This week is International Composting Awareness Week, and we can’t think of a better time to celebrate the 2 year compost-iversary of one of our amazing commercial subscribers. Composting for two years is a big accomplishment, and we had a great time talking to Michael Biddick, the head sommelier and owner at Blend 111, about how composting aligns with his business mission.
Compost Crew: What inspired Blend 111 to start composting?
Michael: When we look at the waste we produce at the restaurant, over 50% can actually be composted, the bulk of which is food waste. If we removed this waste and composted it, we could greatly decrease the amount of land space that is currently occupied by landfills. When compostables break down in landfills they release methane gas, which is one of the most common greenhouse gases in the atmosphere contributing to global warming. However, if we place them in the Compost Crew bins, then the carbon that makes up the methane gas is sequestered away in the soil, rather than released into the atmosphere. Composting totally fit into our mission.
Compost Crew: What has kept you composting with us for 2 whole years?
Michael: In just two years with Compost Crew, we have diverted about 8,630 lbs that normally would have gone into landfills. The service is flexible and has grown with us as we have grown. We enjoy supporting another locally owned business and one that fits with our overall sustainability goals.
Compost Crew: How does composting align with the Blend 111 mission?
Michael: Well, one of the goals when opening the restaurant was to limit its environmental impact. Restaurants are notoriously wasteful, and I wanted to try and take a different path. So, we have several programs to limit our footprint. To start, we only serve organic and biodynamic wines. We target all food products from a 200-mile radius. For our coffee (and wine) that comes from Spain, France and other central American countries, we purchase carbon offsets that fund carbon-reduction programs. All of our coffee is also only fair-trade and organic. There is no single-use plastic on-site. Our goal is to have a single bag of trash per day. We also built a live green wall near the entrance. In addition to filtering the air, it represents our commitment to the planet.
We’re so appreciative of the support we’ve received over the past two years from Michael and the whole team at Blend 111, and we’re inspired by their dedication to their community and the environment. Next time you’re near Vienna, VA, be sure to swing by and try some of their amazing food to help them celebrate!