It is encouraging to see more and more people and businesses, each in their own way, making efforts to decrease their carbon footprints.

Last week the Toronto Star carried a half page article about three Ontario-based beer companies that are trying to ‘go green’–not in colour or taste, but in production changes.

  • Steam Whistle, across from the CN Tower in Toronto, uses alternative energy provider Bullfrog for all of its electricity and cooling system, uses biodiesel in its delivery vans, and uses bottles which can be reused up to 45 times. Three brownie (greenie?) points.
  • Beau’s All Natural Brewing, in Vankleek Hill east of Ottawa, also uses Bullfrog Power, and recycled paper for labels, posters, etc., as well as all organic ingredients in its Kolsch type Lug-Tread Lagered Ale.
  • Cowbell Brewing is in the process of moving from Toronto to a new facility in Blyth, which will be the first carbon-neutral brewery in North America ! They already reforested the property and will have a closed loop system for the water used. And that is significant, since most craft breweries use double the 4 litres of water that major breweries use per litre of beer– a fraction of the total tally of 300 litres of water per litre of beer from farm to factory to store. Water quality is key to the taste we enjoy with beer and other beverages. And both quality and quantity need to be protected.

So, as usual, we have choices. We can applaud and support businesses trying to do better, and we encourage more to appreciate the opportunity to respect the environment and do their part. Water and other resources are not, after all, limitless. We need to figure out how to live within our means, not just on an individual level, but considering the cumulative impact of our consumption. Cheers !