What better day than Earth Day to recall that going meatless just one day a week can not only improve your health (lowering your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity), it’s also good for the globe.
Did you know that by choosing to cut out meat every Monday you’re playing a key role in helping the environment by…
Preserving water resources
The water requirements of meat production are enormous. Producing a quarter-pound of beef, for example, requires over 1,000 gallons of water, by most estimates. This can be up to 100 times more water than is needed to produce plant-based proteins.
Water pollution is also a serious side effect of industrial meat production. Fertilizers and pesticides used to grow animal feed crops, and waste generated by industrial food animal production facilities, pollute waterways and threaten ecosystems.
Helping stop climate change
Animal agriculture contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, accelerating worldwide climate change at an alarming rate. Despite uncertainties in projections, climate change is viewed as a major threat to public health, food security, freshwater supplies and ecosystems across the globe.
There are, of course, many other things you can do to lessen your environmental impact. But taking part in Meatless Monday is a critical — and easily implementable — first step.
Looking for other ways to green all 52 of your Meatless Mondays throughout the year?
Check out these easy and fun ideas:
Visit a farmers’ market
Purchasing locally grown food is a great way to get fresh, seasonal, tasty and healthy ingredients. From asparagus in spring to squash in fall, your local market offers a wealth of delicious veggies and fruits. And because the distance from farm to market is usually small, a lot less fuel is needed to transport the produce directly to you — which is good for the planet.
Need help finding a market near you? The website Local Harvest maintains a database of farmers’ markets nationwide. And when you go to the market, don’t forget to bring your own bag!
Plant a garden
Buying locally grown produce is great — harvesting your own vegetables and herbs is even better! The whole family will love planting, caring for, and eventually picking and cooking what you grow. Don’t have space for a garden? You can still grow delicious herbs in a window box placed in a sunny spot inside your home.
Spread the message
It’s great if you and your family have pledged to go Meatless Monday, but why not get the whole community involved? Schools, restaurants, offices and hospitals can all do their part for personal and environmental health. Check out the Community toolkit for tips on bringing Meatless Monday to your town.
How are you planning to celebrate Earth Day and Meatless Monday? Tell us on Facebook.