Plant based milks are coming to represent one of the simplest dietary changes that we can make towards a sustainable way of living, with more and more of us switching to the likes of oat, soya or almond milk in our teas and coffees.
It’s a small change, but one that can potentially have far reaching effects. With a glass of dairy milk creating almost three times the greenhouse gas emissions of any alternative milk in its production, according to a University of Oxford, it’s clear to see where the advantages stem from.
In fact, swapping dairy milk for non-dairy can reduce a cup of coffee’s footprint to around 26.5g CO2 (that’s half the emissions). Other factors such as how much you fill your kettle/the type of kettle you use are still important, but the milk you choose accounts for two thirds of the carbon footprint of the drink.
That said, there has been a lot of talk about how the plant milks fare up against EACH OTHER on the carbon footprint scales.
With many environmental factors to consider, including greenhouse gas emissions, water use, land use, where a crop is grown and how it’s processed, plus transportation methods, the one milk that seems to reign supreme in terms of sustainability is OAT MILK.
Land use and greenhouse gas emissions for oat milk are about 80% lower than for cow’s milk, and aside from being the most climate friendly plant milk, oat milk is arguably also the most palatable and versatile, particularly when it comes to use in hot drinks.
In terms of what fares the other non dairy milks not quite so well, almond and rice milk have against them the fact they use the most water, while coconut requires the most transportation. As for soya, it has been found that some soya beans drive deforestation, which goes against them on the sustainability scales.
So, on what is National Plant Power day, why not jump on board Alpro’s campaign and see what all the fuss is about!
Who knows? It might just plant the seed for a new, healthy and more sustainable way of enjoying that coffee habit!