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What is The Environmental Impact of Oat Milk?

The new wave of plant milks 🥛

The environmental impact of dairy farming is becoming increasingly well-known.

As a result, more and more people are switching to plant-based milk alternatives to reduce their carbon footprint

Oat milk is the UK's favourite plant-based variety, but how sustainable is it as a dairy alternative?

Most sustainable plant milk comparison represented by oat grains and milk glass

Environmental impact of dairy milk 🐮

For comparison, let's first explore the environmental impact of traditional cow’s milk. 

The dairy industry produces 50 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, accounting for almost double the entire global aviation industry.

Greenhouse gases aside, dairy is also extremely water and land intensive, requiring 628 litres of water and 9 square meters of land for every litre of milk produced.

Environmental impact of oat milk 🌱

The good news is that oat milk has a very low environmental impact in comparison to dairy milk.

1️⃣ Carbon Emissions 

  • Oat milk = 0.9kg per litre
  • Dairy milk = 3.2kg per litre
  • That's a 72% decrease!

2️⃣ Water Usage

  • Oat milk = 48L per litre
  • Dairy milk = 628L per litre
  • That's a 92% decrease!

3️⃣ Land Usage

  • Oat milk = 0.8sqm per litre
  • Dairy milk = 9sqm per litre
  • That's a 91% decrease.

    In addition, farming of oats doesn’t cause significant damage to soil or natural ecosystems.

    This is especially when compared to other milk alternatives such as soy which has been linked to deforestation and soil pollution

    Environmental impact of other plant-based milks ☁️

    The environmental impact of oat milk vs. milk alternatives chart

    There isn’t one plant milk which leads in every category, so it’s difficult to determine which can be classed as “the most sustainable".

    Whilst almond and rice milk contribute slightly fewer greenhouse gases, they rely on heavy water usage. 

    Similarly, soy performs well on emissions and water, but it has been associated with deforestation and widescale use of pesticides.

    How can the impact of oat milk be reduced?

    Option 2️⃣: Overherd oat milk

    Store-bought oat milk is a whopping 90% water!

    And guess what? Carting around all that heavy, water-laden oat milk demands fossil fuel-burning trucks. Crazy, right?

    We decided to concentrate on the… concentrate with our innovative oat milk powder.

    You add the water instead which solves that unnecessary bulk and weight problem. It’s 10 times lighter and 90% less packaging intensive

    But that’s not all, because it’s dried it has a naturally long shelf life, which equals less food waste.

    Check out our full article on why powdered oat milk is a more sustainable choice. We only use organic oats too!

    Option 1️⃣: Buy local & organic

    If you'd prefer to stick with store bought cartons, then opting for locally produced oat milk will help reduce food miles and can subsequently minimise transport emissions.

    Moreover, selecting oat milk made from organic oats reduces the environmental impact since it eliminates the use of pesticides.

    Time to re-evaluate ♻️

    It doesn’t just end here though; we want other brands to re-evaluate how products reach consumers so that unnecessary wastage can be reduced.

    Learn more about our sustainability here.

    Save fridge space | Say bye to off milk | Reduce packaging | Reduce carbon footprint | I'm getting dizzy