Happy Earth Day! For over 40 years, Earth Day, April 22, has inspired individuals and organizations worldwide to demonstrate their commitment to environmental protection and sustainability. It lands on a Monday this year allowing to really spread the message regarding the impact of a meat heavy diet has on our environment.
I participated in Earth Day for the first time two years ago by going vegan for a day. I now eat a meatless diet every Monday. Today, in coordination with Meatless Monday, I am giving you, my readers, a challenge!
1. Go meatless, vegan or vegetarian, for the entire day.
A less drastic approach would be to eat like a locavore (ie only eat foods that were grown nearby). If you are already vegan, skip down to #2.
A 2006 United Nation report revealed that the “livestock sector” generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, trains, ships, and planes in the world combined. The livestock sector is one of the largest sources of carbon dioxide and the single largest source of both methane and nitrous oxide emissions. Nitrous oxide is considerably more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. According to the U.N., the meat, egg, and dairy industries account for a staggering 65 percent of nitrous oxide emissions.”
To help combat climate change, cut back on the meat you eat.
“If every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetables and grains … the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads. … If every American had one meat-free meal per week, it would be the same as taking more than 5 million cars off our roads. Having one meat-free day per week would be the same as taking 8 million cars off American roads.”
Learn what I eat when I eat Meatless on Mondays by watching my YouTube video from last week sharing what I eat in a day.
2. Plant a home garden in your backyard or even a window box of full of herbs if you live in a city like me.
Starting your own little garden without pesticides benefits the environment and removes toxins from your own diet.
Learn how to get started by visiting Learn2Grow.com.
Having a backyard full of fresh herbs is handy when you’re cooking and saves you money. You are reducing carbon emissions used to transport your food. You are also reducing the amount waste that it takes to get the food from the foreign country to your table. A garden significantly reduces greenhouse gas which promotes climate change, waste and improves your health.
There are many more ways to participate in Earth Day like drinking out of a reusable water bottle, walking or biking instead of driving but these are sorta obvious ones that I feel you can do on a regular basis starting today. If you aren’t, start thinking about how to give back. Going vegan even just one day a week takes a bit of research and preparation which is why I’m posting this today!
If you plan to go vegan, click the “Like” button below or share on Twitter with the hashtag #meatlessmonday. I always say I could be a vegan and now I have a moral reason to do so once a week. I’m helping the environment 🙂
Here are some vegan recipes to help you get started:
Vegan Breakfast: Baked Oatmeal Banana Bite Muffins
Vegan Lunch: Sesame Maple Baked Tofu Salad
Vegan Dinner: Sweet Potato Edamame Greens Bowl