- vegan - 2 tons per year
- vegetarian - 2.7
- mostly vegetarian - 3.0
- omnivorous - 3.8
If you are an omnivore, odds are that you will not suddenly become a vegan to reduce your carbon footprint. But, if you can move even slightly in the direction of a vegetarian diet, then you can help to slow global warming and climate change.
Another diet consideration is the distance that your food travels to get to your plate. I blogged about this in my December 12, 2006 post. The "Eat Local Foods Coalition of Maine" lists 10 reasons to buy local foods, including:
- Locally grown food tastes better.
- Local food supports local farm families.
- Local food preserves open space.
- And the one most pertinence to this subject: Local food supports a clean environment and benefits wildlife.
In addition to reducing the amount of global warming emissions required to put food on your table, the site says "[c]over crops also capture carbon emissions and help combat global warming. According to some estimates, farmers who practice conservation tillage could sequester 12-14% of the carbon emitted by vehicles and industry."
If you live in Maine are interested in buying more local food, the Get Real. Get Maine website has a search tool that you can use to find local "Community Sponsored Agriculture" or CSA farms. In my experience, buying a share in the CSA at Wolfpine Farm in Alfred, ME last summer was a fantastic way to eat fresh-from-the-fields, delicious organic vegetables at a reasonable price. It also allowed my family to try vegetables that we'd never even heard of before like bunching leeks and Japanese eggplant!!
So, the next time that you buy groceries or eat at a restaurant, consider the effects of your choices on the environment and on your community.