How do we affect the world by the drink we consume?
Climate change, also known as global warming, is one of the hottest issues now. Climate change means that earth’s surface temperature changes due to greenhouse gases(GHGs) that trapped in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases are produced due to human activities, such as transportation, manufacturing or even farming. We use the term “carbon footprint” to refer to the amount of carob being emitted by activities or organization.
So, do you ever wonder the carbon footprint of the glass of wine that you hold on your hands?
Carbon footprint of a bottle of wine
According to The New Economy, every bottle of wine accounts for around 1.2 kgs of CO2 released into the atmosphere. That’s about the same as driving 3 miles in a Honda Accord. In order to know the carbon footprint of a bottle of wine, we need to know how the product is made.
First, the grapes are grown in the vineyard. After being harvest, grapes will go through the winemaking process, which a winery uses electricity to run its equipment and emit GHGs during fermentation.
After fermentation completes, the wine will be bottled. To make a bottle of commercial wine, these are materials contribute to wine’s carbon footprint: glass, cardboard, cork, paper label, and bottle caps.
Then these bottles of wine will be distributed to retailers. Or you may order directly from the winery and they will be shipped to your home. The air cargo emits the most CO2, followed by trucking, the container shipping by sea has the lowest carbon emission among all.
You think that’s the all carbon footprint when you consume a bottle of wine? Oh dear, you are too naïve. When you finish a bottle of wine, you don’t really finish everything. You leave some trash behind. The empty bottle and the package will be thrown into the bin. Trash is the most obvious harm to the earth.
Usually, a case of wine cause about 18lbs of trash includes glass, labels, corks and other shipping materials. Only about 20% of glass is recovered, not to mention rest parts. (full article check SESTRA)
Carbon footprint of beer
Let’s take a quick a look of carbon footprint to beer, too. According to an article published on SESTRA, the carbon footprint of a 6-pack of Fat Tire® Amber Ale is 3,188.8 grams of CO2 equivalents. An adult tree can absorb 59.65 grams of CO2. Do the math, if we drink a six-pack of beer at the weekend, it will take 53.46 days for a tree to offset the carbon emission. Not to mention the trash which leaves after the beer is consumed.
What can we do?
There are some ways can help us drink smartly.
1. Shop local
It is easier when it comes to beer. Crafted beer becomes more popular, try to find some local brewery to get some good coldies and support the local business.
2. Bulk buy
Bulk buy can save more transportation times.
3. Reduce, reuse and recycle
The best you can do is to make sure that the right part of the package goes to the right place. Recycle the bottles so they will be used again to contain beer, instead of going to landfills.
4. Make your own alcoholic beverage!
Come on, wine, beer or cider making is not that difficult. Only if you have the right tool! From local farm to your wine glass, the ALCHEMA machine is designed to let you brew with the easiest way. The app even has more than 100 recipes for you to choose from. The app will guide you through the ingredients adding process and measuring the weight of each ingredient for you. Once the fermentation begins, the machine will monitor the whole process and keep you updated by keeping the record in the app. Once it is completed, the app will send a notification. You won’t miss a thing during the whole process! The best of all, the ALCHEMA machine is super power saving. The ALCHEMA machine can even run with a portable charger. Let’s save the world by making our own alcoholic beverages!