If you are looking to lower your carbon footprint, the first place you may not think of is your teacup.

But, as it turns out, by preparing your favorite beverage in certain ways you can cut your footprint rather significantly!

what size is your carbon footprint?When talking about climate change, footprint is a metaphor for the total impact that something has. And carbon is a shorthand for all the different greenhouse gases that contribue to global warming.

The term carbon footprint, therefore, is a shorthand to describe the best estimate that we can get of the full climate change impact of something. That something could be anything – an activity, an item, a lifestyle, a company, a country or even the whole world.

According to the Green Living Blog,  drinking four teacups per day for one year, boiling only as much water as you need each time, works out to the same as one 40-mile drive in an average car.

But if you boil more water than needed for each teacup, you are using more energy than is necessary, adding to your footprint.

However, that pales in comparison to adding milk – putting milk in your tea triples your footprint.  That’s a “latte!”  The main reason for this counter-intuitively large contribution is that milk comes from cows, which, as ruminant animals, belch a lot of methane into the air.

Also, as previously mentioned, adding milk to tea virtually negates all health benefits from the tea (it also coats your tongue so most of what you taste is milk, not tea!).

So tell your milk to moo-ve over – take it au naturale!