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With BBQ season in full swing, be responsible with your drinking

by Robin

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No, this isn’t a post about drinking and driving. You already know not to do that, right? There’s another way to be responsible with your beer, wine and spirits, and that is to find ways to lessen your impact on the environment while you’re enjoying them.
Here are some ideas to make your imbibing a little more eco-friendly. Pick one and do your part to drink more responsibly.

• If you’re hosting a large party, buy a keg of beer and drink out of beer glasses or mugs. There is very little waste created this way.
• If you’re using cans or bottles of beer, make sure they get recycled. Have clearly marked recycling bins where your friends can put their empties.
• Using plastic cups? Ask friends to write on their cups so they don’t misplace them and have to get a new one – wasting cups and probably beer. They don’t have to write their name. They can draw anything they want on the cup to identify it.
• Buy beer from a small, local brewery. You’ll lessen the miles you beer has had to travel to get to you. Often small breweries are conscious about sustainability, too.
• Offer some organic beers.
• For a casual party, consider wines in alternative packaging that uses less energy to make and ship than traditional glass. Red Truck makes fun mini-barrels of their BBQ friendly red wine that are so cute, no one will turn up their nose at them.
• Use wine glass charms so your friends can identify their glasses. You won’t end up with half-full glasses of wine all around the place because people forget which glass is their glass.
• Buy wine from a local winery. Part of wine’s carbon footprint comes from the shipping of heavy glass bottles from far distances. If you go to a local winery to get your wine, you’ll be supporting local agriculture and helping the environment a little.
• Try some organic wines. Get some ideas from Organic Wine Review. The site has hip, fun less than two-minute video reviews of various organic wines.
• When it comes to spirits, if you’ve got a local distiller in the area and you can buy directly from them that will save some fuel from being used. However, local distillers aren’t as prevalent as local breweries or wineries so trying your favorite spirit – vodka, tequila, rum, gin – in an organic version is a good way to get a little eco-friendlier with your mixed drinks.
• A great way to get enough durable glassware for your drinks if you’re choosing to ditch the plastic cups at your BBQ is to go a to a thrift store. You’ll be reusing perfectly good glassware, and it will save you a lot of money.

Image: rick/flickr
 

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