Ditch the Can

Share this post

If you’ve started drinking sparkling water instead of soda, cola, pop, or diet soda, congratulate yourself. You’ve made a very meaningful change for the better for your health. Giving up the sugars and artificial sweeteners in those beverages will help you avoid issues such as obesity and cavities.

And now that sweetened and diet beverages are in your rearview mirror, it’s time to have a talk about your canned sparkling water habit.

It’s a given that it’s supremely satisfying to go into the kitchen, open the refrigerator, and grab a can of cold sparkling water. It’s easy and refreshing, and with zero calories, no guilt is required.

However, what’s healthy for your body may not be as healthy for the planet. The aluminum can itself is environmentally costly to produce. Getting the minerals that make up aluminum out of the ground is not a clean process, and they’re extremely energy-intensive to refine, creating greenhouse gas emissions.

One advantage of aluminum is that it can be recycled indefinitely—no material is lost in each round of recycling, and recycling an old can takes a tiny fraction of the energy it takes to produce a new one. The catch is that the consumer recycling rate for used beverage cans was 54.5 percent in 2015, down from 56.7 percent in 2014. That means that nearly half the cans we’re buying are still being discarded, necessitating an awful lot of new aluminum. Don’t forget to factor in the not-inconsequential environmental effect of filling those cans at one location, then shipping and trucking them to your local grocery store.

Recycling is important, but reducing demand for aluminum is the greener move here.

Want to wean yourself off of your five-can-a-day sparkling water habit? Here are a few ideas:

  1. Make your own. If it’s the bubbles that seduce you, forgo your sparkling water purchases for a few weeks and put the money toward a countertop soda maker. These use your own tap water and recyclable or reusable canisters of CO2 to make bottles of seltzer you can enjoy anytime.
  2. Plan ahead. One reason those little cans are so addictive is that they’re always lurking there in the fridge, chilled and ready for you. So do it yourself: fill a reusable bottle with homemade seltzer or tap water before going to bed each night, and pop it in the fridge.
  3. Flavor it up. Maybe it’s the fruity taste of flavors like cran-raspberry or mango that draws you. You can get the same burst of flavor by adding slices of your own fruits and veggies to your refrigerated bottle of water. Cucumber is particularly refreshing. You can even find water bottles with their own infuser baskets.
  4. Make it pretty. For a beverage with plenty of eye appeal, put chopped-up fruits in an ice cube tray, fill with water, and freeze. Add the fruity ice cubes to your glass or bottle, and your water will be instantly Instagram-worthy.

Miriam Wolf is a wellness professional and the editor of The FruitGuys Magazine newsletter.
 

 

Sign up for our monthly newsletter

 

Recent Diet and Health articles:

Yoga for your neck and back
September 14, 2017
Six tips for starting a Walktober challenge at your workplace
September 5, 2017
How to go green with your fizzy water habit
August 17, 2017
How to sleep when the temperature soars
August 10, 2017
Volunteering is good for your community—and for your health
July 13, 2017
Put down that pill!
April 24, 2017
The nature-health connection and how to find it
March 23, 2017
A good self-care regimen can help you feel better faster
February 22, 2017
Resolve to turn the good things you already do into habits
December 12, 2016
Escape from holiday pressure with these self-care ideas
December 6, 2016

More recent articles:

Get motivated to run through the winter
September 21, 2017
Your workplace can help save the world
September 19, 2017
A clean office is a healthy office
September 12, 2017
Food:
Six ways to get creative with apples
September 7, 2017
Food:
Three simple slow cooker recipes that use summer vegetables
August 31, 2017
Seven employee benefits that are so 2017
August 29, 2017
Food:
Layered salads for your work lunch
August 24, 2017
Four strategies to strengthen your team and minimize gossip
August 22, 2017
Help your staff through an uncertain time for employee health care benefits
August 15, 2017
Seven ways to celebrate office birthdays without the sugarcoating
August 8, 2017

About Us

Our monthly online magazine features articles about fitness, health, food, and work, as well as recipes featuring farm-fresh fruit!