Climate change is affecting how a lot of people do business these days. Most of that change is for the good, but it’s not without its challenges. Luckily, some companies are equipped to handle those challenges incredibly well. One such company is Free Flow Wines.
Free Flow Wines, a Napa, Calif. company that's known for its forward-thinking business, has always produced product with the Earth’s climate in mind (the company launched in 2009), but it recently took its environmental pledge a bit further.
According to NPR, Free Flow Wines fills and dispenses reusable wine kegs in restaurants and bars that serve wine on draft. These reusable wine kegs are great for the environment (and lower the company’s carbon footprint -- the kegs eliminate the need to use bottles while keeping wine unspoiled and unoxidized).
But the one downside of the company’s reusable wine kegs is that they have to be rinsed every month in order for them to stay reusable. NPR reports that Free Flow Wine's facility uses 5,000 gallons of water a day to sterilize and clean its casks.
All that water usage began to concern Jordan Kivelstadt, Free Flow’s co-founder. (His concern escalated after the West Coast’s drought began to get worse a few years ago.) To keep the company from contributing to the drought, Kivelstadt installed an onsite water treatment system. The system recaptures 99 percent of the company’s rinse water and has cut the company’s water use down to “almost nothing.” The system’s water treatment process takes about a week to complete and creates water that’s pure enough to drink.
While the setup and installment cost nearly a half-million dollars, NPR reports that the water treatment system will have paid for itself through reduced water bills in two to three years time. Kivelstadt tells NPR that the company estimates that it’s saving almost a million and a half gallons of water a year.
You may be thinking, “well, how many wines can actually be served this way?” (At least that’s what I was thinking…) The answer is probably more than you think: 450. That’s pretty impressive and has lead to the company to save more than four million bottles from American landfills since 2011. We want to raise a glass to that!
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Wine glass image via Shutterstock