HUM Magazine August 2012

Page 43


ingness to get dirty and leave our nation’s trails better than you found them. The project hopes to build and maintain over 18 miles of hiking trails in the state of Alaska through volunteer trail work. Another volunteerism experience involves a boat, a rainforest and a river. It is Earthwatch Institute’s Discover Earthwatch, where voluntourists work side-by-side with scientists to discover, document, and protect some of the planet’s most spectacular places and animals. Brazil anyone? Wines with Character While you are voluntouring, you may want to enjoy a good wine and some delicious cheese, so often made with pride locally. Organic is all the buzz these days. All types of industries are becoming responsible these days, and it is often difficult to differentiate between good marketing and good product. Many wineries use organic grapes to make the heady concoction and use the organic method of winemaking, which excludes non-organic additives to the grapes. If they use sulfites to stabilize the wine, the wine cannot be called organic, so the label reads “made with organic grapes”. If you want to go for the full organic experience, try wines with character, the “biodynamic” wines. The wine makers adhere to the strict rules associated with organic practices, and the grown and cultivated in a vineyard that is considered

a complete, living eco-system. The soil, plant and animal life all coexist in the vineyard. The grapevines are pruned, sprayed with organic ingredients to prevent bugs, and harvested based on the phases of the moon and positions of the planets for the health of the vines and to produce the best-quality fruit. The grapes are harvested according to the lunar calendar and the goal is to create a holistic, regenerative environment for the eco-system and for the harvested grapes that become the wine. The biodynamic growing system is fully embraced in France and in parts of Europe, and the United States is making inroads as well. Five Organic Wines Under $15 1. Leth, Gruner Veltliner, Steinagrund, Austria, 2009 2. Montinore, “Borealis”, Willamette, 2009 3. Gassier Nostre Pais Blanc, Costieres de Nimes, 2008 4. Christian Venier Gamay “La Gautrie”, Touraine, 2009 5. Chateau La Chapelle Maillard, Bordeaux Rouge, 2008 So, if you want to feel good and do good, take out your suitcase and book your voluntouring trip and enjoy a good bottle of biodynamic red. Don’t forget to offset your carbon footprint, too. Cheers! Next month, we will bring you a discussion about energy and socially responsible investing.

Photos: Tajana Mesic


Tajana Mesic is the president and founder of GGG Sustainability Solutions, a speaker and a philanthropist. GGG is a full-service sustainability and resource efficiency consulting firm operating in Houston and Dallas, providing clients with professional services and guidance on integrating sustainability strategy into operations in a financially viable way. GGG is a certified B Corporation and deeply involved in the Dallas and Houston international community.

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