Local nonprofit arts organization Gallery5 announced today that it will moving to using all Virginia products "as a climate resiliency and local economic decision."
It also plans to make major changes to better connect with Virginia businesses in order to lower its carbon footprint -- and will be remaining Virginia-only bar from now on.
By switching to a Virginia-only bar, Gallery5 says it will be saving at least 10,230 miles per order. This adds up to "at least 122,796 fossil fuel miles worth of energy saved when we make our bar orders. This is for just one bar order though." They usually make 4 to 5 orders a month when operating at full capacity.
"This is definitely a more costly way of doing business for us, especially as a small community supported non profit, but that's the point I think," said Prabir Mehta, chair of the board of directors for Gallery5. "I hope that the folks who support us financially appreciate that we're using the funds responsibly. We know people have loved Gallery5 for sixteen years now, but we need to make the organization as good as we can at every capacity, including our environmental impact."
Every year in May, the community art space looks to focus on resources and sustainability issues. They also announced that in celebration of these changes, they would be holding the 50 Mile Fest art show from May 7 through May 29 which will feature local artists displaying their works with a theme of "environmental concerns, regional sustainability, native wildlife and places that promote advocacy."
"This is something we've wanted to do for a while, but didn't know when the right time to make the move would be," Mehta said. "Like many things, sometimes you just have to do it to get the process rolling. So, we had a talk with the staff, I explained the numbers and how we could make a big positive impact during such tense times. Everyone was on board and our staff quickly got to researching Virginia product options."
Today's press release noted that "Gallery5 is also adding some local packaged snack items to the bar as well. Our patrons can now enjoy many cocktails, beers, and wines from around Virginia, but they can also now enjoy locally made pimento cheese, hummus, locally grown peanuts, and other snacks which will rotate on and off our menu seasonally."