Wednesday, October 28, 2015

2015 Holiday Gift Guide

The 2nd Annual GlassDharma Holiday Gift Guide is here!

Gifts for all ages from ($6.99 - $58.00)

This Holiday Season, use your purchasing power while choosing gifts for friends and family.  Gifting with sustainability in mind will go a long way toward planet care. What you buy and how you present your gift deserves careful thought.
 
This gift guide is published to inspire you to find that perfect gift that will be loved and useful.  Please do not forget to refer to our last year's Gift Guide that has many more good choices to consider. 

The new Bamboo Straw Lid for wide mouth or small mouth Mason Jars. Now available on the New Stuff page at GlassDharma.com ($17.00) 
These straw lids created by The Mason Bar Company have durability in mind with some special care in cleaning (no dishwasher).  A light rubbing of food grade oil will keep these lids like brand new. Sustainable, non-toxic, and reusable are the key factors of why you will want these lids.  Not to mention their beauty!  You can buy all of the lids including the storage lids (no straw hole) at The MasonBar Company.
 


Naughty or nice?  Yes!  A Lump of Charcoal as a Gift! (Various Kishu Charcoal Filter for pitchers ($15.49)
sizes available) but our most used is the
These plastic free filters will have your tap water tasting clean as it absorbs impurities immediately upon dropping it into your pitcher of water while also imparting healthy minerals like calcium and magnesium. These give your water a delicious, clean taste. Once you have used it for 3 months, you can recharge it by boiling it for 5 minutes and it will last for another 3 months, totaling 6 months!  After you have used it for the 6 months, do not throw it away.  Use it as a deodorizer in pantries, closets and your shoes!

 Baby its Cold Outside! This Eco Insulator™ is the perfect jar jacket for your jars used for drink ware is available at Mason Monster. ($6.99 - $7.99)
These quality crafted 3MM EcoLite  Neoprene covers will keep your drinks hot (or cold) and your glass jar padded as you travel about,  The covers are offered in two sizes – pint and quart. The insulators are all reversible, giving the purchaser two-color combos within one product with 20 color different color choices!
 



Find this beautiful Olivewood Ladle at World Market ($14.99)
Every kitchen needs this beautiful and sustainable ladle for soups and beverages, this ladle is easy on the finish of your pots and does not scrape like metal utensils will. The natural grain of Olivewood makes this beautifully constructed ladle a work of art to display in your kitchen between uses. 

The gift of quality dish covers! Find these Reusable Russian Linen and Organic Cotton Dish Covers at Quitokeeto ($58.00)
This set of three covers comes in a linen bag and will fit pie plate size bowls on down to a smaller salad size bowl.  The same designer makes these quality made covers as GlassDharma family packs straw carriers! This gift will replace the need for plastic wrap for food storage while introducing quality, reusable choices to how you store your food.

 
KeepCup is the first barista standard reusable coffee cup to keep your coffee with you and say no plastic and paper cups!  These glass Keepcups are ($22.00 - $28.00)
They are offered in various styles and sizes.  The entire KeepCup reusable cup line includes glass and a glass and cork model that is our favorite. The drawback to this cup is that unlike other designs by KeepCup, the cork requires a careful hand wash vs. using a dishwasher.  Quality design makes these cups easy to transport with a swing top lid that plugs the sippy hole.  Our coffee straws and sipper straws will fit in these sippy holes.  The 8mm lid straw is a bit snug and may stretch the opening slightly.

 
ECOlunchbox recently launched a beautifully designed ocean collection of stainless steel and silicone lunch containers called the Seal Cup™ Trio ($29.99)
These leak proof food containers will stand up to the test of time in performance and durability.  Designed to be Ocean friendly, (just think of all that plastic that will never make it's way into the gyres) this collection is offered in ocean colors as part of the blue water bento collection (see the Splash Box on our last years holiday gift guide)
The Seal Cup Trio containers are offered in large, medium and small containers and will hold a total of 40 ounces (5 cups) of food contents and are great for picnics and outings as well as to pack your daily lunch.


 New! Lid Straws at GlassDharma ($8.50 each)
These 8mm (4mm inside diameter) glass straws are offered in 3 lengths, 7 inch (perfect for most jars), 8 inch and 9 inch and the diameter will fit into many straw holes and flexible sippy holes of various  reusable and disposable drink-ware.  This might be the perfect and most versatile straw to pack when traveling.  You can also purchase these Lid Straws in sets of 4 (this set includes a free cleaning brush) for ($34.00)

 
Diamond Glasses for the Elegant Cocktail or Juice Bar! 
($34.00) for a boxed pair at Urban Outfitters.
These novelty glasses come in a pair and are multi facetted like a diamond.  They sit slightly sideways but tilt back just enough to hold the liquid contents within and are sure to be a great conversation starter at any gathering.  Whiskey is not the only thing you might serve in these glasses, they are cool for Martinis, wine, and dessert liquors!

 
The Pop Top Lid for wide mouth jars! ($13.00)
GlassDharma now offers the stainless steel (with a silicone plug for a leak free closure) Pop Top Jar lid By Ecojarz. These lids fit the wide mouth mason jars (the jar bands are sold separately). The wide straw or pour out opening is wide enough to fit every GlassDharma straw, even the Bubble Tea Straws!  Seal it up with the plug and no worries for leaks and spills while you are out and about!


PopTop Sealable Drinking Jar Lid from EcoJarz on Vimeo.

JocoCups 8oz. ($22.95) 12oz. ($24.95) 16oz. ($26.95) are available on the JocoCups website.
These glass cups accessorized with silicone lids and sleeves are designed to enhance your morning brew, save your taste buds and help Mother Nature. The cups are offered in six different color choices and three sizes and are great for hot or cold beverages.  Dishwasher safe and easy to handle, these cups are durable and attractive.

 Story Time - The gift of time spent with children is most precious! Sharing and learning with your child cannot be bought with money, but choosing quality books to enhance the experience will provide valuable life's lessons to share with your child.  This book teaches about planet care while creating treasured times and memories for you and your child.
 
GlassDharma highly recommends All The Way to the Ocean  ($13.63) on Amazon
This is a beautifully illustrated, hard cover children's storybook written with passion and foresight, shows the reader the importance of planet care and explains how the storm drain in your city can actually carries unwanted trash and plastics right into our oceans! Read more about this precious storybook in our blog.

You will find some more wonderful, earth-friendly gift ideas on this GlassDharma Pinterest board, "Gifts for a Sustained Planet"

As you choose your gifts for loved ones, did you know that you can ask manufacturers and stores to package and ship plastic free?  Many customers are finding that they have a lot of success if they inquire about how their purchases are packed for shipping.  As more establishments honor these requests, it sets up a future where plastic free wrapping and shipping will become commonplace.  What a gift this would be to our precious planet!


Thursday, September 10, 2015

All The Way To The Ocean

Reprinted with permission from Stormwater Report (2014), Copyright © 2014 Water Environment Federation, Alexandria, Virginia.
 
All the Way to the Ocean written by
Joel Harper and illustrated by Marq Spusta
The children’s book All the Way to the Ocean, a tale about stormwater pollution and its effects on marine life, is making it cool for kids to pick up trash. “I wrote this book from the perspective of think globally, act locally,” said Joel Harper, the book’s author and publisher. “Picking up trash can have a big impact, and anyone can do it.”

All the Way to the Ocean tells the story of two boys who learn that runoff carries litter and other pollutants through storm drains to the ocean. Inspired by this lesson, the kids teach fellow students and organize a cleanup day at their school. Like the two children in the story, Harper’s book has inspired similar actions across the United States and the world. Spurred by his passion for the subject and inspired by feedback on the book, Harper is now working on a short animated movie with well-known musicians and film industry professionals. He is pairing the release of the film with educational online games and a new book.

Harper has distributed more than 40,000 copies of All the Way to the Ocean across the U.S. and internationally. “My ultimate goal is to get a book into the hands of every child in every school and every classroom,” Harper said.

No dumping
Harper is from Claremont, Calif., a small town about an hour east of Los Angeles. In 1998, when he first wrote the script for the book, he noticed city signage on stormwater drains. Despite their “no dumping” message, Harper still saw a lot of trash collecting near and in the storm drains.
“It really bothered me to live in this beautiful town with trash receptacles on every corner, yet there was trash everywhere,” Harper said. “There was no excuse for it.”
Author Joel Harper reads All the Way to the Ocean 
to children at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium.

The book is targeted toward children from kindergarten through third grade. “It’s so important to teach and influence children at this critical age,” Harper said. “The earlier we start, the more chances we have to make it part of their wiring.”

As a writer, Harper is able to articulate the complex problem of stormwater pollution so that it not only conveys the message but also inspires action. “[Harper] skillfully tackles non-point source pollution in an entertaining way that many children will find engaging,” wrote John Mott, who at the time worked with the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

The illustrations, created by Marq Spusta, were all done by hand with colored pencils and are part of what makes the book so captivating for children. “Children get enthralled with the pictures,” Harper said.

Since it was published in 2006, the book has received praise from educators and has been incorporated into numerous environmental education programs at schools, municipalities, water districts, and utilities. The book has been endorsed by organizations including Project WET, a group dedicated to water education. “It is the only book not produced by Project WET that they sell,” Harper said.

All the Way to the Ocean also has won several awards, including the Nature Generation Green Earth Book Award. Along with these accomplishments, Harper is thrilled about the endorsements he has received from teachers and parents.

“My children will never look at litter the same way.  It’s a true threat to our environment and I’m thrilled that my kids are now fully aware of what we can do to help every little bit,” wrote parent Maggie Storm. The book is “a true calling to all kids to see the rewards of raising their voices over the threats to our planet, and how one small voice can create large change.”

Motivated by the book, one student wrote a letter to her state governor asking that all storm drains have no dumping signage and organized a playground garbage pickup at her school. After reading the book, 9-year-old Ryan Conners of Claremont, Calif. started recycling plastic six-pack rings by setting up collection bins across town. His goal was to raise $1,000 from recycling proceeds and donate them to the Ocean Conservation Society of Southern California.

From concept to print

Harper reads All the Way to the Ocean 
to students at a local school.
Despite the book’s success, Harper faced and continues to encounter challenges. It took him about eight years to publish All the Way to the Ocean. Many larger publishing companies wanted to simplify the book’s language. Some found the images inappropriate, among them gritty urban scenes with cars leaking oil or people not disposing of pet waste. Further, they would not print in the US or on responsible paper stock.

“If I’m going to publish a book on environmental conservation, it is important to be consistent,” Harper said. Self-taught, he started his own publishing company, Freedom Three Publishing, to overcome these issues.

Although it was more expensive, Harper used New Leaf Paper, which printed the book on recycled paper using sustainably harvested wood. The environmentally friendly production process prevented 1431 kg (3155 lbs) of greenhouse gases and saved 57,515 L (15,194 gal) of water compared to traditional methods.

“It feels really good to have taken a mere idea this far all on my own,” Harper said. Yet, funding remains a major difficulty. According to Harper, every 10,000 books printed costs $25,000. Early on, the Save Our Seas Foundation was instrumental in curbing the printing costs, he said. Harper would like to find investors that buy the books in mass quantities, so he can give them to schools at no cost.

Onto the screen
Now, Harper is taking his story to the next level, turning All the Way to the Ocean into a 10-minute flash animation piece that he hopes to release next month on Earth Day 2014. Harper is working with Mediatavern, the producers and investors, as well as several well-known actors and musicians, including his brother, Ben Harper, and reggae artist Burning Spear. Actress Marcia Cross from the show Desperate Housewives will narrate the film, and actress Amy Smart will voice one of the characters along with singer and songwriter Xavier Rudd. Also Pete Michaels, a writer from the show Family Guy, will bring some humor to a very serious subject matter.

The film and book also will be supported by a multimedia platform with interactive online games that help kids learn about runoff and litter. Harper also hopes to release his new book, Sea Change, around the same time as the movie. The book’s protagonist, a 12-year-old girl, seeks to educate her school about litter after a beach outing. Kids will be able to write their own version online next to the story images. The goal of this, and many of Harper’s other projects, is to help children become better environmental stewards through storytelling.

Visit Harper’s website at www.allthewaytotheocean.com to learn more about the book and animated short film project.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Glass Straws - The Quality and Price Difference

Glass straws have gained popularity as a desired reusable straw for reasons of environmental concerns, novelty, beauty, and better taste (vs. plastic, metal, or wood).  With more folks opting for reusable table and drink ware, the desire for "disposable" and single use tableware is decreasing, a good thing for our planet.

GlassDharma created the glass straw industry in 2007 with a mission in mind to create and supply, (on a world wide level) a durable and desirable product that replaces single use plastic products that many people use on a daily basis. The idea that there might be an alternative to the massive single use plastic waste that accumulates on our planet drives the inspiration with thoughts that a ripple effect might occur as awareness develops and more and more people make new choices.
This is the first reason behind the company of GlassDharma. We back this commitment to the environment with donations to environmental groups and promotions such as our annual Earth Day Straw Giveaway (over 5000 free straws were given out in 2015 after the completion of some plastic pollution education!).

The second reason behind the creation of GlassDharma is quality. GlassDharma strives to provide top quality in products as well as provide stellar customer service, with customers being treated in a way that encourages healthy and right living.  From the owners to the staff to the customer, the GlassDharma philosophy is to offer quality products that become a step toward a healthy lifestyle for you and for our planet.



The introduction of glass straws brought up many concerns about what might happen if they should break and whether they could be cleaned properly for reuse. As people tried the GlassDharma product, many "breakage fears" were put to rest and consumers were able to see how easy they were to keep clean. In addition, GlassDharma offers a guarantee of replacement, not because the straw can never break, but because the quality is so durable that it surprises the user. Glass can become a product that outlasts plastic and other materials.  Great care has been taken to create the most durable glass straw designs possible in four ways:
  1. A specially formulated annealing process that reduces stress in the glass
  2. Our straw designs and materials are the most durable in the industry (no Chinese glass or decorations that are easily broken)
  3. Our Quality Control – Our standards are so high that almost all other straws we have seen would not pass the GlassDharma QC department
  4. Our guarantee makes trying these straws risk free for the consumer.  This guarantee can only work if the company maintains longevity and if the product is truly consistent with these claims
As the popularity of GlassDharma straws increased over the years (from 2007 on), many new glass straw manufacturers, glass artists, and hobbyists began offering glass straws as well.  Glass Straw companies began popping up at all corners o the earth.  More glass straws means less plastic in our environment, so GlassDharma views this "competition" in a positive light.  Not all glass straws are created equal, however, and many levels of quality are sold for various price points.
Some things to consider when choosing where you buy your glass straws:
  • GlassDharma has plastic-free display boxes and packaging and we would never charge extra for a boxed straw.
  • GlassDharma’s shipping materials are all plastic free. (no peanuts , bubble wrap, or plastic tape. Most competitors are using bubble wrap and/or polystyrene packing peanuts and almost all use plastic tape.
  • As mentioned above related to durability, GlassDharma anneals every straw that leaves our factory. Keep in mind that not all annealing processes are alike and some glass straws are not annealed at all.  The GlassDharma straw designs remain streamlined to ensure durability for a lasting, reusable product
  • GlassDharma uses a 2-step process in the etching of our straws.  This etching plus sandblasting process ensures the etching will be clear and noticeable on the glass
  • As mentioned above, GlassDharma has the most stringent QC process with constant scrutiny applied to all products that ship from our facility
  • GlassDharma sells products only made in the US. If we can source our raw materials in the US we do. Some raw materials are only sourced overseas (never from China), but all production occurs in the US. For more information – please inquire by email: info@glassdharma.com  
  • GlassDharma carries only custom-made stainless steel brushes. Just like glass straws, not all cleaning brushes are created equal.  You do not want to buy a straw cleaning brush that rusts! More about our cleaning brushes here.

Finally, as consumers all have the right and the privilege of making choices with every dollar we spend to maintain or deny sustainability and planet care. How will you "vote" with your cash in the years to come?

Photos courtesy of  Kuse Productos Ecologics
Supplier of GlassDharma Straws to Colombia

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Paddling for Trash

H2O Trash Patrol

Plastic Debris
While manufacturing the most durable glass straw on the market, GlassDharma has made some friends along the way!  Many of these friends are organizers of beach cleanups from different coastline areas all over the world.  As organizers of these programs gather their volunteers, they use the time and experience to educate, furthering the efforts to inspire people to stop using single use plastic items - and to avoid generating trash altogether.  Many of these volunteers realize the impact of accumulating trash after picking it up, and then they ask, "What can we use if we refuse single use plastic?"  Here is where GlassDharma products provide a visual answer as a solution to saying no to plastic straws!  The thought process expands to reusable cups, reusable water bottles and  reusable picnic ware.  From there, ideas continue to expand and people find out it is possible, and even desirable, to replace all single use items with reusable items.

Recently, GlassDharma and H2O Trash Patrol became acquainted through a new eco manufacturer, Mason Monster.  H2O Trash Patrol is a program that organizes volunteers to clean up trash out of waterways in the south western Coastal regions.  Based in the Encinitas, California area, this organization inspires planet care as they combine water way cleanup with a fun water sport - stand up paddle boarding!  They use water recreation combined with voluntary water way cleanup to entice more people to join their efforts, and then use the program to educate and inspire!

H2O Trash Patrol specializes in cleaning up those "hard to reach" places in and around the water via Stand Up Paddleboards, leaving little to no footprint. We provide "custodial" services of the waterways for the benefit of the environment, public safety and health, and local businesses who utilize the nearby water as an added benefit to their local customers and tourists. Not only do we take the pollution out of the water, but we also pack it out, sort it, record the data, and recycle what we can to minimize the strain on the landfills.

The reasons for this massive effort to involve more people in these water way cleanup efforts are spelled out on the H2O Trash Patrol website "why" page.  The programs are growing along with the involvement of the public who are disgusted with the site of trash piling up everywhere along otherwise clean and beautiful parks, buildings and waterways in their local area.

Some of the programs provided by H2O Trash Patrol include:
• Marine Science Eco-Camp
• Stand Up for Clean Waterways
• One Simple Change
• 50-50-50 Challenge

On August 7, Taste of SoCAL Lagoon Style is sure to be a fun event as it raises funds for these worthwhile projects. To get your tickets, contact the H2O Trash Patrol Crew:
By Phone: (760) 230-5830
By Email: pickitup@h2otrashpatrol.com
By Mail: PO Box 231792
Encinitas, CA 92023

As Captain Charles Moore states, "The ocean is downhill from everywhere". Ocean cleanups begin in our city streets, storm drains, rivers and streams. Not just on beaches and out at sea. We can find ways to help no matter where we are! If we all pitch in, we can clean every corner of our planet as we learn to live more sustainably.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Stainless Steel Cleaning Brushes


All Cleaning Brushes Are NOT Created Equal
 
by David Leonhardt
Owner/Founder GlassDharma
GlassDharma began operations in early 2007. We found brushes online and brought them on board. Within 6 months or so, we started getting a few complaints about the handles showing rust. We inquired with our supplier for a solution and they recommended using Stainless Steel instead of galvanized wire. Although there was a small cost increase on our part, we were still able to keep our current pricing and at the same time offer a superior product.

As we had created the glass drinking straw industry, we watched our competitors grow. We had set the standard in a number of areas and most have followed our lead. (Lifetime Guarantee against Breakage, Stainless Steel brushes, etc.) One thing that I noticed with our competitors is that many of them also copied quite a bit of verbiage off of our website. Imitation being flattery aside, we purchased brushes from most of our competitors and sent them to our supplier for analysis and guess what!? NONE of our samples sent to our supplier were stainless steel – they were all galvanized – even though their websites claimed they were stainless! To be fair, not all websites claimed they were stainless, but some did.

Now, I don’t think that there is any intent to misrepresent here. I’m guessing that it was just a simple error of assuming that their supplier was giving them stainless steel when they saw that that’s what we had. We could have easily fallen into that trap if the roles were reversed. None-the-less, it is important to know what materials and sourcing is used in everything we buy and use.

For instance, GlassDharma originally carried colored straws. Not many are aware that the ONLY place that colored tubing (and colored straws) comes from is China. We were unable to establish that the glass China exports is made under humane labor conditions. (Every time we asked about 3rd party labor certification they quit communicating with us.) Obviously, at that point, we discontinued any suppliers in China.

What’s the lesson here? Don’t assume anything about your sourcing! Check with your suppliers!

The only raw materials GlassDharma uses that are not domestic are:
  • Glass tubing: Made in The Czech Republic or Germany (depending on brand) there is no domestic sourcing for this. The straws themselves are made in Fort Bragg, CA.
  • Hemp fabric: Comes from Romania, Not (yet) legal to grow in the US. The hemp sleeves themselves are made in California.
All else from GlassDharma is sourced domestically, including our packaging & shipping materials (which is compostable, recyclable and never has any plastic tape).

GlassDharma was created to reduce the use of single use plastics world-wide. GlassDharma continues to set the standard and lead the way with one solution to the Plastic Pollution issue facing all of us.

 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Press Release - Free Glass Straws for Earth Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Free Glass Straws for Earth Day!
GlassDharma – The Original Glass Straw
 
(Ft. Bragg, CA) - April 7th, 2015 – GlassDharma gives away thousands of Free Glass Straws each year, in celebration of Earth Day. This year’s campaign has brought 5000 participants in 5 days! The numbers of participants reached proportions beyond all expectation based on historical figures. This viral offer was attributed to several postings on huge “Free Giveaway” websites. Regrettably, GlassDharma has needed to update their offer for a free straw so that now participants are asked to pay the $3 shipping in the US. The Free Earth Day Straw Project continues in full swing until Earth Day, April 22. A letter has been sent to the participants that have not been shipped their free straws yet explaining a delay in shipment with several options for them to consider.

Make a Difference
One of the options to cover the extra shipping and product expense is GlassDharma’s Indiegogo crowd funding page. GlassDharma is asking for help to raise the funding needed to ship out the 4000 free glass straws that were order in a 12 hour period. Everyone is invited to help by contributing and/or sharing the Indiegogo page.

The Planet Wins, We All Win
The number of participants coming forth for this project is producing a heightened momentum of people learning how single use plastics are harming our environment. Each participant watched a plastic pollution video and took a quiz to get their coupon. GlassDharma staff is determined to honor the free glass straw promotion and keep the business viable simultaneously. The limits that were mistakenly not set forth beforehand allowed a flow of increased numbers for the project to educate so many more!  The continuance of this mission is priority!

GlassDharma Straws are Durable, Sustainable and Elegant
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 Glass
GlassDharma 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 sleeves for carrying your straws on the go.  Custom etching services and store display packaging options are the newest purchase options.

GlassDharma - sip the world. make a difference.
For more information on GlassDharma, please visit www.glassdharma.com
Questions about Free Glass Straws For Earth Day 2015? Contact: Gail or Cheryl

David Leonhardt, Pres.
GlassDharma Head Office
info@glassdharma.com
707.964.9350

Gail Johnson, V-Pres.
Partnerships and Promotions
gail@glassdharma.com
707.964.9350

Cheryl Newcomb,
Community Manager
cheryl@glassdharma.com
209.406.2881


Monday, March 30, 2015

Free Glass Straws for Earth Day 2015 - Mid-Project Update

Report and Important Updates to the 2015 GlassDharma Earth Day Project

On March 24th the 2015 Free Glass Straws for Earth Day launched with the first 1000 participants completing the project in the first 4 days.

Over the weekend, the unexpected happened.  Beyond our control, the project basically exploded!  This caused the original details of the plans for this project to become unsustainable for GlassDharma as a business.

After many meetings and lots of brainstorming throughout the weekend, a solution is put into place for the continuance of the project as well as the continuance for GlassDharma to keep sending free glass straws to massive numbers of participants (beyond our wildest dreams)!

Here is an excerpt of a letter being sent out to over 4000 participants!

"At GlassDharma, we have run successful Earth Day giveaway campaigns for the previous 6 years. Like last year, we brought back the “Glass Dharma Dude” as test administrator where we gave away 1000 free straws and another 1800 coupons for a free straw (not including shipping). In other words, we had set up this campaign in similar respects to previous years with one exception – we did not put a limit on the free straws with the shipping paid.
 
 Last Tuesday, we launched this years’ campaign and all of last week went well (with only 1 server crash which was resolved within hours).

Without our knowing, over the weekend, our giveaway campaign was posted on a number of websites (REALLY BIG WEBSITES) and went VIRAL. By the time we figured out what happened, in a very short time, only a matter of hours, we had far exceeded the highest number of orders that we had anticipated (many times over). Needless to say, the shipping expense alone would not be sustainable for us as a business.

The only viable solution that we can see at this point is to process the free straws to the number of applicants that we had anticipated and then still offer the free straw but have you paying the $3.00 charge for shipping. To some, this might feel like a bait and switch tactic. But given the circumstances, we feel this would be a better alternative than just quitting.  And you would still get a free straw.

Who would have thought that over 4000 people would be taking our quiz within a 12 hour period?!

Check out the history of the GlassDharma Free Glass Straws for Earth Day events here.

We are really excited that our campaign has reached so many people and has helped our planet in plastic pollution awareness.  We are truly overwhelmed with your responses!

Here are just a few:

"My 6 year old son and I watched the video and I helped him do the quiz. We ordered some straws and my son is really thinking about plastic use now! He is eager to show his dad the video and make what changes he can. Thanks for offering this opportunity."

"Thank you so much. I loved learning from the video. I had no idea of any of it."

"I love that you guys did this! Not only gets important facts and information out there that we should all be aware of! We only have one Earth! I'm also excited because I've been wanting to try out the little earth straws and now I can!! Can not wait to get my new straw!"

"This is such a great interactive way to learn and retain this information and to involve kids! Best giveaway year yet."

"Woo hoo, straws ordered for mommy and kiddos! Thanks for the great opportunity and the education. I knew the plastic and trash issue was bad, but that video was very informative .. Plus all the posts leading up to today. The quiz and form were perfect from my iPhone and the code was sent instantly!"

"My 6 year old son and I watched the video and I helped him do the quiz. We ordered some straws and my son is really thinking about plastic use now! He is eager to show his dad the video and make what changes he can. Thanks for offering this opportunity."

Letter excerpt end.

We hope that these changes will be accepted by future participants and now that the project is up and running again, that there will be many more inspired by the information and happy to have a Free Glass Straw!

GlassDharma wishes you a Happy Earth Day!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Spring: A Time For Renewal

 
Guest post by Nikia Rice of Mission: Clean Beaches 

Every spring I think of the wonderful cycles of life renewing again into the next generation. The evidence is everywhere from the great monarch migrations, to the birds serenading in the treetops to the wonderfully intricate egg cases washing up on the beach.  Springtime is a season of rebirth, growth, and renewal for a reason. Butterflies are literally transformed from a caterpillar to a liquidized soup of cells to a stunning butterfly. This connection resonates on how much we have the capacity for change. We can transform our lifestyles to be a healthier, more sustainable one for the environment and ourselves. It may take some effort in the beginning, habits are hard to die but once you are in the routine of things it becomes like everything else, just a part of what you do EVERYDAY. Beginning with small changes is key to not overwhelm oneself and just keep moving forward small steps at a time.

I always tell people one of the first things to do is to bring your bag and bottle! That means when you go to the grocery store don’t forget to keep your reusable bags in the trunk of your car (and to bring them in with you!)  And if you’re thirsty from all the shopping be sure to have your Klean Kanteen reusable water bottle with you instead of a single use plastic water bottle.

There are other several ways you can reduce your single use plastic consumption in your everyday life starting with what you eat and drink. Eating and drinking is to nourish our bodies but we have turned it into something else where we are treating it as an inconvenience.  We are not making enough time to ensure what we are putting into our bodies is actually fueling our body, not slowing us down! We shouldn’t be sacrificing our meals for convenience drive through.

 Take out food is a huge contributor to single use plastics usage by consumers. Starting at home and meal planning can go far when reducing single use plastics- no take out containers, no plastic straws, no plastic utensils, no plastic cups…you get the idea! However, there are also times we want to get out of the house and enjoy someone else doing the all the work for us. So what to do then? You can find products that are alternatives to these common single use plastic items such as GlassDharma for glass straws, Chico bag for reusable bags of all kinds, To-Go ware for utensils on the go, and Bee’s Wrap for sustainable food storage alternative to plastic wrap.

If you do not want to carry anything around then opt for smaller portions and opt out of plastic straws. In addition, voice your opinion to the restaurants and stores that you frequent and ask them to switch from styrofoam and/or plastic containers to cardboard ones and to only give out straws if they are requested. Small steps can lead to big change!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Earth Day 2015: Free Glass Straws!

GlassDharma – The Original Glass Straw


(Ft. Bragg, CA) -
 Feb. 9th, 2015 – In celebration of Earth Day 2015, GlassDharma will give away free Glass Straws in the form of a $10.00  coupon code covering the value of the Earth Day Straw + USA shipping to participants of  the "Plastic is Drastic" Earth Day Project.  This Earth Day project is open to world wide participants but does not cover the total amount of international shipping charges.  The $10.00 coupon code may be applied to other GlassDharma products as well as additional shipping charges for those who live outside of the USA. If the purchaser chooses to order a more expensive straw, or additional items, they will be responsible for covering the additional costs.

This annual tradition highlights GlassDharma’s mission to increase glass straw use and awareness about alternatives to single use plastics. This is the 7th annual Earth Day event, and GlassDharma is excited to celebrate with you in style, with the elegance of glass! Our 2015 Earth Day educational campaign welcomes participants of all ages to view an animated video about plastics in our environment. Our own animated glass straw "Sipper Hero", the GlassDharma Dude, will prompt viewers to answer some questions (multiple choice) as a review of the material presented.

To find out how you can qualify for your free glass straw gift code, please subscribe to the GlassDharma e-newsletter, due to hit inboxes the first week in March with complete details, instructions, and a link to the 2015 Earth Day project on our website.  The interactive project will go live on March 24th.

Make a Difference

"Disposable" plastics have a large impact on our environment and this Earth Day you can learn how easy it is to make different choices to sustain our Planet.  Upon completing the Earth Day project, participants will complete a form entering their name and email address so that the "free glass straw" gift codes can be emailed directly.  The project will start on March 24th and continue into April, concluding on Earth Day, April 22nd. Inspiring others by example makes a lasting impact that multiplies over time. When you get your free glass straw, please, show it off!  We encourage social media postings and photos surrounding this event and we invite you to invite your friends!

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 replaced. GlassDharma straws are made from borosilicate glass, the safest and strongest glass commercially available; they are even dishwasher and microwave safe.


Garnish your Glass
GlassDharma straws not only replace their plastic and toxic counterparts, but they also lend conversation and compliments.
  • Great for all hot or cold drinks
  • Perfectly stage specialty drinks – bubble teas, iced drinks, shakes, smoothies, and juices
  • Beautiful in cocktails – great accessory for stemware and martini glasses
  • Concerned about staining or damaging your teeth? Use for wine, coffee, teas, and acidic beverages
  • Kid friendly and safe
  • Easy to Clean with our cleaning brushes or in the dishwasher
  • Elegance at its best. their beauty and style lend to compliments and conversation.
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. Don't forget to check out the New Stuff button where you will find the new Inspirational Straws!  The accessory line includes cleaning brushes, hemp sleeves, and family packs for carrying your straws on the go.  Custom etching services are also available, just call us!

GlassDharma - sip the world. make a difference.

For more information on GlassDharma, please visit
www.glassdharma.com.
 
Questions about Earth Day 2015?
Contact: Gail or Cheryl

David Leonhardt, Pres.
GlassDharma Head Office
info@glassdharma.com
707.964.9350

Gail Johnson, V-Pres.
Partnerships and Promotions
gail@glassdharma.com
707.964.9350

Cheryl Newcomb,
Community Manager
cheryl@glassdharma.com
209.406.2881

Friday, January 16, 2015

New Pages on the GlassDharma Website

What's New at GlassDharma?

GlassDharma has added new pages to the website!
 
The New Stuff page (formerly know as our underground page) lists new products that are for retail sales only.  This is where you will find our new line of “Inspirational” straws. Each straw has an inspirational word beautifully etched on the side. A reminder, a declaration, an intention or whatever has meaning for you.

For some, the work of the late Masaru Emoto, would give reason to inspire your drinks! He believed that words and intention could effect the molecular structure of water as mentioned in his book Messages from Water, and featured in the movie, What The Bleep Do We Know? We have 8 different words in stock: Peace, Joy, Love, Blessings, Family, Hope, Chocolate, and Happiness.
Not all etching is created equal! Our Inspirational straws are professionally etched with a 2 step process. We found that just laser etching a straw does not create the clearly visible finish that we desired. In addition to the laser etching, each straw is then sandblasted so that the words really pop!

Check back often as we will be adding new items to our stock over time.


The Inspirational line comes etched on our all-around most versatile straw: the Simple Elegance Ice Tea 9.5mm x 9”. Of course, should you want a different size of straw – or different verbiage – we can do that for you. Special order fees would apply.

Consider The Statement of a Glass Straw for custom orders!

If you are interested in custom etched straws you can save the $10 setup fee with a minimum order 50 straws (all the same size and with the same verbiage).

Corporate logos and Wedding mementos spell out a double message when elegantly etched onto a glass straw. Companies known for their commitment to environmental concerns will send their powerful message when their logo is clearly displayed on these beautiful straws. Planning a green wedding? Include Bride and Groom names and the special date showing your Love and Commitment for each other and for our Planet. Etched glass straws add the detailed touch to the signature cocktail, customizing your barware service or as an elegant favor for special celebrations.
Discounts are available on the straws themselves if a 50+ straw order is placed – these are great for green weddings, business logos etc. 

The Inspirational straws are covered by our fabulous lifetime guarantee against breakage however custom orders guarantee only the straw itself (without etching) unless additional fees are paid.

Please contact us for custom orders at (707) 964-9350
or email info@glassdharma.com




GlassDharma has a new Recipe page!

Check out some great drink recipes on our new page featuring submissions from our own glass straw loving community.  Come back often as we add to this page for ideas for drinks with a difference. 
Are you a recipe developer or contributor that would like to have your original recipe featured on this page?  We will consider submissions sent to recipes@glassdharma.com that include a tested recipe, photo, and link to your website.