Updated: Jan 28
In 1997, Barry and Shahnaz Bettinger purchased Snoqualmie Ice Cream to fulfill their dream of owning a business together. Barry grew up on a family farm, where he learned from his father that he should always leave his land better than he’d found it. As an adult, Barry ran a large dairy plant in New York, and the experience further cemented his belief that a business should hold itself to the highest standards in quality and sustainability. Barry brought his value of peerless quality and an unshakeable commitment to protecting the environment to Snoqualmie Ice Cream, and we are proud to say that we have been practicing sustainability while producing some of the best ice cream in the Pacific Northwest for more than 23 years.
What is sustainability?
“Sustainability” is defined as “the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level.” To be sustainable, something must be able to renew itself at a rate that matches or exceeds the rate of use; otherwise, if the resource in question cannot renew itself at the same rate as the rate of use, sustainability means that use of the resource must be paused periodically to allow the resource to renew itself to pre-use levels. The use of some resources, like fossil fuels, can never truly be considered sustainable because the nature of those resources is non-renewable.
Sustainability, as a business philosophy and a lifestyle, focuses on two primary principles:
1) Adoption of sustainable practices and techniques.
2) Adoption of sustainable infrastructure and technologies
The adoption of sustainable practices is at the heart of sustainability. This is an attitude, a core value, and its driving mantra is “do more with less.” Sustainable practices are those things that a person or a business can do right now, without special tools or technologies, to reduce resource consumption and to help revitalize local and global environments. Some sustainable practices include:
● Recycling paper, plastics, and metals
● Turning off lights when they are not needed
● Using the least amount of water possible for any task
● Commuting to work by rideshare, public transit, or on a bicycle
● Purchasing from local businesses rather than importing from out-of-state or international businesses
The list goes on; in fact, entire books have been written about the various practices—big and small—that a person or business can adopt in the name of sustainability. Regardless of the specific behavior, every sustainable practice starts with a question:
“What can I do differently to reduce my footprint on the environment?”
Every year, new technologies and techniques are developed to help people and businesses become more sustainable. Incandescent light bulbs are replaced by LEDs that use up to 80% less energy for the same amount of light; traditional concrete is replaced by pervious concrete that allows stormwater to filter down to the soil beneath, allowing nature’s hydrological cycle to work uninterrupted; electricity produced by burning fossil fuels like coal and natural gas is replaced by electricity produced from renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and hydro power. Choosing to switch to those more sustainable technologies is the second half of sustainability as a practice. If you think about it, this second principle is naturally derived from the first principle of sustainability, because adopting sustainable practices also often means adopting more efficient, more sustainable technologies to make those practices even more effective.
Why is sustainability important?
Turn on the news and you are guaranteed to see a few stories about crises and disasters that are, in one way or another, tied to human consumption of natural resources. Droughts, fires, severe storms, floods, dwindling biodiversity, pollution—all these and more are driven, at least in part, by the way we have lived and done business without regard to our planet’s finite resources and the fragile ecosystems where those resources naturally occur. Experts and activists around the world are sounding the alarm. They warn that things are only going to get worse unless we make changes to our lifestyles and our business practices, changes that are founded on the principles of sustainability.
Through sustainable practices and techniques, and with the help of sustainable technologies and infrastructure, we have a chance to slow some of the most dangerous changes to our world’s climate and its ecosystems. With a population committed to sustainability, and with emerging technologies, it is even possible that we may be able to reverse some of the most harmful changes that have already occurred.
Snoqualmie Ice Cream: Committed to Excellence in Quality, Service, and Sustainability
Our all-natural, organic ingredients are sourced from right here in Washington state, in order to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels for packing and shipping. Our property in Maltby, WA, has been designed with rain gardens, bioswales, and pervious concrete so that our business is not interrupting the natural hydrological cycle of our local environment. We have installed solar panels, LED lighting, and compressor waste heat recycling systems to significantly reduce our energy footprint. And, because we believe that the only way forward on the path to true sustainability is together, we have installed a green energy kiosk on our property to help educate visitors about the benefits of green roofs, local farming, and other sustainable practices, techniques, and technologies.
So when you want fantastically smooth, deliciously rich ice cream that is made with sustainable technologies and practices you can feel good about, come to Snoqualmie Ice Cream. From our ice cream plant, to our environmentally-friendly parlor, to your eagerly waiting taste buds, Snoqualmie Ice Cream is committed to bringing you the best ice cream while taking care of you, our employees, our community, and the environment.