Meal Planning To Shrink Our Ecological Footprint

| 3/20/2018 9:56:00 AM

vegetarian meal

Photo by Adobe Stock/okkijan2010

It’s been a little longer than I anticipated, but I’m back for another blog post for the month of March! And with this post, it’s time to unpack the experiments with my weekly meat consumption. In my last blog post, I not only laid out the goals I had for reducing my ecological footprint, but I also listed four concrete steps on how I’d start to do that. For the last couple months, I’ve worked on the first goal: reducing how much meat I eat. Now it’s time to share how it all went….

Meal Planning

Why was it important to me to lessen my meat consumption? According to the Global Footprint Network (the main source I’ve been using after taking the Ecological Footprint Test), nine percent of our anthropogenic carbon emissions (emissions due to human activity) is due to global livestock processing. Animal agriculture takes a large toll on resources (water, land, food), and depending on where you live, it can take a lot of transportation (and carbon emissions) to ship meat across the country. Even trying one new vegetarian recipe per week, or per month could help put us on the path to a more sustainable planet.

To reduce my meat consumption, my plan was to first track how much meat I ate on an average weekly basis, before going out of my way to decrease it, just to give myself a feel as to where I was starting. Once I recorded that, I planned to slowly reduce the amount of meat each week based on that number. My goal was to eat four meals (or less) with meat in them each week. The process of meeting that goal was slow-going, but it really made me think more about how I planned my meals. And ultimately, that planning reaped some positive rewards.