Sustainable Diaries – “I Like Beer”

Reduce, reuse, and recycle, choose your beer sustainably well....

I am Canadian. We drink as much beer per capita as the Aussies, almost. They are unstoppable in this.

Now while we are proudly not lightweights when it comes to the frothy stuff, we rarely drink ourselves to the point of belligerence or unconsciousness, unlike infamous others who also ‘like beer.’  We are polite Canadians after all.

So that’s why reducing my beer carbon footprint and improving my beer sustainability impact is important for me.

My sustainability beer variables: local and container

In Mexico, you don’t get many local “local” choices for beer, indeed, the closest local breweries to me are pretty big.  Not a hard choice when it comes to transportation of the brew: any beer made in Mexico City is conveniently 91 kilometers from me!

The harder part is bottling.

When we first came to Mexico in 1997, you could go to the “deposito” and pick up a pack, pay the deposit for the bottles, and then return them indefinitely. For a while, we could even get a service to deliver. But not now, I don’t drink enough for that and, worse, there are no returnable bottles!

Sacrificing for the World!

For some time, I actually drank a beer that I didn’t like because it had returnable bottles (that is the hieght of Canadianism – putting others interest before our own but still drinking our fill!). But they stopped making returnables, and so thankfully I switched to another brand.

Today there are three main bottling formats. Non-returnable bottles and cans with 340 ml and Cajuamas, in their fantastic 1.2 litres bottles are returnable! Btw, Its pronounced Ka Wha Mah – now you can sound cool in at a Mexican party ).

For a long time, I drank guilt-laden non-returnable, bottles and cans, both of which were recyclable. But it gnawed at me. I hated it (until the second beer) that I couldn’t get the perfectly good bottles reused.  Cajuamas, despite the really cool name, were just too big to finish off in a sitting, and the beer often went flat in the fridge. In Canada we call that a sin, in Mexico es un pecado.

It bugged me that I was either wasting beer or not returning bottles. So, I did what any good economist would do. I graphed-up my beer consumption and made study.


What did I learn? I learned that in our house we drank a beer, two on any given weeknight, but more on any given day during the weekend.

The solution was plain to see. Recyclable cans for the weekday, Cajuamas for the weekend.

My pleasure rebounded. Now, if only we could take back the line: “I like beer.”

The Sustainable Diaries are infrequent, unplanned journaling on the joys and struggles of being crazy for sustainability.  Got something to share? Send us your stories!


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