Sustainable Sips And Recycling Tips For Earth Day (April 22) And Beyond

Photo credit: Planet Oregon

Seattleites are often described as outdoorsy, and how could we not be? Just look at the sheer natural beauty we’re surrounded with! After all, we live in the ‘Emerald City’, in the ‘Evergreen State’. We’re a bunch of people who love to hike amongst the fir trees, swim in crystal-clear jade waters, and watch glorious sunsets by the beach. Or at the very least, enjoy a good read with a delicious glass of wine on the waterfront. 

Besides being extremely therapeutic, the beautiful scenery all around us acts as a tangible reminder to preserve and respect the wonderful ecosystem in our beautiful state and beyond. While we have a very long way to go, we also have the power to create change at an individual level with our personal choices. Whether it’s using reusable straws, observing meatless Monday (reducing meat intake), or enjoying eco-friendly drinks—nothing is too small. We’re here for the everyday eco-conscious wins.

Besides nature, we also love our libations. On that note, here are a few sustainable, terroir-driven libations (and kombucha!) to put on your radar for Earth Day, and every day.

Brew Dr. Kombucha

Kick things off with a sip of Love from Brew Dr. Kombucha. Brew Dr. has been a certified B Corp since 2018, as well as a member of 1% for the Planet. From sustainable farming to educating the next generation about the world around them, Brew Dr. is proud to support nonprofits supporting the planet with Love Kombucha. 1% of the revenue of Love Kombucha continues to be donated directly to nonprofits focused on benefitting the planet. While this is an ongoing contribution, Love Kombucha is one of the many ways we can go the extra mile and support both our planet and the local companies that care for it.

2020 Planet Oregon Rosé Bubbles

This bottling delivers quality, value, and sustainability alongside a bright nose of watermelon candy and Oregon berries (and at $24, a price you can sustain a few times a week). The Rosé Bubbles are Live Certified Sustainable and crafted from 100% Willamette Valley Pinot noir, all of which are sustainably farmed, protecting streams and rivers from runoff that can harm fish and other wildlife. Soter Vineyards, the winemakers behind Planet Oregon, monitor all carbon emissions, energy use, and waste production at the winery—ensuring the most delicious wine with the lightest footprint. 

2018 Banshee Pinot Noir, Sonoma County

An exciting, yet friendly wine, bursting at the seams with aromas of wild berries and soft earthiness. The flavors combine both sweet and tart, reminiscent of Santa Rosa plums and wild blackberries that grow so commonly in Sonoma Wine Country. This is an excellent food wine, as well as a charming drinking experience by itself.

2017 Sebastiani Vineyards Cherryblock Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2017 Cherryblock is a wine of great complexity and sophistication. In the glass, the wine is deep purple with concentrated aromas of blackberry, vanilla, and baking spices. The wine is drinking well in its youth but will improve over the next 10+ years.

Nyetimber Classic Cuvee Multi-Vintage

From designing vineyards with ‘wildlife corridors’ as to not disrupt the larger surrounding wildlife to putting sheep to use instead of lawnmowers in winter to making natural fertilizer out of pressed grape skins – Nyetimber has sustainability practices out firmly in place in their vineyards. Their flagship wine, the Classic Cuvee Multi-Vintage is a classic blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. With indulgent notes of brioche, honey, and hazelnut – it is a decadent wine to toast to special moments. 

Comando G Rozas de Puerto Real La Bruja de Rozas 2017 Garnacha

Comando G’s “village” wine, La Bruja de Rozas is sourced from several vineyards in the vicinity of Las Rozas de Puerto Real. The wine is perfumed and lively with plenty of fruit with a backbone of acidity and fine tannin. 

Cepas Vellas Do Ferreiro 2017 Albariño

This special albariño from Do Ferreiro is sourced from vines in the Salnes Valley that are over 200 years old. Drink this delicious wine steeped in history with a hearty Spanish paella.

Broken Shed Vodka 

This award-winning vodka is made without any artificial additives, sugars, or GMO. It’s hand-crafted with a blend of two freshwater sources and sustainable whey distillate, sourced from grass-fed cows. Enjoy a dirty Martini after cleaning up your local beach with friends. 

Tequila Chamucos 

This tequila uses packaging made from recycled materials only. The bottles are made from glass heated at low temperatures, using less fuel and the organic agaves are hand-harvested using no herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers. Stir up a Margarita after biking home from work.          

Tequila Partida 

The Tequila Partida distillery reintegrates organic waste created from production back into the agave fields through compost treatment, and no pesticides are used in the process. Treat yourself with a special cocktail after bringing your compost to the designated area in your local park.

Gracias a Dios 

Tradition meets sustainability at Gracias a Dios, planting three new agaves for each bottle produced and foregoing modern machinery that uses a lot of fuel, choosing instead wood-fired ovens and donkey-pulled “tahonas,” or a large stone wheel that crushes the agave hearts. Sip it mixed with some pineapple juice at happy hour before heading to your favorite plant-based spot.

Photo credit: Ridwell

Waste less, made easy

Ridwell collects hard-to-recycle items which helps to keep stuff out of the landfill (think about how much of the stuff we buy comes with thin plastic packaging!). Ridwell provides a sleek white metal box and fabric bags to recycle your batteries, light bulbs, plastic film, and threads. They pick up directly from your house for an affordable monthly subscription fee.

We spotlighted them in 2019, with an interview with founder Ryan Metzger.

And while you’re at it, here’s a guide to remind us of recycling practices by King County.

Continued stewardship for the land we live on

King County is taking its annual Earth Week celebration digital in 2021 with a week full of quizzes, Earth-friendly actions around the home, and other activities and tips to honor our remarkable environment. 

A week of Earth Day events with the University of Washington including a free screening of ‘Fantastic Fungi’, and painting Mt Rainier with artist Clair Giordano. More events are listed here.

Using wildflowers and native plants

Wildflowers and indigenous species to the Pacific Northwest are not only beautiful but also attract native and beneficial insects that improve both pest control and pollination—meaning bigger flowers and bigger harvests. Consider adding a couple of native plants to your garden each year —they’ll bring in pollinators as well as birds!

Pacific Northwest
Plains coreopsis
California poppy
Globe Gilia
Mountain Phlox
Blue Flax
Russell Lupine
Blazing Star
Five Spot
Evening Primrose
Baby Blue Eyes
California Bluebell

More about what’s native to Washington here.

Donating to organizations that support climate justice

Environmental injustice, including the proliferation of climate change, has a disproportionate impact on communities of color and low income communities in the United States and around the world. 

Seattle organization 350 Seattle works toward climate justice by organizing people to make deep system change: resisting fossil fuels, building momentum for healthy alternatives, and fostering resilient, just, and welcoming communities.

Seattle Foundation’s Climate Justice Impact Strategy to develop long-term strategies and partnerships to address and decrease the harm that low income people and communities of color experience from climate change.

Donate to NAACP in their efforts to address the many practices that are harming communities nationwide and worldwide and the policies needed to rectify these impacts and advance a society that fosters sustainable, cooperative, regenerative communities that uphold all rights for all people in harmony with the earth.

Contributors: Aakanksha Agarwal, Jennifer Liu