Category Archives: Eco-Friendly News

BioandChic News

Easy Steps to Creating an Eco-Friendly Holiday Bar

 

cocktailEggnog, mulled wine, pomegranate punch…when planning your festive drink menu this holiday season, there are some quick and easy steps you can take to creating an eco-friendly bar.

Here’s a list to help you get you started:

Green Spirits: Many liquor companies are making efforts to add environmentally friendly practices to their production, from their choice of ingredients to using recycled materials and sustainable energy in their facilities. (Here’s a short list however there are many more choices!)

  • Bluecoat American Gin– no additives and uses all-natural, organic botanicals.
  • VeeV — made from Brazilian Rainforest Acai berries and other 100% natural ingredients. Made in LA at a distillery run with 100% renewable energy. This is a delicious mixer.
  • Blue Ice Organic American Wheat Vodka — handcrafted with USDA certified organic wheat & wheat neutral spirits.
  • Whistle Pig Straight Rye Whiskey– comes from Whistle Pig Farm in Vermont, a certified organic facility.
  • Organic Nation Vodka — distilled from organic rye, wheat, and corn, and it’s certified by an organization in Oregon that is dedicated to biologically sound and socially equitable agriculture.
  • 360 Vodka – green and sustainable vodka known for its innovative recycling program.
  • A few other certified organic vodkas include Orange V, Prairie, Tru Organic Vodka & Gin, and Charbay.

Check out this video on how to make a martini with organic vodka and organic apples:

Locally Brewed Beer & Organic Wine: Choose wines that are sustainable and organic. Serve locally brewed beers, plus there are also many organic and vegan choices available at craft beer stores. Wine in boxes and beer in kegs also reduce the amount of bottles to be recycled after an event.

Recycling: Create recycling bins for glass and plastic. If the bottles are just too nice to recycle, you can always reuse them for homemade mixers and simple syrups, or infusions. 360 Vodka bottles, for example, are designed with swing-top caps so that the bottles can be reused for other purposes like olive oil, vinegars, or water. And if you are recycling the bottles instead of reusing, the caps can be mailed back through their innovative Close the Loop program.

Festive Eco-Friendly Barware and Accessories: Instead of using things just once and throwing them away, choose accessories that are washable and reusable. If using disposables, choose ones that are compostable, made from bamboo, palm leaf, or  sugarcane.210BBTWIST9-bamboo-twisted-unique-skewer__67641.1406305780.490.490

Bar Towels – choose cotton instead of paper towels

Cocktail Napkins- linen instead of paper

Straws – colorful bee’s wax coated paper straws. Ours come in green, red, black, blue, and pink.

straws-blogpostOlive/Garnish Picks – stylish bamboo picks add a festive and fun touch to cocktails.

Coasters and Cutting Board – choose eco-friendly bamboo

Decorative Trays for Bar Displays and Serving – choose from bamboo, wood, palm leaf or sugarcane

Snack Bowls – mini disposable bowls made of bamboo or palm leaf for pretzels, peanuts, other bar snacks and drink garnishes.

Glassware: If you need extra glasses, you can shop garage sales or thrift stores for used barware, vintage shakers and old-fashioned glassware. Or try our new reusable Mini Doublewall Glasses in assorted sizes and shapes.

Local & Organic Ingredients for Mixers & Garnishes: choose organic locally grown fruits and garnishes. If you need lemon or lime juice, making it fresh not only tastes better, you can also compost the scraps.

Use Energy Efficient Appliances and LED Lighting: downsize to an energy efficient bar refrigerator that fits all of your mixers and fruits. Extra empty space in the fridge uses more energy so it’s more efficient to find a size that suits your needs. Check the seal on the refrigerator (if you put a dollar bill in the door, close it, and can slip the dollar out of the door, it’s time to replace the seal). Also, unplug appliances when you’re not using them.

Clean Green: Use “green” cleaning products for cleaning bar surface, glasses and bar tools.

Here’s a simple wintery holiday recipe for Mulled Spice Organic Simple Syrup from MGQ Bartending to put you in the holiday spirit —  just add rum, vodka or any other liquor to make a martini, or club soda for an alcohol free drink.

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 1 each orange and lemon peel
  • star anise
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 whole cloves

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer for about 15 minutes. Strain through a wire mesh strainer into a bowl and let sit until cooled to room temp. Store in a glass jar with tight fitting lid in the fridge. Try making a festive cocktail by combining with rum and lime soda!

 CHEERS!

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Kick It Up A Notch: Tips for Eco-Friendly Tailgating

football-bioandchic-tailgatingFootball season is here, and if you are a football fan (or a caterer) this means tailgating season is here as well. From college football to the NFL, tailgating culture has gone extreme and the competition in parking lots has gotten fierce.  And menus today go waaay beyond burgers and dogs.

Unfortunately though, after the tailgating is over and people head into the stadiums, thousands of plastic cups, empty bottles, plates, and utensils litter the lot. The *Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that together the fans of NFL and college football games (65 million fans) generate more than 40 million pounds of trash per year.

To tackle this problem, the NFL as well as many colleges and universities across the country, are focusing on environmental issues and taking measures to make their stadiums “greener.”

Encouraging pregame partiers to use greener products and implementing ways for tailgaters to recycle are just a couple of ways to lessen the environmental impact.  Many universities, such as the University of Southern California, have initiated Zero Waste Tailgate programs.

Here Are 6  Easy **Green Tailgating Tips:


Choose eco-friendly biodegradable and compostable utensils, plates, and cups. A few examples include bamboo plates, cornstarch or wooden cutlery, sugarcane bowls, and paper cups. 


For on-site grilling, choose all natural briquettes made from environmentally friendly wood sources and renewable plant wastes like coconut husks. If grilling food on skewers, choose biodegradable bamboo or wood.


Create menus that use local, seasonal ingredients — there are so many delicious options in the Fall.


Prepare dishes ahead of time when possible, and transport in eco-friendly containers. Bio & Chic offers recyclable round paper buckets (click here).


By in bulk whenever possible, and avoid “snack” sizes to reduce packaging.


To reduce the amount of waste sent to the landfill, use recycle and compost bins accordingly. All bottles, cans, cardboard, paper and plastic with #1-7 can be recycled.


Eco-friendly tailgating is made easy with Bio & Chic’s disposable takeout and tableware collection. To see the full collection, click here!

PLUS, for some tailgating recipes, click here.

Sources:

* Well Being Magazine (http://www.wellbeingmag.com/2014/09/green-your-tailgate-party)

** University of North Texas’s Mean Green Tailgating program (www.sustainable.unt.edu);  University of Southern California Zero Waste Tailgate Certification Program  (http://green.usc.edu/green-tailgate-tips)

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Fall Entertaining: Small Bites On Spoons Pack Big Flavor

apples-bioandchic-fall      Fall is here and so is the season for entertaining! The leaves are beginning to change colors, the temperatures are already starting to drop, and the days will soon start to get shorter than the nights. We are moving our parties indoors, candlelight is replacing daylight, and we begin to crave foods and company that comfort.

 

Farmers markets are overflowing with bushels of crisp apples, eggplants and potatoes, and so many other fall foods that inspire us to think about interesting menus and new ways to serve them.

This year, one of the biggest trends in entertaining – from big weddings to small parties at home – is a menu made up of mini-portions. “By-the-bite” menus may appear to contradict our cooler weather cravings for hearty meals and comfort foods, but chefs have found a lot of creative ways to pack a lot of punch into spoon-sized portions that make a big impression. For people who don’t want a formal seated dinner, serving a meal of foods on spoons can offer what amounts to a full meal, only in smaller bites.

Some restaurant chefs serve amuse bouche (literally means happy mouth in French) on spoons and go way out-of-the-box with their whimsical presentations.

 

There are several advantages to planning a menu made of “mini’s:


Variety – when serving small portions you can offer a bigger variety of foods, satisfying the different dietary tastes of all your guests. Every flavor and ethnic inspiration can also fit into the menu.


Presentation – by altering the portion size, you can be more fun and creative with your presentation style.


Saves Money – appetizers and small portions tend to be less expensive to produce than traditional main courses. You may even be able to skip the cost of renting any dishes at all. Instead, try uniquely shaped spoons presented on stylish serving trays.


Saves Time – spoon-sized portions can often be prepared in advance, making it easier for chefs when entertaining large numbers.


Bio & Chic’s Tasting Spoon Collection makes it easy with our stylish eco-friendly disposable bamboo spoons in different colors, shapes and sizes, or try our sleek clear green cocktail spoons. Be sure to also check out our Sugar Cane Trays.

tasting-spoons-bamboo

 

 

 

 

We would love to hear (and see) how you are using spoons to present your food. Photos and comments can be sent to contact@packnwood.com. And we would love to share your images on our Facebook and Pinterest pages!

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