Drinking Your Way to a Better Environment
Image by Edwin Land (via Flickr)
There are many changes you can make in your life in order to better the environment. But did you know your choice of beverage can also impact the environment? Here are a few beverage choices you might want to consider in your quest to drink your way to a better environment:
1) Water: Okay, this is an obvious choice. But should you drink tap or bottled water? To be honest the choice is yours, however I lean more towards tap water (with a filter) than bottled water. A key factor to consider is “Tap water is regulated by the EPA as well as state and local governments, but bottled water is only checked by the Food and Drug Administration.”
Besides, why pay the extra money (pennies vs. dollars) for bottled water, when you can get the same or sometimes better quality water from the tap? Tap water requires less production/distribution and there is no plastic bottle to get rid of/recycle when you are done.
If you do have a concern about the quality of your tap water either at home or on the go, yet don’t want to carry around a water bottle with you, get an iStraw. The iStraw purifies your water as you drink, leaving it 99.9999% safe to drink. And it’s small enough to fit in your purse or pocket.
2) Alcoholic beverages: When you go out to the bar or make drinks for your friends at home, you probably don’t consider which alcohol to use based on which is best for the environment. Do you? Well, it’s something you might want to consider before your next get-together or party.
For example, McCormick Distilling Co. makes an eco-friendly vodka, Vodka 360. The vodka in every bottle is quadruple-distilled through their energy-efficient process. They even profess to utilize every bushel of grain, letting nothing go to waste. They promote using 100% recycled content, the processed paper they use is chlorine-free, their bottles are 85% recycled and their vodka is 4x distilled and 5x filtered.
If you consider yourself more a wine person than a vodka one, I’d suggest taking a look at this list of the “6 Eco-Wines to Try“. I won’t even begin to say I’m a wine connoisseur, so if you know of any other great eco-wines, please add them below in the comments.
For those of you looking for a good organic beer, Wychwood Brewery is the United Kingdom’s #1 producer of organic beers. Green Daily also put out a good list of some of the top organic beers you might enjoy. If you don’t see your favorite organic beer, don’t forget to add it in the comments below so the rest of the us can get in on drinking a better organic beer. But whichever way you go, remember…one good tip in determining whether a beer, wine or other drink of choice is good for the environment is whether or not it is brewed locally. Don’t forget to check out your local brewers, you may just find a new favorite!
3) Coffee or Tea: For you coffee and tea drinkers, let’s take a look at how you can do your part for the environment by drinking your tea or coffee. Like with almost any other beverage these days, coffee and tea can also be found in an organic or environmentally-friendly brand. Some of the best choices come from Rainforest Alliance Certified Farms. The Rainforest Alliance works with farmers and farms throughout the world to ensure their goods are environmentally- and socially-friendly. A few good ones include the Organic Shade Grown Mexico sold by Starbucks or Lipton’s PureLeaf Iced Tea. Huffington Post also recently posted their “Fair Trade and Eco Friendly Coffee, Tea and Cocoa” favorites.
So, do you have a favorite eco-friendly drink? What about one you’d like to try? Either way, please remember when it comes to doing what’s best for the environment, don’t forget to factor in what you are drinking.
Good tips – esp for a Friday night! 😉 Also, when choosing wine, its best to select boxed wine over bottled. The boxes are more likely to be recycled, you get more wine for less packaging, and their size/shape is easier to transport, saving on fuel! Cheers!
Hey, that’s a good idea Steph! Thanks 🙂
Great list Tara. I mostly drink water and tea. I just recently changed over to purchasing organic tea. I’ve also been thinking a lot about growing native and edible plants for making herb teas and I plan to write about that sometime.
Thanks Alison! Awesome – wow, that sounds great. I definitely look forward to reading about it, and learning more, when you do! 🙂
Thanks for bringing us up to speed on green drinking!
Gulpener, a Dutch beer brand, has a ‘milieukeurmerk’, official environmental mark. They sell regular beers, but also special beers, like white beer and bock beer.
Good tips! Also when choosing wine, look for cork stoppers, since cork oak forests in the Mediterranean support wildlife and local communities. Here’s a cool slide show about the cork harvests: http://j.mp/6DFXSB Willamette Valley Vineyards uses FSC certified cork. And here’s some info about Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee: http://j.mp/4ARiDu and tea http://j.mp/4ARiDu …helps farmers, workers and their communities and local ecosystems.
Thanks Diane! And thank you for the additional great tips and links for Rainforest Alliance Certified coffees and teas. Much appreciated 🙂
Sandra, thank you very much for the information on Gulpener! Good to know 🙂