Drink your way to bet­ter health with 6 sus­tain­able bev­er­age trends.


Call it the golden age of liq­uid well­ness: An ex­plo­sion in bone broths, dairy-free milks, drink­ing vine­gars, hand­crafted kom­buchas, en­hanced wa­ters and other trend­set­ting ton­ics is rapidly trans­form­ing what we drink – and mak­ing us health­ier in the process. So how can we bal­ance all those good health in­ten­tions with eco-friendly choices? Be­yond read­ing la­bels for clean in­gre­di­ents, here are six easy ways to make sus­tain­able sip­ping more de­li­cious and easy.

1/ Choose pu­ri­fied tap water over bot­tled.

Quench­ing your thirst with plenty of fil­tered water is a key part of a clean-eat­ing life­style. But while many en­hanced wa­ters tout all sorts of health ben­e­fits, most of­fer lit­tle nu­tri­tional ben­e­fit that you can’t get through a well-balanced diet, such as B vi­ta­mins and trace min­er­als. Fil­tered tap water is a less waste­ful and more bud­get-friendly op­tion than bot­tled. Turn up the fla­vor and health perks of fil­tered tap water by adding a splash of ap­ple cider vine­gar, a squeeze of or­ange or a few sprigs of mint af­ter a work­out.

2/ Pri­or­i­tize plant-based.

Ac­cord­ing to the Food and Agri­cul­tural Or­ga­ni­za­tion (FAO), cat­tle raised for beef, milk and ined­i­ble out­puts (such as farms that use an­i­mals for power) are the sin­gle great­est source of man-made green­house gas emis­sions in our di­ets. You can re­duce your car­bon foot­print and take ad­van­tage of the shift hap­pen­ing in the dairy aisle by swap­ping cow’s milk for nondairy milk more of­ten. Op­tions like peanut milk and pea milk de­liver an im­pres­sive 8 and 10 grams of pro­tein per cup – on par with cow’s milk. The health pay­off? A study pub­lished in JAMA found that swap­ping just 3% of daily calo­ries from an­i­mal pro­tein for plant pro­tein was as­so­ci­ated with lower risk of over­all mor­tal­ity and car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.

3/ Use, re­fill, re­peat.

Car­ry­ing re­us­able bot­tles to the store could soon be­come as rou­tine as bring­ing your own re­us­able totes. At some su­per­mar­kets, it’s now easy for cus­tomers to bring back empty bot­tles for re­fills on kom­bucha and fresh-squeezed or­ange juice, and part­ner­ships with lo­cal dairies that use re­us­able glass milk bot­tles are an­other trend. This is a good thing, con­sid­er­ing that more than 40 years af­ter the launch of the first uni­ver­sal re­cy­cling sym­bol, just 14% of plas­tic pack­ag­ing is col­lected for re­cy­cling, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum. Help scale re­us­able op­tions by bring­ing your own bot­tles to stores and ex­chang­ing them for fresh, full ones. You’ll not only re­duce the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of sin­gle­serve pack­ag­ing but also get re­fills at a lower price.

4/ Try co­conut water pow­der.

Co­conut water is one of na­ture’s ul­ti­mate thirst quenchers, nat­u­rally rich in potas­sium and other elec­trolytes that help re­plen­ish your body dur­ing or af­ter a work­out. But if you want to trim the car­bon foot­print of ship­ping all that heavy bot­tled liq­uid across the globe, opt for freeze-dried co­conut water pow­der in­stead. Try Laird Su­per­food Hy­drate co­conut water mix with Aquamin, a cal­ci­fied sea al­gae ($13, laird­su­per­food.com), and sim­ply add your own H20 – a sin­gle pack­age yields 19 serv­ings.

5 / Un­cork SIP Cer­ti­fied wines.

Third-party cer­ti­fi­ca­tions such as Fair Trade Cer­ti­fied and Rain­for­est Al­liance Cer­ti­fied mean more trans­parency in how prod­ucts are grown, and pro­duc­ers typ­i­cally fol­low a rig­or­ous set of farm­ing prac­tices to help re­duce the use of pes­ti­cides and fer­til­iz­ers, pro­tect bio­di­ver­sity and even op­ti­mize water and en­ergy use. Pour­ing a glass of vino? Look for or­ganic, bio­dy­namic or Sus­tain­abil­ity in Prac­tice (SIP) Cer­ti­fied wines – you’ll reap all the health ben­e­fits (such as red wine’s polyphe­nols) but with a smaller eco-foot­print.

6/ Cre­ate a “green” rou­tine.

A va­ri­ety of en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly DIY op­tions can help you cut down on dis­pos­able choices. Adore fla­vored bub­bles? In­vest in a seltzer maker. Want to reap the nu­tri­tional boons of tea? Buy an iced tea maker to make an­tiox­i­dantrich brews. Our go-to guide (see “Clean Sip­ping”) will make it eas­ier for you and your fam­ily to es­tab­lish eco-con­scious habits.

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