Friday is Earth Day and we are being encouraged to each make our small contribution to ‘a billion acts of green’.
Have you thought about how you might contribute to earth day?
The view of a cynic
I’ve always been a bit of a cynic when it comes to environmentalism. I do worry that our current way of life is unsustainable, but is recycling a few batteries or planting a tree really going to make a difference? It just doesn’t seem like there is much that I could do personally that would offset my outrageously large footprint on the planet.
You see I think it’s all about the economics. For example, the only way that people are going to drive more sustainable vehicles is if those vehicles offer more benefits to the people that drive them. And lets face it an eight-seater SUV that can be filled up with gas in a few minutes is just a whole lot more useful than a pokey little all electric vehicle that takes hours to recharge.
Now an eight seater all electric SUV that charges in minutes and costs less to run than a gas guzzler – that’s going to make a difference. Of course where the electricity comes from is another matter entirely.
Can the government help?
Now the government could help by putting certain incentives in place. But politicians need to be elected and elections take money and the incumbent industries have plenty of money with which to influence the politicians. So I don’t expect to see huge changes coming from the government – unless, of course, it benefits someone else with lots of money to throw around.
Vote with your dollars
The thing that we can do, is vote with our dollars. Spend your money on things that have less impact on the environment. I’m not suggesting that you go out and stock up on organic cotton underwear and hemp sandals – unless you want to of course. I think there is a great win-win solution – something that benefits you and the environment.
Go vegan for earth day
Now given the name of this blog is VeganHealthAndFitness you may not be entirely surprised that I am suggesting a vegan diet. But I think you will be surprised at what an astounding difference that one change could make.
The environmental cost
It takes about 5200 gallons of water to make just one pound of beef. You’re not going to save that much water unless you stop showering for an entire year!
It takes 285 barrels of oil to make the fertilizer for the corn to feed a cow – that’s half a barrel of oil per pound of beef. It takes 25 times as much fossil fuel to produce a pound of beef than it does to grow a pound of soy.
Livestock are responsible for 18 percent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together. So giving up meat and dairy would actually reduce greenhouse gases more than buying that electric car.
I could go on and on about pollution from factory farm effluent, topsoil erosion and antibiotic resistant bacteria but I think you get the point.
Good for your health
And as I discussed in my red pill post, adopting a plant based diet will help you to lose weight, avoid chronic disease and live longer.
Not a bad trade for being nice to the environment.