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Here are the CO2 sinners among your drinks

Das sind die CO2-Sünder unter Deinen Getränken

The absolute hit among the New Year's resolutions for 2020: To finally do a little more to fight the climate change. In 2019, we all have learned that every individual makes a difference, each and every individual counts. But now that we are at the tender beginning of the New Year, it is time to prove that we are serious. However - where to start? Why don't we pick a rather obvious option out of 1001 possibilities: Your drinks. After all, you have to drink. So why not drink for the climate?

Origin, production, packaging: the trilogy of sustainability

Mango juice or apple juice, coffee or tea, milk or wine? This is basically a question of personal taste. Yet what you put in the kitchen really makes a difference when it comes to the CO2 balance. The three big questions are:

  • Where does the drink come from? for e.g. from the farmer around the corner or from the other end of the world
  • How was it produced? for e.g. with much or little energy consumption or pesticides
  • How is it packed? for e.g. in reusable or disposable packaging

If we take these criteria into account, an approximate CO2 value per liter can be calculated. And so we already have climate winners - and unfortunately also climate sinners from the drinks shelves.

Top: tap water, tea, mineral water and regional apple juice

Who would have thought it: Tap water is the absolute highlight The liter generates less than half a gram of CO2. Of course, the water does not need to be transported, processed or packed (take it with you in the FLSK!). A real minimalist! People who rather drink mineral water from bottles, are not doing so much harm either. Mineral water (from reusable glass bottles) accounts for around 200 grams of CO2 per liter. So this is definitely on the winning side.

Another thing which is as good as the mineral water when it comes to balance - tada! - the tea. This is especially true for green and black tea. Its leaves have a long way from Japan or India to Germany, but they do not require energy-intensive processing. Tea is (compared to coffee) extremely efficient, one teaspoon is enough for a whole pot.

Do you like it sweeter and fruitier? Then apple juice with around 300 grams of CO2 per liter is exactly what you need. Why is it so much better than most other varieties? It is quite simple: apples are at home here. It is great if you buy pressed apple juice in organic quality from regional sources.

Flop: orange juice, coffee, milk, wine

Okay, let's move on to drinks which are really harmful to the climate. With exotic juices, coffee, milk and wine, we are talking about 1000 grams of CO2 per liter and even more. That is quite a huge difference! 

Oranges and other widely transported fruits are often contaminated with pesticides. Additionally, plastic bottles have a negative impact on the balance. The problem with coffee is the particularly complex production of the coffee bean and the large quantities consumed per cup. When it comes to milk, an entire cow barn is responsible for the relatively higher CO2 figures. On the other hand, wine also causes a lot of CO2 during its production. So once again the motto "buy locally" comes true.

Can't live without it? No problem.

No doubt, the rather negatively rated drinks are all quite delicious. Hardly anyone would want to live without them. I don't either. Therefore my tip: drink them less often but when you do, really enjoy it! Besides, it is worthwhile to focus more on organic or fair trade products when shopping.