Sunday, November 23, 2008

Five Ways to Make your Life Greener with Vegetables

Vegetarian lifestyle might sound like it only benefits the person who is eating it, but there's much more to it. The benefits for your body, like potentially preventing cancer by increasing the intake of antioxidants (found in many fruits), or increasing the body's immunity through consumption of natural vitamins, have been well documented. Besides the personal benefits, eating veggies as opposed to meat has a number of benefits for the environment.
Here are a few of those benefits...

  • Vegetables use less energy to transport. Vegetables are lighter in weight, don't require feeding (like livestock), and can be stacked much more efficiently for transport than animals.

  • Buying locally saves even more energy. Transporting vegetables from a local farm as opposed to a farm 2000 miles away will results in less energy consumed, and a fresher product from less transit time.

  • Growing your own vegetables, like buying local, will eliminate much of the transportation energy used. If it's in your backyard, your cutting out that transportation for you to go to the store, for the vegetable to get to you, and potentially pesticide use (and ingestion).

  • Livestock are responsible for 28% of global methane emissions, which greatly speeds up global warming. Vegetables don't create this massive amount of methane emissions that destroy the atmosphere. Opting for vegetables instead of meat can reduce the overall production of livestock.

  • Vegetables do not require excessive preperation before being sold. With livestock, there's the added process of slaughter, preparing the meat, cutting the meat at grocery store/butcher shops, using packaging to wrap the meat, and cooking the meat (which uses energy). Vegetables can be consumed raw in most cases with no cooking. In fact, the benefits of raw vegetables also have a positive impact on the body.

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