Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Carbon Footprint of a Latte

I was just contemplating the carbon footprint of a latte. From the farting cows, to the transportation of the milk products, to the pasteurization heating, to the packaging and delivery to the distribution center, thence to the coffee bar, and the steaming. And that's just the milk. Let's not overlook the cooling requirements through the supply chain either. Those have got to hurt.

Then there is the coffee bean itself - originating on a plant that requires CO2, by the way - which must find itself through the same distribution routes, to a place of roasting (OMG the carbon!) and grinding.

I am having a hard time thinking of a progressive beverage with a larger carbon footprint. For what it's worth, having skim might reduce your own footprint, but is probably even worse for the planet because of the additional processing steps required to reduce the fat content, separate handling, equipment, and so forth.

My conclusion: you can't be true progressive and drink latte at the same time.

This diatribe sponsored by Big Tea.This is not a progressive post. Rather, it is a sensible post. (explanation)