Ever wondered why we are hearing more about cloudbursts, floods, cyclones, and wildfires across the world? Most of us attribute it to climate change and lament how little we can do as individuals. But what we don’t realize is we have the power to change climate change. Each one of us is actively contributing towards soaring temperatures and rising sea levels.
The clothes we wear, our travel choices, and even the home décor we choose – every little thing that we consider ‘routine’ or ‘normal’ in our lives has an impact. For that matter, what we eat impacts climate change, too. Meat-based diet, processed foods, and basically the entire global food system contribute to around 57% of greenhouse gas emissions. This is also one of the main reasons why vegan, plant-based food has come into the focus. Switching to lower-emissions alternatives, such as plant-based foods is the need of the hour. If we continue at the current pace of consumption, the livestock sector itself will use up half of the 1.5C-consistent carbon budget within 10 years.
It is extremely important for us to understand the link between food and climate. Food influences the climate and vice versa – which is why we need to take the food we consume seriously. Little changes in our daily lives, as well as the way we eat, can help to drastically cut down the negative effects of the food industry on the climate.
Now that we’re aware that what we eat impacts climate change, we need to take proactive steps towards building more sustainable habits around food. How can we do this? Let’s have a look:
Consume More Plant-based Foods
Plant-based foods have the least carbon emissions. If we can, we should switch completely to a plant-based diet. Fill your plate with more greens, salads, lentils, beans, and fruits. Meat shouldn’t be there at all, instead, we should look for ways and means to eat a whole food plant-based diet.
Opt for a Flexible Diet
If we aren’t able to adopt a vegan diet, we can look for other ways to cut down emission-generating meat such as beef, lamb, and pork. Keep meat restricted to one or two days a week, rather than consuming it on a daily/regular basis. This is the ‘flexitarian diet,’ one where most of your plate would more often be filled with fresh veggies, luscious fruits, plenty of beans, and legumes, and cut down meat until you eliminate it entirely from your diet.
Build Healthy Habits Slowly
Quitting meat suddenly won’t really be easy – but it is not impossible either. Once we adopt the plant-based vegan lifestyle, we can immediately understand its positive effects on our bodies. This makes it easier to go completely meatless and switch to healthy greens and other alternatives. Looking for some help? Check this out!
If each one of us actually takes the effort to even reduce our meat consumption, we can greatly contribute to reducing carbon emissions. We do not depend on governments or summits, we all have the power to do something on a daily basis. While many of us are making a conscious effort towards protecting the environment by opting for sustainable fashion, décor, and other eco-friendly ways of living, it is time we incorporate the same in our diet, too. Remember Happy You Happy Planet!
Want to help the planet? Keep diving here!