The thought of “going green” seems really abstract to me, almost impossible in the world I live in.
My 10-year-old car will never get better gas mileage and I can’t afford a hybrid. When you get down to it, recycling is just a hassle in most places across the country – cleaning and separating the glass from the plastic before hauling it all to a recycling center that is only open for a few hours during the day (which is not on your day off). And how could I really use less heating and air, water or electricity?
I’m finding, however, that my view of “green” is pretty narrow. There are a lot of ways to save energy in small doses and be a little friendlier to the environment, like buying those swirly-looking light bulbs, unplugging devices when they’re not in use and walking whenever possible instead of driving (I am dangerous on a bicycle, so don’t even think about it).
Interestingly, the way we buy our wine might also be one of those ways.
Apparently, a well-known wine blogger has done some research on the carbon footprint of the wine industry and has some compelling ideas.
Dr. Vino, aka Dr. Tyler Colman, writes in his blog and a column for Forbes.com that processing the glass bottles contributes to a large amount of carbon dioxide emissions, which can be reduced by about half per 750 milliliters of wine if bought in a box.
Admittedly, boxed wine is typically thought of as cheap, lacking the sophistication that draws wine lovers in, but as Dr. Vino points out, Franzia is not your only option. (Although I do look fondly to my college days every time I pass “the Franz” on the shelf.)
Here are a few that he recommended to Forbes:
From the Tank – A Côtes du Rhône, this box contains both white and red wine taps and comes from a cooperative practicing sustainable agriculture. This 3-liter box usually runs about $40 and can last for up to a month refrigerated after opened.
Yellow+Blue – Made from Spanish and Argentinean grapes, this brand offers red, white and rose wines. It comes in a 1-liter juice box-like container (Tetra Pak) for around $11.
Grand Veneur – Another Côtes du Rhône, this blend of mostly Grenache is good with red meats. According to Dr. Vino, you’ll be looking at $45 for 3 liters, the equivalent of $11 per bottle.
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