Monday, December 9, 2013

Friends of GlassDharma


2013 Roundup - checking in with Friends of GlassDharma

Through years of making and shipping glass straws, GlassDharma continues to make friends with some dedicated people that inspire our business to grow.  Together with our friends, these efforts magnify and gain momentum. Word is getting out about how fun reusable items that replace our past love affair with "disposable items" can be. Trends now lean toward durable, long lasting items which help preserve our Earth. The cost of simply throwing something "away" is in the spotlight, and as that attention grows we all have a chance for something better, living in a sustained environment. We wanted to round up 2013 by highlighting all of the fantastic progress made by our friends, in addition to their prospects for the New Year.

...............

GlassDharma checks in with Beth Terry, Blogger at My Plastic free Life and author of a truly problem solving guidebook, “Plastic Free - How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too” (check out p.144 to read about GlassDharma). Beth’s book signing appearances and activism efforts continue as she travels from coast to coast talking to people about how to solve the issue of their plastic use. A recent audio-book release on audible.com of “Plastic Free” highlights updates from Beth. She continues inspiring those around her to learn how to refuse plastic, and even shows us how it is possible to live an almost plastic free lifestyle.  Along the way, she likes to have a little fun as well...

maroon 5, concert, beth terry
Attending a Maroon 5 concert (she is a huge fan!), Beth and her friends were turned off by something they saw on the set. Watching the huge plastic water bottle lineup the performers drank from throughout the show was the ultimate disappointment for Beth. In keeping with her constant efforts to educate about the dangers of plastics, this event compelled Beth to write a letter explaining her experience. She started out attending the concert with a starry-eyed crush of admiration for lead singer Adam Levine, only to find the band member's habits totally unacceptable.
Beth Terry, Christian Lane, ingredients, grocery store
Beth with Christian Lane,
owner of In.gredients

What turns Beth on?  Her visit to In.gredients in Austin really got her excited - so much that she declared it as possibly the "coolest grocery stores ever!"  This store aims to sell groceries as package free as possible; zero waste is the goal, which greatly reduces plastic use. Bulk bins and scales at the door invite customers to bring their own containers.  Check out Beth's pictures from her tour of the store. In.gredients is the pioneer to what Beth hopes will become an ordinary practice for grocery stores in years to come.

............

Bonnie Monteleone shares her findings and experiences from traveling nearly 10,000 nautical miles, collecting over 200 ocean surface samples, and looking for plastics in four oceans. She joins many scientists and activists as she researches plastics floating in some of the most remote regions in the world.  She uses this research to educate others about the impacts of our current trash habits.

Bonnie brings her GlassDharma glass straw to presentations and always receives enthusiastic reactions from her audiences. The glass straw becomes a teaching tool to show how fun - and even elegant - reusable items can be. The fact that a single reusable straw can replace hundreds of plastic straws is relatable to the habits of many audiences. Once they consider the concept and their impact, they apply it to other items used each day and start finding solutions to reduce “disposable” products.

............

Danielle Richardet continues to comb the beaches for cigarette butts and other litter, keeping count of the butts on her blog “It Starts With Me.” Early this month, the count of cigarette butts removed from Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina reached 56,848 collected in 218 days! Danielle remains diligent with regular cleanups, with hope that smoking on beaches will become a thing of the past.  Thanks to Danielle's efforts, Wrightsville Beach implemented a smoke free beach ordinance.  Signs went up announcing the ordinance in February, and as of November, Danielle estimates a 70% decrease in cigarette litter!

Danielle flew out to the West Coast to celebrate Sarah Bayles' 365th Beach Cleanup.  See this video for more about The Daily Ocean.

Danielle also teamed up with Beth Terry and Bonnie Monteleone for the “Plastic Free Living” Presentation last spring on the East Coast at UNCW.  This event offered education about the impact of plastic on our planet and real solutions to making different choices to support a sustainable lifestyle. GlassDharma happily donated straws to help the cause and raise awareness!

You can view the presentation "Plastic Free Living" in this video.

Beth Terry @ UNCW March, 2013 from Seven Season Films on Vimeo.

What is next in 2014? Danielle is now on the Board of Directors at her local Coop and helps post blogs for The Plastic Ocean Project when Bonnie Monteleone is out to sea. She is busy planning her own 365th beach clean up event on Aug 9, 2014!

............

balloons, beach, cleanup, litter, plastic
Danielle and Chelsea show
the results of their latest
 beach cleanup in 2013.
"Balloons Blow! Don't Let Them Go!" That is the message Danielle and Chelsea want you to hear. When they first started cleaning Florida's beaches over 18 years ago with their parents, they would never find balloons. As the years went on they started spotting few here and there. The girls are now in our early 20s and continue weekly beach cleanups.  Every year they find more and more balloons. Of course there is much more plastic than ever as well, but what disturbs them about balloon pollution is that it is "celebrating by littering".

Danielle and Chelsea want people to understand that everyone is responsible when it comes to refusing single-use plastic and finding awesome reuable alternatives! They encourage everyone to do spontaneous or solo clean-ups.  "You don't need a big organized clean-up to make a difference," they declare.

Please visit their new page, "Reduce Your Impact" that was recently added to their website, Balloons Blow.

glassdharma, glass straw, balloons, balloons blow
The plastic straws in this picture were collected off a 1/4 mile stretch of desolate beach
- all washed ashore in the sargassum (not littered by beach goers).
One GlassDharma glass straw can replace all of these plastic straws.
............
be straw free, milo cress
Milo Cress in Lisbon

GlassDharma’s summer blog post about Milo Cress, founder of Be Straw Free, is full of information about a big portion of the year's activities, but he has not slowed the pace since!  His September speaking engagement at the Green Spa Network in Colorado received great enthusiasm, and he continues his travels on his second leg of the Be Straw Free International Speaking Tour.

Here is an excerpt from an email from Milo in November:

11-7-13 Hello!
I'm currently on the second leg of my international speaking tour to talk about how kids can find and get involved in projects that interest them. My first leg, in April, was to Australia and now I'm in Europe. My first European stop was in Lisbon, at the Carlucci American International School, where I met a group of interesting kids who do environmental work of different kinds.
My next school engagement will be in Stuttgart, Germany.

Between speaking engagements, my mom and I stay at different places and do work exchange for our room and board. For example, we stayed on an organic farm and helped with goats, chickens, geese, ducks, sheep and helped garden and sort organic fruits and vegetables which are then delivered once a week to people in the area.  Lots of Germans want to eat local food and food without many "food miles" between them and the food source, so this is a very common type of business.

We are now staying at a place in the Bavarian Forest near the Czech border, and each day we do something different. Today we raked (lots and lots and lots of) leaves and helped with the chickens. Tomorrow... Who knows?!

Everywhere we go, we meet lots of Europeans, adults and kids, who are interested in the environment. It is really exciting and inspiring. It is great to know so many people are working toward making this a healthier planet.

Milo continues to make news as his plastic awareness campaign to "Be Straw Free" gains momentum far and wide. GlassDharma has been privileged to provide Milo with glass straws so he can show people one alternative to plastic straws.  Use coupon code BSF on your GlassDharma website orders for a 10% discount and a percentage of your purchase dollars goes to Be Straw Free.

............

Olivia and Carter originally founded One More Generation (OMG) to help save endangered wildlife species. This led them to the topic of a healthy environment for wildlife, and in turn to learning about how plastic affects all of us. Most importantly, Olivia and Carter found out about the threat plastic poses to wildlife, left with no protection from the disastrous effects of this form of pollution.

 So what are Carter and Olivia up to these days?

The OMG Team spearheaded a week long Plastic and Recycling Awareness Curriculum in 2010 that became popular and gained country-wide momentum. Each day of the first week long program, more than 700 students learned various facts about the issue of Plastic Pollution and how students and their families can be the solution to the plastic pollution issue.  GlassDharma donated straws to use as rewards for OMG’s students. The team now continuously travels from school to school to show students the effects of trash in our world. Use coupon code OMG on your GlassDharma website orders for a 10% discount and a percentage of your purchase dollars will support One More Generation and their activities.

OMG, Jack Johnson concert
One More Generation at the
Jack Johnson Concert, Atlanta
Jack Johnson and his team chose OMG to include as one local nonprofit in his All At Once concert in Atlanta. This year’s "All At Once" campaign focused on supporting non-profit groups, engaging fans in the realms of sustainable local food systems and plastic free initiatives. OMG was chosen because of their week long Plastic and Recycling Awareness Curriculum.

The OMG Team hosted the Atlanta Premiere of Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch by Journalist/Filmmaker Angela Sun on December 1st. Angela follows scientists, researchers, and volunteers who shed light on how pervasive plastic pollution has become. The film demonstrates the devastating effect of plastic on the oceans, sea life, and even humans.

The event brought a full house, packed with various dignitaries from the metro area as well as many families. A brief Q&A session followed where the audience voiced their concerns and offered suggestions to solve our growing plastics problems. The youth in attendance shared disbelief, anger, and frustration that their generation will have to deal with the issue and effects of plastic pollution. Many want the OMG team to bring the documentary to their schools to teach their peers the severity of the issue of plastic pollution.

............

A few special events mark 2013 for The Plastic Pollution Coalition. Their cause for plastic free travel paired with some ideas from Beth Terry spurred communications with Virgin America Airlines about plastic.  The results? Virgin passengers at San Francisco Airport Terminal 2  can now top off their own reusable water bottles at the terminal’s hydration station. In First Class, ceramic ramekins replace plastic Kova cups, and soon passengers will be able to view Plastic Pollution Coalition’s “Plastic Pollution Travel Solutions” video as in-flight video entertainment!

Finding solutions is what the Plastic Pollution Coalition is all about.  The year showed success with their “Think Beyond Plastic” contest, which urges us all to seek out durable and long lasting items to suit our daily needs.  Check out the video!



The "All At Once" campaign made an impact to those unaware of the perils of our plastic habits as the Plastic Pollution Coalition teamed up with Jack Johnson on his 2013 "From Here To Now To You" Concert Tour. “All At Once” began as a social action network connecting nonprofits with people who want to become active in their local and world community, and continues to grow.  All At Once is online and at the Jack Johnson concerts where education and inspiration bring fans face-to-face with national non-profits including The Plastic Pollution Coalition. The Program promotes sustainable local food systems and plastic free initiatives.
Jack Johnson - All At Once
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2013 has been big year for the The Reuser!  Terra Heilman quit her “day job” after more than six years working as a waste reduction specialist. Recycling is important, but as she learned more about recycling, she realized her passion was for waste reduction through thoughtful, classy consumption.

Terra's new consulting business is a mission of “widening audiences for sustainable products.” There are so many great products in support of a sustainable lifestyle. She found as she talked about them, many had never heard of these products, much less tried them out.

The goal for Terra Linda Consulting is to encourage sustainable consumption. This includes use of reusable water bottles, coffee cups, grocery totes, straws, etc. on-screen as well as through putting together events like Check ‘Em Off, Green, where people can check everyone off their holiday list in a “green” way. Another way to widen audiences is to encourage corporations to give sustainable gifts for their end-of-year client thank-you’s; TLC offers sustainable gift bags for this purpose. Maybe someday TLC can recommend our etched straws for their corporate sustainable gifts!

Looking forward to seeing what adventures 2014 brings, Terra encourages us all to sip, drink, eat, and experience life sustainably!
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2014 is sure to be an exciting year!
We continue to follow our inspiring friends and their activities as we ship our glass straws worldwide. Together we make a difference!

GlassDharma supports organizations that help our environment.
Do you have a plastic free cause?  We welcome Guest Blog posts!  Please contact Cheryl Newcomb with your ideas!  Email:  cn (at) glassdharma.com
Our fundraising program can produce cash profits for your organization!  Please contact Gail Johnson for details.  Email: Gail (at) glassdharma.com
http://glassdharma.com/fundraiser.html

Listed below are links to some Facebook pages we love.  We hope you will check them out and join in their conversations.

Balloons Blow -
https://www.facebook.com/BalloonsBlow

Rechusable -
https://www.facebook.com/rechusable

GlassDharma -
http://facebook.com/glassdharma

5gyres -
https://www.facebook.com/5gyres

2handsproject -
https://www.facebook.com/twohandsproject

Plastic Free July -
https://www.facebook.com/PlasticFreeJuly

Surfrider Foundation -
https://www.facebook.com/surfrider

My Plastic Free Life -
https://www.facebook.com/MyPlasticfreeLife

It Starts With Me -
https://www.facebook.com/ItStartsWithMe.Danielle

One More Generation -
http://facebook.com/1moregeneration

The Reuser -
https://www.facebook.com/TheReuser

Save Our Beach - Seal Beach -
https://www.facebook.com/saveourbeachoc

Be Straw Free -
https://www.facebook.com/BeStrawFree

The Plastic Pollution Coalition -
https://www.facebook.com/PlasticPollution

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Greener Holidays

Holiday Traditions for Greener Living 

Traditions during the Holidays pass from generation to generation.  Many traditions evolve and change out of necessity, such as a change in location. The same ingredients may not be readily available for that special holiday recipe, or the gatherings of friends and family might have to change. What about creating traditions with conscious awareness that will serve generations many years from now? Adopting new practices for a greener Holiday is a gift in itself, making way for new habits that benefit our environment. Teaching these practices to future generations will ensure the expansion of an eco-conscious lifestyle and happy holiday traditions for many years to come.

glass straw, cranberry, cocktail
Festive Cranberry Cocktail
Why think "green" for the Holidays? According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the amount of household garbage in the United States increases by an estimated twenty five percent between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.  Thinking of our estimated average of 4 million tons of trash every month becoming a whopping five million tons during the Holidays does not seem to dictate the Spirit of the Season!

Thankfully, many people are choosing to make some changes in their traditions to ensure a smaller Holiday footprint. It turns out, many hosts and hostesses are coming full circle with the traditions of old, choosing cloth napkins, reusable dishes, and reusable wrappings for their Holiday celebrations. Consider the lifecycle of the gifts you buy for others - will the gift be useful in the long run? Gifts of Reusable items to replace single use items automatically reduce waste long after the Holidays are over, and are actually preferred over their disposable counterparts. Reuseable water bottles, straws, and cloth towels, will keep on giving the gift of less waste for many years to come!

The GlassDharma Facebook timeline shows a recent post by Kelley, who uses Furoshiki inspired wrapping techniques: "I wrap gifts in fabric. I bought a variety of yards of pretty holiday fabrics a few years ago, and I reuse the pieces every year. I make fabric bows and tie with yarn. I saw a book about a Japanese tradition/art of wrapping with fabric and thought it was beautiful. I am getting better at it every year. Sometimes I sew a gift bag that can be reused."

reuse, glass straw, hemp sleeves, stocking, holiday
Glass Straws and Hemp Sleeves
Kat added to this comment thread, "We don't buy wrapping paper, bows etc. we reuse paper bags, I get end rolls of newspaper from work and let the kids color to decorate, and we reuse gift bags or wrap things in towels as part of the gift. We make most of our gifts and make gift tags out of old Christmas cards."

The sharing of these ideas is a powerful way to expand personal habits to traditions that others can adopt, much like the sharing of recipes. Some of these comment threads on GlassDharma’s Facebook are full of ideas from others who desire to reduce waste as they inspire each other.

Angela, Inside Sales Rep at GlassDharma, likes the idea of "tree free" Holiday cards, fashioning Holiday cards from recycled paper shopping bags, maps, and junk mail, or even choosing e-cards in place of paper cards.  She also suggests purchasing reusable gifts and combining online shopping orders to reduce the shipping footprint.

More suggestions for greener gifts include:
  • Get creative with ornaments- hand make ornaments from decorations that may no longer be intact like a broken garland or snow-globe, even figurines from an incomplete set.
  • Re-use socks for stockings, or make your own from discarded clothing or tablecloths
  • Dinner out, movie/concert tickets, postage stamps, or gift certificates that are not plastic (think GlassDharma),
  • Make your favorite Holiday cookies or breads for extended family and friends as delicious gifts everyone will love
  • The gift of your time to aid others with their duties may be a most cherished gift to friends and family.
  • Charitable donations in the name of the recipient may provide a meaningful way to express your kindness for those with passions of their own.  Support environmental awareness organizations, a church, or the local symphony for just a couple of suggestions.
Holiday decorating?  It pays to look around your local area for ideas.

Chris shares this lovely idea for those that live on the coast: "Instead of buying (and then throwing away) garland every year, we made awesome sparkly 'garland' with random pieces of sea glass collected at the ocean."

Live in the mountains?  How about a wreath made of pinecones?

The Audubon Society has some great tips on decorating including:
  • Buying a live tree that can be replanted
  • Decorate your indoor tree with biodegradable items from nature such as seedpods, berries, dried flowers, or nutshells
  • Decorate an outdoor tree just for wildlife... String popcorn, dried fruit, or peanuts in a shell
Visit Audubon.org for more these wonderful ideas and more!

LED lights are the best choice!  Read the environmental study that gives LED’s the thumbs up.

California Figs are in
 Season for Holiday Baking
Consider the source of ingredients for your favorite Holiday meals. When you can, buy local! While some Farmers Markets may not be active through the Winter months, there are other ways to stay committed to your nearby farmers. You can join a Community Supported Agriculture Program , but it is just as easy as to check the grocery store labels. This helps cut down on your footprint when less resources are used to get these items on the shelves. Please do not forget your reusable shopping bags!

Do you know about different kinds of plastics that are used for making toys?  The toys made from PVC plastic are not best choices.  Vinyl chloride, the chemical used to make PVC, is a known human carcinogen. PVC plastic is also known to be the least recycled plastic that makes up many of the toys on the store shelves.

It is important to consider packaging when shopping for Holiday gifts, decorations and foods. The gift itself may be reusable, but where do those wrappings go once the gift is opened?  Thankfully, many companies are mindful of their packaging footprint and have policies to ensure your gift reaches it's destination without compromising our planet's resources.

How about a gift to yourself! The high stress factor does not have to lurk around the quest for Holiday cheer.  Maybe it is time to ditch a few of the traditions that distract from enjoying time with family and friends.  What about pledging to choose less stress and simplify your life?  You might actually expand this idea over the years and focus on meaningful moments as you reduce the excess busywork that often accompanies the Season. Start now by taking the simple living pledge!

persimmons, spices, holiday, food, local, fresh
Persimmons for Holiday Cuisine

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Carry Your Straws - The Family Pack

New ~ Family Pack added to the GlassDharma Straw Carriers Collection

glass straw, case, cloth, carrier, utensils
New Family Pack Straw Case
Transporting your own reusable straw is trending in many circles as more people consider sustainability in their everyday choices. GlassDharma wants to make this trend practical and convenient by offering straw carriers for your travel and on the go needs.  To say, "no straw, thank you" keeps numerous single use straws from ending up in the landfills and oceans .  To carry your own dishes, containers, and utensils is finally catching on and a good partial solution to our planet's trash problems.

Introducing the "Family Pack" to carry your glass straws!  This straw case serves multiple purposes.  It can be for a family to take their straws in one case or for someone to take their "family of straws" to have different sizes and styles readily available wherever they go.  Alternatively, personal straws and other utensils might be stowed away in this cloth carrier just as Beth Terry uses.  A group of friends going out for the night might designate one person to keep the straws for everyone in the Family Pack.  Out with the kids?  Take their favorite straws with you in this conveniently wrapped case.  No more digging around in your pocketbook for individual straws.

glass straws, carry, carrier, utensil holder
Family Pack transports
your Glass Straws securely

The Family Pack is lined with reclaimed denim, while the outer cloth is 55% hemp and 45% organic cotton. These cases are locally made in the San Francisco Bay Area by Ambitalia. We recommend washing them in cold or warm water and line dry for the care of fabric and environment. They can be tumble dried in an automatic dryer on low heat.

We bring you the Family Pack in addition to the GlassDharma Hemp Sleeves collection available in five colors and three sizes. The family pack will accommodate all of the GlassDharma straw sizes and styles.

hemp, carrier, glass straw, hemp sleeve
Hemp Sleeves in Five Colors

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Autumn Drink Recipes

   Autumn has arrived!

The change of Seasons has encouraged us to collect some new recipes to enjoy with your glass straw.  Do you have some Fall Beverage Recipes to share?  Please do add them into the comments forum.
We wish a warm and happy season!
From GlassDharma - Manufacturer of  "The Original Glass Straw"

smoothie, apples, celery, walnuts, pear, glass straw

Featured glass straw: "Smoothie"
Beautiful Bends (12mm)


Waldorf Smoothie

1 small Apple 1 small Pear
  (core, diced, previously frozen)
1 oz. Apple Juice
4 oz. Almond Milk
  (unsweetened)
1 - 2 ribs fresh Celery (sliced)
1/4 Cup broken Walnut-meats

Instructions: blend all ingredients & serve immediately.
(We used the NutriBullet for this recipe.

 Serves 1 - 2



Almond - Pear Smoothie with Raisins

2 diced Pears (peeled and previously frozen)
4 Dates (seeded and soaked in water)
smoothie, almond, pear, dates, raisins, glass straw
Featured glass straw: "Smoothie"
Beautiful Bends (12mm)4 Dates (sliced and soaked)
1/4 cup Raisins (soaked)
1/4 cup Almonds (chopped)
1 t. Baking spice*
3/4 cup Almond Milk

 Instructions: blend all ingredients and serve immediately.

* Baking Spice suggestion - Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves and Cardamom.

TIP: Soak the raisins and dates together for at least 10 minutes (hot water) or overnight.  Some of the soaking water can be used to improve the consistency and desired sweetness of this recipe.

Note: This recipe has no sugar added.

Serves 2 - 3 
                                             

mocktail, cherry, pepper, cherry pepper jelly, martini, glass straw
Featured glass straw:  clear Decorative Dots
"Sipper" (7mm)

Cherry Pepper-tini

2 t. Cherry Pepper Jelly
1 oz. Pomegranate Juice
2 oz. Vodka
Splash of Vermouth (extra dry)

Mix over ice in a cocktail shaker and strain,
serve with a slice of Bell Pepper

Mocktail Version (non-alcohol)
 2 t. Cherry Pepper Jelly
1 oz. Pomegranate Juice
1 oz. Apple Juice
1 oz. Seltzer water

Mix over ice in a cocktail shaker and strain,
serve with a slice of Bell Pepper

Serves 1


Add a Glass Straw!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

From Milo Cress, BeStrawFree.org

GlassDharma applauds the efforts of 12 year old Milo Cress and the growing Be Straw Free movement. His message of education about the huge amount of plastic straws ending up in landfills and oceans is in total alignment of GlassDharma’s message. People who do choose to use straws can easily switch over to reusable straws like GlassDharma’s glass straws, or even stainless steel, bamboo or compostable straws. It feels great to know that you are doing something good for the environment! Milo is fundraising for his international travels. You can donate directly on his website (see below) and/or you can purchase GlassDharma straws on our website and use the Discount Code of BSF. This will give you a 10% discount and an additional 30% of each purchase goes to support Milo getting his message out. And what a great message it is! Thanks, Milo, for encouraging the youth all over the world to go out and "make a difference"!

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Milo Cress and I am now on my first International Speaking Tour.  I am 12 years old.

Here is the link to my webpage - Be Straw Free, so you can see more of what I do with my project and about my International Speaking Tour.

I just returned from Australia, where I spoke to 1,500+ students and adults at various schools and events, and I am now headed to DC and on to Europe before going to Singapore, Malaysia, S. Korea, New Zealand and back to Australia. My presentation is called "Let's Create the Future!" and I talk about how kids can find and get involved in projects and issues important to them, because this planet is not a place kids will inherit at some point far off in the distant future, we live here now, we share this planet already. 

My project, called Be Straw Free encourages restaurants and schools to offer straws instead of serving one with every drink automatically.  The National Restaurant Association as well as several Members of Congress, Governors, and Mayors have declared offering straws a Best Practice. I am also working toward ways the offer-first policy can be implemented in National Parks, etc., without legislation- because I think it can become standard that straws are offered to customers instead of being served automatically, without any legislation or mandate, through education and information instead. (There are several precedents set for this - restaurants offering water instead of serving automatically, grocers offering shoppers the choice between paper and plastic bags and offering incentives to shoppers who bring their own bags, etc.) 

Change can happen through education and information - many changes do not have to be legislated.

My project has gained a lot of momentum from its first appearance on a TV news program, when I was 9, to now, two years later, with people and businesses in over 30 countries currently participating, and by winning various national and international awards and recognitions, including the coveted Blue Turtle Award from Jean-Michel Cousteau, the Everyday Young Hero Award, from Youth Service America, the Eco-Hero Award from Action for Nature, recognition from the National and Colorado Restaurant Associations, and several other awards and recognitions.


It might interest you to know that for Earth Day 2013, Xanterra (largest concessionaire in US Parks Service) asked me to team up with them to launch their new waste reduction initiative at all their Park properties. (Park employees report that straws are the #2 type of trash picked up in Park clean-ups - just behind bottle caps, they are also one of the most common types of trash recovered in beach clean-ups.) I would love to see this implemented (voluntarily) in all our National Parks. I don't think there is a need for legislation on this - I think the Parks will do this voluntarily if encouraged.


This is a simple, easy change to make:
This is one small step for each restaurant, one giant leap for the planet!

I have been invited to speak at universities, schools, events and conferences, including Boston University twice, LOHAS 2012, Colorado Oceans Coalition Symposium 2012, the 2012 National PRBBI Convention of Best Practices for the largest restaurant chains in the US, and other conferences, and schools around the US, 10 schools in the Sydney (Australia) metro area, Kimbriki event (Sydney Australia) and been featured in regional, national and international TV news stories, including CNN and many others. 


How did all of this start?  Checkout this video.


Since this started I testified before the Vermont legislature, met with the entire Congressional delegation of Vermont in DC, and Governor Shumlin (VT). The Mayor of Burlington VT, Mayor Hancock, of Denver and Mayor Hay (Manly, NSW Australia) all declared offering straws to customers a Best Practice in their cities.
Governor Hickenlooper declared a Straw Free Day in Colorado last month, on July 11th. 


mayor, be straw free, glassdharma, straw, straw free, Denver, Colorado
Mayor Hancock of Denver and Milo Cress

I am scheduled to meet with Congressman Polis, Senator Mark Udall and other Congressional Members and leaders of governmental and NGO environmental departments and organizations in DC.

Straws may seem small- but they really add up! 
We use about 500 million straws per day in the US alone, which is enough to fill more than 46,400 large yellow school buses per year. Participating restaurants report back to me that 50-80% of customers choose not to take a straw when offered, so this is a very simple solution, with no need for legislation or mandate. People and businesses are joining in to participate voluntarily - with great results.

I am not trying to ban straws - anyone who wants or needs a straw should get one- but we can greatly reduce the number of straws we use to only the number we need to use, simply by encouraging restaurants, schools and others to offer straws instead of serving one with every drink automatically. And that's my goal.

Thanks for your interest in my project and for your time.
Sincerely,
Milo Cress
Founder and Spokesperson for BeStrawFree


Saturday, August 3, 2013

"Mid Summer Sip" Photo Contest Winners Announced!

glass straws, GlassDharma, photo contest, martini glass
1st place $100.00 gift code
to @gladperez
The Mid Summer Sip contest featuring posted photos of GlassDharma Glass Straws in action produced some wildly creative and beautiful images!

There were so many "winning" entries that it was difficult to choose 5 finalists for the drawing for First and Second place prizes.

We are showing the five chosen photos including our First and second place winners. You can view all of the entries by using the hashtag #midsummersip in the search box on Instagram and Twitter.

  We encourage continued posts by sippers that use Glass Straws to help get the message out about how elegant and fun using glass straws can be. More glass straws = less plastic waste so your photos are a big contribution towards promoting a healthy planet.

 Thank you to every participant who posted!  Together we "make a difference".
watermelon, glass straw, Mid Summer Sip, photo contest
2nd place - $50.00 gift code
to @crazyseal21


Our plans are to occasionally feature Instagram posts photos of our straws in future GlassDharma newsletters so watch for yours over time.

Many of our promotions and announcements are featured in our GlassDharma Enewsletters. If you are not yet signed up to receive our Newsletter directly into your inbox, please provide your email address here and you will be added to our sign up list.











Chocolate Covered Raspberry Green Smoothie
 by @kezzadowski
Vanilla Cherry Bliss @rawveganista
Canada Day Picnic
by @littlegreydress

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

GlassDharma Introduces the New Counter Display to Business Owners and Straw Users!

glass straws, display, store, GlassDharma, hemp sleeves, cleaning brushes
Product display is a key element for retail stores to consider when they take on new products into their inventory. GlassDharma glass straws and accessories now have a new counter display designed with store management and customer appeal forefront to the design. This compact, easy to reach and visually appealing display is designed to be user friendly, shipping friendly and works well in almost any type of space. Customers can see what is offered and can easily choose their purchases of GlassDharma products.

 The counter display is specifically designed for our new "Brick and Mortar" packaging but will accept the Online-Shipping friendly boxes as well. This display is light, easy to put together and keeps your inventory contained and easy to keep track of.

 Why does GlassDharma offer two different types of packaging for our straws? Online shipping is a huge "eco" issue at GlassDharma with the design of the boxes streamlined for safe shipping without the need for a lot of excess packaging and added weight. These chipboard boxes remain popular with companies that sell to a heavy online sales base and are what your GlassDharma straws will come in if you place your order on the GlassDharma website. The new packaging serves to protect the inventory and display it with easy to hook cutouts in the packaging and colorful illustrations.

 As word gets out about GlassDharma products, these packaging options will help to give different store setups a way for easy sales and tracking of inventory. And, speaking of the "word getting out" we have many calls about why consumers are not able to find our straws in their local stores. It is a great help that some of our most loyal customers are requesting their own local stores to carry our products! This is cause for our Management Team to create some Referral Incentive Rewards - to be announced in our next e-newsletter due to be emailed in September.

 If you are not signed up for our Company News, Promos and Announcements - simply provide your email address here. Our E-newsletter provides an easy safe unsubscribe should you change your mind about receiving future newsletters from GlassDharma. Check out our latest newsletter issue here and see why there are so many of our glass straws being posted as pictures with hashtags #midsummersip and #glassdharma!


Monday, June 24, 2013

Mid Summer Sip

Our Mid Summer Sip Edition E-Newsletter was delivered to subscriber in-boxes just in time for the Summer Solstice last Friday.  These occasional newsletters from GlassDharma contain promos, company news and information about ongoing contests.  For those that would like to subscribe to our newsletters, simply join the "I love my straws" club by submitting your email address here. This will simply subscribe you to newsletters which have a safe unsubscribe feature if you so choose at any time.

Our "Mid Summer Sip" contest is underway, anyone can join before July 31st.  A first place winner will be awarded a $100.00 Gift Code for GlassDharma website sales.  Second place will be a $50.00 Gift Code.  Five finalist will be chosen by GlassDharma staff members as we watch for photo posts on Twitter and Instagram that use the hastags -  #midsummersip and #GlassDharma.  Once our five finalists are chosen we will have a drawing to determine the first and second prize winners.  Finalists will be notified through the social networks for email contact.  We will announce our winner's on our Face Book page the first week in August.

Check out our other news and announcements by clicking here.

Wishing you "happy sipping" through the long days of Summer!

Friday, June 7, 2013

How to Eat and Drink for the Planet.

GlassDharma welcomes Lee van Delft, owner/founder of GACfilters who shares her views on PlanetCare living choices in this guest blog post she agreed to author for "Sip The World".

There are so many ways in which we can make small changes to help the planet and many of these changes can start right here at home. For instance, I like to start one meal at a time. Did you know that one of the most effective ways to tackle your carbon footprint is to eat a meat free diet? As someone who ate meat for many years I can admit that I did not always associate my eating habits with the welfare of the environment. However, over recent years I have incorporated a vegetarian diet, and this past January finally committed to a vegan lifestyle. Now not only am I living a life that is more compassionate towards all living things but I am also lessening my burden on the earth. Being a vegan has not only changed what I eat, but where I get my food. And let me tell you, spring time is the best time to have fun with your menu. All the local markets are opening up with an abundance of the freshest produce which makes this the perfect time to experiment with seasonal fruits and veggies.

Here’s a little of my lunch prep with freshly picked local produce.

Not to mention buying from local markets will not only help boost the economy but help to reduce your packaging intake, as much of the produce is freshly picked with little to no packing. Don’t forget to BYOB (bring your own bag).

Now this next tip is a given, and we all know how devastating single use plastic is to our planet. So when it comes to meal time with your families, ditch the plastic straws and single serve beverage bottles. Instead opt for a glass straw from GlassDharma and a GAC filter to make your tap water taste great. In fact, one of my favorite thirst quenchers is a baby spinach smoothie with orange juice.

Voila! An earth friendly lunch to share with loved ones.

Lastly, don’t forget to have fun with it. Have a local market party by inviting all of your friends to a meatless potluck. Challenge all of your guests to make a dish with only locally sourced produce and get adventurous with your recipes. Or maybe just have fun throwing a bunch of colorful goodies on the BBQ. However you do it, you and your friends will be sure to have a blast tasting new foods and enjoying each others company.

So the next time you go shopping, don’t forget to be kind, be healthy, and be green.

Cheers!



To make my smoothie outstanding I use 
freshly picked local spinach and a GlassDharma straw!




Friday, April 26, 2013

"underground" part 2

Drink-ware options are expanding, particularly within the concepts of "spill proof" and "travel friendly" choices.  The "sports bottle" is no longer exclusive to the athletic population; it now provides an answer to choosing a reusable option of having your beverage handy regardless of your lifestyle.

Eliminating plastic parts in these travel friendly drink-ware designs is challenging manufacturers as they offer new designs.  The requests for glass over plastic materials have some groundbreaking innovations hitting the store shelves, and more to come.

The new glass Camelbak "Eddy" drink bottle received customer reviews on Amazon including one from a consumer that had replaced the interior plastic straw with a GlassDharma glass straw cut to a specific length of 7 3/8 inches. Since this review was posted, a flood of orders came into the shipping department at GlassDharma. Our shipping manager, Daryl discovered the reason for so many same size custom requests and alerted other staff members of his findings.

Special order straw sizes and dimensions are occasionally requested by customers. These orders are filled by GlassDharma as a customer service policy with an additional fee of $2.00 per straw. Once the item is repeatedly requested by other customers, it becomes a "word of mouth" category item and is placed on a menu we affectionately call "underground". The item is now a stock item so the custom order fee is no longer applied.

The Camelbak "Eddy" quickly made its way into the GlassDharma facility only to disappoint those who prefer to drink from glass.  The silicone mouthpiece requires a "bite" to open the self-sealing hole.  This idea is not so appealing to many glass straw sippers and a glass insert mouthpiece was quickly fashioned from a "coffee straw" cut to a 1 1/2 inch length.

Inserted properly, the mouthpiece will not completely "self-seal" while installed but the lid will still close with the swing-over flip action and the straw insert will stay intact. Removal of the glass insert will allow the mouthpiece to completely reseal.  The insert can be tucked right into the side of the silicone casing for easy transportation.

If the small straw insert is not placed far enough down into the mouthpiece straw opening, the reservoir can fill up with the fluid and burp or spit out the straw insert when you pick it up.  Likewise, if you push it too far down, it can become lodged inside the flexible mouthpiece requiring a pair of tweezers to extract it!


GlassDharma offers two glass inserts:

Camelbak(pak) large insert: 7 3/8inch X 12mm - $9.00
Camelbak(pak) small mouthpiece insert: 1 1/2 inch X 7mm - $4.00
Camelbak(pak) both inserts: - $12.00

From our inbox:
Hi there!!

I just received my small glass straw attachment for my CamelBak glass water bottle and can't say enough about it!! What a difference!!!!


I already use the glass straw attachment for the inside of my bottle,  but did not like using the 'plastic squeeze' no matter how much it prevented water or drinks from spilling. Now I have the very best of both worlds!

You merely squeeze and insert the small straw attachment into the hole of the mouth piece and it fits perfectly, and securely, into the top  leaving you plenty of room to enjoy your favorite drink without touching the plastic tip.



Thank you GlassDharma, I now have the perfect solution for my  CamelBak bottle! I look forward to a long life of your products and will check back regularly for new ones!!!

~ Cynthia, Massachusetts


Until these new options are placed on the "underground" menu, simply call or email customer service with your request for your own Camelbak(pak) inserts.
info {at} glassdharma.com
(707)964-9350




Friday, March 15, 2013

More Than 1000 Free Glass Straws for Earth Day 2013!

May 1st update!  2001 People made the PlanetCare Pledge for earth Day 2013!

We have exceeded 1000 PlanetCare™Pledges!  

Our commitment to this project and the excitement of so many willing to grow their own eco-practices by taking the PlanetCare™Pledge has encouraged the PlanetCare™Team to continue to reward the growing number of incoming pledges throughout the month of April!

1256 pledges have been counted and more pledges are pouring in!


GlassDharma will continue to honor the PlanetCare™Packages including a free glass straw and coupons through March 18th. Pledges received on March 19th - April 30 will receive emailed coupons that will include a free glass straw coupon code (but will not include the free shipping, or the physical free glass straw). 

PlanetCare™Team coupons from Eco Lunch Boxes, Eco Bags, Pura Stainless and bambu will be included in all of the packages and mailers that will ship out of Fort Bragg, CA. throughout the month of April in celebration of Earth Day 2013.

Please do encourage your friends and families to make the PlanetCare™Pledge!

Here are some excerpts from some Face Book conversations during our 1000 Free Glass Straws for Earth Day 2013 event:


Take the GlassDharma pledge and get a free glass straw! I did, and I do this every year!

My daughters LOVE glass straws. And I do mean love. We’ve got about a 1/2 dozen glass straws and they get so excited when company comes over, so they can show their friends how much better glass straws are. It actually cracks me up how serious they are when they tout the benefits of glass straws.

Don’t worry – they hardly break, and when they do GlassDharma guarantees a replacement. ~ Monique

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We are VERY excited! I would love to buy a pack to help support you and if you throw in the bonus ones, that would be wonderful too ? Let me know how it works and I invited all my earth loving friends to this great even too!! ~ Mamak G.

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This is so awesome! Thank you soooo much, GlassDharma, for spreading this pledge and your amazing glass straws. Friends, please don't forget to use your glass straws in a refreshing glass of Pollen Up and support the local, sustainable bee keepers that are keeping honey bees happy! ~ Kelly D.

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Thank you. I have recently been refusing straws while dining out. I have been finding soooo many while cleaning the beaches. I can do without plastic straws!! ~ Sherry S.

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I went to eat with 6 people. I told them about the pollution plastic straws contribute to the oceans, and asked them not to use them. 1 agreed. Including myself, that was 2 straws saved from the landfill and our beaches. ~ Kaki F.

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My Earth Day 2013 resolution is to recycle more. ~ Dallie D.

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To be more mindful of plastic waste. ~ Monica C.

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I lead by example. I keep my glass straw in my handbag, and use it when needed. I eat out a lot, and my glass straw becomes a conversation piece at times. I'm hoping that the more people see it, they too will purchase one. Plastic straws are not attractive at all. My glass straw it pretty and glass is better than plastic. The goal: To have food establishments do away with plastic straws, and sell glass straws. Sucking on a glass straw IS cool. Sucking on a plastic straw is NOT cool. ~ Maggy F.

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WoooHooo.... Earth Day is Everyday, Thanks Glass Dharma for having an Awesome product to help us reduce and reuse! ~ Donna S.

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I had never considered taking reusable containers to restaurants for leftovers to take home. That's a great idea. I've always disliked bringing home all that styrofoam. ~ Ashley B.

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I made the decision to take metal utensils from home with my daily lunch, instead of using the disposable plastic utensils at work. Next step is washable cloth napkins! ~ Jennifer G.

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THESE THINGS ARE AWESOME!  I'm not kidding. Awesome. We fight over who gets to use the glass straw in my house... even though it's mine. Take the PlanetCare pledge and get your own for free! ~ Groovy Green Glass

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Glass Dharma has taught me about the waste created from drinking straws! Glass Dharma straws are something I use everyday because in Texas, Ice Tea is NOT ice tea if you don't have a straw! Only now, I have beautiful glass straws from Glass Dharma! ~ Alison R.

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Here's a great chance to try out Glass Dharma glass straws if you haven't already. They're giving away 1000 free in honor of Earth Day this year! We LOVE ours! ~ Why Go Organic?

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I just made my pledge to support a green future!! Awesome! ~ Stephanie S.

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You guys are awesome to ask people to pledge to make a difference and reward them!! ~ Donna S.

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Thank you to all who participate! Our PlanetCare™Team believes that every step toward PlanetCare™ counts. We honor every place on each person's eco-journey. Active participation and the sharing of ideas is a powerful tool toward PlanetCare™, so please continue to keep this project spiraling through time by your choices, actions and example.

Happy Earth Day 2013 from the PlanetCare™Team!


Sign up for future GlassDharma E-newsletters here: http://www.glassdharma.com/ccMain.htm