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Meatless Mondays Could Save Water, Oil and Methane!?

Eat more plants and less animals to make bigger, faster strides toward reducing your carbon consumption.

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Meatless Meals Save Water, Oil, Emissions, Pollutants and Even Weight!

"Water: H2O = Life": 600 gallons of water are needed to produce a single hamburger. 600 gallons -- that's enough water to hydrate a person for over 3 years (at the recommended rate of 8 glasses per day). And that's just the beef patty--no bun or fixings included." In the Green Grok, Dr. Bill Chameides of Duke University helps find answers by elucidating causes of and remedies for environmental change and identifying pathways towards a more sustainable future.

His challenge to reduce meat eating one day a week follows a very persuasive proposition: 600 gallons of water are needed to produce a single hamburger.

We know that meat sources such as cattle, chickens, pork and even sheep eat a lot of grain. What we miss sometimes in thinking about cost is that meat eaters also drink a lot of water, the grain and pastures they eat require a lot of water...and gasoline in tractors and long haul trucks...and oil derivatives in fertilizers and pesticides. And excess chemicals drain into the rivers and the Gulf of Mexico dead zones... and the impact accumulates.

Vegetarian choices eliminate much of that supply chain that is nestled inside that hamburger along with pickles and lettuce. Many people feel that people are naturally meat eaters...gotta have that meat and potatoes! But Dr. Chameides suggests that if we just eat non-meats one day a week -- we can make a significant difference.

How much?

If it takes 600 gallons of water plus oil, plus methane emissions for ONE HAMBURGER -- multiply that by three meals. That's significant.

That one set of choices can offset your driving to work for a few days. Or that row of conventional cotton shirts in the closet. Or that carpet on the floor. Or maybe even some health care for weight related challenges!

Every choice we make is important. So we can eat greens to go green! One day at a time.

Reducing consumption of high impact products is the best green strategy of all!

"I'll close with another stunning statistic. If every American gave up meat one day each week, it would be like taking 8 million cars off the road. Such a move would help fight a myriad of problems, such as climate change, water pollution and scarcity, and rising food prices. So who's game for meatless Mondays? Bill Chameides blogs regularly at

Read Bill's article, "Go Green by Eating Greens" in Huffington Post

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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