Not only is meat a large contributor to carbon emissions, but individually packaged foods (granola bars) are as well. “Granola bars come in individual packaging, demanding high energy inputs and resulting in packaging waste. These products contribute up to a third of total energy inputs for food consumption, as their ingredients are shipped from all over, processed, packaged, trucked to storage” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_carbon_diet). Going on a low carbon diet is not only a healthy option- but its also great for our environment. If people in our country eliminated many of these foods in our diets, then we could change our carbon emissions significantly.
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Go vegetarian! I know this sounds daunting and almost impossible but going vegetarian even once a week can help not only your diet but the environment as well. It requires 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef! Transportation of this product also releases a lot of carbon into the atmosphere. So try and eat some veggies even if it is only for a day.
Hello! My name is Xandra and I’m from the United States. My carbon footprint was 39452 pounds of CO₂ per year, which is lower than an average of 53573 pounds for Texas, USA but higher than the average of 8358 pounds worldwide.
My lowest carbon emission was purchases, which surprised me because I love to shop. Though, looking back, I realized I did more than I thought I did. I recycle as much as possible, turn down excess packaging supplies for my purchases, and hardly ever get new electronics. My second lowest was transportation, which was something I expected. We skipped out yearly summer trip to the Philippines this year, and I live very close to my school, most of my friends, and other locations I like to go to on the weekends like the mall or the movie theater.
What really shocked me were the activities that produced the highest carbon emissions: home and food. My home carbon emissions were the only average that was higher than the regional average. After reviewing the data, it made sense. Eight out of twelve months we use the air conditioner and four months we use the heater. A lot of the carbon produced was because of careless habits such as forgetting to turn off unnecessary lights or water. I use my laptop for hours at school and then I come home to use it even more for homework. I rarely turn it off unless I’m sleeping, and on Fridays I don’t even do that because I leave it on to do a scan for viruses.
Food was also unexpected, but understandable when you take into account that I eat meat most days. A lot of fossil fuels are used to raise animals who are slaughtered for their meat. There’s an article on http://www.earthsave.org/environment/foodchoices.htm that discusses this. One cow will require approximately 284 gallons of gas in its lifetime to keep up with its eating habits and general maintenance. That’s simply one cow, not to mention the multitude of animals of various species that are killed for food every day. The US also imports a significant amount of meat as well.
To better my carbon footprint, I think the best thing that I can do is just cut back on the small things like turning off electronics, lights, and water, as well as taking shorter showers. When it’s cold, I could opt for a blanket instead of a heater. When it’s hot, I can start up a fan instead of the AC. Maybe once a week or so, my family and I can eat a vegetarian dinner. We could also try to eat more locally grown foods, as they don’t need to be transported as far as other sources. If anyone has any other suggestions, post them below!
Growing your own food at home can help reduce your carbon footprint and is also healthier. One of the reasons that growing your food (i.e. vegetable garden) at home can reduce carbon emissions is if you grow your food in a community garden, or even in your own back yard, you can avoid the long distances that the food will travel to get to your grocery stores. This not only allows for less carbon emissions, but it also gives you fresher foods! Also, according to http://www.veryediblegardens.com/iveg/why-grow-food growing, “processing, packaging, storing and transporting of what we eat make up 37% of the average eco-footprint. Freshly eaten home-grown food produces no green house emissions. ” I was so surprised to hear that statistic! Think how much you could reduce your carbon footprint by growing your own vegetables! There are many options to make gardening easy for you. If you have a spacious backyard or front yard, you could consider planting your garden there. Also, you could have a box garden in your front porch. If neither of these work for you, you can talk to your neighborhood, or a community center or church about creating a community garden.
Two years ago I read the book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. In this book the author, Michael Pollan, explores the making of four different meals. The first meal is from McDonald’s, the second is from Whole Foods, the third is from a small sustainable farm, and the final meal is completely hunted and gathered from nature. From reading this book I learned how much our food choices affect the environment, thus my eating habits have changed. I try to eat local and avoid any industrialized foods such as Twinkies. In this short video Michael Pollan discusses why we should eat locally grown food.
I have NEVER been a vegetarian in my LIFE. I love meat. End of story. However, I was shocked to find that just because I am not a vegetarian, by CO2 emissions were automatically 7410lb. That is a HUGE amount of CO2 released! Of course, I think that the fact that I am an athlete contributes to the fact that I eat more because I burn more calories doing the sport I love. However, my overall CO2 emission for the FOOD category was significantly lower due to the fact that i eat a lot of fish, eggs, and dairy products. I do eat chicken, a bit of beef, and maybe some pork, but just having the other food groups in my diet besides Meat lowered my emissions by -447kg.
Now that I think about it though, I must say that it shouldn’t hurt to add a few vegetarian meals to diet every week. Not only would it lower my CO2 emissions, but it would be extremely healthy food, which is exactly what athletes, including me, need every week to keep up our energy. I was a bit confused on just exactly why eating meat raised the CO2 emissions so much until I realized that the meat in stores come from SOMEWHERE. There are farms out there that have to raise the cattle, butcher them, certify them as actually edible, and then transporting them to said store. This is probably just one of the many ways meat is such a huge contributor to our carbon footprints. However this does not mean that every single person on the planet needs to become a vegetarian or a vegan, though there’s nothing wrong with that, but it definitely would not hurt to cut down how many times we eat meat every week and replace it instead, with vegetables.
If you read my last post, you might know that i showed you how to build a garden. Well to go with that garden, now let me tell you about composts.
What is a compost?
-Well it is a bin of some sort, in which you put natural biodegradable Eco-friendly things.
Why do I want a compost?
-I can easily put organic (as in natural) object i no longer need
-it fertilizes the soil
-it removes the point of adding chemicals and pesticides to your yard
-you feel good about helping the Earth every time you use it
-It looks super cool next to my veggie garden
Well How do I make one?
Click on the link to find out.
Eating healthy is not only good for you but it is also good for the Earth. Besides local food markets and supporting local restaurants, a great way to get fresh, pesticide free veggies to to grow them yourself. The more veggies you grow the healthier and happier your garden is. It also adds a fresh look to your backyard.
1. Start by deciding what you want to grow. Several plants produce lots of food and you may not end up needing as much as you think. Try to grow what you eat or else it could would just waste food.
2. Find a place for your garden. I would pick a place where you can a) get lots of sunlight b) have easy access to water c) where there is good soil.
If you don’t have any of these thing, try to build a planter box, get a water hose, and buy better soil.
Remember to water daily according to where you live, only grow what can be eaten or given to others, and don’t use pesticide, that would literally do nothing for the Earth.
My name is Bilel , i live in France .
My carbon footprint
In Transportation is : 6093 kg CO² per years
In home : 1995 kg CO² per years
In food : 2006 kg CO² per years
In purchases : 511 kg CO² per years
I know that I produce a lot of CO² in transportation because I need to go in my native country and i like to travel around Europe , i need to take the flights , it’s not a good idea but i can’t help it.
The benefits of locally grown produce over imported produce are that less carbon is emitted because less transportation is required, and that it helps local farmers. Additionally, it is less likely that harmful pesticides were used in the process of growing them. I have a garden at my house, and we grow tomatoes, lemons, figs, pears, the occasional orange, and herbs such as mint, parsley, rosemary and cilantro. It’s really convenient actually, because whenever we need something we just go outside ad get it. Everyone should consider starting their own garden.