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Drinking for the Environment? How to Choose the Best Alcohol

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Though alcohol should be consumed in moderation, every now and again, it’s nice to end the day or socialize with others with a refreshing serving of alcohol. Whether your drink of choice is beer, wine, whiskey, tequila, or otherwise, each of them has an adverse effect on your health and the environment. To reduce these effects and to preserve the environment, consider these factors listed below. 

Environmental Factors

To determine the most eco-friendly alcoholic beverage to drink think about the process of making the drink from start to finish. This includes everything from the ingredients used and the production process to the distillation practices and packaging/delivery of your drink of choice. Each of these processes has an impact on the environment including greenhouse gas emissions, air pollutants, habitat destruction, and more. 

As you do your research, keep these three aspects of alcohol production in mind: 

  • Materials – Ingredients used to make the beverage, type of packaging the product is in, and how it is packaged for shipping. 
  • Production – The type and frequency of energy used, water usage, and waste management. 
  • Transportation – Increased production of fuel, refrigeration equipment, and emissions. 

Essentially, the brands that do the most to conserve resources and preserve the environment have the best products for drinking. 

Which Type of Alcohol is Best? 

Now that you know what information you need to research, here is a brief description on what makes one type of alcoholic beverage more eco-friendly than another. 

  • Wine – Wine is beneficial to the environment in that it doesn’t require as much heat or water during the production and distilling process. It can also be packaged in box containers which weigh less than glass. However, when you consider that most wine is shipped from Denver, CO, Nappa Valley, CA, and Miami, FL, transporting the wine to other states means higher emissions and fuel. 
  • Whiskey – The best way to select an eco-friendly brand of whiskey would be to choose the right company. There are independent makers who use old-fashioned equipment and outdated practices that waste more energy and cause more harm to the environment. On the other hand, there are larger brands like Templeton Rye with energy-efficient stills and top-notch techniques for great -tasting whiskey with less waste. 
  • Beer – Regarded as one of the highest-volume alcoholic beverages, the production of beer can have a negative impact on the environment. From the raw materials used and the brewing process to the packaging and transportation, there are a number of factors that make this a poor choice if you’re looking to be more eco-friendly. There are more brands, however, looking into more efficient processes. It is best to do your research to find out which are further along in these eco-friendly developments. 
  • Vodka and Gin – Perhaps your alcoholic drink of choice is something that hits a bit harder? Well, both alcohol and gin require more resources like energy and water during the production process. There are brands that are making environmentally-friendly changes including switching to a better energy source, purchasing or growing crops locally, and more. 
  • Tequila – Are taco and margarita Tuesdays some of your favorite times of the week? If  tequila is your drink of choice, there are some things you should know. When it comes to waste management, it’s a serious problem. In fact, for every liter of tequlia made, there are 11 pounds of pulp and 10 liters of acidic waste. 

As you can see, selecting the most eco-friendly alcoholic beverage isn’t easy. Each of the above-described types of alcohol has some ups and downs when it comes to overusing natural resources, transporting products, and eliminating waste. If you’re looking to develop a lifestyle that’s more eco-friendly, it is highly recommended that you research a type and brand of alcohol to assess the materials used, production process, and transportation methods to determine which is best for your health and the environment. 

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