Hey! I care about the environment! What is Tinhouse Brewing doing about our current climate emergency?
What a great question! We think that everyone has a part to play in Reducing Energy Use and Waste, Reusing Whatever We Can, and lastly, Recycling Whatever Is Left Over.
Reducing Waste and Energy Use
Tinhouse reduces the amount of waste we send to the landfill in a few ways:
- Our spent grains are diverted to a local farm to become animal feed. This can easily be 300+kg of grains with each brew cycle.
- We separate our other organics waste such as paper towels, pizza boxes and food waste and we divert those from the landfill by using a dedicated organics service.
- We ask our food suppliers – including food trucks – to provide compostable food packaging wherever possible, as well as providing sorting for organics and compostables for our customers.
- The fancy labels we put on our cans come from our supplier with less laminate (plastic) layers over the label, reducing the amount of plastic that goes into each label.
We also work to minimize our energy use by:
- Using electrical infrared heating for our lounge, and not heating our outdoor patio.
- We only have one natural gas appliance – our steam boiler which we use for our brewing, and which is extremely efficient (compared to a direct fired system) – which we use as minimally as possible.
- All of our lighting is LED lighting – which uses far less energy than older incandescent or florescent bulbs.
Reusing Whatever We Can
One great way to avoid generating waste is to reuse whatever can be, for as many times as possible, before buying a new replacement. Here are some of the things we reuse whenever we can:
- Pakteks. Those hard plastic can holders are designed for multiple uses, so we reuse as many as we can. In fact, if you have a pile of them laying around, bring them back and we’ll clean them and reuse them if we can. If we can’t (if it’s broken for example), then we will recycle it.
- Cardboard Trays. When we package our beers, we put them in “cases” which are almost always carboard boxes with dividers (for bottles) or folding cardboard trays (for cans). When we refill our on-site store fridges, we keep those cardboard items and reuse as many as we can. Again, if they are damaged beyond use, we will recycle them.
- Those Cute Little Snack Jars. Yes, even our customers get in on the action! We have started using refillable glass jars for smaller snack portions instead of buying snacks pre-packed in plastic/foil bags. Every time a customer brings the jar + lid back to the counter, we avoid having another plastic bag going into the landfill.
Recycling Whatever Is Left Over
After using less, reusing more, and diverting as much as possible, what’s left over gets recycled including:
- Paper. We don’t generate a lot of paper waste, but what we do have does get recycled.
- Plastic. We sort and recycle all of our clear soft plastics, as well as all of our grain bags (woven bags).
- Aluminum. Cans and can lids left over from the canning process are recycled, as well as whatever recyclables our customers help sort in our lounge recycling bins.
- Glass. We make sure that our glass bottles get recycled once emptied.
- Cardboard. We actually get a lot of cardboard with many of the supplies shipped to us, so we make sure that it all get recycled.
Could we be doing more?
Of course! We aren’t done – it’s an ongoing process! We are looking at other initiatives such as recycling our hop foil bags, switching any remaining cleaners and chemicals to eco-friendly ones, saving more water in our brewing and cleaning processes by adding another holding tank, and so on and so on… so STAY TUNED!