The Many Uses of Beer and Wine
A guide to waste-free beer and wine consumption.
I thought I’d get the obvious use—the intended one—out of the way first. It’s well-known that drinking wine in moderation can provide myriad health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart attack and an increased lifespan, so drinking the occasional glass or two has long been accepted as a healthy practice. And while beer is often (unfortunately) dismissed as being “liquid bread” without many positive attributes to speak of, it turns out that it actually has more going for it than you may think. Research has shown that the hops found in beer may help lower cholesterol and fight viruses, and darker beers have been found to contain a significant amount of ever-popular, cancer-fighting antioxidants.
If you can't manage to finish your drink of choice, don’t just pour it down the drain the morning after. (And don’t plug your nose and try to save the wounded soldiers, either. That never ends well.) As it turns out, both beer and wine are excellent additions to your compost bins, so add some to the pile and give your little microorganisms a treat.
Recycle the corks and caps.
If you’re feeling crafty, you can save all of your old wine corks and bottle caps and use them to make a cork board, a bottle cap tabletop, or another arts and crafts project that will liven up your living space. Or, alternatively, you can leave the art and furniture-building to the professionals and find recycling centers that can process wine corks and metal caps. Whole Foods Market has partnered with Cork ReHarvest to place cork collection boxes in most of their uS stores, and a lot of city recycling centers can process steel bottle caps.
Repurpose the bottles.
Websites like Pinterest and other DIY blogs are full of countless instructions showing you how to transform old wine and beer bottles into various things. Here is how to turn plain bottles into colorful vases. Here is a how-to for turning wine bottles into drinking glasses. And here, for the ambitious, are instructions for how to make a wine bottle chandelier.
So go forth and imbibe, basking in the knowledge that neither liquid nor glass nor steel nor cork is going to waste.