Pledge to Enjoy a Plant-Based Week
Animal agriculture produces more greenhouse gas emissions than the world’s combined transportation systems. It takes 2,400 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. Runoff made largely of animal waste is full of bacteria and pathogens that may cause immune system and neurochemical issues in humans. Yikes.
A person on a vegan diet requires about 219,000 fewer gallons of water than a person who eats meat and other animal byproducts. It takes about 20 times less land to sustain a plant-based diet than it does to sustain that of a meat-eater. Sheesh!
In honor of Earth Day, what if we didn’t eat meat all week? All of us. Together. If you’re an avid enjoyer of meat, consider this a test of strength. Get in the kitchen, and make it fun. Here are 29 Vegan dinner recipes to help you see the light.
If a fully plant-based diet isn’t in the cards for you, perhaps implement one day a week that you don’t buy or eat any animal products. An action even as small as this can upset the supply-and-demand of the meat industry, making strides to save our planet.
Walk, Bike or Carpool
Wherever you go, give yourself a little extra time and save some emissions. If driving is necessary, organize a logical carpool. If you’re calling a Lyft or an Uber, make it a Line or a Pool.
Whether among co-workers, friends of social media followers, create a competition to see who, at the end of the day (or week!), produces the least amount of waste. Have everyone save each thing they’d normally toss in the garbage (preferably in a biodegradable trash bag) and submit a picture of their pile at the end of the allotted timeframe. Winner gets a house plant, a reusable water bottle, or straight-up bragging rights.
Clean It Up
The Earth Day Network works with local communities and grassroots organizations each year during the month of April to clean up green spaces, waterways and cityscapes. If you can’t find a cleanup location near you, organize and submit your own!
Switch to Paperless
You still get bank statements in the mail? Your bills come on paper? Chances are, you’ve already signed up for auto-pay, so it’s time to log in to all of your accounts and switch to paperless settings. Save the mail carrier (and environment) the trouble. And while we’re here, make sure to get your address off the junk mail lists. The only thing worse than email spam is real life spam. There’s a food joke in here somewhere, but I’ll let you workshop it to fruition.
Whatever appliances and electronics you can live without, do for the day. Go around your living space and free up as many outlets as you can. When the sun goes down, see if you can use one light at a time from sunset to sleep time. Doing this all week will be great for habit-forming.
Update Your Home
Fix the leaks. Replace your lightbulbs with eco-friendly varieties (I suppose the most efficient thing to do is wait until your current light bulbs die and then replace them with their LED upgrades). Improve your windows’ energy efficiency. Heck, if you’re feeling bold, install solar panels on your roof.
Plant Something Somewhere
Plant herbs, small vegetables or flowers for the kitchen windowsill. Make a little garden out back. Plant a rogue tree out in the woods. Get creative, and feel good about it.
Change One Habit
Make a commitment to one environmentally-beneficial habit change for the year. A challenge at first, as any learned behavior may be, you’ll find it’ll probably end up becoming second-nature. Need ideas? Get inspired here.
Familiarize Yourself with Nature
Go for a hike. Explore a piece of land you haven’t yet seen at length. Get your toes in the sand and salty air in your lungs. Build a birdhouse. Appreciate the beauty of the planet that needs your help. So often we forget how personal all of this is.