Every liter of tequila produced requires 10 liters of water and produces agave pulp and vinaza, an acid waste.
Photo By Francisco Delatorre/Courtesy Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/drspam/)
Tequila creates hangovers for more than just you; for each bottle of tequila made, the earth suffers, too. Unsustainable farming and production practices have depleted the natural resources of the Mexican states where tequila is produced. Fortunately, GreenHouse Soluciones, a subsidiary of energy and green building company GreenHouse, has developed a set of solutions to maximize use of the blue agave, the plant from which tequila is distilled, to include everything from composting and renewable energy production to capturing clean water and developing commercial products such as fiberboard.
Tequila production consumes large quantities of water and creates tons of agricultural waste. Not only does one liter of tequila require 10 liters of water to produce, but after the processing is complete, the water is discharged into streams and rivers without proper treatment, contaminating water sources. The processing turns the water into an acidic byproduct called vinaza that when improperly disposed of makes soil impermeable, hard and useless for agricultural purposes.
Tequila production also creates tons of agave pulp, compostable material that is instead sent to the landfill. GreenHouse Soluciones has purchased land in Mexico and will start construction this fall on a facility that will process agave fiber into compost. The new facility is expected to divert about 53,000 tons of waste, employ more than 70 local workers and provide compost to local farmers. GreenHouse Soluciones also has plants to reprocess the vinaza into clean energy.
For a sustainably made tequila, check out Casa Noble’s organic tequilas. Centuries-old cultivation and production practices at the Casa Noble estate take both the earth and the quality of the tequila into account, creating a distinctive, first-rate product.