I’m sure you’ve noticed- LaCroix is everywhere. There are piles of it in most grocery stores. I remember in the early 2000s when my mom drank LaCroix daily. Then, we learned about the environmental impact of a can-a-day habit and bought one of those machines that make tap water turn all bubbly.
Somehow, in the last few years, LaCroix has become the soda replacement for millennials. When I was in college (just a short few months ago…), hipsters downed LaCroix left and right. LaCroix stock has soared and my local Target has box after box sitting front and center.
After watching friends pound 5-6 LaCroix a day, I started to wonder about the environmental impact of the can habit. I did some internet hunting. Here’s what I found:
- Less than half of the 100 billion cans sold in the U.S. each year are recycled (1)
- Aluminum can creation releases GHGs and chemicals that contribute to acid rain (1)
- Aluminum can be recycled over and over and over again! This means that it is more efficient to make aluminum cans from recycled ones than it is to source more materials (1)
- Recycling one can saves a cup of gasoline worth of energy (2)
- Mining for materials to make aluminum cans contributes to deforestation (3)
You can keep your LaCroix habit if you recycle. If you don’t recycle, then you end up contributing to the need to strip more land for resources. If you do recycle, you allow manufacturers to create more LaCroix cans (YAY) without having to dig up valuable land.
Chicago does recycle aluminum cans! Just remember not to leave them in a plastic bag when you still them in the recycling bin. CHICAGO DOES NOT RECYCLE PLASTIC BAGS. IF YOU PUT A PLASTIC BAG IN THE RECYCLING BIN, THEN EVERYTHING IN THAT BIN GOES TO THE LANDFILL WHETHER IT IS RECYCLABLE OR NOT.