Whether the weekend is here or you’ve simply had one of those days, a cold brewski sounds like the ticket right now. But have you ever considered how eco-friendly your adult beverage of choice is?
You can reduce the carbon footprint associated with alcohol without hopping atop the fabled wagon. By paying attention to how your drink is prepared and served, you can maintain your commitment to environmental stewardship while still enjoying a pleasant (but responsible!) buzz.
You can reduce your carbon footprint associated with alcohol and enjoy adult beverages in an eco-friendly way by following these tips.
1. Leave the Red Cups in Undergrad
Remember how the price of admission to that undergraduate keg party was $5 for a red, plastic cup? Somewhere in the Pacific, remnants of those college keggers float in garbage patches that choke wildlife. Researchers found plastic remnants in the stomach of marine animals ranging from shrimp to whales.
Plus, disposable cups use a ton of energy and water during the manufacturing process. They drive up the demand for crude oil. And even if they remain in the landfill, they take roughly 1,000 years to biodegrade.
2. Choose Sustainable Producers
Before you head to the liquor store, do a bit of research on your favorite brands. Several brands make sustainability and coexistence with nature a part of their mission statement. These companies need your support to continue doing what they do, and their commitment to using more eco-friendly processes often results in a higher-quality product. Better booze plus environmentally-friendly practices equal a win-win.
3. Invest in Bamboo and Steel Straws
When you head out to the local pub and order a mixed drink, chances are it comes with a tiny straw or two. These cost energy to produce, increasing carbon emissions. Plus they clog landfills or end up in the ocean.
Furthermore, plastic straws aren’t only bad for the environment. They can damage your health as well. For home use, invest in quality bamboo straws for entertaining guests. Turn down the plastic at the bar and, if health concerns make drinking from a straw more desirable, invest in a steel reusable one you can slip in your purse or pocket.
4. Buy Beer and Wine Locally
If you’re a wine aficionado, no doubt you sing the praises of certain Argentinian reds or fine French champagne. However, transporting food and beverages around the world takes considerable jet fuel and gasoline. These create additional CO2 emissions at a time when the planet is heating up quickly.
The good news? Microbrewing exploded in recent years and you can find great local pints. Chances are wineries in your area produce vintages every bit as tasty as those produced overseas with none of the extensive shipping, too. Many feature wine clubs you can join and even host fun events like grape stomps — release your inner Lucille Ball and get in on the party!
Buy local! Transporting food and beverages around the world takes considerable jet fuel and gasoline, creating additional CO2 emissions at a time when the planet is heating up quickly.
5. Evaluate Your Mixers
You can spend a small fortune on different mixers when stocking your home bar, but all those bottles create a lot of plastic waste and CO2 emissions during transport. Why not experiment with homemade mixers that not only taste great, they elevate your booze game? With a touch of creativity, you can create a signature cocktail your friends won’t find anywhere else.
6. Pay Attention to Containers
Boxed wine drinkers of the world, rejoice! Yes, Virginia, boxed wine is friendlier to the planet than the bottled version. Glass weighs more than cardboard, meaning it creates more emissions to ship. Plus cardboard uses less energy during production, meaning you save on additional carbon emissions that way, too.
If you drool like Homer Simpson when it comes to beer and you have the budget, consider investing in a mini-keg chiller. Even though glass and aluminum recycle easily, tapping a keg saves even more on materials.
7. Go Organic
Finally, choose organic alcohol whenever possible. Farmers grow the ingredients for these without pesticides, making them better for your health and the environment. Buying organic also helps preserve the water supply as runoff from pesticides causes pollution.
Imbibe the Eco-Friendly Way This Weekend
You can still enjoy a wee nip now and then without foregoing your commitment to living more sustainably. By following the tips above, you can enjoy your adult beverages in an eco-friendly way.
About the Author
Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Guides for Brides, Hotel Online and more! Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!
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