Earth Day offers the perfect opportunity to reflect on our everyday carbon footprint on earth. At California Olive Ranch, we are committed to sustainability when it comes to waste, recycling, and water conservation.
Let’s allow the numbers do the talking. Did you know that 99 percent of California Olive Ranch’s waste is recycled? That’s a lot of cardboard and glass diverted from over-taxed landfills. According to Mary Bolton, our Technical Services Manager, glass for our trademark green bottles arrives at the bottling facility in bulk, with minimal packaging. This step eliminates excess cardboard, saving the energy needed to recycle those materials.
Not to mention, the “pomace” or waste from olive processing, is used as cattle feed by local ranchers. “We’ve been told the cows love it!” says Bolton.
The ongoing drought in California has put water waste at the forefront of many people’s minds. California Olive Ranch has committed to being a minimal water-use facility from the beginning. Thanks to smart design, the storage tanks are cleaned using a minimal amount of water to achieve maximum cleaning power. “When the facility was designed, we collaborated with tank manufacturers to minimize the amount of water needed,” says Bolton.
Meanwhile, out in the fields, data-driven field research allows ranchers to decrease their water inputs. For example, ranchers can decide what times of the day are most efficient to give each olive tree the water what it needs. Olive trees use much less water than other tree crops in California. But that hasn’t stopped ranchers like Brian Mori from seeking out ways to save even more of our precious natural resource.
“Water conservation is our main priority for the 2015 season,” says Mori, who works with our family farmers and contract growers, on crop practices, harvest, and quality. “We have decreased inputs of water and fertilizer, while increasing productivity in our orchards, and improving fruit and oil quality.”
Sustainability efforts are a triple-win—for the natural world, for human and animal life, and for the production of high-quality, California-grown extra virgin olive oil.