GlassDharma, the term “Coffee Straw” became a regular description of this specially made glass straw. This “secret straw selection” will not be offered as part of the main inventory collection in an effort to keep the GlassDharma inventory streamlined. However, the “Coffee Straws” are flying out the door of the Shipping Department in Fort Bragg and the word is quickly spreading!

The GlassDharma “coffee straw” is offered in 3 lengths:
8”tall
9”grande
101/2” venti

This coffee straw has a 7mm outer wall diameter which compares with the outer diameter of the GlassDharma “Sipper” straw. The difference is the wider 4mm opening that allows a faster sip flow than the original “Sipper” straw. The sip flow of the coffee straws is slow enough that a warm beverage has a chance to slightly “cool” before it makes contact with one’s mouth. (whereas, the “sipper” has a 3mm opening for a super slow sip) The borosilicate glass wall keeps the straw temperature fluctuation in check just enough to make this the perfect reusable straw for sipping hot lattes, coffees and teas.


The slender design and one slightly longer length option (10 ½”venti) gives the variety of inventory that GlassDharma customers request.

David, owner and chief lampworker comments, “We are hoping that the coffee and tea house venue will hear these requests from their own customers and that glass straws will be a commonly placed item offered with reusable drink-ware in coffee houses world wide”.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

1000 Free Glass Straws for Earth Day 2012

They say that nothing is free… but if there is a price for us to live on this Planet together, it is simply to care for this place we all call “Home”. Earth Day 2012 brings this simple truth to the forefront of our activities. The celebrations keep us mindful of how our choices affect our environment. Each Earth Day marks another year that we move closer toward environmental awareness, making better choices and achieving advancement in our collective efforts toward Planet Care.


Each year, GlassDharma marks this occasion by giving away free Glass Straws!What better way to “teach” the idea of “re-use” than to give an everyday, commonly used item to someone who never thought about their habits of “throwing away” drinking straws after each use.“There are still many people out there who do not realize how many reusable choices there are.It is now easier than ever to replace throw away items with quality reusable products”, remarks Cheryl Newcomb - GlassDharma Public Relations.“Our Company is bound and determined to give away as many as 1000 glass straws! This will be our fourth Earth Day giveaway. We are choosing to invest in the important message of our straws – We have the choice to re-use.”

See our press release here. 

Please share this blog with your friends and neighbors to help GlassDharma reach the 1000 free glass straw goal for 2012! This year’s theme for the Earth Day free glass straw giveaway is based on the words heard most by our staff, “I love my glass straws”.(Often its: “I love, love, love my glass straws!!”)

Entrants - please include:
1. 100 to 200 word essay in an attached document (or) a link to a 1 to 3 minute YouTube Video
2. Your name, email address and mailing address. (In the body of your email)
3. Email your request for a free glass straw to: EarthDay@GlassDharma.com
4. One entry per person (If multiple people are using the same email address, please note in the body of the email.

Participants who have yet to own a glass straw might use the alternate theme, “I love glass straws because…”

Glass Straws and how they relate to a better world is the suggested inspiration point of submissions for this contest. Content ideas might include, Beauty, Joy, Taste & Planet Care (Environmental).Creativity is encouraged as you write or shoot your video!

Video and Essay submission instructions – simply include the link to your “YouTube Video” or attach your essay to your email (Word format (.doc) or basic text (.txt) format please)

Electronic (email) submissions are preferred to snail mail as an optimum eco-choice. All entries must be received by Earth Day, April 22. We will begin shipping the straws after April 1st and the 2 grand prize winners will be posted (and contacted) by May 5th.

The first 1000 essay/video contest entries received by the Earth Day deadline will receive a free Glass Straw from GlassDharma!Please note that GlassDharma will pay shipping charges for each free glass straw up to $3.00 (free shipping for USA deliveries)

A judging panel consisting of three passionate Environmental Bloggers and three members of the GlassDharma staff is ready to select 10 finalists, five for the video category, and five for the essay category.One Grand Prize Winner for each category will be selected by popular vote amongst the judges.Grand Prize Winners will receive a $100.00 electronic GlassDharma Gift Code by email.

Happy Earth Day 2012!

From all of us at GlassDharma, manufacturer of the “Original Glass Straw”

sip the world. taste the difference.

By participating in this contest, you agree that all essays and/or videos sent may be published on the GlassDharma website as well as affiliated social networking sites.

"I Love My Glass Straws" - Essay Samples

The Earth Day 1000 free straw giveaway essay/video contest starts April 1, 2012!

This year’s theme for the Earth Day Free GlassDharma  Glass Straw Giveaway is based on the words heard most by our staff, “I love my glass straws”. 

Participants will email their request for a free glass straw to EarthDay@GlassDharma.com  (see this blog post for details of how to submit your entry).


Participants who have yet to own a glass straw might use the alternate theme, “I love glass straws because…” 

“Glass Straws and how they relate to a Better World” is the suggested inspiration point of submissions for this contest. Content ideas might include, Beauty, Joy, Taste & Planet Care (Environmental).  Creativity is encouraged as you write or shoot your video!

Video submissions –
Here are some links to videos currently posted on the web that would meet the suggested criteria à
http://youtu.be/mkoYm23FL0U
http://youtu.be/M8lJhQqxdQQ

Some volunteers agreed to submit these three example essays to post as samples before they email their entries on April 1st.

 193 word essay sample –
My car no longer has straw wrappers all over the floor.  I’ve cleaned up my act.  This simple choice to start using a reusable glass straw caused me to think about other ways to stop throwing so much stuff away. I started bringing my reusable cup to the coffee stand.  It’s not that hard.  My car is cleaner, and now I am making other responsible decisions to decrease my own litter print.
Having the floor in my car look neat and tidy after being accustomed to seeing little wrappers and pieces of paper all over the place got me thinking about how much better things look without trash all over the place!  There are places that would look beautiful if not for all the cluttered litter strewn about.  There are people who go out and clean up highways, parks and beaches to make things better.  I think that getting away from disposable conveniences would be a better answer.  First, we have to think about what we throw out.  The next step is to make a decision to replace that disposable item with something that can be used repeatedly.  My glass straw started something…

158 word essay sample –
Yes, I do love my GlassDharma Straw! My kids love them; my friends love them and what is not to love?  Because they are reusable, they are good for the environment. They are so much more fun than other reusable straws like stainless steel. Did I mention how easy they are to clean?  I also love my cleaning brush- you would be amazed at all the other small spaces I have used my brush to clean in my home and car!  I also take several with me wherever I go in my Purple hemp sleeve!  I love saying to the wait staff of a restaurant, “No straw please- I have my own!”  They are usually quite impressed! They make wonderful gifts and I am delighted with their hassle-free guarantee against breakage.  Of course, I know they can break but it is nice to know that if they do, GlassDharma replaces them for free! Thanks for a great product!

 119 word essay sample –
 feel special when I use my glass straws.  It’s not just me.  My guests know that I am serving them the finest.  Small children that visit know they are special when I offer them juice in real glasses and glass straws, every day.  It is like using the fine china all of the time and makes every day a “special occasion”!
 Maybe it’s the sound of the clinking of the glass on glass, the smooth feel on the lips or the way the glass straw sparkles in the light.  One thing I know is that bringing the finest experiences into everyday routine is good for me… and good for the people I love.

press release - 1000 Glass Straw Giveaway for Earth Day 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Free Glass Straws!

GlassDharma – The Original Glass Straw

(Ft. Bragg, CA) - Feb. 26th, 2012 – GlassDharma will give away 500 – 1000 free glass straws during the month of April 2012 in celebration of Earth Day. The GlassDharma mission is to get more glass straws to beverage sippers in an effort to increase awareness about single use plastics alternatives.  This 4th annual Earth Day event will ask participants to simply submit a link to a 1 - 3 minute YouTube video contribution (or) write a 100 - 200 word essay in an email addressed to EarthDay@GlassDharma.com along with their request for a free glass straw.

I love my straws –
The words most often spoken and written by GlassDharma customers will be the theme for video and essay submissions during the 2012 GlassDharma Glass Straw Giveaway. The suggested content is to encourage participants to declare how their glass straws relate to a better world.  The Environment, Elegant table-ware, made in USA and/or Personal Joy might be elements for expanded content.  Free Glass Straws will be shipped out of Fort Bragg throughout the month starting on April 1st, 2012.  Free Shipping (USA) will be included with each Free Glass Straw.  There will be a Grand Prize of a $100.00 Gift Code to one winning submission in each of two categories, video and essay.

GlassDharma Straws are Durable, Sustainable and Elegant
The GlassDharma Quality Control department ensures the quality of each and every straw. Offering an unprecedented lifetime guarantee, GlassDharma stands behind their product, and promises that if it breaks, it will be repaired or replaced. GlassDharma straws are made from borosilicate glass, the safest and strongest glass commercially available; they are even dishwasher and microwave safe!

Garnish your GlassGlassDharma straws not only replace their plastic and toxic counterparts, but their beauty and style lend to compliments and conversation.
• Great for all hot or cold drinks
• Perfectly stages specialty drinks – bubble teas, iced drinks, shakes and smoothies
• Beautiful in cocktails – great accessory for stemware and martini glasses
• Concerned about staining your teeth? Use for wine, coffee and teas
• Kid friendly and safe
• Elegance at its best

One for Everyone
GlassDharma straws are available in three collections: Simple Elegance, Beautiful Bend, and the color accented Decorative Dots. Offered in many lengths and widths, GlassDharma straws are available individually or in sets.  The accessory line includes cleaning brushes and hemp soft sleeves for carrying your straws on the go.  Custom etching services and store display packaging options are the newest purchase options.
GlassDharma Glass Straws bring the new eco-definition to “Sipping Responsibly”.
For more information on GlassDharma, please visit www.glassdharma.com
For high-resolution images, samples, and to learn more…
      
David Leonhardt, Pres.              
info@glassdharma.com                                        
 707.964.9350
                                  
Gail Johnson, V-Pres.
Partnerships and Promotions    
gail@glassdharma.com
707.964.9350

Cheryl Newcomb, Marketing Dept.
Public Relations & Marketing
cn@glassdharma.com
209.406.2881

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Beauty and the Glass Straw

First encounters with a GlassDharma Glass Straw will often produce an expansion of ideas about the many benefits that these products have for straw users. Not only does the environment benefit, but the beauty and function of Glass Straws attract creative minds.

Meet Adeline Chan, Nutritionist by day, Beauty Blogger by night. Adeline stopped into Eco Existence in Toronto on her way home from work and bought herself a GlassDharma Glass Straw. She was so excited to share the news with her readers and fans that she immediately tweeted a video to show her ideas about glass straws and the benefits of keeping her teeth whiter.

The more she used her new straws, the more she came to love them. Here is what she has to say about Glass Straws:




Monday, January 23, 2012

Jars & Straws

hot cinnamon tea
Reuse, the very idea behind the creation of glass straws is the ultimate eco act.  What we reuse, we will not throw away. Reuse it, and there is no need to recycle or repurpose it.  Millions of “disposable” items will no longer have importance once one makes the choice toward reusing items as a daily habit.

Glass jars are once again the popular choice for food storage and as drink-ware. The Mason canning jar is seen on elegant table settings for special events, even weddings!  What a great way to use… and reuse.  Once you have finished the contents of your home canned goods, you might serve your guests (and yourself) your favorite beverages using these sturdy glass vessels time and time again.

If parties and  social gatherings no longer “required” single use cups, bottles and cans for beverage service, there would be a huge revolution in awareness of how many objects we carelessly toss into the trashcan!  The years have brought about these conveniences with little thought to the long term picture of where the excess trash accumulates and how it might change the way nature works.

Setting up your party will be a cinch with bowls of ice and your own individually “bottled” beverages!  Put out a basket for the empty jars and lids and put out the reusable straws in glasses, vases or straw dispensers.  The elegance of this simple idea will be noticed and the ideas about reusable drink-ware will branch out through your guests.  Examples of this type will show a new earth friendly way to be stylishly trendy while have some fun with your décor and display.

Enjoy your gatherings and keep your venue Earth-friendly.  Each of your guests will benefit and so will you!  We all live on this one Planet together and the care we take depends on each of us - and all of us collectively. 

Party On!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Secure Your Straw

Glass Straws are rapidly gaining in popularity. Proper handling ensures that your glass straw will last a lifetime. Reusing the same straw repeatedly is key to reducing the need for plastics and the perils that they cause in our environment.

Glass Straws placed in the dishwasher are able to withstand the temperature changes. This method of cleaning is recommended for optimum sanitation practices. The clear glass of GlassDharma straws allow you to see inside the straw. There is no guesswork about something being stuck inside your straw!

The silverware baskets on different dishwashers do vary and some reports of the 7mm (dia.) “Sipper” size straw slipping through the openwork of the basket have caused incidences of the straw jamming the slide-out rack. GlassDharma is known to manufacture the most durable glass straws on the market, but no glass is totally unbreakable, so solving this issue will be in your straw’s best interest.

One tried and true method is to line your basket compartment with openwork rubberized shelf liner. This should keep the straws form sliding through the bigger holes, yet allow the water and soap to properly reach and clean your straws.

A better method avoids plastic product altogether and uses stainless steel screening. The first thing you will want to do is measure the space that compartmentalizes your glass straws. Many tea strainers on the market are available in different sizes shapes and depths. Some are easily bent with a pair of pliers to accommodate the space in question. This solution is an easy fix, just make sure you place your glass straws in the appropriate section each time you load your dishwasher!