Green Living – Whats the Buzz?

Green Living

What’s the Buzz?

The basics: We all have a carbon footprint and many of us are totally dedicated to “tread lightly on the earth”. When chatting to friends and colleagues I get the usual odes to eco living. Of course, recycling is always on the list, even solar panel installations and some have even gone as far as to buy electric vehicles. Kudos to everyone that has made the effort to live more sustainably. However, here’s where my bugbear comes in. Every company that sells a good or a service have jumped onto the sustainable living bandwagon and every consumer (yes, us!) has bought into the propaganda with our wallets. This does not mean that the expense and vote we make with our money does not have an impact…it does, but there are much greater ways to lower our carbon footprint and SAVE, yes save money! Why don’t we know about these ways – well, the people promoting these ways do not make money from them, nor do they have the money to promote and market these simple ways to make the biggest difference.


These concepts promote flexitarian living. Flexitarian-ism is on the rise and is touted to be the next Mega Trend with 35% brits choosing to call themselves flexitarians in 2015. Flexitarian-ism is the term used to describe a person that deliberately chooses to remove meat (anything with a face) from their diet 2 – 3 days per week.


  • Animal Agriculture contributes more to GHG emissions than any other industry! A staggering 51% of total GHG emissions and equivalents come from livestock (ref: World Watch Institute – Jeff Anhang & Robert Goodland
  • This is because Methane and Nitrous Oxide, both by products of the industry are 72x and 296x respectively more powerful than CO2 in terms of their global warming potential.
  • AND – Methane drops out of the atmosphere in 5 years but CO2 falls out in a couple of thousand years. We don’t have thousands of years to make a difference, it will be too late. The solution: Cut down methane emissions – cut down on meat
  • air pollution livestock
  • Animal agriculture is the biggest guzzler of food and water. Imagine 7 billion humans, but 70 billion animals are slaughtered every year, not to mention the approx. 200 billion alive at any one time. Each one of them eats and drinks! The protein conversion is totally inefficient.   It requires 16000 l of water to produce 1kg of beef and only 200l to produce 1 kg wheat. Imagine 1 day without meat – your water footprint saving would be 5530l of water in 1 week. (And you wonder why you didn’t know that before.)
  • water usage
  • 90% Amazon deforestation is caused by the demand for meat. Grain crops have been planted to feed cows, pigs, sheep! No, not humans!
  • land use of livestock
  • 60% of all grains grown are fed to livestock, whilst 1 child dies every 5 seconds from starvation. And we call ourselves Humanitarians?

My list goes on and on and I will cover these points in greater detail in other posts.

Suffice to say there is a solution: Eat less meat…Simple!

Pledge to support Meat Free Mondays. Just 1 day a week will make a difference.

More on Green Living Tips in future posts!

Share this:


  1. “A staggering 51% of total GHG emissions and equivalents come from livestock…This is because Methane and Nitrous Oxide, both by products of the industry are 72x and 296x respectively more powerful than CO2 in terms of their global warming potential.”

    No. The largest category of “overlooked” emissions in the Goodland and Anhang analysis is CO2 from animal respiration. IPCC methodologies for GHG inventories consider these part of a short-term carbon cycle (and not a net emission). But in addition to adding respiration, Goodland and Anhang also misuse a back-of-the-envelope calculation from Alan Calverd to arrive at an estimate more than three times that reported in Livestock’s Long Shadow and roughly twice that reported by Prairie and Duarte (2007). They also argue for the 20-year GWP for methane, but only apply it to anthropogenic emissions from livestock.

    • seedblog

      I agree that there are a number of different studies and papers which attempt to calculate the CO2 equivalents from livestock (incl all the food processing steps). One thing we know for sure is that it is somewhere between 18 – 51% and that by reducing meat consumption we will go a long way to reducing the CO2 eq. Thanks for your comment.

  2. where are your citations? im trying to find where you got the numbers for the water %

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *