Climate Impact of the Top Trending Drinks might have you rethinking your favourite cocktail

September 1, 2021
By Melissa Parker

Greenies and climate impact activists who enjoy a drink have something new to consider for cocktail hour. A new study by Uswitch in the UK has analysed the carbon footprint of the top trending drinks on Tiktok and Instagram and the results are in.

The lockdown sensation Dalgona coffee was revealed as the worst offender, followed by Sangria and Long Island Iced Tea.

Dalgona coffee is made by whipping equal parts instant coffee powder, sugar and hot water until creamy and then adding cold or hot milk has been a social media COVID-19 pandemic lockdown sensation. The name is derived from dalgona, a Korean sugar sweet because of its taste and appearance. The trend started in South Korea and quickly cottoned on in the US.

With My Emissions revealing that 25% of greenhouse gas emissions coming from food and drink, Uswitch has analysed each ingredient of the top trending food and drink to discover which recipes are having the most impact on the planet. The research involved running the ingredients of 72 recipes through My Emissions Food Carbon Footprint Calculator and adding up the grand total emissions number for each one to discover the highest and lowest emitters.

The results reveal that Dalgona coffee (which has 6.6 million views on TikTok) is the worst emitter producing more grams of carbon dioxide than any other drink. The internet-breaking drink produces 905 gCO2e which is the equivalent of driving your car for nearly two miles.

Second on the list is Sangria, the Spanish cocktail using wine, rum, fruit juice, and fruit pieces producing 686 gCO2e, followed by a Long Island Iced Tea (3rd highest emitter) which is made with vodka, tequila, rum, triple sec, gin, and a splash of cola. 

The research also found that the hugely popular in Australia, Aperol Spritz (which has over 934,200 Instagram hashtags and 3.5 million views on TikTok) is sixth on the list, whilst the Pina Colada with 2.2 million views on TikTok is the 5th highest emitter producing 493 gCO2e, and a Pornstar Martini is the eighth highest emitter amongst trending drinks.

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