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June 27, 2009

Review: Glass Dharma glass straws

I first heard about Glass Dharma (again with the co-opting of Buddhist terms, but I’ve just about given up on that fight as hopeless) via Twitter and contacted them about their products.  I’ve been looking for more and more ways to avoid using anything disposable (especially if it’s plastic), and the idea of a glass straw that I could wash and re-use instead of using plastic really appealed to me. They were awesomely rockin’ enough to hook me up with a set, and the first thing I did when I got them was try to break them. Hey, if they are going to break within minutes out of the box, then there’s a definite safety issue here, and there’s no way I’m going to use them, let alone allow my son to use them. (He may be 15, but he and gravity seem to have some ongoing issues at times.) All three straws were subjected to being bounced off my counter.  Next, the bendy straw took a few hits on the roof of my car on my way to The Cup for a Bhakti Chai milkshake.  Guess what?  Not one broke, cracked, or even chipped.  Nifty.  In fact, Glass Dharma is so confident in their product that they have a lifetime guarantee that your straw won’t break, chip, or crack, and if it does, they’ll replace it for free. (Though they do not claim that the straws are unbreakable, and warn that purposefully testing this will void the warranty.)

The straws themselves are great.  They wash easily; the borosilicate glass they use is microwave and dishwasher safe, which means that you don’t have to spend a whole lot of time washing them, and the ones I received came with a little scrub brush so I can really get inside and clean them if I need to.  I found that the bendy straw worked best on milkshakes (see above), since the inner diameter is a bit wider, but for everyday use, the simple straws and the “Decorative Dots” straws are pretty cool. The nice plus of the dots on the straws is that your straw doesn’t go rolling off the table (yes, this is the voice of experience talking).  One thing I definitely appreciate is that the straws are made here in the United States (California, to be specific) as opposed to somewhere in Asia (i.e., China), which cuts down on their shipping mileage, and makes the straws a bit more sustainable and eco-friendly when it comes to the creation of them. In short, I’ve gotten hooked on these straws.  The only down side is that they don’t come with some sort of “basic” carrying case for them, which would be nice, though you can order either a hemp or a bamboo carrying case from their website. Would I recommend these?  Absolutely. Thanks to things like reusable travel mugs and To-Go Ware, I’ve been able to cut back further and further on my use of disposable items when I go out to eat.  Glass Dharma straws are the next logical step in reducing impact on the globe.  You can get ’em from their website. (Though I hope that they’ll start appearing in stores all over soon!)

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Todd Mayville

Todd is a single dad of four diverse and lively kids, and is an English teacher and climbing team coach at a local public high school. A rock climber, cyclist and avid reader, Todd also practices yoga and meditation as often as he possibly can, which helps him stay at least a little centered and sane.