Do you ever think about how your happy hour is affecting the
environment? Manufacturing alcohol in the United States creates
dioxide that can wreck the earth’s system of natural
resources, and a massive amount of the materials needed to package
and distribute alcohol (bottles, plastic caps, etc.) end up in the
trash. Los Angeles-based Greenbar Distillery, however,
is changing the game entirely with its carbon-negative company
One of the world’s largest selections of USDA-certified
organic spirits can be found at Greenbar Distillery — that means
no artificial fertilizers or synthetic pesticides seeping into the
earth or your body. Additionally, the company only uses lightweight
and eco-friendly packaging. By taking the environment into account
with its manufacturing process and its commitment to planting one
tree for every bottle
of liquor that it sells, buying from Greenbar Distillery actually
helps to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
According to the website, a standard cocktail made with 1.5
ounces of Greenbar Distillery spirits will make you carbon negative
for the day.
“By being efficient and careful in the manufacturing process
and planting one tree a bottle sold, 1.5 ounces of any Greenbar
Distillery organic spirits — about what’s in a typical cocktail
— helps remove 46.6 kilograms of carbon dioxide from the
atmosphere,” according to the website.
Because the average American produces 45.2 kilograms of carbon
dioxide every day, the 46.6 kilograms that Greenbar Distillery
helps to remove daily means the drinks are not just carbon-neutral, but
carbon-negative. You can even find a report on the company’s
carbon footprint analysis on its website. So go ahead,
Day with a cocktail (or two).
Another of the company’s impactful attributes? Its
tree-planting program. It solidifies Greenbar Distillery’s
enthusiasm and commitment to not only reducing its own carbon footprint
with sustainable production techniques but educating the community
and building awareness of the world’s environmental issues.
Whenever you buy a bottle of Greenbar Distillery liquor, a tree is
Since beginning a partnership with Sustainable Harvest
International in 2008, Greenbar has planted more than 766,000
trees in the Central American rainforest. These aren’t just any
trees, either. They plant indigenous shade trees that can help
protect locally-farmed, fair-trade crops like coffee and cacao.
Sustainable Harvest International has also provided local training
to rural farming communities throughout Central America since 1997,
with programs in Belize, Honduras and Panama.
Greenbar Distillery founders Melkon Khosrovian and Litty Mathew
taught themselves how to make liquor through trial-and-error in
2004, completing each process start to finish themselves in the
company’s early years. They started out using traditional methods
and materials and didn’t make the switch to fully organic until 2009.
Initially launching a spirits line called Modern Spirits Artisan,
Khosrovian and Mathew put their focus on using locally-farmed
ingredients and exotic flavors. The company thrived while winning
awards from Wine Enthusiast and the Wall Street Journal, but when
some of their local sources began switching to organic, Khosrovian
and Mathew noticed a difference.
Once they discovered the superior quality and taste of organic
ingredients, the duo was completely inspired. This early discovery
led to education on sustainable, eco-friendly farming practices and
an overhaul of the entire company to focus on sustainability. Gone
were the heavy glass bottles and plastic labels. Instead,
Khosrovian and Mathew focused on lightweight bottles and recycled
labels with water-soluble ink.
Today, Greenbar Distillery uses glass bottles that weight 25
percent less than the average spirits bottle, meaning fewer
resources used and less carbon dioxide emissions from production.
The shipping boxes are designed to fold together and reduce the
need for tape. The labels use 100 percent post-consumer waste
recycled paper, and the ink is soy-based, which is more biodegradable than
The company also eliminated the use of plastic, tamper-evident
capsules on its bottles, a popular and modern practice that adds
more non-recyclable plastic to the environment. While synthetic
corks are gaining popularity in the alcohol industry, Greenbar
Distillery only uses recyclable corks, which are biodegradable and
The company seems to be constantly coming up with new,
innovative techniques while simultaneously honoring the old-school
methods. With enough variation to please any bartender or
cocktail-enthusiast, Greenbar Distillery offers organic gin, rum,
liqueur, amaro, tequila, whiskey, vodka and even bitters. Its Slow
Hand whiskey uses organic malted barley and infused flavor from
white oak, hickory, maple, mulberry, red oak and grape woods.
Greenbar Distillery was the first to use this whiskey-making
technique in the Los Angeles area since
the Prohibition Period. It is also free from added sugars or
The Greenbar gin uses organic and hand-picked juniper berries
from Bulgaria, and the Renaissance-era distilling process takes up
to two months. When it comes to flavored liquor, Greenbar
Distillery flavors its gluten-free, organic vodkas with natural
ingredients like California lemons and pomegranate. Its Tru Garden
Vodka is a unique blend of celery, dill, coriander, fennel, mint,
thyme, pink peppercorn, cumin and vanilla beans (perfect for a
morning Bloody Mary).
Check out Greenbar Distillery website for more information
on distillery tours and practices or to make a purchase. You can
also find a whole arsenal of cocktail recipes and concoctions on
Images via Sustainable Harvest, Maker Walk LA, Marc Royce,
Terreanea Resort and Greenbar Distillery
Source: FS – All – Ecology – News 2
This distillery helps you make delicious, carbon-negative cocktails