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Plant-Based Living

Why Plant-Based Diets Are Good for the Earth, Too

Posted on April 2, 2019

With April being Earth Month and Earth Day 2019 falling on April 22, the question “What can I do to make a difference?” is top of mind. Good news, eating plant-based foods is one answer to that question. Whether you’re a plant-based pro or just looking to make a few dairy-free substitutions, you’re already taking steps toward a more sustainable future.

Beyond the health benefits of eating plant-based, there are huge benefits to the environment. Project Drawdown, a comprehensive plan to reduce global-warming, lists eating plant-rich food fourth on their list of 100 existing solutions to address climate change. By their estimate, consumers have the potential to reduce emissions by 26.7 gigatons through this dietary change alone. To understand the scale of a gigaton, consider that one blue whale weighs as much as 146 metric tons. If you put more than 6 million blue whales together, that equals just one gigaton. Eating a plant-based diet also helps avoid the deforestation that occurs due to the industrial-scale farming that meat and dairy production requires. The report estimates a large shift to plant-based eating would reduce the consequences of deforestation by 39.3 gigatons of emissions. Together, that’s a reduction of 66 gigatons in emissions alone (396 million blue whales-worth).

The EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health agrees that “a diet rich in plant-based foods and fewer animal source foods confers both improved health and environmental benefits.” This commission aims to help the world meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris agreement by promoting planetary health diets—diets that consider not only the human health benefits, but the benefits for the environment as well. Their goal? To achieve planetary health diets for 10 billion people by 2050.

It may come as no surprise that planetary diets rely heavily on plant-based foods. However, as a writer for The Guardian observes, “Dairy is, for western populations anyway, going to be a sticking point, because the suggested diet does not include much.” Lucky for dairy lovers, Daiya products promote the plant-based eating planetary diets and the environment are calling for, while still allowing us our cheezy nacho obsession.

As part of Daiya’s role in this movement, we’re actively pursuing more ways to increase our environmentally sustainable practices. In 2019, we’re moving into a new production facility and working toward LEED certification, which recognizes compliance with green building; constructing buildings that are resource-efficient, high-performing, healthy and cost-effective. We know that making sure our production space is environmentally sustainable is just as important as the sustainable products we produce there.

To everyone who enjoys deliciously dairy-free cooking with Daiya, thank you. Together, we’re making a difference—in our health and the health of our planet—one meal choice at a time. If you’re just starting to make the change, get some tips from an earlier blog post along with facts and figures on all the good that comes from choosing Daiya.

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