Posted on April 21, 2011 by Mary Ellen Brewington
We love to share our favorite beverages with you here at On Tap. We hope that we’ve inspired you to try a new beer or serve a festive beverage at your last social gathering.
But, on Earth Day, we’re wondering: Once the drinks have been drunk, what are you doing with those cans and bottles?
Cherokee Distributing would like to encourage everyone to recycle the glass bottles and aluminum cans that most of our delicious products come in. Recycling glass bottles is important because glass is one of the few products that can be completely recycled an unlimited number of times. If glass is not recycled, however, it may end up in a landfill where it takes a million years before it begins to decompose.
Beer cans are made of aluminum, which can be recycled and reused within 60 days and can also be recycled again and again. If all aluminum produced on Earth was recycled regularly, the energy saved would be enough to light up a medium-sized city for nearly five years.
As we all work to reduce and recycle, don’t forget that you can also reuse! Check out this link to see some of the interesting and ingenious ways people have used creativity to turn empty cans and bottles into artwork and other items: “Ten Ways to Recycle Beer Cans and Bottles.”
Cherokee works with many breweries that are committed to making efforts to reduce waste and protect the Earth. Depot Street Brewing in Jonesborough, Tenn., for example, focuses on seven green initiatives
- Making Biodiesel out of used vegetable oil and using it in delivery trucks.
- Using all fluorescent lights in the brewery and turning off lights that aren’t critical.
- Heating the building with radiant floor heat (from the hot water heater) and from the waste heat of the boiler used in brewing.
- Reusing water from the cold water tank (used in cooling the wort in the brewing process) to clean tanks.
- Recycling plastic six-pack holders here at the brewery. (Depot Street is considering some ideas for a payback program such as getting a free T-shirt for every 150 plastic holders returned for recycling. If you have ideas, be sure to leave them in the comments section below.)
- Reusing cartons whenever possible.
- Using spent grain to feed local cattle; also using a small amount of grain to make delicious bread at Scratch Bakery in Johnson City, Tenn.
That’s just what one local brewery is doing to help the environment, and we’re proud that many of our suppliers are working on green initiatives. Check out some of what they’re doing, too:
- Lazy Magnolia Brewery
- Highland Brewing Company
- Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
- Sweet Leaf Iced Teas
We hope you enjoy the products that we distribute through East Tennessee – and we hope that once you finish a refreshing beverage, that you’ll recycle the can or bottle.
Thank you for helping to preserve our planet, and happy Earth Day from On Tap!