How Sustainable Drinking Is Changing The Alcohol Industry

Posted by Helena Hambrecht on

Sustainability is a vital conversation in the world today. While we are responsible for our own actions, we also need to work together to protect the Earth for both ourselves and future generations. 


Part of making that change focuses on more sustainable drinking habits, a conversation that we love to have at Haus. We’re always looking for ways to make our company more sustainable, and we wanted to open up that conversation with you as well. 


What Is Sustainability?

To discuss sustainable drinking, we first need to talk about sustainability as a whole. 


The basic concept of sustainability comes from a single principle: the understanding that everything we need for our survival and well-being depends on our natural environment. It is up to us to create (and maintain) the conditions that allow humans to live in productive harmony. 


Sustainability mainly revolves around a measurable calculation you’ve probably heard of — the carbon footprint. The number represents the total amount of greenhouse gas generated based on our actions. Essentially, everyone has a carbon footprint, whether you are an individual or a business.


In the US, the average carbon footprint for an individual is 16 tons, making it one of the highest rates around the globe. For comparison, the rest of the world averages around four tons. Obviously, there is a lot of work to do. 


Working on your own carbon footprint doesn’t have to involve huge, drastic changes. Anyone who has tried to make any life changes knows that those types of changes don’t stick. You have to make smaller, more manageable changes that add up to slowly ease yourself into change without burning out. 


What Can You Do To Support Sustainability? 

Here are a few easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint without having to totally upend your life.


  • Turn off the lights when you leave a room (or the house)
  • Cut down on the length of your shower (and the water temperature)
  • Switch your lightbulbs for LED bulbs
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator

No matter what you do, any changes you can make that benefit the environment are helpful! When we all work together, small changes really start to add up.


Why Sustainable Drinking?

So how does the concept of sustainability translate to the alcohol industry?


It starts with scrutinizing how alcohol is produced, packaged, and distributed. As much as we love to sit around and have a drink with friends, we don’t want to ignore the potentially harmful process of making that drink can have on the Earth. 


One organization working hard to track the sustainability of the beverage industry, and pushing for positive change, is the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (or BIER). BIER was founded in 2006, and it uses a unique, collaborative approach to help reduce consumption, improve sustainability, and mitigate the impact the beverage industry has on the environment. The organization publishes yearly benchmark studies, evaluating water and energy use to identify the areas that need the most work.


For example, BIER discovered that the average 750mL bottle of liquor creates about six pounds of carbon dioxide during its production. To help you visualize that, six pounds is the equivalent of about six small potted house plants. And that’s per bottle! Think of every bottle of your average varieties of whisky or vodka on your bar cart. That’s a lot of carbon dioxide, right?


Historically, the alcohol industry hasn’t been the most interested in change. If you think about it, not too much has changed since Prohibition ended. So much of the industry is owned, run, and controlled by big liquor companies that spend vast amounts of money to get their products featured prominently on store shelves. 


All that comes with a massive increase in the transportation costs to ship all that product all over the country, even the bottles that don’t get purchased. These companies tend to have a massive carbon footprint, but not many have committed to changing their ways.


What Can Be Done To Promote More Sustainable Drinking?

Both individuals and businesses can make a positive change toward sustainability, and it requires a combined effort to create lasting change. Let’s talk a little about what you can do to make your drinking more sustainable, and we’ll tell you what we’re doing on our part as well.


How Can You Make a Difference?

Money talks, especially when you use your hard-earned dollars to send a message. When you choose to spend your money on brands that prioritize minimizing their impact on the environment, it tells other companies that they need to step up their game. 


When choosing alcohol, spend your money on the brands working hard toward making their production more sustainable. As more and more people turn away from companies that are not considering their impact on the environment, it forces them to reevaluate their priorities and make positive changes. Your money really can and does make a difference!


How Haus Is Working Hard To Make a Difference

As we’ve seen, the traditional way that most alcohol companies create and sell their product just isn’t sustainable. 


At Haus, we saw an opportunity to do our part toward creating a culture of sustainable drinking. One of the ways we’re doing that is by selling our bottles in packaging made from recycled materials. Once you’ve received your aperitif, you can put the corrugated cardboard mailer boxes right into your recycling bin. Whether you purchase a full-size bottle or one of our sampler kits, our bottles are also recyclable. 


But what’s in our bottles makes a difference, too. We do what we can to responsibly source as many of our ingredients locally, which minimizes the amount of transportation required to transport them from the farm to your glass. In addition, many of those ingredients also come from farms that use organic practices, which also helps support the environment by removing toxins. 


In addition, focusing on using organic ingredients instead of artificial flavors or sweeteners can also minimize environmental impact, so you’re getting the highest quality natural product possible without adding toxins into local water sources. It’s a real win-win. 


As we grow and learn, we promise to continue to do what we can to make Haus as sustainable as possible. Sustainable drinking matters to us, and we want to do our part. 


What Are Other Ways To Drink Sustainably?

Sustainable drinking is more than just choosing your alcohol wisely. There are other ways that you can enjoy a laid-back night with friends or a family occasion without increasing your carbon footprint. 


Shop Local

For instance, when planning your cocktail recipes, source your other ingredients locally. You’d be amazed by what you can find at the farmer’s market or the local section of the grocery store. When you buy local, you support the people who live and work around you while enjoying the best your city has to offer. 


While you can easily enjoy our aperitifs (like our Pomegranate Rosemary) on the rocks without additional ingredients, mixing them into a unique cocktail adds a fun twist to any occasion. 


Travel Sustainably

If you’re heading to a friend’s house for the evening, you can extend your focus on sustainable drinking to your travel options. Consider walking or riding your bike if you live close enough, or carpool with friends if it’s further away. A single gallon of gasoline creates about 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, so limiting the amount of driving you do can significantly lower your carbon footprint. 


Make Your Own Ingredients

You can also make your own simple syrups and up the ante even further by using the scraps of any ingredients you use for your cocktails. The flesh of a juiced lime or orange peels, for instance, can be infused into a batch of simple syrup. Use local fruit as much as possible, too! 


Skip the Disposable Glasses

Finally, use real glasses as much as possible instead of relying on disposable drinkware. While many of them have been made recyclable, there’s nothing better than raising a glass with your friends and enjoying that satisfying clink. Make sure you skip the straws, too, unless necessary for accessibility (you can often switch to paper straws, in that case!).


Once you’re done, you can clean the glasses and use them again and again! Not only that, but you can also cater the type of glass that you serve your drink in to the specific cocktail you’re serving. Try our New Fashioned in a lowball glass, for instance, or make a classic Martini in a Martini glass. It’s just so much more satisfying!


In Summary

At Haus, we believe that what you choose to drink should add to your life instead of taking away from it. So, if you’re ready to raise a glass to something better and enjoy a drink with friends without feeling guilty (or as bad the next day), we’re here for you. 


Come live in the moment with us, without having to worry as much about the impact your choices are having on the environment. 


Sources:


Learn About Sustainability | US EPA 


What is your carbon footprint? | Carbon Footprint Calculator | The Nature Conservancy 


Sustainability Benchmarking in the Beverage Industry | BIER 


Evaluating the environmental impact of artificial sweeteners: a study of their distributions, photodegradation and toxicities | PubMed