Even after nearly a century of nurturing the soil and growing grapes of exceptional quality, we continue to raise the bar and challenge ourselves. That’s especially true for our sustainability efforts. Recently, we proudly announced we became the first Sustainably Grown Certified table grapes producer in the U.S.
At Columbine® Vineyards, we take a holistic approach to sustainability. From water conservation to empowering future generations of farmers, sustainability is an important part of who we are — and who we want to become. In the spirit of this mindset, we’re sharing ways you can embrace a similar approach in your own home, with simple ideas that can have a larger, ripple effect.
In the U.S., up to 40% of the food supply goes to waste, according to the USDA. At home, meal planning is one of the best ways to combat food waste. By starting with a grocery list (based on what you already have on hand), you’ll buy only what you need — to save money and prevent food from spoiling before you can prepare and eat it. This week, add Holiday Grapes Winter Kale and Arugula Salad to the menu.
Make plans for leftovers.
How often do leftovers languish in your fridge, turning into fuzzy science experiments in a forgotten back corner? Keep track of your leftovers by labeling each container with the contents and a date. Then, write a list on a pad near the fridge or a dry erase board so you know what needs to be eaten and by when.
Choose single-ingredient foods.
Eating foods that are as close to nature as possible is good for your health — and the planet’s. They require no additional steps for processing and usually less packaging, too. While Holiday® grapes are in season, add them to your cart for a sweet finish to any meal. They’re extra-large, super-sweet pops of perfection! And new this season, you can also look for Certified Organic Holiday grapes.
Eat with the seasons.
As it turns out, the long wait for Holiday® grapes is actually a sustainable approach to eating. Seasonal foods require fewer resources, and it means that the foods typically taste better, too. We wait until the perfect time to harvest our grapes, so they arrive at your local store tasting just as nature intended. When foods taste this good, you may be less inclined to waste them!
Compost what you can.
While it doesn’t directly eliminate food waste, composting allows you to divert organic materials so they don’t end up in landfills. If you have a yard, consider getting a rotating bin for yard waste and food scraps. Within months, you’ll be able to turn that kitchen “trash” into garden “treasure”! Short on space? Set up a compost bin in the freezer or under the sink, and look into nearby dropoffs (such as at a community garden) or pickups (available in many metro areas across the country).
Make staples from scratch.
Learning to make certain foods that you usually buy can help cut down on excess packaging — and every little bit makes a difference. At Columbine Vineyards, we reduced our styrofoam use by 54% in only one year (between 2019 and 2020).
At home, you might try making some of your favorite staples when you have time and resources. Two easy places to start are with Holiday Grapes Chia Jam and Holiday Grapes and Apple Juice. Bonus: Use up-cycled jars and bottles to hold your creations.
Organize your fridge.
A clean and organized fridge can help you find foods when you need them — before they can spoil. Next time your refrigerator is relatively empty, give it a deep clean. Toss expired items (compost what you can), group similar foods together and wipe out any excess moisture and debris. When you know where things are, you’ll need to spend less time searching for them, meaning less energy needed to maintain a steady cool temperature.
Use the dishwasher (when it’s full).
Today’s dishwashers are designed to optimize water usage, so they are more energy-efficient than washing dishes by hand. But, to avoid wasting water, only run the dishwasher when it’s full.
Water conservation is a big part of our sustainability efforts, too. As one of the first adopters of drip irrigation in the 1980s, our average water savings clock in around 843 million gallons per year. That’s the equivalent of at least 42,150 backyard swimming pools!