We don’t always want to think about being environmentally responsible all the time, especially when we’re tossing back a few with our friends. But it’s not that hard to make a few small choices that won’t disrupt the fun.

  1. Consider trying an organic beer or two. The ingredients that are most common in beer – barley, hops and sometimes wheat - are heavily laden with insecticides, fungicides, pesticides and chemical fertilizers when commercially grown. All of these are bad for the environment. The ingredients for organic beer should not be grown with any of those – leaving the earth (not to mention you) a little bit healthier.
  1. An alternative to organic beer when looking to leave less of an impact on the earth with your beer is to buy a local brew. It may not be organic, but it won’t have to travel far to get to you. The fancy imports that you drink may be really tasty, but they leave quite a carbon footprint getting from their home to yours. Buy buying local, the energy and fuel needed to transport the beer is decreased dramatically.
  1. When at a restaurant, order beer on tap. Many restaurants do not recycle their bottles because it’s either a hassle or they don’t want to pay the fee to have them hauled off. By ordering beer from the tap, there is a good chance you’ll save at least one bottle from ending up in a landfill.
  1. At your next party, get a keg instead of individual bottles or cans. Kegs are 100% reusable, you won’t have to worry about where to put all those empties until you can recycle them, and a keg will probably save you money. And while, yes, glass and cans are fully recyclable, recycling them takes energy and resources. By going with a keg, you’ll save the energy and resources that would have been used to recycle your empties
  1. Recycle your empties. This may seem like a no-brainer but I’m still surprised at how many people don’t do it – even when they have curbside recycling programs. If you don’t have curbside recycling or your apartment complex doesn’t have a program, you can find out where to take any glass or cans that need to be recycled by going to Earth911. By entering your zip code, you can find the nearest recycling center.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Five ideas for eco-friendly beer consumption
Being more environmentally responsible when drinking your beer isn't difficult at all. Here are five ways.