Grapes on a Vine

This is a pretty stellar achievement: Fetzer Vineyards has essentially halted creating waste for the world to absorb. They are the first wine company to receive Zero Waste Certification from the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council, meaning they have diverted 97.7 percent of waste from landfill, incineration, and the environment.

The California wine producer’s achievement of “Platinum” level sets the bar for the rest of the vino-industry worldwide. They have gone beyond the expected recycling, reducing, retraining, and redesigning systems, to synthesize operations in an inspiring, eco-honoring way.

Since they opened in 1968, Fetzer Vineyards has long been committed to the environment while still being successful and profitable, proving the lie in industry assumptions that being green costs too much to be feasible. Additionally, they were the first California winery to operate on 100 percent renewable energy (back in 1999).

How many other industries and corporations could, without sacrificing bottom line commitments to profit that we all know matter, aspire to tread more gently in our shared world?

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About The Author

Andrew Mersmann's picture

Andrew is the author of Frommer's global guide to volunteer vacations, "500 Places Where You Can Make a Difference" (Gold Medal Winner from Society of American Travel Writers: Best Guide Book 2010). He spent more than a decade on the editorial team of PASSPORT Magazine. He has volunteered and led teams on service projects around the world, and is honored to be on the boards of directors for the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation ( and Mentor Artists Playwrights Project ( Mersmann has been a featured speaker, interview guest, or moderator on several travel talks, from the New York Times Travel Show, Smithsonian Associates, and the 92nd Street Y-TriBeCa to Oprah and Friends, Animal House, and The Focus Group on satellite radio as well as on NY1 television. Past participant at the Clinton Global Initiative and judge for Condé Nast World Changers Conference, he blogs about volunteering and service travel at As part of the evox television team, he is dedicated to audience engagement, so if you're not engaged, he needs to be thumped on the head (gently)...or at least told (nicely). Twitter: /ChangeByDoing

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