Lose your bottle

Cut back on the booze

Cheers, bottoms up, prost, skál, or sláinte.

 Around the world, people have been enjoying a social tipple or two for millennia. From mulled wine or whisky to a refreshing pimms; from a pint of lager to a vodka and coke or a WKD – it tastes good and makes you feel great. Well, some of the time.

 But for the rest of the time, it makes you feel groggy, achy, and grumpy. Hangovers aside, drinking alcohol can lead to fatigue, bad skin, depression, weight gain, poor sleep, liver damage, high blood pressure, mouth cancer… ok, ok, I’ll stop. You get it: it isn’t super healthy.

So for two months, try cutting down on your booze. Simple.

Why

Here are a few reasons to take action.

Click for more info or scroll to read them all.

Health

As we said, drinking too much alcohol can lead to a whole swath of health problems – both short term and long term. No need to go into it more here, but the NHS gives a pretty thorough run down.

17 mil

alcohol related sick days taken in the UK each year.2

Money

With the average pint costing £3.31,1 drinking regularly can be a big drain on the wallet. In fact, the average Briton spends twice as much on booze each month as they do on health products!2 Plus, turning up to work hangover-free more often will improve your productivity and might well increase your chance of a promotion or a bonus. Double win.

Environment

Ok, so alcohol isn't exactly the biggest of environmental sins, but as with any product, it does leave a footprint on our planet, albeit a small one.

The packaging and transportation are perhaps the most obvious sources of waste and carbon emissions; but the production is usually where the biggest impact arises, through the energy and water use of brewing, distilling, and fermenting. And this varies massively between drinks – with cider being the greenest of your boozy options, and spirits being the most energy intensive.3

5-10L

of water are used to make one litre of beer.3

Pesticides

You've probably never considered the possibility of pesticides in your alcohol. But due to a pesky leafhopper, a whopping 50% of the pesticides used in France are used on vineyards, despite vineyards only taking up 3% of the crop area.4 Even some organic wines tested positive for them.

Global Goals

In September 2017, a historic agreement was signed by UN member nations agreeing to work towards 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development by 2030, otherwise known as the SDGs.

Achieving these ambitious goals will require action from governments, businesses, NGOs, and individuals alike. We can - and must - all play our part.

By making the 'Lose your bottle' pledge, you are contributing in your own small way to the following SDG targets:

3.5: Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol

12.8: By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature

13.3: Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning

How

We’re big believers in small, long lasting changes here at The DoNation. Try going completely dry for a month and (if you’re anything like me) you’ll probably just binge when you reach the other end, leaving no lasting benefits at all. Instead, we recommend just trying to cut back for a couple of months – perhaps drinking just one or two nights a week. By the end of it, you might well find you’ve formed a habit that sticks. Some of our top tips on how to keep dry:

1. Stay away from the triggers – whether it’s the pub or a certain work do, unless you have super strong willpower, it’s probably best to avoid the temptation.

2. Do something new to fill the time that you’d usually grab a drink - whether it’s learning a new skill, joining a book club, or taking up a sport. You could even rope in your usual drinking buddies and help them to cut down too. Or you might even meet some new interesting friends

3. Find an alternative non-alcoholic tipple. Lime and soda or non-alcoholic beers are good choices if you want to avoid interrogation from your friends. You could also alternate alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks.

And when you are drinking, think about buying local where possible, and cutting down on the packaging. Check out EeBria for British-brewed beers, ciders, wines and gins. Borough Wines offers refillable wine bottles for London dwellers. Cheers!

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