Green Tips: Going Green During Happy Hour at Home
Green Tips | September 10, 2020
It has no doubt been a difficult year. Relaxing safely with an adult beverage is a great way to unwind during these stressful times. Getting together for a socially-distant party is a nice way to celebrate with friends and family, even for small gatherings. As we all become more aware about how our everyday actions impact the environment, why not also consider how our drinking habits affect the planet? We’ve put together a few ways you can make your at-home happy hour more eco-friendly. Don’t forget to drink responsibly!
Go for simpler packaging
If you can fill up your cup using a reusable container then that is probably the best way to go. See if your local brewery, winery, or distillery offers a refillable container option like a growler. Other than refillable containers, all single-use containers will impact the environment in some way during its life cycle. However, if you’re purchasing beer that’s produced far away, look for it in a can rather than a glass bottle. Bottles are heavier and require more energy to transport. Always recycle your bottles and cans when you’re finished with them.
Look out for local
Before filling your refrigerator or cooler with drinks that are produced and transported from far away, do some research to see where your closest brewery, winery, or distillery is located. New York State has one of the most robust craft beverage industries in the country. According to Empire State Development, New York ranks number four in the country for wineries, number two for breweries and number three in wine production and distilleries. Take advantage of these tasty options, support your local economy, and cut down on the energy needed to transport your booze by buying it locally.
Say no to plastic cups and straws
Because most of us are enjoying happy hour at home these days, make sure to avoid single-use plastic straws and cups. Most of these plastics cannot be recycled, are used for mere minutes, and end up in our waterways. Metal straws are a simple replacement for plastic straws or skip the straw altogether. Use reusable glasses and cups for mixing up your favorite cocktails. Some companies sell recycled or sustainably produced cocktail glasses too.
Use up your garnishes
Squeezed lemon slices and other types of fruit garnishes can create waste. When mixing up a drink at home, try to use up the whole fruit to avoid unnecessary waste. If you have a compost, make sure to throw your scraps in there when you’re finished.
Support sustainable business practices
There are lots of companies that are using innovative business practices to reduce their carbon footprint and create a more sustainable craft beverage industry. Consider supporting some of these green-minded companies when you get the chance:
- The Catskill Brewery right here in upstate New York uses geothermal energy to heat and cool its building and sources its energy from solar power.
- Pindar vineyards on Long Island harnesses wind power to produce its wine.
- Saranac Brewery installed a digester in 2012 to convert its spent material to energy.
- Ithaca Brewery built a 200kw solar array on its roof to produce its beer.
- A Scotch whiskey company is turning its byproduct into renewable energy.
- The Alchemist brewery in Vermont sources its energy from solar.
Website by Trillion.
© 2017 New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund. All rights reserved.