Next Saturday, April 22, 2017, is Earth Day, a day of worldwide demonstrations of environmental protection. But what does this mean in the hospitality sector?
Earth Day and Food
We all know sustainability is a hot ticket item, especially in the food business. How many of you are already farm-to-table or organic restaurants? Or maybe you don’t have the capability to completely change your purchasing to follow these trends but purchase some items that are. Well, not only are these popular ideas to your guests, they are actually good for the environment. Both farm-to-table and organic tend to use farming practices that depend more on old-fashioned farming techniques to keep bugs and weeds out of the farm and to provide larger and healthier crops. Farmers prefer to use natural practices rather than chemicals. Things like crop rotation, bat boxes, beneficial insects, and birds are in these farms arsenals. This is healthier for the land, the water, and your guests.
Earth Day and Beverage
Did you know there are beverage companies which also use sustainable or organic processes for their spirits, beer, and wines? Farms and vineyards that provide the raw ingredients for these beverages follow the same kind of practices as food farms. In addition, these distilleries, breweries, and vineyards have incorporated solar and wind power into their practices. Some have gone as far as revitalizing water sources that run along or through their lands. Still, others have chosen to use LEED practices when building on their property.
Fortunately, though there were some fairly hideous early offerings in this category of wines, beers, and spirits, they have gotten better. Wines like those from Wente Vineyards have come a long way to turn around the image of sustainability. Square One is an eco-friendly spirits company that has some great offerings. Last but not least, yes, there are beers in the eco-friendly arena. Most seem to be craft, which isn’t a problem here, but they may not be (read: likely aren’t) available nationwide, so check with your local or regional crafts. One notable brand is Full Sail. But please, share your favorites in the comments.
How To Recognize The Day?
Now that we’ve briefly touched on the hospitality sector and Earth-friendly practices, how can you celebrate in your restaurant or bar? Simple! Feature a dish or two that use ingredients from a local eco-friendly farm. In the bar, create a drink list with eco-friendly wines, beers, and cocktails made with eco-friendly ingredients. And remember, every little bit helps with the environment. Regardless of anyone’s stance on climate change, we can all agree one day of the year to bring attention to our only home can’t hurt anything.