What’s the Carbon Footprint of Getting a Buzz Locally?

The Carbon Footprint of Imbibing and Smoking Pot in an Infographic

Amanda Gassé, ERS, for Zondits. April 18, 2016. Image credit: beeki

The world is increasingly looking at businesses, individuals, and their activities through a carbon lens. Talk of reducing our energy imprint is usually focused on the home we heat, the car we drive, or the energy we waste from vampire electronics. According to Carbonfund.org Foundation, only 40% of the average American’s carbon footprint is due to their direct energy use. This means that the other 60% is indirect and comes from everything we buy, and everything we use.

How a person gets buzzed, for instance—be it alcoholic beverages or legalized marijuana, has a direct impact on the environment. At Zondits we asked the question: What is the carbon footprint of feelin’ no pain – locally? Are there businesses infusing sustainability into their core principles to reduce the carbon footprint of their consumers?

Legal marijuana grow houses are increasingly investing in energy efficient lighting and HVAC technology. On the liquid side of things, breweries throughout the country are focused on reducing energy consumption with advanced refrigeration installations and locally grown grains and hops. According to the BIER report, distillation is the number one contributor to a spirit’s carbon footprint, accounting for more than a third of its emissions. Distilleries, like Maker’s Mark and Jack Daniel’s, have figured out how to turn waste into energy and animal feed. Our research found that there are companies that are invested in sustainability by using locally sourced ingredients and lighter-weight packaging.

In 2011, PE INTERNATIONAL analyzed the carbon footprint of the California wine industry and revealed that if you live on the East Coast of the United States it’s more eco-friendly to purchase a French Bordeaux than a Napa Valley Pinot Noir. Imbibing and smoking locally will bring awareness to your decisions and offer a green strategy that can help diminish global warming. Whatever your buzz of choice is, there are small choices you can make to reduce your carbon emissions and help to ensure a more stable climate for future generations.

Carbon Footprint of Getting a Buzz

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