The US emits 16 metric tons of CO2 per person per year! Almost 2 times all other Western countries. The UN goal is 3 tons. We need a climate diet, but diets fail.
In January 2022, Pastor Eric and Gail F facilitated a 4-week book study on the book “Climate Diet” by Paul Greenberg. Rousing discussion and new learning took place. The study focused on 50 steps individuals can take to positively impact our environment. *Because modest goals and small changes over time are more lasting, over the next several weeks, these ideas from the book will be posted, a few at a time, on the website.
This book study (or a similar book) may be repeated. Watch for announcements in the weekly emails, Sunday bulletin, and on the website.
Here are this week’s ideas for making positive environmental impacts. Some of them you may already have adopted. You are invited to try some of the others as well.
Eating and drinking a Climatarian diet:
- Ease up on meat and cheese – eating a plant-based diet shaves 1 ton per year of CO2 from our carbon footprint.
- Switch to chicken, as you move to more plant based.
- Wild not farmed fish.
- Oysters and clams, not shrimp.
- Avoid hyper-processed meat substitutes.
- Buy local but consider the energy needed to grow the food.
- Eat root vegetables – carrots, beets, parsnips. Very low carbon footprints.
- Avoid air-freight food – very emission expensive. (In UK 1.5% fruits and veggies carried by air account for 40% of total carbon used in transport of produce for the entire nation!!). Rule of thumb is to avoid non-local fresh fish and fruits and highly perishable foods like berries, pineapple, asparagus and green beans when out of season.
- Eat frozen – shipped by truck, more nutrients, cheaper, and less carbon.
- Minimize packaging (5% carbon footprint) and reuse packaging at home. Use foil sparingly as it takes tons of energy to make aluminum – so use and re-use.
- Food waste releases methane. The US population throws out 40% of our food, creating larger landfill emissions than ANY OTHER country. This is the equivalent of 37 million cars on the road each year. COMPOST what is left of your food scraps (or get chickens – they eat anything!) California has a new law to compost food scraps to decrease methane.
- Cook Smarter. Make sure you put a lid on pots you bring to a boil; soak beans and pasta to decrease cooking times; use electric stove not natural gas.
- Drink from the tap. The average American drinks 42 gallons of bottled water every year – the billions of plastic bottles used is equivalent to 17 million barrels of oil, enough energy to fuel more than a million cars and light trucks for a year.
*The most important take-away is an awareness of the crisis at hand. All 50 suggestions will be listed together on the website Home Page under the heading “Caring for Creation”.