Doing the right thing has always been important to us at Merriman’s Waimea, especially when it comes to the environment, and we’re proud to announce that we’ve taken that promise a step further by becoming GreenPlaces certified CarbonNeutral and offsetting 516 metric tons of carbon in 2022. Our new sustainability plan focuses on tracking our footprint, reducing our emissions, and removing carbon from the atmosphere through verified environmental projects.
of carbon offset since 2022
That's like taking 112 cars off the road, permanently.
We are proud to do our part for the planet and commit to being a carbon neutral restaurant. In partnership with GreenPlaces, we’ve completed our first carbon assessment to understand our emissions, offset those emissions by investing in verified environmental projects around the globe that reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Now we’re focused on our plan to reduce our footprint where we can. These exciting initiatives include expanding our solar capacity, switching to all electric kitchen equipment, exploring new sustainable alternatives to glass wine and spirit bottles, and investing in carbon-friendly, locally made, goat cheese!
Once we've reduced our carbon footprint to its smallest possible size, our intent is to then offset our remaining footprint by planting native hardwoods in Hawaii. More on this project in 2023.
When considering options to lower our footprint through our purchasing habits, we faced a conundrum: what do we do about our wine list? The geographic location of our islands put us at a disadvantage to finding many climate-friendly solutions as our landfill continues to rise with imported glass. A conversation with a prominent winemaker convinced us to limit the weight of bottles we carry. We asked our winemakers to keep bottle weight under 3 pounds. Our initiative in 2023 is to collaborate with wineries in the hopes of replacing all glass bottles with cardboard boxes. That move alone would cut our emissions contributed to wine by half!
We've partnered with GreenPlaces to conduct annual carbon assessments to calculate our footprint, identifying the total emissions our business is responsible for producing and using (directly and indirectly). Understanding our emissions allows us to be smart about what next steps we take on our climate journey. Through these assessments we are measuring and tracking our Scopes 1, 2 and 3 emissions, and we recently completed our 2021 Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report in accordance with GHG protocol.
After calculating our carbon output, we discovered that natural gas usage was the third largest contributor to the overall output. To reduce that output as much as possible, we committed to replacing our old equipment with electric induction equipment. Induction technology is an exciting method of powering equipment through an electromagnetic field. This design heats quickly, maintains its temperature, and are the most energy efficient electric appliances on the market!
The Scientists at Blue Ocean Barns are helping Hawaii Island Goat Dairy feed limu kohu, a seaweed, aka Asparagopsis to their animals. This reduces the methane emission from any ruminant by 85%. To our knowledge, this will be the first goat cheese in the world produced in this manner.
On Prince of Wales Island in Alaska, the Klawock Heenya Project protects 8,600 forested acres, including 1,000 acres of old-growth forests with large, old trees that are virtually undisturbed by human impact and rich in biodiversity. Not only does this project increase sequestration capacity through tree growth, the protected forest also naturally filters its interconnected water systems and protects 40+ fish bearing streams, as well as beaches and wetlands where an abundance of wildlife thrive. The management of this forest for carbon also helps to ensure long-term sustainable governance for the local community, protecting and conserving the unique biological resources in the area for future generations.
Based in the state of Para in northern Brazil, the Pacajai REDD+ Project aims to prevent the deforestation of native rainforests that can typically be attributed to unregulated harvesting, illegal land clearing, and other human activities. Since its start in 2008, the project has supported local community resource management, provided energy efficient cook stoves for those living on project land, helped educate on pasture and cattle management, and much more. Along with these initiatives, the land boundary is continuously monitored to help identify and prevent any further deforestation or illegal activities.
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