The need to think and act more proactively about the environmental impact of our actions as an industry has never been more important.

Predictions show that by 2050 there will be more plastic straws in the ocean than fish. If that is not bad enough consider this, fish ingest the plastic and toxic chemicals in the ocean and these are in turn passed on to humans.

As an industry we need to think more about many of the materials we use as the production of plastic creates greenhouse gas emissions and in addition plastics release toxic chemicals as it degrades, polluting our land and our seas.

This need to think more clearly about our actions and our practices is bringing about a shift in consumer actions as well, as they look for products which are more sustainable, more environmentally friendly and more ethically produced and packaged.

The desire to reduce our impact on the planet, but also to make sure what we have is passed on to the next generation and the next. As the current custodians of amazing vineyards, hop farms and other incredible parcels of land across Australia and beyond many people are realising it is important for this generation to nurture and improve what has been entrusted to us.

It’s a long journey, but it’s an important one. Many companies looking at practices such as being carbon neutral, organic and generally embracing a more sustainable approach.

One company which has taken up the challenge to tread more lightly on Earth and make positive change wherever possible is Handpicked Wines.

The winemaker has started the process of organic certification across six of its vineyards.

Handpicked Wines’ Director of Winemaking, Peter Dillon, said: “Sustainability begins in our vineyards with the life and health of our soils and continues across every part of our business – in wineries and office spaces, transport, packaging and merchandise.

“We are proud to have a diverse team of individuals and partners all working together and committed to positive change.”

To begin its sustainability journey Handpicked Wines has launched the ‘Tread Lightly, Travel Far’ campaign, which is focused on telling the winemaker’s story as it moves towards a more sustainable future by Treading Lightly across Land, Water and Sky.

The campaign has three key elements, which highlight that this is a journey, this is about taking those first steps and hopefully taking customers with them showing that small actions can lead to big change.

The run-in to Christmas provides a great opportunity to begin thinking about sustainability and about the little things we can all do to start the big difference.

Handpicked Wines has launched gift packaging that is good for the planet with bright and colourful packs available in Sky, Water and Land print.

Dillion adds: “Each box has been sustainably sourced (by auditing suppliers), made from recycled materials and printed using water-soluble soy inks.

“We have taken care to minimise the use of any materials or finishes that are not recyclable such as foil and certain varnishes to ensure the box can be returned to the earth with a lighter footprint.”

The ‘Tread Lightly, Travel Far’ gift boxes, which are available in single and twin configurations, are complimentary with every wine order at the Handpicked Cellar Door, online and at selected retailers and selected domestic airports.

Also in time for Christmas Handpicked has adopted a ‘Greener Gifting’ ethos, which promotes re-use over single use, as Dillon explains.

“From here on in, we are mindful to produce thoughtful merchandise with a sense of value and purpose to help reduce our reliance on ‘disposable’ single-use items. Each of us can make small changes in our daily lives to contribute to the movement.

“Our ‘Greener Gifting’ range includes a Zero Waste Kit (reusable straw, cleaning brush and travel chopsticks in a portable bamboo tube), an extra-strong premium umbrella to weather any storm and an Eco-Canteen (24hr cold / 12hr hot).”

The Handpicked journey towards sustainability has started and you can stay tuned for more from the winemaker regarding what it is doing at its vineyards here in Australia, and around the world as part of this shift in thinking.

For now join the start of the journey by following @handpickedwines or using #TreadLightlyTravelFar and you can find out more on the Handpicked Wines Tread Lightly Travel Far website.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.