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April 13, 2011

By the Numbers

Brandon Doss @ 10:06 pm |

We recently posted an intriguing statistic on our Facebook page regarding the energy savings achieved when glass bottles are reused.  We posted an energy offset of 36,720 kWh due to the reuse of 180 cases of Kind Vines wine bottles.  I’d first like to make a correction to that statement by saying that our energy savings is probably closer to 24,710 kWh.  This correction comes from a finding on the website of  Waste Management’s San Diego divison (, stating that “Refillable glass bottles use 19,000 Btu’s of energy as compared to 58,000 Btu’s used by throwaway glass bottles.”  Assuming, of course, that these values are averaged over all types and varieties of common glass bottles, and converting from BTU to kWh, our offset from reusing 180 cases (2,160 bottles) is nearly 25 MWh.  I know, that sounds like a lot of energy. A friend of mine in the HVAC business helped put this in context.  He states that (correct me here, friend, if I’ve calculated incorrectly) 25,000 kWh is enough energy to power the average household for about 600 days!  I’m just waiting for somebody to dispute these numbers, they just seem so unreal.  Whatever the numbers, we’re witnessing an incredible momentum behind the reusable bottle concept in Flagstaff and Northern Arizona.  We’re starting a revolution.  Be Green. Return the Kind.


  1. I just took the average usage of my home, straight from my power bill. We use an average of 948 kWh per month. Our home is 2000 square feet. I live in Phoenix, that has a higher than average usage in the summer. At 948 kWh per month, 25 MWh would power my home for 26 months.

    A little more qualifying information:
    We keep our home at 70 degrees in the winter, 80 degrees in the summer. We have gas, so electricity is not used to heat our home or our water. We have an electric dryer, but hang dry our clothes any chance we get.

    This is significant! Keep up the good work guys, and keep bringing us fine wine we can drink without leaving a huge carbon footprint!

    Comment by Lucas — April 13, 2011 @ 11:05 pm

  2. Sure, those numbers line up. A couple of points: does the the 19 mBTU number include the full collection, cleaning, and distribution cycle involved for wine? Further, to make it work, you have to add incentive costs, i.e, pay people to bring the bottle back. Europeans do this by fiat, which we find hard to do. So it has to be done by economics. Consider that your btu energy difference is between $0.50 for the 58 mBTU and $0.16 for the 19 mBTU (@ $10/dekatherm), the entire collection and processing system has to cost less than $0.32 per bottle. Tough to do.

    Comment by ciendolor — June 2, 2011 @ 11:59 am

  3. Many thanks for blogging. I completely agree with your opinion.

    Comment by cardaddy — July 19, 2011 @ 11:39 am

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