This Earth Week, we’re thinking about the simple, everyday decisions that can make a huge difference on the environment. Whether you base more meals around produce rather than meat or go meatless one day of the week, choosing more plant-based meals is one of the easiest ways to make a positive change!

Healthy You, Healthy Earth

A plant-based diet filled with whole, natural foods isn’t just healthy for your body – it’s helpful for the environment. All the grain that must be grown to feed livestock takes up lots of water and creates carbon emissions from production – not to mention the damaging effects of monocropping. If we eat more of the plants, we can cut back on the byproducts of all that middle work!

To name just five ways going plant-based reduces your carbon footprint…

  1. Reduces Greenhouse Gases. About 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock production, according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization. Other organizations speculate that percent may be even higher. Beef and lamb are especially to blame – one gram of either produces 250 times the emissions of legumes (chicken, fish and pork are much smaller). In 2006, the FAO reported that factory farming for meat production contributes more to global warming than all planes, trains, buses and cars combined. 
  2. Promotes Cultivation of Carbon-Trapping Crops. Whereas producing livestock results in carbon emissions, decreasing the demand for animal products means that the land cleared to raise them can be turned back to growing carbon-trapping crops.
  3. Prevents Desertification. Cutting down demand for livestock also reduces the grazing that strips land of its vegetation and erodes its soil – meaning more healthy land for growing carbon-trapping plants!
  4. Saves Water. Limiting meat counteracts the massive amount of water needed to raise livestock. One article (“How Our Food Choices can Help Save the Environment”) cites that eating one pound less of beef can save as much water as not showering for six months. 
  5. Reduces Water Pollution. As you can imagine, crowded factory farms generate quite a bit of waste. This waste, which gets stored in giant manure lagoons, can infiltrate water supplies, killing off marine life and posing a threat to human health. 

Eat More Plants - Cows

How are we doing our part?

We’ve always tried to make choosing plant-based options easy for you by marking all 100% botanical items (our way of saying “vegan”) with a carrot on our menus. Some of our favorites are Avocado Toast and the Quinoa Taboulé salad.

When you eat plant-based this week, we’ll donate 1% of the proceeds from your order to Wholesome Wave, a non-profit working to create a vibrant, just and sustainable food system. By making locally grown produce affordable and available, it inspires under-served consumers to make healthier food choices. Its innovative initiatives are improving health outcomes among low-income families, generating revenue for small and mid-sized farm businesses and bolstering regional economies in 40 states and counting. At LPQ, we believe that everyone should have access to nourishing produce.

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Image via Flickr, Gemma Billings

If, by the end of the week, you’ve hopped on the plant-based eating train with us, we’ll have you covered with seeds of your own to plant. Find Sweet Basil, Cherry Belle Radish and Carrot seeds on our communal tables all week so you can begin your own gardens, and incorporate your own plants and herbs into meals at home!

Happy Earth Week!