GTD Partner Maui Brew Co. Focuses on Economic Sustainability

Every year, Malama Maui Nui (MMN) focuses on expanding partnerships with local leaders, community groups and businesses that emphasize environmental stewardship.

Our organization was especially excited when Maui Brew Co. reached out to us with a unique partnership opportunity that aligned with this goal.

A little more than a year ago, representatives from the neighboring brew house offered to give us their old grain bags that we now utilize as trash bags for community cleanups throughout Maui County. Not only does this relationship assist us with reducing costs for our organization, but it also gives us a chance to inspire the public to look at our waste stream differently by giving this material a second life. This concept aligns with the Environmental Protection Agency‘s Waste Hierarchy, which advocates for reuse first and foremost, a methodology we support as well.

According to the EPA’s Waste Management Hierarchy, Source reduction, also known as waste prevention, means reducing waste at the source, and is the most environmentally preferred strategy. Image courtesy of the EPA.

Since the partnership’s inception, a friendship has evolved with the local establishment and this year they agreed to expand their role in our annual Get the Drift and Bag It! (GTD) campaign by being a drop-off location for our campaign kickoff day on Sept. 16.

This annual coastal cleanup event invites the public to participate in the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup Day (ICC) by forming their own cleanups throughout Maui, Molokai, and Lanai. On this day each year, citizens all around the world form their own cleanups and count the amount of rubbish found along beaches, in neighborhoods, parks, schools and more. Information from the campaign goes into a national database that is used to effect change around litter and pollution globally. 

MMN spearheads the campaign on a local level and this year our organization placed large containers in several locations on Maui to assist with the disposal of the material collected during cleanups on the ICC day. These containers are pricey, and Maui Brew Co.’s decision to donate their container for free greatly assisted with our efforts in expanding this campaign and rallying support for our aina.

A Maui Brew Co. employee offers informational tours to visitors.

MMN Program Director Rob Douglas says partnerships such as these inspire our organization and help us accomplish our mission.

“I am so grateful for community partners such as Maui Brew Co. who are helping us think creatively about the repurposing of goods and offering such wonderful support towards Malama Maui Nui’s work. Our mission sees stewardship of Maui as being in the hands of many, not just one. Maui Brew Co. is an excellent example of how for-profit organizations can participate in shared collaboration with this work,” he said. 

Environmental stewardship seems to be a focus of Maui Brew Co.’s founder Garrett Marrero. Marrero says he is committed to incorporating sustainable practices into his business. For instance, they’re one of the first craft brewers to package in recyclable aluminum cans and give their spent grain (excess malt) to local farmers for feed and compost. The 42,000 sq. ft. facility has an array of PV panels on top of the roof and, according to Marrero, the entire brewery will be off the grid by 2018.

Thank you Maui Brew Co. for being such a great friend and neighbor. Visit their website and learn more about the brewery.