2 years ago

Which Milk Is Best For the Environment?

Dairy has the biggest environmental footprint and we are presented with so many milk options that it’s hard to make an eco-conscious choice.
Plant-based milk (nuts, seeds or beans) has a lighter impact than dairy regarding gas emissions and the use of land and water.
Dairy uses 9 times more land than plant-based alternatives and if we measure as kilogram of carbon dioxide equivalent per liter of milk, dairy represent between 1.14 and 2.50 while almond milk is only 0.42 and soy milk 0.75.
California is the largest producer of almond milk in the world and the environmental concerns that rises almond milk production in the US is the high rate of bee mortality.
They are used for tree cross-pollination. Their death is believed to be linked to pesticides exposure and the industrial agriculture fragilizing the ecosystems.
Coconut milk has a good environmental performance as coconut trees use small amounts of water and absorb carbon dioxide. But the industrial production can destroy wildlife habitat.
Hazelnut milk is a better option as trees are cross-pollinated by wind, requires less water than almond trees and the cultivation of the bush trees isn’t part of intensive agriculture yet.
Soy milk has a very good environmental performance regarding water, global warming and land-use. Hemp also has a great environmental benefit even though it requires more water than soy.
Organic versions of all plant-based milks are better for the environment as they use fewer chemicals and put less pressure on the soils. But any added vitamins or ingredients should be considered separately.
If you wish to reduce your environmental footprint, you should definitely switch to a plan-based option and avoid dairy but diversify your milk and don’t go for one type of milk as the demand could increase and the culture could become overexploited.