Sustainability

No matter how you slice it, plants are better for the planet.

Nuts are simple. They’re grown on trees, harvested, hulled, and brought to market. At Kite Hill, we source local, GMO-free almonds. Tree nuts like almonds do require water and land use, but their environmental impact is relatively small compared to that of the average dairy operation:

WATER

Almonds need water, of course, but the only other major input is sunlight. It is often cited that almonds require a little over one gallon of water per nut; but this is a fraction of what it requires to raise animals, according to waterfootprint.org.

Healthy dairy cows can eat up to 100 pounds of food per day, which itself requires its own water and land to grow. After feed is accounted for, cows still need their own water. The Food and Water Watch estimates that industrial dairies in the Central Valley alone create around 300 million tons of waste per year.

ENERGY

Energy emissions average about 0.4 pounds of CO2 per pound of almonds — that’s a tiny number compared to the 17.6 pounds of CO2 needed to produce a gallon of dairy milk. Plus, the almond trees themselves trap carbon and grow blossoms that are a valuable pollen-rich feeding ground for bees.

Livestock, on the other hand, require high amounts of energy for transport and pasteurization and are also responsible for much of the greenhouse gases in our atmosphere: they emit 37% of the methane, 65% of the nitrous oxide, and 64% of the ammonia in the environment.