The environmental cost of producing meat is high. One serving (85g) of beef a day for an entire year produces about 2600kg of CO2, which is roughly equivalent to driving 10000km or burning 1100 liters of gasoline. It also uses nearly half a million litres of water. The same resources would produce about 350kg of rice!
Eliminating meat can be a touchy topic at times. Fortunately you can make a huge reduction in emissions and water use just by making small changes to your diet, you don't have to give up anything completely if you don’t want to.
Check out this awesome carbon footprint calculator, it allows you to compare the difference between diets.
Simply swapping out chicken for beef leads to a direct reduction of about 90% of associated emissions—that's huge! Even just eating one less serving of beef every week will make a difference. When participating in this challenge, play around with that calculator, pick a diet change and try to stick with it for the entire month.
If you are struggling with eating less meat, remember this; not only is reducing your consumption of meat good for the environment, it is also good for you! Eating meat everyday, especially red meat, is associated with an increased mortality rate. In fact, studies have found that the people who eat the most red meat are most likely to die younger from cardiovascular related complications. One more reason to eat less beef!
So, think about your eating habits—is there room for less meat? Find that space and lower your footprint through your choices in diet.