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Even if you drive a gas-guzzling car, crank up the A/C in the summer and heat in the winter, you can still do your part to tread more lightly on the Earth. Learn how easy it is to be more eco friendly….

Power Yourself with Plants: Plant Powered Proteins

The easiest thing you can do to tread more lightly on the Earth is eat less meat.

Did you know that over 30% of the Earth’s landmass is being used livestock (meat- and dairy-producing animals.) Nothing wrong with enjoying a piece of meat every now and then if it’s grass-fed, organic and humanely-raised.

However, for me, that’s a rare treat. Especially knowing that almost 10 percent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere is because of feeding and caring for livestock.

Ten percent might not sound high, but here’s the problem: Livestock accounts for a shockingly-high amount of harmful greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases are chiefly responsible for global warming. Feeding and taking care of domesticated animals that eventually turn up on our dinner plate generates about 65 percent of nitrous oxide (N20). What’s the difference between N20 and CO2?

Nitrous oxide has the potential to warm up the planet 300 more times than CO2.

Also, all those animals grazing and pooping uses a lot of water and takes up land that could otherwise be used for public open spaces.

My intention isn’t to freak you out about global warming nor is it to convert you to vegetarianism.

Rather, my intention is to let you know how easy it is to be more eco friendly simply by eating less meat. Do you eat meat three times a day? Cut down to twice a day. If you eat meat three times a week, see how you do eating it just once or twice a week.

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And now that there are so many delicious plant-based meat alternatives it’s really easy to have less of a carbon footprint. In fact, if you’re already vegetarian or vegan, let your friends and family know about the delicious brands of plant protein burgers. Bring a package of Beyond Meat’s “Beyond Burger” to the next barbecue you go to.

While it’s true that Beyond Burger is a little on the pricey side, it’s a fraction of the cost of what you’ll have to pay should you God-forbid develop a chronic illness.

That’s not to say that vegetarians don’t develop chronic disease, but there’s no denying the fact that eating lots of meat puts you at more risk for developing certain cancers like colorectal. (This is especially true if you’re eating lots of red, processed meat like bacon, as well as deli meats with nitrites and nitrates.)

In addition to yummy pea protein burgers, you can also boost your plant-protein intake with hemp protein, which is one of the plant-powered proteins for my Organic Protein Shake recipe, which you get when you do one of my Cleanses.

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Reduce Water and Plastic Usage

Reducing the amount of water you use is another way to be more eco friendly. Try to reduce the time you’re in the shower by one minute. Set a timer on your phone to let you know when time’s up.

Another way to cut down on the amount of water you’re using while showering is by installing a low-flow showerhead.  If you own a home, the incentive to be more eco friendly will be worth it. That’s because low-flow showerheads will result in a lower water bill.

Also, if you’re still using plastic water bottles, get with the program and use stainless steel water bottles. If you’re using plastic because the water at your home doesn’t taste good, spend the money on a good water filter for your sink. Or you can buy one of those water filter pitchers.

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The overwhelming majority of plastic water bottles end up in garbage landfills. In fact, it’s estimated that 80 percent of commercial water bottles end up in landfills. Every time you toss a water bottle in the trash, keep in mind that it’ll take up to 1,000 years for it to decompose. And in the meantime, the bottle will be leaking harmful chemicals into the environment.

You can easily do your part to reduce the amount of plastic that’s discarded into landfills. Just say no to plastic water bottles. The only exception I occasionally make is on airplane flights because TSA won’t let you bring water on a plane. If you have any workaround ideas for getting water on a plane, email me. I’d love to know.

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Golden Milk

Ditching The Dairy Is Eco Friendly

As I mentioned above, livestock (think: cows) require an enormous amount of land, feed and water. And the methane gas from their back ends is a major contributor to greenhouse gas. In fact, methane is 85 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping heat. That’s right, cow farts and poop are bad. Real bad. (And it’s worse than we thought, according to this Forbes article.)

So in addition to cutting down on meat, it’s eco friendly to ditch dairy, too. But if you can’t stand the thought of not having your milk and cookies, there’s plenty of healthy plant-based “mylks” out there. For example, try my recipe for almond milk. I add almond milk to Golden Milk, which is one of the healthiest, most delicious drinks on the planet.

I realize some people can’t do without cheese. Having a picnic in a field with some red wine and slices of delicious Manchego (a variety of sheep cheese) is heavenly. I get that. But that doesn’t mean you have to eat huge wedges of cheese every day. I’m not saying you need to give up cheese completely. Just as with meat consumption, try to reduce the amount of conventional dairy you eat. The cows are still going to be farting away in the fields. But the less demand for cheese and dairy overall, the less the livestock will need to be fed.

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Other Easy Ways to Be More Eco Friendly

Just cutting down on the amount of meat and dairy you eat as well as the amount of water you use are impactful ways you can more eco friendly. Doing so makes a huge difference.

And other ways you can easily reduce your carbon footprint include:

  • Keeping canvas bags in your trunk to use everytime you go to the supermarket or farmer’s markets. You can also bring them into restaurants when you’re getting take-out.
  • Speaking of restaurants, buy some Pyrex containers and use them for leftovers.
  • Use organic sunscreen. Conventional sunscreen is partly responsible for killing coral reefs.
  • Don’t use paper towels. Instead, use cloth hand towels to wipe your face and hands.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water instead of hot water.
  • Replace old lightbulbs with more energy-efficient LED lights.

Pretty simple, right? You don’t have to feel pressured to make these changes all at once. Adopt one recommendation at a time if that works better for you. Even making one of these changes will make a significant difference. It might not seem like much but every bit helps.

Love,

Chef V

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