Welcome to the blog of the course and textbook Facing up to global warming: What is going on and what you can do about it. This course is run by Professor Nick Gray of the Trinity Centre for the Environment at Trinity College Dublin.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Every Chop Counts!

Meat production is one of the less obvious contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. During the production process of 1kg of beef, 34.6kg of carbon dioxide is emitted. This is equivalent to the carbon emissions of an average European car for every 250km it travels. [1]

Don’t get me wrong, I am not about to propose that we cut meet from our diets – I enjoy my Sunday Roast far too much for that! But what I am proposing is that we become more sustainable in our meat consumption.

For example, at home, we now buy a larger ham or chicken for our Sunday Roast and instead of throwing out the leftovers or giving them to the dog, we save them for sandwich making during the week. By doing this, we cut down our spending on meat by not buying premade sandwich meats, which add a large amount of emissions to the environment during production. Furthermore, the level of packaging for disposal is significantly reduced by not buying these products. Not only this, but by eating these leftovers you are producing less food waste and are not left stuck with packets of half finished ham and chicken slices in your fridge that have gone off as people have forgotten to finish them, etc.

I am aware that the leftover meat will only be able to cover a few days worth of lunch making before you run out, but this is not a bad thing! What I propose you to do here is have a meat free day, and then start this process again the following day.

Cutting out these premade meats from your diet is not only good for the environment – it’s good for you! More often than not, these meat products are full of unhealthy additives making eating the real deal much better for you.

The key thing here is to think twice before you buy, making small reductions in your consumption can have a massive knock on effect in your life and the environment. It is taking these small steps that can put you on the road to living sustainably.

Niamh Duggan

[1] Davies, C., (2008) Meat by Numbers, The Guardian (Online) Avaiable at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/sep/07/food.beef?intcmp=239 (accessed: 25th March 2012)

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