The Habit of Recycling

The staff of Glynne’s Soaps is giving up trash for Lent.  Well, in a manner of speaking…..

The practice of giving up something for Lent has religious beginnings, but is often used by people just wanting to start a new habit or eliminate an old bad habit.  It is meant to be a serious undertaking,  however some people joke about it.  The  10 year old son of a friend of ours decided to give up school for Lent.   Not quite the point, but cute none the less.

As a company, Glynne’s Soaps has decided to literally give up trash for the season.  What does this really mean?  It means we are going to make a more concerted effort to recycle everything we can.

 The average American discards 4.4 pounds of garbage every day.  

To let you know how much garbage this is - If we put all of the solid waste collected in the U.S. in a line of average garbage trucks, that line of trucks could cross the country, extending from New York City to Los Angeles, more than 100 times!  That’s a lot of garbage.  And that number can be reduced by recycling.  On average, each American recycles one item every year.  I don’t know about you, but I know I consume more than one can or bottle of soda or water every year, so there is a lot out there that is not being recycled.  To add to the impact of that -

Every aluminum can that is recycled generates enough energy to power a TV for 6 hours.  

(tweet this)

Think about that while you are tossing that can in the trash.

We used to be a lot better about recycling.  And it showed in the amount of trash we had for the garbage men each week.  But, I got lazy and just decided to start tossing it all in the garbage can.  And again, it make a noticeable difference, this time in a negative way.  So we are taking this time to make a concerted effort to renew and increase our recycling efforts.

In addition to recycling, 34% of the trash tossed out each year could be composted, creating nutrient rich soil for gardens and flower beds.  For Christmas I got a compost bin.

It sits on the kitchen counter and I put all my veggie scraps in it, along with coffee grounds, egg shells and the insides of tea bags…..well, everything organic I would potentially toss out.  It has made composting so much easier!  I love using it. You can learn more about composting at How to Compost.org

Recycling in a lot of areas is easy. It’s just a matter of putting recyclables in the recycle bin as opposed to the regular garbage. However, because our area does not offer curbside recycling, we must make a greater effort. To do this, we separate our glass, plastic and paper into separate bins. We have found it easier to make a weekly trip to the recycle station (it’s a very short drive and a location we pass regularly). With a little planning we can deposit our recyclables without an extra trip. Here is a great site with information on what can be recycled and where in your area to take your recyclables.

Experts say it takes 21 days to make a habit.  Our Glynne’s Soaps goal for the next 40 days is to recycle or compost everything we can and turn it into a habit.  One that will have a positive effect on the environment.

What are some ways that you recycle and have a positive impact on the environment?  Let us know in the comments!

 

 

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Celebrate National Mom and Pop Business Day

Today is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day. While no one here at Glynne’s Soaps is a mom (nor a pop), unless of course you count two cute Dalmatians as kids – and we do, we are a small business swimming upstream against the hard tide of big competitors.

Photo by marj k on Flickr

Make no mistake it is a hard tide!

Go to any grocery store or big box sell everything store and walk down the isle of soaps and you will see that hard tide of competition. There are the bad for your skin full of chemical stuff, then there is the national brand which clams to be an all natural (I’m not commenting on whether they are or not) but they are all there and lets face it, it is easy to just pick one up and put it in your cart.

But our swim against the hard tide doesn’t stop there. Recently a friend said to me, ‘why don’t you sell your soaps unwrapped like the other local soap makers?’ After taking time to close my mouth, and resist the slapping urge, I calmly (at least in my mind) explained yet again, the difference between melt and pour soaps and natural soaps, the difference between unnatural colors and dyes and natural color and the difference between fragrance (synthetic) oils and therapeutic grade essential oils. I also explained that our business plan is to create the best possible natural product (not necessarily the prettiest product – although I do think out products are pretty).

Here at Glynne’s Soaps we are celebrating National Mom and Pop Business Day by continuing to make the best possible products from the best possible ingredients.

Thank you for continuing to choose our products for you and your pets.

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What are You Doing Today?

I have heard it said that whatever you do on New Years Day will set the tone for the rest of the year.  In keeping with that tradition, we plan to spend part of our day with good friends, and also start on Gayle’s 50K at 50 Challenge by taking a walk with Marshall and Wrigley.

Planning our New Year’s Day led to thinking about other traditions that are kept on the first day of a new year.  Here are a few that you might participate in already, or might enjoy starting as a new tradition in 2013.

  • Eating black eyed peas is said to bring good luck and prosperity in the new year.  For best results, you should eat at least 365 of them.
  • Participating in a Polar Bear Plunge by jumping into the nearest body of water on January 1st is a chilly way to rinse off the old and be ready to begin a new year.
  • The tradition of making New Years resolutions dates back to ancient Babylon, when people would make promises to return borrowed items and pay all their debts.

What are some of your New Year’s traditions?

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A Quick and Easy Meal for Busy People

It’s the hap happiest time of the year…You know the song but you probably really sing it a bit more like we do….It’s the biz busiest time of the year.

As the owners of a small business we are very aware of the need for time management.

This time of year, the ability to manage time becomes even more important, as we add in holiday parties, increased sales (we’re not complaining), putting up our own Christmas decorations, and shopping for (or making) the perfect gift.

Whether you own a small business or not, time is limited and we can all use a good tip now and again, so, today we’re sharing one of our favorites. It’s a recipe for what we call – Crockpot Salsa Chicken (the name’s not original but it still tastes daggon good!

SALSA CHICKEN

Ingredients:

  • Chicken Breast
  • Salsa (whatever brand you like)
  • Flour Tortilla Shells (may use corn tortilla shells or taco shells)
  • Cheddar Cheese (grated)
  • Lettuce (shredded)
  • Sour Cream (optional)

Put Chicken Breast in the crock pot – We put it in frozen straight from the freezer.

Raw Frozen Chicken in the Crockpot

Cover with your favorite salsa (we just use the store brand).

Cover Chicken with Salsa

Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until chicken is cooked. When the chicken is done, shred the lettuce (Dalmatian help optional).

You could also tear the luttuce

Grate the cheese (or buy already grated) and warm your tortilla shells (we put in the microwave for a few seconds with a damp paper towel).

Shred the chicken (we find using two forks works best).

Two Forks works great for shredding the chicken

Then build your burrito, taco or just eat without any shell on a plate.

Shredded Chicken Burrito

This is probably one of the quickest and easiest meals we prepare. And one of the tastiest!

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All I want for Christmas is…..A Dog (Why Getting A Christmas Dog is a Mistake)

In 1978 when I was still an obnoxious teen – and let’s face it aren’t all teens just a little (or a lot) obnoxious – I decided that I wanted a dog. So that year, whenever my parents, or anyone else, asked what I wanted for Christmas, I answered ‘a DOG’! My mother was insistent….’NO DOG!’ But being me and being me as a teenager, I persisted and insisted.

Don't get a dog for Christmas

it's cute but don't do it

As an adult and looking back, I know my parents were right (not for the reasons they think they were….but right none-the less). Getting a dog for Christmas is a bad idea! Bad Bad….bad idea :) While I can not imagine my life without a dog or two (check out the pics of our pups – past and present) and I wish every dog had a home and every home could experience the joy I have from having a dog in my home, Christmas is not the time get a dog.

 

Why is a Christmas dog a mistake?

No pet should be a surprise. Having a dog changes the household…..FOR YEARS! Dogs (any pet really) are a big commitment. Someone (an adult) must take responsibility for their daily needs—feeding, exercise, health care, grooming. Sure, it’s a great way to teach a kid responsibility but even that requires adult supervision and daily oversight. Let’s be serious, if the adults in the house aren’t willing to commit to feed, exercise, and groom the dog then they shouldn’t get a dog!

Christmas is a dangerous time for pets. From the possibility of escape (visiting family and friends aren’t always careful to watch out for your dog) to the tinsel and icicles on the tree (they’re no fun to help on their journey through the intestinal track) to the rich foods (dogs are crafty about helping themselves) to the poisonous decorations (beware of your dog and poinsettias); Christmas is a hazardous and watchful time even for a well trained dog and an experienced owner.

Finding the right dog is important. Hustle and Bustle – it’s the term we all use to describe the activities around the holidays (yes, I said holidays and not Christmas because start at Thanksgiving and roll through New Years it’s all hustle and bustle). If you’re life is anything like most of our lives, we barely have time to find the perfect scarf for an aunt or tchotchke for your sister much less find the next member of your family! Dogs are a long term commitment, as I stated earlier, and finding THE one that fits with your life and your family takes time.

Dogs aren’t one size fits all. Each breed is different. Each individual dog is different. Don’t rush your selection! Take your time and choose wisely, you’ll be glad you did. Here’s a neat app that might help you get started in your search – Dogfinder Matchup. And trust me, your kids, spouse or other household member will be just as thrilled with the new dog no matter what day or month they arrive.

Lastly, when you are ready to add a canine member to your family please consider adopting from your local shelter or through a reputable rescue group (believe me there is one for any breed you’re interested in). These rescue groups know the animals. They know their breed. And they can and will help you make the best choice for you and your household.

The decision should be thought about, talked about, negotiated and have every family member’s agreement  A new dog, not necessarily a puppy, either, should be the result of a process, not an impulse. And remember this is a long term commitment (7-20 years) – BE SURE before you get that dog.

Now back to my story …. I wish I could tell you how I used my over abundance of charm, and persuasive powers to convince my parents I needed a dog…but that just isn’t the case.

However, even though my parents did not relent and get me a dog for Christmas….the real Santa provided! And a week before Christmas a beautiful Spitz arrived at my house. She was pure white and well trained and although we were sure she belonged to someone, and although my parents (and I begrudgingly) exhausted every possible means to find her owners, she quickly became my own personal Christmas miracle.

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Election Day Special

Here at Glynne’s Soaps we are big believers in exercising our right to vote! Neither Jenn nor I have ever missed a General Election or even an off year election and neither of us can remember not happily participating in  all primaries.

This year we hope you are exercising your right to vote!

Not too many generations ago our forefathers (and mothers) sacrificed and died for the ability to vote.

Since you can’t show us your “I Voted’ Sticker….we’re using the honor system :)

For today only  Use coupon code “I Voted’ and receive FREE SHIPPING on our website www.glynnesoaps.com

 

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We Survived Our First Four Years

Yesterday the Glynne’s Soaps crew celebrated our fourth anniversary. We shared our feelings in our latest newsletter, but I wanted to share them again here.

I just want to reiterate, we couldn’t have reached this milestone without the love and support of so many people!

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!

GLYNNE’S SOAPS TURNED FOUR YESTERDAY!

We now understand why most businesses fail within five years….getting to year four is really hard! There is no doubt the word quit has been used more this past year than it has in probably either of our lives. But we made it!

Being able to say we’ve successfully survived four years makes the long hours and putting every extra penny back into the business to help it grow worth it.

We’re already looking forward to celebrating year five!

Jenn has lots of ideas for new products. We are evaluating how to capture more of a market share online. In other words, we’re still working :)

Where We’ve Been

As often happens with birthdays or anniversaries, we are spending some time today looking back at where we’ve been.  At our first festival we had 3 different varieties of soaps, all of them for dogs.  Now we carry almost 30 different types of soaps, along with lotions, sprays, bath soaks, candles and other skin care items.  Our products can be found if over 20 stores in 4 states.  We ship products all over the United Statesand even overseas.

Through it all, we have remained true to our mission and passion – we want to provide people with the best natural skin care using no artificial ingredients or fragrances.  There is so much out there that is bad for you, your family and your pets.  We provide safe alternatives to many of the dangerous chemicals that can be found in commercial products.

We are very proud of the fact that we have not compromised on our ingredients even though it would be less expensive and often easier.  However, we will always remain committed to providing you with the safest products available for you and your family.

It feels great to be four!

And we’d like to share that feeling with you.

So we’re giving you the chance to get four bars for $14.44! (Regularly $24.00) Just go to our website, pick your four bars (you can get more but only 4 at the super low price) and enter coupon code 1444 at check out. This offer ends October 28th so do not delay. The offer is good for any bar soaps (dog or human).

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Adventures in Hollywood East

Last night, instead of our usual Thursday night ritual of having a quiet evening at home, we were offered the opportunity to go see the Wilmington premiere of one of NBC’s new fall shows, Revolution, which was filmed here in Wilmington.

Let me preface this tale by saying that neither Gayle nor I are big “stargazers”.  We once, with a friend, followed Steve Buscemi around downtown Wilmington with both of us saying “Who?” as our star struck friend drug us up and down the streets.

Even though most actors are unknown to us, it is fun to live in a town where sightings are common.  So, when we were offered tickets to the premiere, we jumped at the chance.

The  organizers wanted a packed house, so they overbooked the show, which we all knew going in (well, we know but it seems others waiting in line did not).  After we finished work, we hustled downtown because Gayle read on twitter that the line was already around the building.

So, we got in line and waited.  I thought it would be more like the movie premieres that you see on TV, with red carpet, stars, lots of media and flashing cameras.  As it was, it was mostly 700 or  so people standing outside in the heat.  There was the occasional limo that pulled into the parking lot and a few local news vans, but nothing crazy.  As the start time neared and we were still a good ways from the front door, we resigned ourselves to the fact that we probably wouldn’t get in to see the show.

Sure enough, soon after we saw people being turned away from the door, however it did look like an employee was handing everyone something, so we continued to wait.

Because of the large turnout, they decided to have another showing at 9, and gave us all tickets with the assurance that we would get in to see the show.  So we walked a few blocks to Front Street Brewery for dinner. If you know us you know we love to eat at Front Street Brewery. The atmosphere is fun, the food always good and we’re on the menu with beer soaps and lip balm made from their beer! (how can you not love a restaurant where you’re on the menu?)

We returned to Thalian Hall a few minutes before 9. After waiting a second time in line (but only for 15 minutes or so this time), we headed in to find our seats.  Not long after, three of the stars of the show were escorted on stage.  We were very impressed that they stuck around to talk with the second set.

Giancarlo Esposito, Graham Rogers, and Daniella Alonso

The three in attendance were

These certainly are not no-name actors and they all have major roles in the show.  It was great to see their support for us and to hear them talk about something we already know how wonderful it is to be in  Wilmington, NC!

Both Gayle and I really enjoyed the show, we will definitely watch it (and not just to try and recognize local landmarks – the storyline is very interesting)  The pilot left many questions that I am looking forward to discovering the answers to.

All in all, we had a wonderful evening!  Different from our usual, but well worth the time and effort!!

Revolution can be seen on NBC starting Monday, Sept 17th at 10pm.  Check it out for yourself.

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Happy Left Handers Day!

Today is National Left Handers Day, or as Gayle (and her mom) would call it wrong handed day!

In honor of this great day, i thought I would give you a few facts about left handed people.

  1. The best soapmaker in the world is left handed (HINT – She works for Glynne’s Soaps)
  2. We make up about 10% of the population
  3. We live on average 9 years less than right handed people
  4. The word left in English comes from the Anglo-Saxon word lyft, which means weak or broken
  5. Tests conducted by St. Lawrence University in New York found that there were more left-handed people with IQs over 140 than right-handed people. Famous left-handed intellectuals include Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Benjamin Franklin
  6. Research suggests that left-handers are slightly more prone to allergies and asthma than right-handers are.
  7. Studies have shown that if a left-hander injures his dominant hand, he has an easier time learning to use the other hand than his right-handed counterparts.
  8. Other famous lefties include Jay Leno, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, Brad Pitt, Bart Simpson and Osama bin Laden.

In honor of this momentous day, we are offering a coupon code worth 15% off any website order placed this week.  Just use the code LEFTIE at checkout.  Oh, make sure you use your left hand when you type it in!

 

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The Power of Giving

Gayle’s mom, turned 80 on July 7th.Of course, her family threw her a huge party where everyone was able to celebrate her life to this point.  She was excited to see friends she hadn’t seen in years and to have the chance to catch up.  It was a wonderful time.

The 80th Birthday Party

As their gift, Gayle and her sister Donna took their mom to Atlanta for the weekend, just the three of them.  Their main purpose, aside from spending time together,  was to go see a Braves game because Mrs Tabor is a huge fan and they knew she would enjoy it.  They also were able to visit the World of Coca Cola and spend time on Sunday with some good friends.

Gayle's Mom with Homer the Braves mascot

Upon her return, Gayle had many stories…from being hit by a baseball, to having the pullout bed attack. It seems like the trip created many fun memories.

The friends they visited with have a mission in Atlanta called Jesus Place. They have been serving the homeless and under-served population of Atlanta city since 1970.   Gayle and her family attended the Sunday morning church service and were able to witness the ways in which Jesus Place met the physical needs of the people who attended the service.  They were all given some food and an attempt was made to get them other things they needed such as pants, shoes, backpacks, etc.

The thing that impressed me the most, however happened during the giving portion of the service.  The church is collecting for three purposes; the first is the general workings of the church (Jesus Place), but they also have a missionary they support in Haiti and they are raising money to go to Mexico on a missions trip and build a house for a homeless family there.

And believe it or not, these homeless men, with barely two nickles to rub together, reached in their pockets, took out those nickles and placed them in the offering plates.

This was very humbling to me because more often than not I hold on to my money instead of giving some to a good cause.  Or I waste it on frivolous things when there are people that don’t have enough to eat or a place to sleep.

We all have something we can give.  It doesn’t even have to be money or things.  You can give your time or talents as well.  I’m going to try and remember these men who gave even though they didn’t have much and use it to spur on my own giving.  What are you going to give today?

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