Friday, July 31, 2015

The Green Straw

When the mercury on the car thermometer went beyond 95°, Judith realized it was time to pull over for a cool beverage before arriving to teach her watercolor class in Rohnert Park. To enter the corporate realm of Starbucks might be considered a transgression but when it is the only place close by, it is it is the only place.

She files this report:

When I saw this bold sign on the front door, I felt relieved. I can be green and enjoy my iced coffee. Since the straw is green (in color) I thought their message might mean that the straw itself is eco-green. So when I stepped up to order my drink I asked the barista about the straw. He stumbled, trying to come up with convincing facts, then said that 20% of all plastic used in Starbucks cups and straws was from a recycled source. Although the Starbucks website proudly tells about their recycling, they fail to say anything about their straws:

As one of many companies in the food service business, we continue our commitment to lead the industry toward greater access to recycling for cups and other packaging—including driving demand for recycled materials. A key milestone came in 2006, when we began offering a cup with 10% post-consumer recycled paper fiber in North America, after helping develop the technology and leading the industry to gain approval for using recycled fiber for food packaging. We also include 50% post-consumer, recycled PET (rPET) in our cold cups used in European markets, and 15% rPET in our Bistro boxes in the US.

The barista, trying to ease my dismay, pointed out a delicious alternative — the completely edible cookie straw, completely wrapped in plastic.

Back in my car and on the road, even though my guilt was not assuaged, I enjoyed my drink and was refreshed. However, I realized it is time to let everyone know about a truly green straw.

Last week Eli and Richard harvested our rye (for making whiskey!). The stems are hollow and quite substantial, Dude!!! Anyone need a straw? STRAW STRAWS, LTD . Organic, sustainably harvested, completely biodegradable and gluten free!!! (its rye, not wheat). Dump the plastic "straw." A great VC opportunity. 

Hey, come on over for a cool drink. It's time for sundowners on the deck. We applaud the efforts of The Last Plastic Straw where they request that wait staff at bars and restaurants just ask before they automatically put a straw in the glass.  

At our house, we never ask if you want a straw, instead we ask - do you want one olive or two?

And soon we will be asking if you want a whiskey.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

kickin' it

News of the US Women's World Cup win on Sunday has us kickin' it up. Talk about triumph!

In 2014 when British photographer Mandy Barker put out a call for footballs, we were bereft. We wanted to contribute to her effort and although we had boxes of balls we had no World Cup style "footballs." Then as serendipity or fate would have it, just in time we found one soccer ball that we sent along with some of our American "footballs." Read our blog post here about our luck of the find.

Her planetary-space inspired photographs of the balls captured the public imagination. When her images went viral, we were thrilled to see our Kehoe Beach ball included. Her acclaim continues as her fine work was featured in Smithsonian Magazine, May 2015.

Fueled by women's soccer fever, we recently caught up with Mandy to wish her continued success. Go team!!!

And lest we forget the importance of Title IX and the boost it gave to girl's and women's sports, read our blog post here.