Most people when they think of lowering their carbon footprint think about how they impact our environment when they drive their car or make purchases of products that require the use of fossil fuels. Others think about planting trees to help capture CO2 or buying carbon offsets where their money goes to pay for a reduction in greenhouse gases that has already occurred.
Think again. Not everyone has the money to buy carbon offsets and how many of us are willing to cut back on driving? What we all can do to make a difference is plan as many meals as possible that do not involve high levels of greenhouse gases like the production of red meat.
Did you know that each year two cows produce as much heat trapping greenhouse gas as a car driven for 10,000 miles? A single cow releases around 264 pounds of methane per year and worldwide there are approximately 1.5 billion cows. Methane along with carbon dioxide and nitrose oxide, collectively called greenhouse gases, warms the earth by blocking heat from escaping, resulting in climate change.
Scientists are saying that global emissions of carbon dioxide must be cut by 45% in the next ten years with action plans on the table by the end of this year. If the world succeeds in meeting that goal we hope to see a global temperature increase of below 1.5C. If not, we are heading towards a temperature increase of 3C. Current plans are nowhere near strong enough to keep temperatures below the so-called safe limit. Right now, we are heading towards 3C of heating by 2100 not 1.5.
Meat consumption is growing across the globe and projected to increase by 70% by 2050. Cutting out meat one day per week is something that you and your family can do now to help decrease our impact on climate change. Eating less meat also reduces your risk of heart disease and fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains make great healthier alternatives.