at middle brow we constantly think about the social ramifications of our actions. brewing beer is very water intensive, for example. there's no way around it. that sucks. ... we try to balance it out by conserving as much water at home as we can. and we intend to build a brewpub ecosystem that minimizes water waste.
waste. how about that? how often are our actions wasteful. think about the last time you grabbed a bunch of paper towels to clean up a light spill. did you really need that many? could you designate a kitchen towel for spills instead of creating unnecessary paper towel waste?
or think about the last car you purchased. did you really need to purchase a brand new car? could you have purchased something used instead? these days, you can purchase a used car with all the same after-purchase service benefits as a new car. so what's the excuse in buying brand new? in being marginally responsible for adding another "thing" to the world?
our friend meegan czop owns and runs great lakes yard--the best reclaimed lumber yard in chicago. she taught us a lot about really subtle instances of waste. e.g., think about how we built the city of chicago: we ripped up forests all over the midwest. and when it's time for a house or a church or a school to come down, what do we do with all those former forests? we chop them up and send them back to *other* midwestern cities' landfills. why not build more, new things out of those materials? they should be preserved and reused.
or, take bicycles. you can go buy a brand new road bike for $300. or you can go to working bikes in pilsen and spend $250 on a really cool schwinn from the 80s. true, it's not much cheaper. but you're not putting new shit into the world that'll one day be trashed. what's more, in the case of working bikes, you're supporting their amazing mission of providing bicycles to underprivileged people in developing countries.
all to say: let's be mindful about our actions that create waste. let's bring our own coffee mugs to the cafe and give 'em a soapless rinse right when we're done drinking. let's buy used jeans, cuz new jeans are poorly made anyhow. let's all get a nalgene for water!!!!!! let's build breweries and restaurants out of once-used materials. and let's make sure our processes reduce waste. ...
now. can someone in the upper midwest create a compostable beer can?
counterpoint: don't judge me every time i'm brushing my fucking teeth.
counter-counterpoint: yeah yeah yeah ... of course we wouldn't. we try to be less wasteful ourselves. but if that doesn't fit your lifestyle, or your life patterns, we still love you. maybe you can find some small, easy way to reduce waste in your own way. and if not, come trade smiles with us some day or night anyway. and let's have a really fucking human moment.