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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Doin’ it Green: With Hops and Grapes

Editor’s note: The Environmental Policy and Planning Commission (EPPC) is an ASUCD commission that works to create a more environmentally sustainable campus. Every week, EPPC will answer questions from readers or share stories on green living.

As college students, our lives are characterized by the difficult decisions we’re forced to make every day: What should my major be? Should I apply to graduate school? Should I buy another piece of CoHo pizza (answer: yes)? We like to party at EPPC, and one of our most pressing questions is: How can I imbibe in the most environmentally-responsible fashion? As with any environmental quandary, there isn’t an easy answer, but it’s important to arm yourself with the facts before you head to the beverage aisle (with your reusable shopping bag in tow, of course). As always, keep your eyes out for organic, biodynamic, and sustainably-grown options; less pesticide use means less toxins in the soil and the groundwater, thus averting environmental disaster.

Another piece of general advice is to stay as local as you can in your alcohol selection. Here in California, we have an abundance of delicious booze options that this writer would implore you to explore (responsibly, of course), so show your Cali pride and support local vineyards and breweries. Beyond that, take a minute to evaluate the packaging of your elixir of choice: heavy glass bottles make for pretty energy-intensive and environmentally significant transportation costs. On the other hand, aluminum cans, while questionable in their sustainability claims, do cut down on transportation emissions. Boxed wine (a college classic!) is a good choice not only for its merits as a mixer with soda, but also due to the fact that the cardboard box is lightweight and easily recyclable.

The takeaway message is that sustainability is highly situational, and finding your optimal choice of libation means taking multiple factors into consideration. With that having been said … Cheers, Aggies!

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