HOT WEATHER – Stay hydrated, have fun, be green: all three at the same time, it’s possible. Of course, water is the best student of green drinks. So don’t hesitate to drink regularly as the heat wave hits France on Wednesday August 10 and puts our bodies to the test.
But you might be right now at the edge of a swimming pool, wondering what your snack or aperitif should be made of, and you tell yourself that a tastier drink would be a good idea… Before you order, HuffPost gives you the map of the worst consumers on the planet and have found a homemade recipe so you can pimp up the taste of water.
Alcohol is not green at all…
Already now you can forget about alcohol. For health, alcohol should be consumed in moderation and do not hydrate during periods of high heat. And for the health of the planet, we cannot say that alcohol is virtuous. But if you have to choose, 1L of beer gives 1.5 kg of CO2 compared to 6 kg of CO2 for wine or whiskey, according to figures from a Danish study published in 2010. So beer, per liter, has a climate footprint 4 times lower than wine and strong alcohols .
What is expensive in wine and the carbon footprint of these alcohols is transportation. Many are imported. But also the packaging. Although the glass is recycled well, the glass from alcohol bottles is very thick and heavy, which emits a lot of CO2 during manufacture. To be greener, you can buy your alcohol in Cubi in several litres. This cardboard container is lighter than traditional glass bottles and can be stored for several weeks in the refrigerator.
We must also not forget the astronomical amount of water needed for the production of alcohol. According to the organization Water Footprint Network, a single glass of wine requires the use of 109 L of water. As for beer, with half a pint you consume… 75 L of water. This water is called “virtual” is that linked to the production of alcohol (watering the vines, pressing and fermenting the grapes, brewing beer, etc.).
Coffee and tea imported from the other side of the globe
We think less of it in the summer, but coffee is still widely consumed by the French. So it’s not terrible there… Between deforestation and imports from the tropical areas where it is grown, coffee has a heavy environmental baggage.
Tea is not much better… It is also mainly imported from India and China. Also, a study of the magazine 60 million consumers published in February 2022 reveals that our tea and herbal tea bags are regularly sprayed with insecticides to increase yields. But not all teas are created equal, the worst students being green tea and glyphosate (a heavily criticized pesticide whose European license expires on December 15, 2022, editor’s note), have been found in some black and green tea bags. Only organic infusions are guaranteed “zero pesticides”says the study.
Also avoid soda. These drinks are very water-intensive: 1 L of soda requires an average of 5 L of water to make. Several journalistic investigations show that the Coca company’s factories dry up the poor countries where they are established. Director Julie Delettre talks in a 2016 film about the depletion of aquifer resources in the Chiapas region of Mexico: “They have been given permission by the National Water Commission to pump 500 million liters of water a year! This is drying up the surrounding villages, those connected to the network have nothing left on tap and those who are used to living off water from wells, watching them empty more and more.she denounces to the public senate.
For juice, it’s all about the fruit…
No alcohol, no coffee, no soda, so what do we drink? Very fresh juice and smoothies, but not with just any fruit… You should know that fruit and vegetables account for 44% of air traffic foodstuffs. The most imported fruits are bananas and citrus fruits, followed by melons and strawberries. So we avoid these fruits that have traveled and we prefer them local and seasonal.
In the summer, for example, you can prepare a smoothie with apples, pears, with some strawberries if they grow near you. The same goes for homemade lemonade if you live in a region around the Mediterranean where lemon trees acclimatize well in gardens. Also advocate for organic fruits and vegetables to promote more sustainable agriculture and limit pesticide residues on your fruits. Beverages made from local seasonal fruit, preferably organic, are pretty eco-friendly, but there’s even better for the planet.
Homemade herbal tea: THE eco-friendly recipe
Here is the simplest, cheapest and greenest trick to spoil the taste of water: add fruit to the bottom of your decanter. Put some carrot strips and apple slices with some mint in a bottle, pour water and cool. One to two hours later: your water is flavored. And the recipe – tested by The HuffPost – even works with a simple slice of cucumber. For the planet, the best recipes are often the little homemade tricks!
Listen too The HuffPost: There’s no good reason to buy your bottled water