Saturday, October 18, 2008

In the Spirit of Sustainability


Hello! So, you're here because you want to green your life, you say? How's your hybrid driving, farmers market shopping, canvas toting, Kleen Kanteen- carrying, Brita-on-your-sink-faucet, wind harvesting, bike riding, eco-fit ass doing this lovely fall morning? Wonderful? Fabulous!

We hear so much these days about ways to go green. Odds are, you've already taken many/most/all of the steps above. We write about them in blogs, newspapers, television, festivals, conventions...we make Youtube and box office hits about the eco-movement and we seem- pending Nov. 4th- to be headed in the right direction as a country.

It's easier than ever to make eco-friendly lifestyle choices, from the clothes you wear, to what you choose to eat (and where you choose to buy it from), and now, (YAY!!) the spirits industry has stepped up to the plate with their contribution...that's right folks, ECO VODKA!

Maybe I'm getting a little to excited about this, but maybe not. Sustainable products- whatever they are- have countless benefits. It's about the quality of the product, but also about the quality of the ethos behind it. It's about the plain sight benefits- the superior taste, texture and image, but also take into account the hidden values like creating more American jobs- green jobs- especially for the struggling agriculture industries, creating the product organically, without pesticides, artificial hormones or fertilizers in the corn-base, and also packaging the final product in recycled paper, soy-based ink printed labels, bamboo casing, etc, etc.

Let's look at a few top notch organic vodkas on the market and why they're better than your average Smirnoff, Ketel or Goose...

Square One Organic Vodka
Check out the packaging on this one. They forgo the popular "frosting effect," to avoid a slew of nasty chemicals, they print their labels on sustainably harvested bamboo, cotton and bagasse, and (i LOVE this), once the bottle is finished, the label peels off and the glass bottle is reusable for a water jug, carafe, flower vase- whatever!

Prairie Organic Vodka
Apart from tasting awesome, this distillery converts corncobs and other biomass into bioGAS for powering the stills! They, literally, use their product to run their own distillery...how cool is that?

This next vodka, I have not personally tried, YET, but I can't wait to sample after being WOWED by their corporate ethos of sustainability. This is a company who (at least strongly appears) to really be doing it right:

Vodka 14
Their tagline is: "The Height of Purity"...I'll bite. Check this out: They draw their water from a 200 ft. deep aquifer in the mountains, purchase their grain from individual farmers (grown all in the U.S.A.), every step in the distillation is free from chemicals (even chemical cleaning products), and every element in their packaging is completely recyclable.

Finally, Rain Organic Vodka, probably the most widely seen in bars, at least in the Chicago area. Truth be told this is my favorite tasting of the organic vodkas mentioned here, but doesn't really compete in other areas of sustainability- mainly packaging. Their frosted, chemically- treated bottle isn't the most eco friendly one in town, but it's still light years away from the Gooses of the world.

So, in conclusion, it turns out the only "green" cocktail around isn't the appletini. Organic vodkas can raise your social consciousness...unless of course, you drink too many and become socially unconscious :)

Oh! How could I forget! Make sure to join the lovely ladies of MotM as we celebrate our fall line launch part with ORGANIC VODKA MARTINIS at Crust- Eat Real restaurant...the first all organic restaurant in the Midwest, this coming Tuesday, October 21st at 7:30pm. See Melissa's blog below for details!

Always drink responsibly.

xo,

Eco-Rachel

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