Mt. Airy: Sustainability turned into Profitability

John setting up bar for customers]

Running a sustainable business can make your bottom line economically viable. At Earth: Bread and Brewery in Mt. Airy Peggy Zwerver, a co-owner, lays this out.

Earth is a profit turning sustainable restaurant and brewery.  The establishment boasts at least 16 different ways Earth is sustainable.

“We compost, we try to use produce from local farms as much as possible and utilize local compost companies [for our waste].” Said Zwerver.

Earth makes soda on premises. This severely reduces the amount of plastics they use.

Their waste is reduced so much from these practices trash day for Earth is a breeze. “We only put out around 4 trash barrels per week.” Explained Swerver.

Corks to be recycled
Corks to be recycled

Using refurbished furniture and decorum is another way Earth is able to maintain their bottom line in an eco-friendly fashion. Jamie Gauthier Executive Director of Greater Philadelphia Sustainable Business Network (SBN) highly suggests this practice as well.

“Composting, buying locally and using reclaimed furniture are great ways for any business to start being sustainable.” Said Gauthier.

Local farmers and food co-ops will buy your compost from you, which means the trash that once stank up your conference room can be made into a profit.

At Earth refurbished furniture is everywhere. The seats, bars, tables and most of the floor boards are used.

“Our bathroom stalls are all made from old doors,” said Zwerver.

The tables came from Victory Brewing Company and most of their flooring once was the walls that made up a factory in Maine. Zwerver stated she found the pine on Craigslist for a price lower than she’d have paid for new floor boards.

Being sustainable isn’t always easy. Both Gauthier and Zwerver noted it takes time to adjust. Gauthier explained research is necessary to find what best suits your business.

“It’s all about finding pathways that work for you [and your business],” said Gauthier.

Going sustainable can be an adjustment for the employees as well.

“I do understand the difficulty of retraining every employee.” Said Zwerver.

Other business incentives include tax incentives.  B Corporations (businesses that declare themselves as sustainable) in Philadelphia can receive tax credits.

“Twenty-five businesses per year can take advantage of up to $4,000 in tax incentives,” said Gauthier.

The bottom line is always on a business owner’s mind but so should social responsibility.

“It’s the right thing to do, period,” Zwerver said.

John setting up bar for customers
John setting up bar for customers

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