If ONE customer goes Vegan For Life, they will save 1.5 tonnes CO2 every year, as well as saving 4022 animals’ lives, and enabling all the world’s peoples to receive a Fair Share of the world’s resources.
HOW ARE WE DOING?
If we have helped you to change your diet please let us know.
See also our Climate Change Campaigns page
Footprint Calculators Promote Steps Towards Meatlessness
Our environmental footprint is one way to measure our impact on the environment.
There are now many online footprint calculators that include meat consumption as one factor in calculating our environmental impact.
Here are several (some are more fun than others):
Vegetable Oil – A Vegan Fuel Solution?
As well as reducing distances travelled, as part of a calorie controlled transport diet, vehicles can run on waste or locally produced vegetable oil.
- Waste cooking oil is currently the most sustainable transport fuel available.
- Oil-seed crops are currently fed to livestock, wasting most of their energy value.
- The use of vegetable oil as a fuel has a much reduced effect on global warming. When plants grows they absorbs CO2 from the air. When the oil from the seed is burnt it releases the CO2 back into the air.
- Waste oil can be reused as a fuel, a beneficial alternative to other disposal options.
- Rapeseed oil can be grown locally, reducing the energy used in transportation.
- Rapeseed oil can be grown organically saving the use of artificial fertilisers, and the substantial energy used to produce them.
- As our dependence on animal products is reduced, land and farming skills can be better applied to growing oil bearing plants for (reduced) transport needs.
Other good reasons for using vegetable oil
- Using waste oil actually reduces CO2 emissions as it is a recycled product.
- If the transport and processing of oilseed is itself powered using veg oil, the ongoing supply is practically CO2 neutral.
- Rapeseed oil is sulphur dioxide free, so doesn’t cause acid rain.
- Rapeseed oil can be grown in the winter months when some fields remain empty.
- Nitrous oxide emissions can also be lower especially when grown organically.
- Future plant oil sources are being trialled, including algae grown in lakes in the sea or in tanks in the desert.
- Vegetable oil is non toxic, biodegradable and save to handle.
- Using vegetable oil spares crude oil for future uses.
- There are no waste products in the making of vegetable oil.
- It takes less energy to produce vegetable oil. The oil only has to be squeezed from the seed.
- It is more eco-friendly than biodiesel,as biodiesel has to have chemicals and heat added to convert it, taking up to 25 times as much energy to produce.
- It is a good cash crop for farmers to grow, an efficient alternative to animal products.
- Growing of rapeseed does not have to be subsidised, saving tax payers’ money.
- The use of vegetable oil as a fuel in a car is a much safer option, as it will not ignite until it reaches around 300 degrees C.
- The smell of burning vegetable oil is less unpleasant than diesel.
- Vegetable oil is non toxic, and safe to handle.
- Using vegetable oil as a fuel can also save you money.
You do not need to buy a new car to be kinder to the environment. In fact converting older cars will save large amounts of energy from being used to produce a new car.
Veggie Power, (a vegan business), can sell you a kit or convert your vehicle for you. See www.veggiepower.co.uk
Veggie Power are available to give talks or demonstrations at events, and run conversion courses at the Sustainability Centre in Hampshire. Ph:01730823166
Estimate statistics and references:
- Diesel fuel: 2.68kg CO2/litre; 4-5mls/ltr (50-70k/100ml)(LILO Handbook)
- Cooking gas: Butane: 1.74kg CO2/kg; Propane:1.95kg CO2/kg (as above).
- 1.5 tonnes CO2 saved annually by a vegan diet (4kg/person/day) (New Scientist);
- Livestock industry produces 100 million tonnes methane each year (FAO, as below)
- Methane is 23 times more harmful to the climate than C02 (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization).
- 1 hectare typically produces 1,400kg of oil and 1,900kg of cake for animal feed (United Oilseeds).
- 1,400kg of oil when converted to Rape Methyl Ester would allow a car to travel approx 26,500 kilometres (as above). ‘Straight veg oil’ requires no conversion.
- Could meat be murder for the environment (New Scientist):
“A kilogram of beef is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution than driving for 3 hours while leaving all the lights on back home.
“This is among the conclusions of a study by Akifumi Ogino of the National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science in Tsukuba, Japan, and colleagues, which has assessed the effects of beef production on global warming, water acidification and eutrophication, and energy consumption.
“Their analysis showed that producing a kilogram of beef leads to the emission of greenhouse gases with a warming potential equivalent to 36.4 kilograms of carbon dioxide. It also releases fertilising compounds equivalent to 340 grams of sulphur dioxide and 59 grams of phosphate, and consumes 169 megajoules of energy. In other words, a kilogram of beef is responsible for the equivalent of the amount of CO2 emitted by the average European car every 250 kilometres, and burns enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for nearly 20 days.
Read more at http://www.veggies.org.uk/climate
Different sources quote methane as 21 or 23 time more potent than CO2.
A google search (Nov’07) gives 198,000 references for “methane 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide” – against 194,000 for 23% – so there’s not much in it.
However the closest I can find to the source of the issue is the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s own press release at http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000448/index.html which uses the 23% figure.
Confusingly the Climate Change Division of the US Environmental Protection Agency uses the 21% figure at http://www.epa.gov/methane/scientific.html
According to the calculator at http://www.climatecare.org/ driving a diesel vehicle 10,000 per year at 20mpg would give emissions 5.95 tonnes. The cost to offset this CO2 with Carbon Care would be be £44.63 – this is not enough! Carbon emissions are too critical to pay off this cheaply. The concept of Carbon Offsetting allows people to think that they can fly or drive guilt-free, rather than taking steps to reduce their emissions. However let’s hope that our work helps and encourages just 4 people to Go Vegan each year. This alone would save this amount of CO2 emissions. The challenge for us is to travel less, whilst still giving the support for people to adopt a climate-friendly vegan diet.