Quantcast

Chicago Brewery Patrons Drink to Zero Waste

Business

The idea of "zero waste"—trying to reduce use, reuse and recycle so trash bins and dumpsters are empty and nothing gets sent to landfills—has been catching on around the country. The Portland, Oregon-based nonprofit Zero Waste Alliance has been promoting that goal for more than a decade. The city of Cleveland, Ohio just concluded its "Year of Zero Waste" to educate citizens, businesses and organizations about what they can do to shrink the waste stream, and Maryland has set a goal to eliminate most waste by 2040. Bars, restaurants and even sports teams have gotten on board. Ohio Stadium at The Ohio State University boasts of being the largest stadium in the country to achieve zero waste, diverting more than 95 percent of its waste from landfills through recycling and composting.

Can a beer raise awareness of waste reduction? Chicago's Goose Island brewery hopes so. Photo credit: Goose Island

But a brewery in Chicago is actually drinking to zero waste. Goose Island Brewpub, in the Lincoln Park neighborhood on the city's near north side, has added a new quaff to its mix of handcrafted specialty beers brewed on the premises—and it's called Zero Percent.

Goose Island was inspired by a partnership it's just forged with a Chicago-based start-up, also called Zero Percent.

"According to USDA estimates, between 30 and 50 percent of all food produced is discarded," says Zero Percent, explaining the impetus behind its formation. "Meanwhile, 1 in 6 Americans have difficulty finding enough to eat. But it doesn't need to be this way. We believe that zero percent of food should be wasted, and we want to help businesses and nonprofits make this dream a reality."

The company uses an app to connect up with subscriber restaurants and caterers, which alert it when one of them has extra food they can't use. Zero Percent sends someone out to pick it up and deliver it to a shelter or charity. It currently boasts 219 donors and 207 nonprofits, and says it has facilitated more than 400,000 meals since launching in 2013.

Zero Percent began working with Goose Island's catering division in December. Goose Island's assistant general manager Erica Hylton, told ChicagoInno, "While we have very little waste in our restaurant already, there are always times when we overestimate our needs, particularly with events we haven't done before. In the past, we've been donating to organizations separately but it's much easier with Zero Percent to coordinate a single pickup and at our convenience."

The brewery created the Extra Special Bitters beer brewed on nitro, available this month, to celebrate the kickoff of the partnership and to raise customer awareness of both businesses' efforts to reduce waste. A listing on the menu will give the waitstaff an opening to talk to patrons about waste reduction and what Zero Percent is doing, both to reduce food waste and feed hungry people in Chicago.

"We decided to dedicate a beer to Zero Percent in order to highlight our new partnership with them," Hylton told ChicagoInno. "We chose an ESB because we wanted to line up a beer that would be a larger batch, allowing us to have it on the menu for longer, while also something that may be a new favorite. This way, we could perhaps bring it back as the 'Zero Percent' as years go on, allowing us to continue this important conversation. Plus beers that we put on nitro are always really popular, and this ESB is perfect complement to freezing winter months! In 2015, we rest a little easier knowing that any time we have an excess of food, it will go to those who need it most."

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

New Website Shows You How to Waste Less, Enjoy More

9 Ways to Cook for One With Zero Waste

Beyond ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ to a World Without Waste

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Justin Trudeau delivers remarks during an election rally in Markham, Ontario, Canada, on Sept. 15. Creative Touch Imaging Ltd. / NurPhoto via Getty Images

By Chloe Farand for Climate Home News

Canadians are voting on Monday in an election observers say will define the country's climate future.

Read More Show Less
Activists Greta Thunberg (2ndL), Iris Duquesne(C), and Alexandria Villaseñor (3rd R) attend a press conference where 16 children present their official human rights complaint on the climate crisis to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child at the UNICEF Building on Sept. 23 in NYC. KENA BETANCUR / AFP / Getty Images

By Jessica Taft

Fifteen kids from a dozen countries, including Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, recently brought a formal complaint to the United Nations. They're arguing that climate change violates children's rights as guaranteed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a global agreement.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Cleanup costs for abandoned oil and gas wells once the producers have moved on could fall heavily on the public.
Susan Vineyard / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Justin Mikulka

Increasingly, U.S. shale firms appear unable to pay back investors for the money borrowed to fuel the last decade of the fracking boom. In a similar vein, those companies also seem poised to stiff the public on cleanup costs for abandoned oil and gas wells once the producers have moved on.

Read More Show Less
Blue tarps given out by FEMA cover several roofs two years after Hurricane Maria affected the island in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sept. 18. RICARDO ARDUENGO / AFP / Getty Images

Top officials at the Department of Housing and Urban Development confirmed to lawmakers last week that they knowingly — and illegally — stalled hurricane aid to Puerto Rico.

Read More Show Less
Actress Jane Fonda (C) and actor Sam Waterston (L) participate in a protest in front of the U.S. Capitol during a "Fire Drill Fridays" climate change protest and rally on Capitol Hill, Oct. 18. Mark Wilson / Getty Images News

It appears Jane Fonda is good for her word. The actress and political activist said she would hold demonstrations on Capitol Hill every Friday through January to demand action on the climate crisis. Sure enough, Fonda was arrested for demonstrating a second Friday in a row Oct. 18, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Only this time, her Grace and Frankie co-star Sam Waterston joined her.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Visitors look at the Aletsch glacier above Bettmeralp, in the Swiss Alps, on Oct. 1. The mighty Aletsch — the largest glacier in the Alps — could completely disappear by the end of this century if nothing is done to rein in climate change, a study showed on Sept. 12. FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP via Getty Images

Switzerland's two Green parties made historic gains in the country's parliamentary elections Sunday, according to projections based on preliminary results reported by The New York Times.

Read More Show Less
A mural in Richwood, West Virginia, a once booming Appalachia coal town, honors the community's history. Jeff Greenberg / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

By Jeff Turrentine

The coal industry is dying. But we can't allow the communities that have been dependent on coal to die along with it.

Read More Show Less
ThitareeSarmkasat / iStock / Getty Images

by Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

Every fruit lover has their go-to favorites. Bananas, apples, and melons are popular choices worldwide and can be purchased almost anywhere.

Read More Show Less