Boris Grdanoski/AP


In a recent rumble match between bottled water and orange juice over at TreeHugger, the beverage revealed to be the worst eco-offender surprised and upset lovers of classic breakfast drinks and screwdrivers everywhere. Yes, it turned out that while drinking bottled water is bad, but orange juice was even worse.

Bad News for Orange Juice Fans

Hit the link above for the full report, but the gist is this. Considering everything factors into the production of both drinks (bottle production, fertilizer, processing, transportation, etc), it was determined that every liter of Fiji water that makes it to your local convenience store creates a total of .55 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions, while every liter of Tropicana orange juice you pour into your breakfast glass generates 1.98 pounds.

So what does this mean for those of us trying to minimize our ecological footprints? It means it's time to start looking at orange juice in a whole new light.

In most parts of the world, it really should be considered a sort of luxury: as is pointed out in the piece, there's really no way to get orange juice without causing carbon chaos. Even fresh-squeezing is out, as the packaging is often more intensive for oranges than for orange juice.

So unless you're fresh squeezing local, organically (fertilizer-free) grown oranges, we have to accept the fact that OJ is tough on the environment. So what can we do?

Orange Juice Alternatives

We can look for OJ alternatives, of course. Anything that's mass-processed and fertilized is out, so check those drinks off your list

A good idea is to find out what grows locally in your area

I doubt I'll be able to convince anyone to entirely give up orange juice, and maybe giving up oj isn't so essential in the scheme of things anyway. But we do need to think about it

And next time you're in Florida, stock up on organically grown oranges.