Saturday, February 28, 2009

Buy Your Wine With CORK Stoppers

About a year ago we organized a cancer benefit at the infamous Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ for a wonderful 27 year old man and great family friend. The Stone Pony people were amazing with us and if you grow up in New Jersey you most likely will have some great memories of the place. They are now going to recycle their corks through me and I am very excited about it! Most wine cork stoppers come from Portugal, one of the oldest countries in Europe. It is a huge part of their economy (and that of the other 6 Mediterranean cork-producing countries) and a vital source of rural employment. The forests support a fragile, bio-diverse ecosystem. The cork oaks in Portugal alone offset 10 million tons of carbon every year and are also important producers of oxygen.

The producers of plastic tops and metal screw caps are working hard (and using higher non-renewable energy consumption and producing more toxic chemicals) to increase their market share within the wine industry. Uncorking a wine bottle can be a bit of a hassle at times (I know I always have to hunt for my corkscrew) but what would your party be like if you just get to unscrew the top of your wine like a bottle of diet pepsi - without that energizing cork pop sound to get the party started!

If you really must buy your wine with plastic caps - remember they will end up in landfills even when recycled unless there is a specific program in your area to recycle them. Aveda, the beauty supply company, offers a program to recycle plastic caps. Send them by mail to ACA Waste Services, 40 Eads Street, West Babylon, NY 11704

I am hoping everyone will continue to support the 300 year old cork industry by buying your wine with cork stoppers! They are biodegradable (toss in your compost pile- chop them up and they will degrade faster) or can be sent to me for recycling (I collect them from many of my local bars and restaurants for a great program called ReCork America) - if you send me some I also promise to make you something very cool and send it to you!