FROM CUBICLE TO CAFETERIA: TAKE A BITE OUT OF GHGs with Collaborative Lunches by Kira Davis,Zoë Sigle
Plant-based foods drastically reduce GHGs! Combat climate change with what we eat & create a collaborative space among climate institutions
Building Communities, Eliminating Contradictions
Food builds and strengthens communities. The intersection of community, food choices, and environmental impacts can be the source of community-based collaboration for climate resiliency. Presently, however, there is a stark contradiction in providing unsustainable food choices at institutions that stand for sustainability and climate action.
Technology v. Simple Solutions - Taking a Bite Out of the Largest GHG Contributor
While technology fosters important solutions, one of the most compelling efforts to combat climate change rests upon our plates at every meal. "Cattle-rearing generates more global warming GHGs, as measured in CO2 equivalent, than (the entire) transportation (industry)" (UN, 2006). This shocking fact is due to high levels of livestock excrement (methane), feeding livestock through years of growth and gestation and heavy factory processing. Reductions in meat consumption also decrease rainforest deforestation (Machovina et al., 2015; Walker et al., 2013) and preserve carbon sinks.
Plant-based cafeterias in Boulder will provide residents the opportunity to cultivate personal awareness about environmental benefits of plant-based food.
A Sustainable Space for Collaboration
Providing sustainable food choices at climate institutions, schools, hospitals and other centers promotes community-building and collaboration on other healthy climate solutions. Plant-based meals are more inclusive of practicers of kosher, halal, vegetarian, vegan, and allergen diets who are largely excluded at conventional cafeterias, allowing for more diversity in finding creative solutions to climate issues.
“Green Commons Luncheons,” in which one institution each month who has adopted a plant-based cafeteria opens itself to employees of other climate change institutions, will foster collaboration on climate research, mitigation and advocacy. Such a luncheon will bring joy, support, and deliciousness to community-based climate action.