Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Remember: I before E except in Budweiser
Football season = barbeque's + beer. After living in the bay area for 5 years, I am now officially a niners fan and I can’t wait for the season to start. Beer isn’t just the poster beverage for football season, college parties and lazy Sunday afternoons everywhere. No, beer is also a key player in a multi-billion dollar industry that reaches into the far corners of the world.
So why write a green post on beer? Think carbon footprint. According to the Wall Street Journal the carbon footprint of a six pack of beer is about seven pounds—probably around 5 pounds heavier than the actual six pack. And you might be surprised where the most of that comes from: the number one contributor to the pack's carbon output is the refrigeration it takes to keep the beer cool at stores. Following that is the process of manufacturing bottles, the barley, malt, production and transportation.
Good enough reason to think about ways to go green with beer? Sure. And I’m not just talking St.Paddy’s day.
Think your favorite bar; the keg sitting under it. Think college, the keg sitting in your living room. How much beer does a keg hold? Depending on the size, possibly hundreds of cans worth. That’s hundreds of saved cans or bottles. The next time you host a barbeque, party or have a stressful day at work- think keg.
Ever try organic brews?
If a beer has an organic label, it means it has been certified by the USDA as adhering to strict farming regulations. In all probability, the barley and hops have been organically grown. So, no toxic pesticides, artificial fertilizers, chemical preservatives; just fresh, non-toxic ingredients. Non-toxic = good for the planet.
Support your local breweries; drinking local beer helps cut emissions caused by the expansive shipping of imported beers. Drink at your local bar; reduce emissions from driving your own car and the temptation to drive back home.
If you've just finished off a 12 pack of Corona (and you're still conscious) make sure to get those cans, bottles and cardboard casing to the recycle bin. Please don’t dump it with regular household trash.
Easy on the disposable cups
Sure, sure, those red plastic cups from Costco make for that totally classic party vibe, but get over it? There are more than enough reusable cups already in existence. Encourage your guests to bring a beer mug- I know I love drinking out of my USC football championship mug. Want an easier option? Use a sharpie to write names on cups so guests aren’t reaching for a new cup with every refill.
Before I go back to that chilled one on my coffee table, here's some interesting beer trivia, courtesy treehugger.com
• 1978: The year home brewing beer was made legal by President Jimmy Carter.
• 13: Rank of the U.S. in annual per capita beer consumption in the world—the States are topped by the Czech Republic (#1), Ireland (#2), and even Finland (#9).
• 5.9: The average percent of alcohol by volume of the world's beers, according to Beer Advocate ABV.
• 4: The number of solar powered breweries in the U.S.
• 25,000,000: Organic beer sales in U.S. dollars in 2007.
• 400: The number of breweries that survived prohibition.
• 85: Percent of all alcohol consumed by the gallon in the U.S. is beer.
• 95: Percentage of ingredients that need to be certified organic to earn the beer an organic certification by the USDA.
• 2: Number of organic beers made by Anheuser Busch, the biggest beer company in the U.S.
I love football. I love barbeque's. I love beer. And regardless of what you hear- I only drink to make my friends sound interesting. (Smile).