Whether it’s wine, beer, or spirits, the majority of American adults enjoy a nice alcoholic beverage from time to time. In fact, the wine, liquor, and beer industry is one of the largest industries in the United States. As such a large industry, it’s important that we examine the environmental impact of the production and distribution of alcoholic products.
The Relationship Between Alcohol and the Environment
As a society, we spend a lot of time talking about the impact of alcohol on the human body, and we’ve heard numerous facts. For example, alcohol can stay in your system for as long as 24 hours. The number of drinks you should consume is based on factors like gender, age, and weight. Drinking and driving is never acceptable. The list goes on and on.
As a society that loves social drinking, we all have a pretty keen understanding of the impact alcohol has on our bodies. However, what we rarely consider is the impact alcohol production has on the environment.
Impact of Wine Production
A few years back, an interesting study was conducted in regards to the environmental impact of producing a single bottle of wine. The study revealed hundreds of valuable data points and statistics, but some of the most interesting takeaways include:
- The two categories with the most significant impact on the environment were vineyard activities and consumer shopping.
- Surprisingly, the recycling of glass bottles contributes very little to the overall life cycle impact of a single bottle of wine.
- Consumer shopping represents between 8 percent and 58 percent of the total life cycle impact of a bottle of wine. The majority of this impact results from the use of a vehicle to pickup the bottle at a store and bring it home.
- The majority of winery impacts are derived from the materials used to make various systems and the electricity used to run equipment.
Overall, the impact of a single bottle of wine on the environment isn’t substantial. There are ways to improve the industry – such as using lightweight bottles, organic fertilizers, and streamlined distribution methods, but the industry is doing fine.
Which Booze is the Most Eco-Friendly?
It may seem like an odd question, but you aren’t the only one wondering which alcohol is best for the planet. In fact, an academic paper published by the Food Climate Research Network took a look at this very topic.
“While beer accounts for around 80.5% of alcohol consumption by volume, it emits only 62% of alcohol emissions,” says Tara Garnett, the paper’s author. “Wine’s volume share of alcohol consumption is 16% but its emissions contribute over 27% to the alcohol total. For spirits, the total volume of consumption is 3.5%, while its share of emissions is 6.7%.”
When you judge by units rather than volume, it’s virtually impossible to differentiate between different types. Really, you have to look at specific brands and distillers if you want to say a certain type is better for the environment than another.
For example, if you’re a fan of whiskey, Maker’s Mark actually buys local grain and turns the waste into energy. Most of the company’s land is also part of a nature reserve. It’s the little bits and pieces of the production story, like these, that you should examine.
Putting it All Together
It’s important that we, as a society, recognize the relationship between alcohol and the environment. Just as alcohol has a direct impact on our bodies, the production of alcohol has a quantifiable influence on the environment we’re desperately seeking to protect.
Keep these facts in mind as you employ responsible drinking habits.
Green Weddings Trend: Why 70% of Newlyweds Are Going Green
A couple of months ago, my best friend got married to her new husband. They are both very eco-conscious people, so they decided to have a unique twist on their wedding. They asked for the following:
- They arranged a carpool with their friends.
- They didn’t have any balloons. Instead they used umbrellas.
- They used plant materials instead of plastic confetti.
- My friend insisted her husband not purchase a diamond. In addition to being ecologically conscious, she didn’t like the idea of having a stone that was used in conflict zones.
My friends aren’t the only ones making these changes. In fact, nearly a quarter of all newlyweds are organizing green weddings.
Green Weddings Are Becoming the Norm
People are more concerned about green living than ever before. They are trying to incorporate environmental protectionist ideas into every facet of their lives, even the most intimate, such as marriage. A growing number of people are trying to have green weddings, which can make a big difference in reducing their carbon footprint.
How much of a difference can this make? Here are some statistics to bear in mind:
- The Center for Disease Control reports that about two million marriages are formed every year.
- Approximately 70% of all marriages have green elements today.
- This means that 1.4 million marriages are green.
There are a number ofreasons that green weddings are becoming more important. Here are a few.
People Are More Worried About Environmental Preservation than Ever Before
Green living in general is becoming a greater concern for most people. Even younger conservatives are breaking from their older counterparts by insisting on fighting climate change. According to a poll from Pew Research earlier this year, 75% of Americans say that they are very concerned about protecting the environment. Having green weddings is a good way to act on this concern.
One of the biggest changes people are making is using recycled products for their green weddings. This is explained by the research from Pew:
“Overall, 32% of U.S. adults say they are bothered a lot by people throwing away things that could be recycled. Roughly six-in-ten Americans (61%) who say they always try to live in ways that protect the environment say it bothers them “a lot” when others throw away things that could be recycled. Among those who are less focused on environmental protection, only a quarter say it bothers them a lot when others don’t recycle. People who are environmentally conscious are also twice as likely as others to say that seeing someone incorrectly putting trash in recycling bins bothers them a lot (42% vs. 21%).”
Indifferent Politicians Are Driving them to Take More Initiative
Many politicians in power have been very hesitant to take action on climate change. Many of them have openly stated that it is a hoax. These politicians are forcing people to do what they can in their own lives to make a difference. Making small changes, such as hosting green weddings, is a great way to improve the environment without waiting for political momentum.
Cost and Simplicity
A couple of the biggest reasons that people want to host green weddings have nothing to do with their concern for the environment. Running green weddings is simply cheaper and simpler than having a massive, traditional one. One of the biggest changes is that they are buying green engagement rings from the best brands.
Green Weddings Are the Future
Green weddings have become very popular over the past few years. They will probably account for close to 90% of all marriages by 2025. People that are planning to get married should look into the benefits and plan accordingly.
Green Tech Start-Ups: Are they the Future?
Endless innovations are occurring in green companies, reinventing the industries they belong to. Gradually, they are beginning to amass more success and popularity. Consequently, these factors serve as a good indicator for green technology businesses, and their development must begin somewhere.
Green tech start-ups boast a wide array of opportunities for the economy and environment, while boosting recruitment openings with valuable services. While the technology industry is littered with high revenues and competition, the green tech start-ups are the clear sign of a cleaner future.
Fulfilling a Genuine Need
Many tech companies will market themselves as the ultimate tech giants to shift stock and make profit. As they all vie for attention through warped corporate rhetoric, there is only one ethical winner; the start-up green tech company.
Some argue that mainstream tech businesses have grown far too big, branching out into other industries and standing between the consumer and practically everything they do. However, green tech start-ups go beyond the shallow ambitions of a company, answering a call to sincerely help the customer and climate in any way they can. Of course, this is an attractive business model, putting customers at ease as they contribute to a humanitarian cause that is genuine through and through.
After all, empathy is a striking trait to have in business, and green tech start-ups maintain this composure by their very nature and purpose.
Despite the pursuits for clean energy still needing more awareness, green tech is an area that is ripe for contribution and expansion. There’s no need to copy another company or be a business of cheap knockoffs; green tech start-ups can add a new voice to the economy by being fresh, fearless and entrepreneurial.
Technology is at its most useful when it breaks new ground, an awe that eco-friendly innovations have by default in their operations. Of course, green tech start-ups have the chance to build on this foundation and create harmony instead of climate crisis. Ultimately, the tech advancements are what revolutionise clean energy as more than an activist niche, putting theory into practice.
Despite the US gradually becoming more disengaged with green technology, others such as China and Canada recognise the potential in green technology for creating jobs and growth in their respective economies. The slack of others spurs them on, which creates a constant influx of prospects for the green tech sector. Put simply, their services are always required, able to thrive from country to country.
A Fundamental Foresight
Mainstream technology can seem repetitive and dull, tinkering with what has come before rather than turning tech on its head. Since 2011, technology has been accused of stagnation, something which the internet and petty app services seem to disguise in short reaching ideas of creativity.
However, green tech start-ups aren’t just winging it, and operate with a roadmap of climate change in the years ahead to strategize accordingly. In other words, they aren’t simply looking to make a quick profit by sticking to a trend, but have the long-term future in mind. Consequently, the green tech start-up will be there from the very start, building up from the foundational level to only grow as more and more people inevitably go green.
They can additionally forecast their finances too, with the ability to access online platforms despite the differing levels of experience, keeping them in the loop. Consequently, with an eye for the future, green tech startups are the ones who will eventually usher in the new era.
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