“Green” Wine and Apartment Composting

Dang, it’s been a while, eh? Things are finally slowing down in Casa Awesome, so that means more attention to this blog. I’ve missed writing in it and I still have to post photos from my Australia trip.

Anyways, I was sent in an article the other day by my very good friend Linda about “green” wine. It’s from “The Daily Sip” by bottlenotes and epicurious. According to them, “any wine can be made in an environmentally responsible manner can be considered ‘green,’ but there are a few actual certifications that can make that term more meaningful:

Organic: This term can apply to the grape-growing process (no chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides or genetic engineering are used) or the winemaking process (no preservatives are used, such as sulfur dioxide). There are several organic certification programs in the U.S. and each one has its own rules. The “Organic” seal from the USDA promises 95% organic ingredients, while the “100% Organic” seal from the USDA indicates 100% organic ingredients. Both allow only naturally occurring sulfites in small quantities. The label “Made with Organic Grapes,” means the wine contains at least 70% organic ingredients, and may include artificial sulfites.

Biodynamic: These wines are organic by default because biodynamic wineries approach the vines, soil and critters that live in the vineyard as parts to a whole, and no chemicals are used. Some practices include burying a cow horn full of manure over the winter then digging it up in the spring and mixing the manure with water to spray over the vineyard, and timing activities in the vineyard to the cycles of the moon. The theory was put forth by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s, and many top-tier wineries now swear by the practice.

Sustainable: A sustainable wine may or may not be organic. The word means that the wine is produced in a manner that allows for healthy future production of grapes and wine, which often involves preventing soil erosion, avoiding harsh chemicals and water pollution. There are sustainable wine certification programs in many states, so check online for each state’s specific guidelines.

Fish Friendly: There are many organizations dedicated to preserving the health of local fish, such as California’s Fish Friendly Farming Program, which protects steelhead trout and Coho salmon in Northern California, or Salmon-Safe in Oregon, Washington and California. One of these labels on a bottle means that the winery works to improve water quality and the wildlife habitat on its property.”

Who knew that so much went into making environmentally friendly wine? According to the article, the movement in the USA is gaining momentum, but we’re still behind places such as New Zealand, where 94% of their vineyards are classified as “sustainable” compared to 12% of California vineyards. It’ll be interesting to see the strides the industry will make in the future. I hadn’t heard about “green” wine until I was made aware of this article. Now if only Greek yogurt didn’t produce acid whey.

Apartment Composting

I follow Grow NYC on twitter. A week or two ago, I noticed a tweet mention composting. A bunch of the green markets offer food scraps collection and I got to thinking that maybe we should start collecting our food scraps and bringing them to the markets near us. Living in the city, we don’t have the luxury of private land to use for composting purposes. What’s the next best thing? Investing in a freezer compost bin. This way, we don’t stink up the place (and the building). I found one that looks pretty good.

Fuccillo Design

This Fuccillo Design freezer bin had the most positive feedback. It’s made of silicone which makes it easy to keep clean and because we’ll be keeping it in the freezer, we won’t have to deal with odor or fruit flies. I’ve been trying to keep track of how much food scraps we create while cooking. Needless to say, we make a bunch. We’ve been trying to be more conscious of using things that are more environmentally friendly (like sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, household cleaners, etc.) and having this bin will help us recycle a bunch of our food waste and in turn, help fertilize more crops organically.

*End organic rant* 🙂

Update!: I just found out that the place I was going to order the compost bin from has a store near my apartment! Totally going there tomorrow to pick one up!

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~ by Rori on June 11, 2013.

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