My friend's argument was that there is a kind of back-patting that accompanies some of this visible environmental friendliness that does not translate to any actual net gain for the earth. Powering your home with wind power, for example, means little if you are jetting off to the Bahamas or to Europe or to Bora Bora four times a year. Still, I argued, better than nothing. Baby steps, said I.
Then I saw this little fact from the PBJ campaign:
Each time you have a plant-based lunch like a PB&J you'll reduce your carbon footprint by the equivalent of 2.5 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions over an average animal-based lunch like a hamburger, a tuna sandwich, grilled cheese, or chicken nuggets. For dinner you save 2.8 pounds and for breakfast 2.0 pounds of emissions.
Those 2.5 pounds of emissions at lunch are about forty percent of the greenhouse gas emissions you'd save driving around for the day in a hybrid instead of a standard sedan.
Now, I don't drive a Prius, I drive a bike, so I could easily be self-righteous about carbon emissions. But I can do more than my part, can't I? In fact, we will all have to do more than our share of habit shifting if we have any hope of effecting any actual change. We can't afford to rest on our meager laurels.
So I am pledging, here and now, to have a vegan lunch every weekday. I will do my very best to avoid all animal products, and in so doing, I hope to reduce my carbon footprint by 12.5 pounds a week. Wow. I will feel so good about myself after a few weeks, I might feel compelled to reward myself with a tropical vacation!
Anyone else up for this challenge?