How to “drink responsibly” this summer

Did you know it’s possible to drink responsibly when it comes to the environment? No, we’re not talking about how many drinks you can handle in one sitting — you should have learned that by the time you graduated college. We are talking about how to drink eco-friendly.

Drink Responsibly
Photo by Alison Marras on Unsplash

Yes, that may sound far-fetched, but it’s not as hard as you might think. Whether you are into beer and wine or hard liquor, there are many ways to booze it up with minimal impact on the environment. Here, we list four simple ideas to get you started.

Get local, drink organic

We already know the benefits of buying local, it is by far the easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint. However, shopping local also gives you access to a whole new selection of seasonal, small batch to spice up your palette. In addition to buying local, look for organic brews or spirits that are pesticide- and chemical-free. They have more natural ingredients than their non-organic counterparts which helps to reduce the impact on the environment.

Read the label

Yes, this is a fairly new thing, but you can now buy wine with a “California Certified Sustainable” logo. The label identifies wineries that contain at least 85 percent wine from vineyards that are certified sustainable based on their soil health, water and energy conservation, habitat preservation, avoidance of pesticides and herbicides and other key factors.

Skip the straw

Summertime often means frozen drink cocktails and mixers that might have you reaching for that plastic straw. Stop! EcoCycle.org reports that 500 million straws are used in the U.S. each day. Those single-use suckers then end up sitting at the bottom of landfills and polluting marine life. If you must use one, seek out steel and paper alternatives.

Pick your package

Opt for cans over bottles whenever you can — shipping has less impact on the environment and they are easier to recycle than glass. Also, don’t turn your nose up to boxed wine. It turns out the biggest impact of wine on the environment is shipping. So, if you can’t get local, the boxed alternative can reduce your imprint buy up to 60 percent and generate up to 80 percent less landfill waste. Even wine snobs will find high-end wineries that not only deliver on flavor but also extend the shelf life of their favorite reds and whites.