It's the little things.

It's the little things.

Simple, inexpensive things you can do to help the planet



Cute cow faceEating less meat is a simple, effective way to reduce your carbon footprint.

Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the world’s leading authority on global warming, recommends cutting back on meat consumption as a “sacrifice that would help tackle climate change.”

Meat production accounts for nearly one-fifth of global greenhouse gas production. In some parts of the world, industrial ranching (particularly beef) compounds the problem by driving deforestation. It takes 3kg of plant protein to produce 1kg of animal protein.

You could try 1 meatless day per week or eating simply until 6 o’clock. Either way, isn’t a little less meat in your diet worth it to help the planet?

Not sure where to start?

If you’ve always made meat the focus of your meals, you might be wondering exactly how to do this. Eating meals without meat doesn’t mean you’re stuck with salad! Popular foodie site Epicurious is one of many with great meat-free recipes.

If you want to go hardcore, you could try eating raw/vegan a few times a week using recipes from Gone Raw or Fatfree Vegan. With gems like pistachio-cilantro pesto, you won’t be suffering. (Thanks to Karen Brown and Stephanie Hedges for the links!)

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  1. Rachel on July 14, 2009

    Cooking without meat encourages such creativity and results in superbly delicious dishes!

  2. Robbie Mackay on July 14, 2009

    I’ve been vegetarian for almost a year now and its great.. but you don’t have to go totally vege like me.. Just reduce meat in your diet a little, eat vege 2 or 3 times a week and that’s still a big difference for the planet :)
    (Plus vege food tastes great – especially if you steal recipes from Hare Krishnas)

  3. Andrew on July 14, 2009

    I just found this site where you can take a pledge not to eat meat on Mondays. Hey, it’s a start!

  4. Mike Cochrane on July 14, 2009

    Reducing meat is easy to do. But if you find yourself craving meat, think about what it is about that sort of meat that you body is really wanting.
    Is it just the salt from the bacon? or the protein from fish? If so then adjust your diet accordingly.
    Or is it just habit and it seems weird to have not had meat? Well this fades after a while.

    My meat intake naturally reduced as my exercise increased until I dropped meat out completely 2 years ago. Saved a lot of money too :-)

  5. Su Yin on July 14, 2009

    I eat very little meat—surviving on only two chicken thighs this week, but bulked up with lots of vegetables and rice. The cost of meat here makes it easy to become a faux vegetarian. :)

  6. Mark Bixby on July 15, 2009

    I’ve been working to reduce my “meat footprint”. Healthy alternative suggestions like these motivate me to stay diligent. Great post!

  7. Sheetal on July 17, 2009

    Ive enjoyed being a vegetarian for many many years and i love it. When you go the veg route you realize theres so much variety.

  8. Su Yin Khoo on July 18, 2009

    Just a thought … is there a difference in which type of meat you eat less of? For example, comparing lamb with beef.

  9. Andrew on July 26, 2009

    I just found the following website that helps you calculate the carbon cost of different types of food. Beef and lamb are way worse than chicken in this respect!

  10. Su Yin on July 26, 2009

    That’s a pretty nifty calculator. Now if they only they can make chicken taste like bacon naturally … ;)

  11. Andrew on August 17, 2009

    Here is an interesting article about whether all meat production is the same with regards to its effect on climate change. Turns out, it’s not.


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