Wait! Don’t panic. We’re not asking you to give up alcohol for good. But we don’t think one day would hurt, because the phrase “drink responsibly” can apply to the environment, too!
Today’s challenge is pretty straightforward, but on the days that you want to indulge, be mindful of your choices. For starters, supporting local breweries, distilleries and vineyards cuts down on the energy cost of shipping alcohol.
Track down a brewer that sells growlers—jugs of beer that can be taken home, enjoyed, washed and refilled during your next visit. The reusable packaging is more eco-friendly than picking up a six-pack at the corner store. If you can’t avoid it, cans are optimal over bottles, because they’re lightweight, making shipping more efficient. And always remember to recycle your empties.
If you’re a wine connoisseur, consider this: East of Ohio, a bottle of wine shipped from France has a lower carbon footprint than one shipped from California. West of Ohio, you’re better off choosing a wine produced at a California vineyard. Better yet, explore wineries closer to home—there’s likely a vineyard in your own state. Wines packaged in Tetra Paks and other environmentally friendly options also leave a lesser carbon footprint than those packaged in glass.
- Check out this Buzzfeed list of mocktails—because you don’t need booze to be bougie.
- The Wire and Grist both offer tips for choosing enviro-friendly alcoholic beverages, and Huffpost Green has a list of their top 10 eco-friendly wineries in the states.
- Did you know? You can turn old wine bottles into drinking glasses. This quick tutorial from Brit + Co will show you how.
- If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even try your hand at home brewing, which eliminates most of the manufacturing, packaging and transportation associated with commercial products. The Home Brewers Association offers a step-by-step guide to get you started.