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What do you think, confidentially of course?


View Poll Results: How important is the environmental consciousness of the distiller?
Environmental consciousness is important but only affects 10% of my decision to buy. 21 47.73%
Environmental consciousness is important but only affects 20% of my decision to buy. 4 9.09%
Environmental consciousness is important but only affects 30% of my decision to buy. 3 6.82%
Environmental consciousness is important and affects 40% of my decision to buy. 1 2.27%
Environmental consciousness is important and affects 50% of my decision to buy. 6 13.64%
Environmental consciousness is important and affects 60% of my decision to buy. 4 9.09%
Environmental consciousness is important and affects 70% of my decision to buy. 3 6.82%
Environmental consciousness is very important and affects 80% of my decision to buy. 2 4.55%
90% of my decision to buy is based on the environmental consciousness of the distiller. 0 0%
100% of my decision to buy is based on the environmental consciousness of the distiller. 0 0%
Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-12-2007, 08:44 PM   #1
Edward Hamilton
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Default Is it important to be environmentally conscious?

Environmental consciousness is more than looking green. A growing number of distillers are working to reduce the environmental impact of their products. The hot spent yeast waste of the distilling process has a high biological oxygen demand which when processed properly can provide energy for distillation.

Packaging also presents opportunities for distillers to reduce their waste in terms of the weight of their recyclable glass, the amount of recyclable cardboard for packaging and the amount of non-recyclable promotional material such as battery powered gizmos that are not environmentally friendly.

When you assess a rum product, how important is the environmentally consciousness of the producer?
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Old 10-12-2007, 09:17 PM   #2
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I had to pick 10%, because I really go for the rum. I have to say that I am *much* happier when I find out that a distillery does good things like this, but the rum influences my decision. If I find out that a distillery does good things then I might change my mind if I originally felt that the price was too high, but that's rare, too.

Though I certainly do care, it doesn't influence my purchase decision - the rum does.
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Old 10-12-2007, 09:26 PM   #3
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I have to agree with Scottes. I had not really thought about it before.
How would we know how environmentally conscious each distiller is?
If I knew a distiller was just trashing the environment affecting the local people in a bad way, it might change my mind.
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Old 10-14-2007, 09:27 PM   #4
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The fact that most consumers have never considered the environmental impact of their products is one of the reasons it has taken so long for most distillers to do much about the environment cost of delivering their products. There is a lot a distiller can do to limit the environmental impact of their business and most of these steps aren't hard to implement.

Is the sugar cane being grown in an environmentally sustainable manner?

How the distillery treats the spent yeast is another question of environmental consciousness. Some distillers collect the spent yeast after distillation, treat it with anaerobic bacteria to convert the yeast to methane gas and then use that gas to power the distillery's energy needs, reducing the biological oxygen demand on the environment.

Though spent yeast utilization isn't generally visible to consumers, other things like bottles and packaging give consumers a better glimpse of environmental concerns.

In Europe there is increasing pressure for bottlers to use less glass and cardboard to deliver alcoholic beverage products. And in the US, some of the biggest retailers of consumer goods are beginning to pressure suppliers to use more environmentally friendly packaging.

Just as most people didn't think about the amount of energy they were using, or wasting, twenty years ago, the world is changing and environmental consciousness will become a major force in all markets in the coming years. In the meantime, the question becomes, "Are you a leader, or a follower?"
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Old 10-16-2007, 06:13 PM   #5
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This post got me to thinking a bit over the long, rum-filled weekend. I thought about things like Haleakala Distillers (Maui Rums) and their concerns for the land and people of Maui, and their donations to Maui non-profits. And I came across a blurb stating that the Maui sugar-cane industry used to burn the bagasse and produced electricity for themselves but also for the entire island of Maui. Even now, one of the Maui sugar producers produces 18 megawatts from it's bagasse, uses 12 and sends 6 megawatts back into Maui's grid.

I also saw a segment on the History channel talking about Brazil's uses of ethanol from sugar cane used in automobiles all over the country.

This is definitely good stuff, and I'm glad to hear about it.
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Old 10-19-2007, 07:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottes View Post
And I came across a blurb stating that the Maui sugar-cane industry used to burn the bagasse and produced electricity for themselves but also for the entire island of Maui. Even now, one of the Maui sugar producers produces 18 megawatts from it's bagasse, uses 12 and sends 6 megawatts back into Maui's grid.
The same kind of thing is being done in Texas by the Rio Grande Valley Sugar Growers. The sell the excess electricity back to the grid. We are looking at building a distillery next door to them.
http://news.tradingcharts.com/futures/0/4/99093040.html

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Old 10-17-2007, 09:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Hamilton View Post
There is a lot a distiller can do to limit the environmental impact of their business and most of these steps aren't hard to implement.
I hadn't heard anything about methane from spent yeast until your post. Any further info you could send would be appreciated.
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Old 10-18-2007, 12:41 PM   #8
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I'll try to find something on the internet so I can post a link. The process equipment isn't cheap so there is a capital investment, but considering the rising cost of fuel, the payback time is getting more attractive all the time.
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottes View Post
I had to pick 10%, because I really go for the rum. I have to say that I am *much* happier when I find out that a distillery does good things like this, but the rum influences my decision. If I find out that a distillery does good things then I might change my mind if I originally felt that the price was too high, but that's rare, too.

Though I certainly do care, it doesn't influence my purchase decision - the rum does.
0 %
Hey we're all gonna die anyway, so enjoy the rum.....Scottes right. It's all about the rum. But if the Distillery is making a conscious decision for a greener way to produce rum, then I'm all for it...But if they're not and the rums GOOD......, Well wild horses pulling a plough, to save on fossil fuel being omitted into the ozone layer, couldn't stop me from sipping and savouring the rum. So as long as most of the rum companies keep re using bourbon, whisky and cognac barrel, (Saving Trees...Take note Bourbons), Keep on collecting CO2 from their fermentation tanks, (Slow down global warming) and keep using their waste as fertiliser, then I'm happy.
Cheers
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Old 03-28-2008, 12:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rum Ambassador View Post
0 %
Hey we're all gonna die anyway, so enjoy the rum.....Scottes right. It's all about the rum. But if the Distillery is making a conscious decision for a greener way to produce rum, then I'm all for it...But if they're not and the rums GOOD......, Well wild horses pulling a plough, to save on fossil fuel being omitted into the ozone layer, couldn't stop me from sipping and savouring the rum. So as long as most of the rum companies keep re using bourbon, whisky and cognac barrel, (Saving Trees...Take note Bourbons), Keep on collecting CO2 from their fermentation tanks, (Slow down global warming) and keep using their waste as fertiliser, then I'm happy.
Cheers
Only a few rum distilleries actually collect and recycle the CO2 generated during fermentation. Using waste as fertilizer isn't all bad but there are much better ways to use the waste such as generating methane and using that to make steam for distillation, which compared to burning fossil fuels significantly reduces greenhouse gases.

Some spirits companies are looking at how their big glass bottles, which are never reused and only sometimes recycled, can be made more efficient for reducing the shipping and packaging weight.

The wine industry is beginning to discourage the use of the heaviest bottles which cost more to produce, ship and recycle.
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