Spring into Easter!

Spring as we know it has finally arrived and, the Easter holidays are already knocking on our door. Easter always brings the promise of warm days, sunshine and the blossoming scents of spring in the air. Whether it’s with an indoor brunch, or a lovely picnic outside; the holiday season calls for celebration with friends and family. Here are a few creative ideas from Friends of Glass to make your Easter all the more special!

1. A ‘Glassy’ Easter Egg welcome

Decorating eggs is one of the Easter holiday traditions – but if you have guests coming over for the day, why not surprise them with a personalized Easter egg! This idea from A Thoughtful Blog shows how you can serve this fun little Easter egg to your guests – and doesn’t it just take on that extra wow factor when showcased in a wine glass!

2. Unique Easter presents

Want to find a great Easter gift for your friends? How about a DIY Easter cookie mix! Check out the Sassy Sites Blog for added inspiration to this personal and fun gift! All you need is a glass jar full of cookie ingredients, and your friends are set for a fun activity!

3. Light it up for an Easter night

Fancy a bit of Easter lighting? Get inspired by this idea and place your candle in an eggshell, and then in a fancy glass. Check out here how the candle light gleams playfully on the glass!

4. Easter Décor

To really feel that Easter and spring spirit, why not showcase your Easter eggs in a cool glass vase? Check out the ideas from The Budget Decorator, on how to create that perfect Easter/Spring feature centerpiece!

 

What are your Easter décor ideas? Let us know on our Facebook page, or tweet us at @FriendsofGlass

Happy World Health Day!

How did you spend the 7th of April – World Health Day? And what do you do to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle?

We here at Friends of Glass know how important it is to look after your health – and we want to help people see the different ways glass packaging can help you be healthy.

Glass is a completely inert material – meaning that it prevents the leaching of chemicals into its contents. This also means that taste an vitamins contained within your food and drink aren’t damaged or affected in any way by the packaging. With food safety being such a big issue, with food safety scandals playing out in a big way, it is important to care about what you eat. Glass can ensure that through its various properties.

Glass is such a safe material when it comes to protecting its contents, that it’s not only important in the safety of food and drink contained within it, but also pharmaceutical packaging. Increasing importance is being placed upon glass in the medical industry as the best packaging material for fully and completely protecting medicine.

At the end of the day, if we want to look after our health properly, we have to be careful about what we do, to ensure that we don’t ingest or come face to face with any harmful materials. Glass can do that. Glass protects what it holds within it, and doesn’t leach into the contents to damage or change it in any way. So when you’re considering the health and safety factors of your food and drink decisions, why not consider that – and look at the packaging itself, and not just the contents? After all, your health deserves the best!

Glass Recycling = Two Pyramids!

Did you know, that more glass is being recycled today than ever before? Recent figures for the EU show that recycling rates for glass have increased by a whopping 131% since the 1990s! But what does this mean in terms of actual households? It means that over 25 billion glass bottles and jars were collected throughout the European Union in 2012. Just think of all the people that were involved in making that possible!

Glass recycling is a special thing. Glass is 100% natural and pure, made from all natural ingredients – which means that when it is taken to be recycled, the savings on virgin raw materials and resources is immense. In fact, the savings made in 2012 equal that of two Egyptian pyramids! Recycling your used glass bottles and jars puts less strain on the environment, as well as energy used to create new glass bottles and jars, helping us protect our pure, green earth.

This is why glass is a perfect example of what we call a ‘circular economy’ – ensuring that all the pre-existing benefits of glass come back to help us once again! The resource efficiency contained in recycling within a closed loop system really shows us – glass is the way to go!

And to make it better, anyone can help our beautiful earth become energy efficient and environmentally friendly – glass recycling is so simple, so easy, yet brings enormous benefits. Want to see how? Just watch the video below to learn more about this process, and learn more about the benefits it brings to all of us!

GREAT FOOD READY TO GO… FOR ALL!

Do you pay attention to the ingredients  you use when you cook ? Do you like to eat well, even when you work and don’t have a lot of time? We here at Friends of Glass love to do so! That’s why we love these two stories, and wanted to share them with you. The first story comes from Italy, and it’s about Eataly, a grocery store chain founded in 2007 by the Italian entrepreneur, Oscar Farinetti. Already, judging from the name, which is a mix of EAT and ITALY, we know it’s going to be good fun! The philosophy behind Eataly is to be able to eat like Italians do, but with not only Italian food. It means eating different products of the Mediterranean cuisine, prepared with passion and attention to quality. But it’s also a mixture of  dishes that come from different regional traditions, include influences and ingredients from other countries: just think about the American origin of  tomatoes, which are so important in the Italian cuisine. With Eataly, Oscar Farinetti wants to demonstrate that high-quality products may be available to all at affordable prices. But that’s not it… Eataly also aims to tell the stories of the products, and of the people that cultivate,  produce and cook them.  Eataly is not only in Italy, where they have 11 stores – they also bring the quality of Italian products to other places in the world: you can find stores in the United States, Japan, Turkey and Dubai.

The second story we would like to share with you  begins in Paris, and it’s about a new way of living the lunch break – which is not usually synonymous with high quality food!  In the French capital, however, things have been changing since the inception of this new idea, developed by Marc Veyrat. If you work in Paris your meals can be cooked  by a starred chef, and delivered to you. It’s called Mes Bocaux, created by Marc Veyrat, the chef of Maison de Bois. Mes Bocaux  provides, 2-3 courses meals from Monday to Friday –  changing all throughout the week. Dishes are fresh, as they are cooked every morning and brought to the office by a small fleet of trucks marked on the side the  catchy text – “manger mieux , mieux vivre” (eat better, live better ). The aim of  this initiative is to re-discover traditional French cuisine, using ingredients that may have been forgotten, and sustainable produce from the Paris area.

We at Friends of Glass love to eat healthy, and we know that the quality of the ingredients is important for the quality of the food; but we are also aware that it’s important to preserve them in packaging that retains all the properties, flavours and aromas of the food within . Glass is the ideal packaging for foods and drinks, because it is inert. Have you ever considered that glass containers can also be excellent allies for a light and healthy lunch? You can use them to prepare and preserve different meals, adding all the different ingredients you love, one after another, layers after layers. But you can also use glass jars for your soup – it will be easy to heat it in the microwave. And for your lunch break, do not skip dessert: glass jars are ideal partner for your sweet tooth too! And if you’re on a diet or want to save some for later – all you need to do is re-seal the glass jar, and it will keep your meal fresh and flavoursome for the next time!

Spring into a Glassy Style!

Winter finally seems to be letting us off the hook – meaning warmer weather, more sun and tons of flowers! We at Friends of Glass know you’ve been dying for spring to get here (we have too), and what better way to get into the swing of spring than with a fun and easy step-by-step guide inspired by glass! With all that beautiful flora and fauna emerging, glass is the perfect way to bring all the budding new life outside, inside your home in an elegant way.

Step 1 – Spring Cleaning

We know, we know – spring cleaning isn’t really anyone’s idea of ‘fun’, but having a tidy around your home will really help your home (and you) feel new again. By throwing away or storing things that you needed for your winter hibernation phase, you’ll be making room for all that fresh spring air – and maybe a few new things as well

You don’t have to hide your cleaning products either! This idea to use old glass olive oil bottles for cleaning solutions from Martha Stewart, is a brilliant way to up-cycle old glass bottles and proudly show off your mastery of cleaning.

Step 2 – Decorate Your Home

Whether you’re living in a palace or a studio, what we love most about spring decorating is how it opens up any living space. Bring light and airiness to any room of your home simply by adding some fresh spring flowers or by using pastel colours. Glass is a perfect way to showcase the masterpiece that Mother Nature gives us every spring.  The Inspired Room blog shows how some simple glass vases and spring branches make great statement pieces.

Or you can just incorporate pastel coloured dishware to invigorate your home with the feeling of spring. This gorgeous glass teacup set available from Yardofbleu Etsy seller, is reminiscent of delicate bird’s eggs, and will give any home an instant spring upgrade.

 

Step 3 – Throw a Party!

With all the hard work you’ve put into getting your home ready for spring, it’s only fair that you get to take advantage of it as well! You’ll be dying to show off your spring-infused home, so be sure to invite all your friends and family over to ‘ooo’ and ‘ahhh’ over it as well. This eye-catching table decoration by Homedit.com, shows how just using some wine glasses and fresh cut tulips can create magnificent placeholders that your guests will be sure to remember – and imitate!

What are your spring holiday decorating plans? Let us know on our Facebook page, or tweet us @FriendsofGlass

“Olive You Too!” – A Love Letter from Glass

You can feel it in the air. The breeze carries the smell of sun and good times to come. Spring has more or less arrived, and with it, a renewed interest in making sure your health is as good as you feel. One of the easiest and simplest ways to make a big difference in your over-all health and well-being is to change what and how you eat.

While it’s common knowledge that eating more fruits and vegetables, while limiting your sugar and saturated fat intake, goes a long way in improving your health; what most people fail to recognize is the role of packaging in their health and safety. Unlike many synthetic packaging materials that have been proven to leach harmful chemicals into the food and beverages they contain, glass is a completely natural and inert product. With only 3 main ingredients – sand, soda ash and limestone – glass’ ingredients are guaranteed to leave your food wholly untouched.

Olive oil is a great way to incorporate healthy fats into your diet that can help improve your cardiovascular health. The Mediterranean has long been storing this precious liquid in glass bottles and jars because of its temperamental nature. Olive oil hates light and heat. Why? Oxidation (the increase of oxygen in something) in fats is triggered by light. The oxidation reaction is a vicious cycle that creates free radicals that oxidise fat molecules that then go on to oxidise more fat molecules and so on – in short ruining your olive oil. Storing olive oil in dark-tinted glass bottles reduces the oxidation process and guarantees that no unwanted chemicals are seeping into your olive oil.

Try starting your spring off with a fresh twist on the tradition wine-tasting party. Instead, take a cue from Honestly Yum, and throw your friends and family an olive oil tasting party. Olive oil comes in a variety of flavours and styles, and what better way to try them all then with elegant stemless glasses. Your guests will ‘oooh’ and ‘ahh’ over your stunning display…that is if they aren’t too busy sampling them all!

When deciding what steps to take in detoxing and starting on a healthier lifestyle, always remember to look beyond the label to the packaging underneath. Choose the packaging that’s been trusted for centuries – choose glass.

Glass Everyday Keeps the Doctor Away

When it comes to their patient’s health – doctors don’t take any chances. Glass bottles and vials have been the most trusted form of packaging for doctors and pharmaceutical scientists for since the 1600s because of its inert properties. Glass bottles became more common because they were more inactive than their ceramic counterparts; and it was important that they protected the substances inside from direct light that could potentially damage the precious cargo within.

Red glass is actually the most chemically inactive coloured glass, and that is why even today, the preferred glass for medicine bottles is red. Did you know that to make red glass, gold is added to the molten substance to obtain this protective hue?

While packaging containers – and medical knowledge – have evolved significantly from the 1600s, glass is still the preferred packaging material within the medical community. Even today, in countries like India, pharmaceutical companies will have to stop using plastic or PET containers in liquid oral formulations meant for paediatric formulations, geriatrics, women in reproductive age group and pregnant women because of their potential to leach unwanted chemicals.

“India has large variation in temperatures. In summer days temperature rises to 40-45 degree centigrade and exposure of plastic bottles to such a high temperature may result in adverse effect on the drug formulations packed plastic bottles and the high temperature may result in increased leaching. The harmful effects because of the packaging and leaching may be further magnified in the case of drug formulations,” said the government’s chief advisory body on drugs-Drug Technical Advisory Board (DTAB).

When choosing your food, it’s crucial to consider its packaging as well – especially if your carefully monitoring your health. Other packaging materials can leach risky and unwanted chemicals into your food and drink; which can aggravate an already struggling immune system. Use food that’s been preserved and stored in glass containers and bottles if you’re trying to be mindful of what goes into your body; or simply try using a refillable glass water bottle instead of disposable ones. Why trust the purity of your healthy with anything less than 100% pure glass.

FOOD FRAUD SCARES CONSUMERS

Recent research in Italy has unveiled that more than 2.3 million tests are carried out on food by laboratories each year. At the same time the Italian Ministry of Agriculture carries out 600,000 inspections, testing more than 200,000 samples of food products. This means that in Italy, as in other EU Countries, controls on food are high, as are food safety standards for consumers’ health.

Despite these encouraging figures, 4 million Italian families are worried about alterations, falsification and counterfeiting of food. This means that 16% of Italian families are increasingly questioning the quality of food products they buy and eat.

People are also particularly worried about packaged food. 30% of Italians believe that tests carried out by the authorities are effective. Nevertheless, 51% of the people surveyed believe that certain product categories can escape tests, as well as believing that some tests can have flaws. From this point of view, the most important element to work on is transparency, as demonstrated by the 70% of families claiming to frequently read labels and pay close attention to quality food product brands that they are going to buy.

That’s where the benefits of glass come in. It’s our belief that consumers have to also look beyond the label – as packaging matters in food preservation too. Glass is 100% natural and inert: this means that your food will retain its original taste and aroma. A recent study from Greece has discovered that white wine retains its flavour and aroma when packaged in glass bottles, as opposed to being packaged in a Bag in a Box. In addition, another recent study from Italy has found that one of Italy’s national food emblems – tomato sauce – is best preserved in glass, as it’s a pure and natural product which ensures no migration between the packaging and the contents.

‘Transparency’ is what we look for when it comes to food choices and our health – and what’s better than glass, which is the most transparent packaging material – what you see, is what you get!

So…what packaging are you going to choose next time you go shopping?

Let us know on our Facebook page, or tweet us @FriendsofGlass!

Romance in a Glass

Love it or hate it – St. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. While many people might be surprised about this holiday’s less than cherubic origins (martyrs and massacres – oh my!), this holiday is met with equal parts excitement and anxiety every year. Luckily, Friends of Glass has put together a last-minute Valentine’s Day itinerary for those procrastinating cupids, or those looking for a special way to treat themselves. Use any of these glass-inspired ideas and you’ll be making that special someone swoon in no time!

 

1.       Set the Stage

No Valentine’s Day celebrations can begin without some decorations to get you in the spirit. Take a cue from The Daily Haley and fill glass vases and jars with red, white and pink candy. Tie a pretty red ribbon on it and feel the love all around you!

 

 2.       Relax with a Classy Glassy Cocktail

This seductive Cherry Fizz cocktail by Style Me Pretty is a perfect way to relax and begin the evening. Not drinking alcohol? No problem! Just replace the champagne and brandy with your favourite citrus-flavoured soda for a bubbly non-alcoholic version. Add a fresh cherry to the rim of your glass to show how much you care.

 

3.       Romantic Dinner


No matter what level your cooking skills are at, any dish you serve will look like a masterpiece if your table is set well. Gather inspiration from A Womens Club blog for special table setting designs for your sweetie. Use glass as accent pieces to really make your night feel elegant.

 

4.       Gifts for Her or Him

 

This homemade Valentine’s Day gift is a perfect way to give your honey a secret message that’s a lot more fun than a traditional card. Follow the simple instructions at My Sister’s Suitcase and you’ll have a unique and thoughtful gift for a loved one in no time!

 

5.       Decadent Dessert

No Valentine’s Day is complete without a sinfully delicious dessert. These sweetheart cupcakes by Foodie are a sweet and special way of saying ‘I love you’ with chocolate. Try pairing them with strawberry milk in glass bottles for an extra special treat!

What are your Valentine’s Day plans this year? Let us know on Facebook, or share with us on twitter at @GlassFriendsEUR!

Glass and World Cancer Day

When we think about myths, the first things that usually pop to mind are images of brave heroes, gods and goddess…and maybe an evil witch or two. Unfortunately, when it comes to cancer, there are common myths that are a lot more deadly than just a pesky poisoned apple.

World Cancer Day is celebrated every year on February 4th with the goal of saving millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about cancer under the tagline, ‘Debunk the Myths’. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that a basic package of cost effective strategies to address the common cancer risk factors (tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity) would cost only USD 2 billion per year. By encouraging governments on both a national and a global level to take action against cancer, we can ensure that those suffering from this disease get the help they need and deserve.

But how does someone – on an individual level – help in raising awareness?

While doctors and scientists are still working on pin-pointing the exact causes for cancer, there are some general guidelines to follow when it comes to preventing this disease. Besides exercising and reducing your tobacco and alcohol consumption, your diet plays a crucial role in preventing diseases. While most people know that eating more vegetables and fruit is important, few people are aware of the role that packaging plays in the health and safety of their food.

While other food packaging has been found to potentially leach harmful chemicals into the food and drink they contain, glass is an inert material which means that there is no risk of any contamination. Not only is glass a safer packaging material for your health, but for the health of the environment as well. Unlike other packaging materials, glass can be recycled an unlimited amount of times without losing its strength or integrity. Try making little changes, like using more glass products, when considering what you can do in your life to help raise awareness and prevent cancer.

Do you have any activities planned for World Cancer Day? Let us know on Facebook, or share with us on twitter at @GlassFriendsEUR!