Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
she will probably leave a larger carbon footprint. Think back
to the carbon footprint of various meats, where beef's footprint
is larger than chicken's. It is also true that the price of chicken
is considerably less. You don't have to gather research behind
each food item to lower your carbon footprint—prices already
reveal a wealth of information.
Consider this example. A mug of coffee emits 23 grams of
CO 2 e (carbon dioxide equivalent). Add milk, and that milk
must be produced from cows that emit greenhouse gases,
eat corn that was produced using fertilizers made out of fos-
sil fuels, and produce milk that must be transported by truck
and kept cold in refrigerators. With milk, the coffee now emits
55-74 g CO 2 . Cappuccinos entail even more activities, where
the milk must be steamed, increasing the emissions to 236 g
CO 2 e. At each step, as the product increases in value—and
price—by requiring more inputs, more greenhouse gases are
One step to reducing your footprint is to purchase less costly
food. Instead of getting a cappuccino, just get a regular cup of
coffee. The regular coffee also saved you money, though, and
you want to make sure those savings are not spent in a way to
increase emissions, so you would then take those savings and
purchase carbon offsets (where you pay others to emit less car-
bon). The same goes for other foods. Instead of going vegan,
where you might begin eating at expensive vegan restaurants
whose footprint might be large, consider eating a more austere
meal occasionally. Instead of purchasing grass-fed beef, con-
sider purchasing regular, less expensive meat. Then be care-
ful not to use the savings on yourself, but buy carbon offsets
Purchasing carbon offsets is easy, even for an individual
with just a little money. A simple Google search will reveal
many organizations like , where individu-
als pay money to prevent deforestation, restore forests,
encourage renewable energy production, and retire carbon
permits. These are activities to which you can direct your
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