Archive for April 2011

Pavisa Glass, Our Partner in Beauty and Sustainable, Green Practices

Pavisa Glass, Our Partner in Beauty and Sustainable, Green Practices

One of the questions we frequently get is why we don’t have our glass water bottles made in the United States.  Here’s the short answer: we made every effort to find a glass company that could meet our green standards, our capactiy needs, and our quality demands. After a search of 2 years they weren’t to be found in the U.S. – it was frustrating for us, but also a reflection of current challenges in manufacturing here in the States.  From that point, we expanded our search to our closest neighbors. After additional review and considerations, we partnered with Pavisa in Mexico City, a company known for their conservation and green efforts along with incredibly skilled glass artisans. We also liked that they are a major glass company with their own curbside recycling program, further reducing the carbon footprint of our glass water bottles.

The glass artisans, blowers, and employees at Pavisa are committed to sustainable and green efforts along with creating beautiful, functional glass products.

  • They save more than 30% on energy consumption by using recycled glass which they source from their own curbside recycling program.
  • They have an in-house water recycling program
  • They have sophisticated dust collectors to prevent environmental pollution
  • Using recycled glass reduces air pollution by 20% and water pollution by 40%

In addition to their green efforts, the artisans at Pavisa make beautiful glass. You can see their work with our reusable glass water bottles, but they also manufacture glass for other companies. Another beautiful example? The beautifuul hand-crafted bottles for Patrón Tequila bottles. 

We’re proud to partner with Pavisa – a company committed to beauty and the environment – just like us.

Earth Day Experiment: My Plastic Inventory

For Earth Day next week, I decided to do a personal inventory of the amount of plastic in my daily life. I l kept it simple and didn’t include things related to having two young children (it’d seriously skew the number). I only counted plastic containers, products or pieces of plastic I consumed or touched as part of my day. I kept a Daily Plastic Tally for 5 whole days. And the results? It isn’t pretty – on an average day I touch 53 plastic products (the range went from 34 to 76). Here’s my average list of things:

  1. Alarm clock
  2. Shampoo bottle
  3. Soap holder
  4. Razor
  5. Moisturizer
  6. Sunscreen
  7. Deodorant
  8. Toothbrush
  9. Toothpaste
  10. Dental floss container
  11. Trashcan
  12. Hairdryer
  13. Hair products
  14. Medicine container
  15. Make up pods
  16. Lip balm
  17. Cereal liner
  18. Milk carton
  19. Toaster (plastic lever)
  20. Yogurt cup
  21. Dried fruit container
  22. Hot water kettle (for tea)
  23. iPhone case
  24. iPhone charger (wires are coated in plastic and the charging base is plastic)
  25. Credit cards (made of plastic)
  26. Car (so many parts are made of PVCs and other plastics)
  27. Hand sanitizer
  28. Tissue soft pack
  29. Desktop screen
  30. Keyboard
  31. Desk phone
  32. Pen
  33. Presentation remote
  34. Elevator button
  35. Bread bag
  36. Deli meat container
  37. Condiment jar
  38. Refrigerator
  39. Snack zip-top bag
  40. Frozen vegetable bags
  41. Food packaging
  42. Radio/CD player
  43. Light switches
  44. DVD case
  45. TV Remote control
  46. TV
  47. Camera (I take pictures nearly every day with a digital SLR, but the body is mostly plastic)
  48. Various gym equipment (this could get long – think treadmill, bike helmet, swim goggles, push up bar, etc)
  49. Random kitchen tools like spatulas, measuring cups
  50. Dishwashing soap
  51. Sponge scrubber
  52. Dish drying rack
  53. Laundry soap and measuring cap

 

To be fair, plastic is unavoidable in certain things and in some ways it can reduce the weight of products or increase the convenience. But as I kept tallying – day after day – I kept realizing I could make better choices and cut down on the plastic in my life.  For the last 36 days, I’ve been tweeting the 1 green thing (see #my1greenthing) and challenging myself to make an effort to be better for my health and the environment. Thankfully my water bottle is glass with silicone grippers and cap and I switched to glass food storage containers. Small changes add up.

So what do you think? Or better still send me your Daily Plastics Number and any tips you have to cut down on the plastic.

How Glass Gets Its Color

We’ve shared the history of glass and the reasons why glass ‘sparkles’, but one of the other common questions we get is how glass gets its color.  When Laurel creates a stained glass window or you buy a beautiful purple glass vase, the glass gets its color from simple chemistry.  By adding in certain minerals, pigments (which are mineral salts) or chemicals to the base of silica (SiO2) we can create the color, add to its intensity or combine it for unusual results.  When working with glass, not only do you need to be an artist, but you also need some basic chemistry knowledge. So for every 5th grader wondering if they’ll ever ‘need that stuff’, here’s proof that science can create beauty:

Color You Want                Chemical You Add

White                                     Antimony Oxides or Tin Compounds

Black                                      Manganese, Cobalt and Iron

Brown                                    Iron Oxides

Deep Blue                              Cobalt Oxide

Light Blue                              Copper Compounds

Green                                     Iron Oxides

Yellow Green                        Uranium Oxides (this one glows!)

Yellow                                    Lead with Antimony

Ruby Red                              Gold Chloride

Red                                         Selenium Compounds

Amber                                    Manganese Oxides

If you’ve got questions on how we get to a certain color, feel free to email us info(at)bottlesupglass(dot)com or come on by the studios on Bluffton.  We’d love to meet you.