Toast Earth Day at Home… Today and All Year ’Round


Over the last week, we’ve shared information on a number of Earth Day-focused events at some of America’s “greenest” wineries.

But if you’ve not been able to participate in any of those activities this year, you can still make an impact on the environment as a wine consumer.

For example, you could take part in bottle and cork recycling at Willamette Valley Vineyards in Oregon. The winery offers a 10-cent refund on all wine bottles returned to its tasting room.

In 2005, founder Jim Bernau won permission from the OLCC to include a 10-cent recycling refund statement on WVV’s labels. The winery also offers a dollar for each returned shipper.

And now, because cork is one of the world’s most sustainable agricultural products, WVV has partnered with CorkReharvest.org to begin a nationwide recycling campaign. Corks can be dropped off at the WVV tasting room or, to find other recycling locations, visit CorkReHarvest.org.

Of course, to take part in WVV’s recycling initiatives, it helps if you live near the winery. If you don’t, here are a few more ideas…

• Have a bit of artistic flair? Design Rulz has put together a list of 20 ideas for recycling wine bottles wisely. You can check out that list here.

• If you’re like me, and have no artistic talent whatsoever, you can still support bottle recycling by doing business with companies that find creative ways to “re-purpose” wine bottles. One such company is Refresh Glass. You donate the bottles, and Refresh Glass will transform them into functional art.

• Not all wine bottles are sealed with corks anymore, but millions of bottles produced annually are. When you open a cork-sealed bottle, don’t throw that cork away — recycle it. Check out the aforementioned CorkReharvest.org, or get more information here.

By embracing recycling efforts not only on Earth Day but throughout the year, we as wine lovers can make a big difference.

Posted in Wine and the Environment
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