Just because you may not always drink responsibly doesn't mean you need to drink environmentally-irresponsibly. Whether your calling card is hard liquor, beer, or wine there are many options for imbibing booze in an eco-friendly manner. Here are the most sustainable ways to do it:
Pick you poison In the world of booze, there's a hierarchy of environmental degradation between liquor, wine, and beer. According to The Guardian's green blog, beer is the least eco-friendly of the three because making it requires a cocktail of heating, cooling water and agriculturally-intensive ingredients like hops. "A rule of thumb is that breweries use 5-10 times more water than actually leaves the premises as beer," according to The Guardian's Leo Hickman. Once you settle on beer, wine or liquor there are a number of things to boost your eco-cred.
Wine A rule of thumb for all eco-conscious booze binges: Location matters. The distance the alcohol has to travel hugely impacts its carbon footprint. So for wine, buying from a local vineyard is a great first step. From there you can choose from a variety of different eco-friendly wineries (The Huffington Post has a top ten list here). While different wineries commit to different levels of eco-consciousness, if they want to be organic, they all have to pass the same test. As Planet Green's Leslie Billera explains, "in order to be 'certified organic,' complete with the swirly green USDA organic seal, a wine has to be devoid of sulfur dioxide. These 'sulfites,' help ensure wine has a reasonable life span." Because it's tough to keep a business on wine with a low shelf-life, a lesser-level of green wine stipulates "made with organic grapes" which is still something but not everything. Update: A reader notes that boxed wine is also a good way to shed that carbon footprint—and The New York Times agrees.