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Living Green: Local wineries & vineyards doing their part to be sustainable

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PASCO, WA - During the month of April, NBC Right Now is Living Green, looking into how our community is doing their part to be sustainable.

In Eastern Washington, wine plays a huge role in agriculture so we looked into how local wineries are taking care of the environment.

"It's thinking of ways to maximize what we have," James Whitelatch said, adding the vineyards are his office.

"For us, it was making sure that we can keep going, that we are not wasting what we have available to us," Whitelatch added. He is the operations manager at Claar Cellars in Pasco.

"The world is constantly changing, we're seeing a lot of questions about how things are done and to be able to give this to my children is probably my driving force," Whitelatch said.

Claar Cellars is LIVE certified.

LIVE is a Pacific Northwest third party organization that supports wine growers who are doing their part to be environmentally responsible.

Each year, members have to complete a check list, making sure their practices are sustainable.

"We found them and saw that we were mostly doing what they were recommending," Whitelatch said.

Claar Cellars takes into account the chemicals they use.

They have a ground water system to heat their buildings and have even installed energy efficient bulbs.
     
Whitelatch says technology has played a big part in being sustainable.

But, Claar Cellars is not the only winery in our area doing their part. Minnick Hills Vineyard, Naches Heights Vineyard and Northstar Winery are just some of the other wineries living green.

Wine makers, researchers and environmentalists come up with the LIVE certification standards.

In the Pacific Northwest, they have certified 310 vineyards and 41 wineries.

"I'm fourth generation, we want to keep this going as long as possible and so taking care of the land, we felt was very important as a continued goal," Whitelatch explained, "I have a beautiful office and just keeping it that way was just the most important part."

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