Many people, vegan and non-vegan alike, have begun to use more plant-based milks in their homes over the years. One of the most popular cow’s milk alternatives, almond milk, has been the most popular. But how good for the environment are these alternatives, really?
Although the emissions and land use is significantly decreased, these alternatives to cow’s milk propose another issue: water use. A single glass of almond milk requires more water than a typical shower. Rice milk isn’t much better, requiring 54 liters of water to make one cup.
The BBC rounded up information on the various vegan milks available and how they affect the environment. Their built-in calculator is extremely valuable in helping you see how your favorite foods impact the environment.
For example, typing in “grapes and berries” revealed that over a year of consuming grapes creates an equivalent of 24 miles of gas emission use in a car. Water used is equivalent to having 40, eight-minute showers. This article goes beyond just vegan milk and takes a look at the rise of veganism in the UK and its global impact. And while it is not championing nor condoning veganism, it does reveal that as food habits change in an effort to help the environment, there are other problems emerging—especially water consumption. A breakdown of how the calculator was developed is included at the end of the article.
The BBC wasn’t prescriptive with solutions, but their take does help to educate the reader on their personal impact on the environment with their food choices. This in turn help readers make more informed decisions. We recommend taking a closer look below!