Diet matters: Reducing meat by 35% is like switching from a SUV to a Prius
Climate change is real. We are seeing the devastating effects now. If they have not come to your neighborhood yet with violent storms or raging wildfire, you are fortunate. We are in this together as a planet.
Eco-guilt may keep us from taking vacations or way heavy when we do. We can mitigate the effects of transportation by changing our diet. It’s an impactful everyday choice that will have more impact than other small steps to save the planet.
Diet vs Transportation
How many miles do you drive a year? How many airplane flights do you take? Transportation is often cited as one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases and an impactful way individuals can make a change.
The average American drives over 13,000 miles a year. The average car emits 404 grams of CO2 per mile. Doing the math, this means that each year Americans emit 5.4 metric tons driving. Obviously, this varies by vehicle efficiency, and the calculations are based on EPA statistics that the average car gets 22 mpg.
To put it another way, eating one steak is the equivalent of driving your car three miles.
Amazingly, you don’t have to become a strict vegan or vegetarian to have an impact. Just one meal a week can make a difference! Consider these amazing statistics from the Environmental Defense Fund:
If every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetables and grains, for example, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads.
If every American had on meat-free meal per week, it would be the same as taking more than 5 million cars off our roads.
Curbing transportation use may be more difficult than simply eating a more plant-based diet. Imagine the impact if everyone went meat-free for an entire day!