Simple zero waste ideas: cold beverages

I’m curious: what are your go to zero waste cold drinks?

zero waste drinks equipment

Water with a twist

You can just drink tap water of course, which I do. Or sparkling water, if you are in Germany since everyone seems to have soda machine here. Soda bottles are refilled at a local drug store so it’s a zero waste option! But if you are trying to get 3 litres per day, water can get plain sometimes. Since I don’t have a juicer I use my lemon squeezer to make lemonade. Fruit infused water is great too. I like to use cucumber and citruses.

lemon squeezer with citruses


Since dairy has a bigger carbon footprint, I make my own oatmeal milk alternative. Most people are into nut milk, like almond, but I find it too expensive. I like oatmeal because it’s a regional product that I can buy in bulk. It’s also dirt cheap, especially compared to nuts, and doesn’t need to be presoaked overnight I am thrilled to have a jar of oatmeal at hand and always be able to come up with some “milk” out of nothing!

How do you milk the oatmeal, you ask?

DSC07770 - Editedtake some oatmeal

DSC07780 - Editedsoak in water for 20 min

DSC07789 - Editedpour through a strainer

I use oatmeal milk in my morning smoothies, but you can also cook with it. I wouldn’t put it in coffee, though, so maybe some nut milk can save the day?

DSC07903 - Edited

Bottle deposit system in Germany

If you live in Germany, it is easy to get many beverages in refillable bottles. The country has an impressive bottle deposit system (and so does Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, The Netherlands, Austria, … I wish Slovenia would have it too!). You can get soft drinks, beer, organic juices and even regional dairy products in glass (and sometimes hard plastic) bottles that are sterilised and reused upon return. There’s a deposit on the bottle (“pfand”), which you get back once you return the bottle to any store that sells the same products. If you are on the go and you bought a drink at a local Spätshop, you leave the bottle on the street next to a trash bin for the homeless. It’s a big part of Berlin’s street culture!

Do you make any milk alternative at home? What are your favourite zero waste drinks? Do let me know!

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