Friday, January 1, 2016

Food and Climate Change

In my life the biggest source of greenhouse gases comes from eating beef and dairy.   If I want to reduce my impact on the world reducing beef and dairy will be the easiest way to do it.

Currently I have consumed the following beef and dairy per year

  • Beef - 50 to 60 kg per year - this is about equivalent to 1,250 kg of CO2 
  • Dairy - 230 to 255 kg per year comprising 
    • Milk - 150 to 200 litres per year about equivalent to 140 kg of CO2
    • Butter - 20 to 25 kg per year - about equivalent to 133 kg of CO2
    • Ice Cream - 25 to 40 kg per year about equivalent to 50 kg of CO2
    • Yougurt and Sour Cream - 2 to 4 kg per year about equivalent to 5 kg of CO2
    • Cheese - 10 to 15 kg per year - about equivalent to 53 kg of CO2
This means my CO2 equivalent from beef and dairy last year was about 1,630 kg

These numbers are all based numbers specific for BC.

I also eat about:
  • 25 kg of chicken per year, 40 kg CO2eq
  • 15 kg of pork per year,  38 kg CO2eq
  • 100 kg of wheat per year - 80 kg CO2eq
By far the biggest single source from beef.  

My other sources of greenhouse gases in 2015
  • Car travel - 100 kg CO2
  • Transit  - 200 kg CO2
  • Other food 50 kg CO2
  • Electricity 180 kg CO2
  • Consumer goods 100 kg CO2
Making my 2015 greenhouse gas impact at 2.4 Tonnes CO2 eq.

2/3s comes from beef and dairy and 52% alone from beef.   

I am going to try and reduce the beef and dairy I eat this year.   If I can reduce it by 50% I should be able to reduce my 2016 CO2 equivalent to about 1.6 Tonnes.   My beef intact is already down 40% from what it has been in the past.  

This or course would be dramatically different if I fly anywhere this year or if I end up with a car again.