The next time you pop a wine cork, drink a toast to the environment. Why? Because your choice of wine closures has a real impact on the health of the planet.

Cork is still the hands-down favorite closure for wines sold in the U.S. because it both allows wine to age properly, and is part of the romance of wine. Have you ever heard of someone saving a screw cap from a memorable dinner?

But corks are also the favorite closure for the environment. They’re biodegradable, recyclable and sustainable. And their use encourages the stewardship of one of the world’s richest ecosystems—the cork oak forests of the Mediterranean Basin.

These are not your average forests. For starters, they’re gigantic, covering an area about the size of Maryland. They prevent large portions of countries like Spain and Portugal from turning into deserts, provide habitat for hundreds of plant and animal species and sustain generations of family farmers.