Your guide to eco-friendly libations


In New York, lifestyle media brand mindbodygreen has analyzed the environmental footprint of common boozy beverages.

A can of beer got the best marks, as it requires significantly less water than wine and liquor—296 gallons versus 872 gallons for an equivalent amount of wine. Craft breweries are a better option, as they typically skip additives like rice and corn. Cans are better for the environment from a shipping weight perspective, mindbodygreen adds.

Wine is best when bought local and boxed wine is more eco-friendly than bottled.  Meanwhile, liquors like rum, gin, and vodka get low marks for their resource-intensity. “They require lots of raw materials like grains such as corn, rye, or wheat, and it typically takes a good amount of energy to turn these into the finished product,” mindbodygreen says. “Plus, depending on where it’s made, liquor can leave a lot of waste and chemicals behind. There are, however, a handful of alcohol brands working to reduce their impact as much as possible.”

Flavored liquors and specialty drinks get the lowest markets, since they are usually liquors with extra ingredients.