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Source: ISTOCK

The Most Eco-Friendly Non-Dairy Milks


There are so many reasons to switch from drinking cow's milk to non-dairy milk — and one of the biggest is dairy's environmental impact. All non-dairy milks, whether they're made from nuts, beans, or seeds, produce less emissions than cow's milk. So feel free to ignore all those reports about how almond milk uses too much water to be sustainable, because almond milk uses way less water than its dairy counterpart. To help you keep your non-dairy milk deliciousness as zero-waste as possible, we've dug around the internet to figure out which one has the lowest impact.

Why Does Dairy Milk Have a High Environmental Impact?

As the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) points out, to raise a cow for dairy, you need to grow enough grain to feed them for their entire lives. Growing grain requires water and pesticides, which further increase dairy milk's impact. Additionally, an enormous amount of water is needed to hydrate cows (they drink much more than humans), and vast land and constant electricity is needed to sustain the cows. And most significantly, cows release massive amounts of greenhouse gases (including methane and nitrous oxide) through their burps and feces (yes, seriously), which can pollute the air and waterways, making neighborhoods surrounding factory farms dangerous places for humans to live.