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[Ambassador report] [Thematic report ] Calculating the environment cost of 1 lit of milk

by Sachin Regmi | 21-05-2020 00:45 Comments 6 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations

Calculating the environment cost of 1 lit of milk

Agriculture is integral component of human survival. We need variety of foods every day. Natural nutrition comes from two different sources- animal and plant source. Both these sources are responsible for green house gas emission. Data indicates around 15% of world’s greenhouse gas comes from agriculture alone, comparable to 30% by transportation. With increasing demand for food production these byproducts are expected to raise by 60% in next 10 years.

Cattle are kept for milk and meat. However, they are major source of CO2, Methane, Ammonia which are directly associated with global warming. Milk is one of the most widely produced and valuable agricultural commodities worldwide. It is major source of calcium, protein, fats, vitamins and other minerals. Globally 264 million dairy cows are producing around 600 million ton of milk annually.
So, let’s calculate environment cost of 1 lit of milk
Annual milk production average per cow= 2,200 lit [1]
Per day Average milk production per cow= 6.11 lit
Per day Average Methane emission per cow= 587 lit [2]
 Per day Average carbon dioxide emission per cow= 6137 lit [2]
Per day Average Ammonia emission per cow= 32 lit [3]
This concludes per liter of milk produced 96.07 lit of methane, 1,004.41 lit of carbon dioxide and 5.23 lit of ammonia is produced on an average. The data excludes unproductive cattle emission, and indirect emission of these gases by feed plants etc. Methane thus produced is collected and used as fuel and ammonia as manure which is utilized by plants to make protein.
Never the less the impact of these emission on global warming cannot be ignored. New techniques and technologies are introduced everyday to minimize the damage.

  1. Shakeel Anwar, TOP 10 countries by milk production, 2017, Retrieved from https://m.jagranjosh.com/general-knowledge/top-10-countries-by-milk-production-1318490243-1
  2. R. Kinsman, F. D. Sauer et al Methane and carbon dioxide emission from dairy cows, 1995 J Dairy Sci 78:2760-2766
  3. Reducing dairy ammonia emission: A Swedish case study, 2003, Retrieved from http://www.milkproduction.com/Library/Scientific-articles/Sustainability/Reducing-dairy-ammonia-/


Sang Su Mentor

  • Sang Su Mentor says :
    Hi Sachin Regmi, this is a mentor Sang Su Lee.

    Actually, this is the type of article that I wanted to see. Thank you for writing detailed process of calculation for determining the environmental cost for one of humans' activities, a milk production in your case. By looking at your data, I was surprised that so much ammonia and CO2 are produced. Over production, therefore, should be prevented.

    Thank you for your report!
    Posted 26-05-2020 22:39

Taehyun Mentor

  • Taehyun Mentor says :
    Hello Sachin Regmi, this is mentor Taehyun!

    Thank you for your article on the carbon footprint of milk! In fact, I knew that cows that make milk can cause not only carbon dioxide but also methane gas in the process of raising them, but I never thought this would be related to milk! Milk should also be consumed in consideration of the environment!

    Thank you for the useful information!

    Green cheers!
    Posted 26-05-2020 02:25

Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello Sachin !

    I do hope that you are fine and doing great with your works.
    Thank you for your report about Calculating the environment cost of 1 lit of milk

    Green Cheers from Nepal :)
    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.

    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 24-05-2020 22:11

Asmita Gaire

  • Asmita Gaire says :
    Greetings sachin dai
    I hope you are doing well
    Wow, enjoyed this piece of writing
    Thank you so much for this report
    Keep writing
    Green cheers
    Asmita Gaire
    Posted 22-05-2020 14:00

Sonika Pariyar

  • Sonika Pariyar says :
    Hello Sachin !

    I hope you are fine and doing great!

    Thanks for sharing interesting report on Environmental cost of 1 litre milk.

    Thanks for sharing!


    Posted 21-05-2020 22:33


  • ALOK DHAKAL says :
    Thanks for sharing with us about environment cost of 1 lit of milk,
    Keep on writing wonderful report!!
    Posted 21-05-2020 01:05

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