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Eating vegan is really good from a climate point of view, so why stop after Veganuary? Read on to find out how to stick with an earth-friendly diet for the long run.
January 26, 2023
Many enthusiastic people join Veganuary to do some good for a month. You can give yourself a pat on the back if you are taking part this year. But what if you did it for not just one month and instead for several months (make it to Veganovember perhaps) or even a year? Or what if this new habit of eating more plant-based food found a way into your life and stayed? This would be amazing, not only for your health and for the cute animals, but especially from a climate perspective.
However, just like your new year’s resolution to become a bodybuilder and a marathon runner, going all in on the vegan diet is a big commitment and it doesn’t always work for everyone, especially if you think short term. So if you are familiar with trying out new habits, it shouldn’t come as a shock when suggesting that taking things step by step, and reminding yourself of “The why”, is key to adopting change. So let’s start with WHY shall we.
To make a change you first need to ask yourself why. “Why should I stop picking my nose in public?” “Why should I start a belly button beatbox band?” These are just a couple of common questions we hear all the time… probably… Anyway, when it comes to Veganuary, it might be that you care about animals, your health, winning a bet, or our favourite… you care about the planet we live on! That’s right, if you weren’t aware of it already, we are here to give you the guidance and wisdom you need while you are lost looking for a reason to eat more plant-based food. So hold on tight and get ready to be blown away by the following facts.
Believe it or not, unlike ruminant animals, plants don’t like to fart or burp which causes strong greenhouse gases like methane to be released into the atmosphere. If you’re looking for a memorable comparison to bring with you wherever you go, then let us tell you that you can eat 10 vegan burgers for the same climate cost as 1 beef burger. Ain’t that something?
Most plant-based foods produce minimal amounts of carbon emissions. In fact, if the whole world went vegan for a month, we could save 384 million tonnes of CO2e (1). This corresponds to almost all greenhouse gases emitted by the fossil fuel and energy industry in Oceania in 2021 (2).
To reduce your food related emissions, why not incorporate some easy ingredient swaps? Lentils for example emit only 3% of what ground beef causes in terms of carbon emissions (3). Here’s a lentil pasta bolognese compared to a beef mince bolognese and their different climate impact in kg CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents).
Baby steps for a smaller carbon footprint
Even though Veganuary is great while it lasts, it wouldn’t make much of a difference if we got so tired of broccoli during the first month of the year that we compensated with eating steak every day for the rest of the year. Healthy habits and real change happen over time, so let’s see Veganuary as a catalyst to find inspiration to eating more plant-based food during the following 11 months. Going vegan cold turkey is hard and practically impossible! So if you missed it this year, don’t worry, it’s far better to implement small changes which will motivate you to keep going with this lifestyle for the long-term. At Klimato we encourage moderation and to take things step by step towards a more sustainable diet. If this resonates with you in any way, consider checking out the Climatarian diet to learn more.
Want to learn more?
We hope you have found some of these facts and tips interesting and are now considering tweaking some of your eating habits to help fight climate change. The steaks are high and change comes first with you! So let’s keep the planet chill, one meal at a time!
Klimato’s mission is to reduce the climate impact from food by offering a tool for calculating, communicating and reporting the climate footprint per dish. Our climate labelling educates and encourages chefs and restaurant guests to make climate-friendly choices.
We have a whole team of scientists who research and read journals and have built country specific databases for the carbon footprint of ingredients. As experts in our field we share our knowledge with the many restaurants, hotels and catering companies that we work with.
If you are intrigued by what we do and wish to reduce your carbon footprint while communicating transparency to your customers… then get in touch!
Rosi et al., 2017
Our World in Data
Poore, J., & Nemecek, T. (2018). Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers. Science, 360(6392), 987-992.