United Nations: Livestock Production is Threatening the Environment

by Michele McKay

Those who visit Down to Earth’s website or receive the monthly e-newsletter probably have seen the statement that “The single most important thing an individual can do for the environment is to adopt a vegetarian diet.” The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) agrees: Raising animals for food impacts global warming by generating more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined.1 This fact in itself is a powerful argument for a vegetarian diet – but it’s just the beginning!

Swine Flu: Protect Your Health, Protect the Planet

by Michele McKay

Reminders about swine flu re-emerge with flu season: Be sure to wash hands, cover sneezes, avoid contact with others, and eat a healthy diet. These measures are important and effective in preventing the spread of flu viruses. But let’s step back and take a look at what’s behind swine flu… its source, its affect on the health of our planet, and what we can do in the “big picture” to prevent its social, environmental, and ethical consequences.

Go Veggie for the Environment

by Michele McKay

Many readers care deeply about the health of our planet – you make an effort to recycle, to cut energy and water use, and to protect the Earth’s air, water, and ecosystems. But are you aware that your choice of food is the single most important decision you make for the Earth? Eating meat supports the very industry that is causing the greatest environmental destruction worldwide! In choosing a plant-based, vegetarian diet you can elect to:

Help reduce global warming

Top 10 Reasons Why It’s Green to Go Veggie

by Michele McKay

As we think about Earth Day on April 22nd, many of us might be surprised to learn a very important fact about going veggie. What we choose to eat is one of the most significant factors in the personal impact we have on the environment and the fastest path to climate change. A recent study examining the impact of a typical week’s eating showed that plant-based diets are better for the environment than those based on meat. A vegan, organic diet had the smallest environmental impact while the single most damaging foodstuff was beef.

Global Warming

by Michele McKay

Global warming is a “hot” topic these days! Is our planet actually heating up? Are humans responsible? Is there cause for concern? Is there anything we can do about it?

Scientists studying climate change know three things for certain:

  • Greenhouse gasses – carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide – warm the planet.
  • Human activities are adding greenhouse gasses to our atmosphere.
  • The Earth’s surface temperature is rising.

Make Every Day Earth Day - And Put the Brakes on Global Warming

by Michele McKay

Global warming - the rising of temperatures across the planet - is caused by human activities associated with industrialization, economic development, and deforestation. The carbon dioxide emissions that result are thinning our earth's ozone layer and trapping heat inside the atmosphere. Global warming has accelerated in the past two decades, and increasing temperatures will gradually cause devastating changes on our planet. Here in the Pacific region, these impacts can be observed in the rising of sea levels and the degradation of coral reefs and other marine ecosystems.

Curbing Global Warming - Your Everyday Choices Make a Difference!

by Michele McKay

Burning fossil fuels (oil and petroleum) releases CO2 into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming. Here in Hawaii over 90% of the energy we use for electricity and transportation is produced by burning oil! Reducing CO2 emissions can seem like an overwhelming challenge, but the choices we make in our everyday lives can help curb global warming. If you think you can’t make a difference, check out the results of taking these seven simple actions.

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