When it comes to going green, we find that even small choices can have a big impact, like bringing reusable bags to the store, squashing the plastic bottle habit, and swapping to eco-friendly cleaners. And here's one more: a new study shows that simply going meat-free just once a week can make a pretty big impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
We would love to eat entirely local, but find that we lack the time and dedication to make that happen. So we were happy to read that what we're already doing—eating significantly less meat than we used to a couple of years ago—has such a positive impact on our carbon footprint.
According to the study,
"Buying local" could achieve, at maximum, around a 4−5% reduction in GHG emissions due to large sources of both CO2 and non-CO2 emissions in the production of food. Shifting less than 1 day per week's (i.e., 1/7 of total calories) consumption of red meat and/or dairy to other protein sources or a vegetable-based diet could have the same climate impact as buying all household food from local providers.
Have you gone meat-free at least once a week, if not more? We have friends who deem themselves "vegetarian before dinner," and others who prescribe to Meatless Mondays. What about you?
Read more, including the study itself, over at AlterNet.
• How To: Eat Locally Grown Food All Year
• Learning to Cook With Less Meat
• Eat Local to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint?
(Image: Amber Byfield for Re-Nest.)