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How much can the encouragement of Meatless Monday lower the average ecological footprint in my community?

Meat consumption is a concept that is usually forgotten about when it comes to the idea of lowering an ecological footprint. However, this should not be the case due to all the resources and damage meat consumption can do to the environment around us. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, eating meat can potentially be the biggest environmental hazard Earth is currently facing (“How does”). With this in mind, it is important to take action while we can by doing small things in our routine to mitigate the effects of climate change. The aim of this project is to encourage my community to take action by going vegetarian once a week to see if this changes the average ecological footprint. In addition to this, I hope it encourages my community to make this change in routine a permanent lifestyle choice.

Why is this necessary?

The Environmental Defense says, if every American was able to skip one meal of chicken per week, that would be the equivalent to taking more than half a million cars off the roads (Krantz). This is incredible news due to 14%-51% of greenhouse-gas emissions are sourced from animal agriculture (Krantz).

(Krantz)

The image above gives an idea of how many resources and the amount of land that is needed to provide for growing livestock. With this in mind, it makes it easier to put into perspective how bad this can be harming the environment around us.

Above is a screenshot of the post I used to explain my idea to my community, and the link to the ecological footprint calculator
This is a sample of the results I receive

Process

Citations

Work Cited

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COMMENTS: 6
  1. April 23, 2020 by Alona

    Hello Addison. This sounds very interesting. I agree that changing the amount of meat we consume is important, especially since climate change is such an urgent matter. I believe that one of the easiest ways to mitigate the effects of climate change, personally, is by decreasing our meat consumption.
    I am looking forward to seeing the results of your project. And hopefully, this encourages people to participate in Meatless Mondays.

  2. April 23, 2020 by Iman

    Hi Addison,

    I find this topic you chose to focus on really interesting because of the mindset people at my school have around Meatless Monday and meatless means in general (I live in the United States, Washington to be more specific). Some people enjoy it because they get to eat grilled cheese more often, but the majority of students aren’t a fan of it. Seeing the infographic and processing the numbers that are the result of eating meat is shocking, and it made me reconsider my meat-eating habits for a second. I eat meat 4-5 times a week, but even reducing it down one day like you said can make such a large impact is others were on board with that plan, too.

    I also calculated my ecological footprint and it was eye-opening for me to see my score. I got 3.5 Earths for my usage and April 12 as my Earth Overshoot Day. I thought my family and I were pretty good with our usage, but I guess there are a lot of things that we can do to change that. I’m definitely going to bookmark the calculator and take it after my family and I make a plan for the changes we can make to lower our impact.

    Awesome work on this project! It’ll be interesting to see the results in your community.

    -Iman

  3. April 23, 2020 by Mila Tewell

    Well done, Addie! You have created thoughtful and targeted project that will both educate and hopefully energize your community, as they learn that each person can make a calculable contribution to mitigating climate change. Such a great idea to conduct follow on surveys so that your respondents can actually see the difference, and to use Facebook to tell your story widely. Thank you!

  4. April 24, 2020 by Ozzy

    Hi Addison! I’m a strong believer in reducing meat consumption (for ethical, health, and environmental reasons), and I think you’ve designed a thoughtful way to see how people in your community react to going meatless for one day a week. I’d be excited to see how you share the results and follow up after that—because I guarantee, some people will not stay meatless without fully understanding the impacts of their diet!

  5. April 25, 2020 by Alejandra

    Hi Addie!Two years ago my school, ASFM, started the Meatless Monday program in our school cafeteria. It took a lot of getting used to and it also took much experimenting with recipes that were filling and tasty as well and I have to admit that it was possible! Congrats on your project!

  6. April 28, 2020 by Kathleen Ralf

    I love this project and I hope you get some good data. Cool to think about just focussing on your neighborhood and the DoD community. I’m sure that the results of your project will be interesting to also the different publications that come out in the DoD/State Dept community at large too. You are right though, our culture here is SUPER meat focussed. Although most restaurants now offer veg options, they are not always filling and hearty.

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