Happy Earth Day, folks! We at Apple State Vinegar believe in celebrating and honoring this planet every single day of the year. However, it’s kind of nice to take a more intentional pause and evaluate the ways we support the Earth, and ways we can do even better. After all, food waste in America is a huge issue — 30-40% of the food supply goes to waste.
As a small business in the food and drink world, we consider it our responsibility to do our part to reduce our impact on the planet. It’s who we are as people and as entrepreneurs. We also want you as a consumer to feel good about where your shrub and vinegar comes from, which is why in honor of Earth Day we’re sharing some of our best low-waste, low-impact practices.
Picture this: you place an order of your favorite shrub or a trusty bottle of Apple State Vinegar. Our team is hard at work in the kitchen chopping up fruit (did you know we use the whole organic fruit? No apple peels going in the trash, that’s for sure!). We bottle up our golden, raw, organic apple cider vinegar in beautiful, reusable bottles with a design by local artist Chris Moench. The apples in our vinegar are sourced from a family farm in Eastern Washington, and it is 20% stronger than other brands.
Okay, so now we’ve got some beautiful bottles all lined up and ready to go. Let’s say you’ve ordered some Ginger and Hawaiian Chili Shrub (it’s Moscow Mule season!) and a couple bottles of vinegar. We pack them up using compostable, biodegradable packing peanuts. Conventional packing peanuts are one of the primary sources of marine waste, where birds and other marine life can mistake them for food. Since Apple State Vinegar donates 6% of all our profits to non-profits that support ocean health, this is a big no-no for us. By saying goodbye to EPS (aka expanded polystyrene aka bad) peanuts and using a biodegradable option instead, we’re able to reduce our impact on the waterways that we love so much. We don’t use bubble wrap, either! Just recyclable sleeves make with 100% paper.
Now that they’re all wrapped up and ready to go, Josh hops on his E-bike and heads to the neighborhood USPS. E-bikes are a great transportation option that helps reduce carbon emissions that come from driving a car. They use rechargeable batteries, can travel up to 20 mph, and also are a convenient way of getting exercise. They’re energy efficient and emission-free, plus all those endorphins have your shrub delivered by someone with a big smile on their face.
Whew! What a day. And when your vinegar shows up, we recommend making a Sunrise Sparkler (recipe below) — it’s what Josh drinks to replenish electrolytes after a beautiful day biking around town. Raw apple cider vinegar is full of digestive health benefits and can also boost your energy. Combine that with some sparkling coconut water, which is a natural source of electrolytes (the bubbles are just for fun), and you’ve got the perfect Gatorade replacement.
However you celebrate Earth Day, whether that’s by tending a small window garden, recycling, policy work, activism, practicing zero waste — it all makes a difference. While we can sometimes feel overwhelmed by climate change and its wide ranging impacts, it’s important to remember that we as individuals matter when it comes to loving and protecting the land that we live upon. We are guests in a beautiful, fragile home. It is our job to be compassionate stewards of this place, and make sure that it will be inhabitable for generations to come.