Happy World Environment Day! Last year I wrote a post about what you can do for the environment. This year I’m doing something similar, but going for a lighter format. Enjoy!
Days like these are great opportunities to reflect and make sure we are doing all we practically can to protect the environment. Today, I’d like to focus on two small things that we as individuals can do which are highly effective but not very often talked about.
Within a particular cause area, some charities can be as much as 1000’s of times more effective than others. So if you’re going to donate to an environmental charity, it’s crucial to make sure your $$ are having the most impact they can. One stand out environmental charity is Cool Earth.
Cool Earth works to stop deforestation, and are so effective that $1.34 US donated to them reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 1 tonne of CO2-equivalent. As of 2016, this was one of the best charities for reducing GHG emissions.
The average American uses about 20 tonnes of CO2 per year as of 2006, so you could offset a years worth of emissions for just $26.8.
Over the past few decades, the impact of the livestock industry on the environment has become increasingly clear. Below I’ve outlined a few key statistics to show just big the impact is (stats are relative to the average US meat eating diet).
Adopting a plant-based diet is more effective for reducing your CO2 emissions than forgoing showers, having solar panels, and using bikes instead of cars.
So what can you do about this? Well for starters, you should definitely consider not having any animal products today (I might be too late for that), but also you should consider having less or no animal products in the future. It’s becoming easier every day with increasing access to cheap, delicious plant-based food.
I initially stopped eating meat because I became convinced that it was one of the most effective things I could do to help the environment, and it was way easier than I expected. I’d like to encourage everyone to try it. Just start with one vegan day a week and work from there.
Great tasting food doesn’t have to contain animal products. If you live in Sydney check out Soul Burger for some plant based deliciousness, like this ‘chicken’ and ‘bacon’ burger (my weekly guilty pleasure)!
If you need some help or inspiration, check out this guide.
For a more detailed look at the research behind the environmental impacts of the livestock industry, start with these: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6392/987 http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e00.HTM