Low-Carbon Diet

Sustainable City Landscape

Go on a low carbon diet. By adjusting your daily food choices for ones that have lower carbon emissions, you can shave thousands of pounds off of your carbon footprint.

 

Eat a Lower-Carbon Diet

  1. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
  2. Compost food waste.
  3. Grow your own fruits and vegetables.

 

1. More Fruits and Vegetables

Lower carbon diets are typically healthier - reducing meat and dairy consumption and increasing consumption of vegetables and less processed foods is not only good for the planet, it's good for you! The USDA recommends at least three cups of vegetables per day, are you getting enough?

  • By eating a less than average amount of meat a week, you can save 3,500 lbs of greenhouse gas emissions a year.
  • By eliminating meat altogether and instead eating more fruit, vegetables, and grains, you can save 7,000 lbs of emissions a year.

Did You Know: A third of all food emissions in the U.S. come from red meat and dairy products! (Source: CoolClimate Carbon Footprint Calculator)

Use the Household Carbon Footprint Calculator to find out what other actions can save money and lower your carbon footprint.

 

2. Compost

Composting is an easy and fun way to reduce the amount of waste your family sends to the landfill, while providing essential nutrients for your garden or yard, and reducing your carbon and methane footprint. Sound complicated? It’s not!

Basic composting can be as simple as finding a place in your backyard to mix food scraps and yard waste. By maintaining an equal ratio of “browns” (examples include dead leaves, branches, twigs, paper, or cardboard) to “greens” (including food scraps, grass clippings, vegetable peelings, fruit scraps, and coffee grounds), your compost will decompose into healthy, nutrient-rich soil that can be used as fertilizer in your garden, flower beds, or lawn. Learn more, including a guide to backyard composting, at CalRecycle.

If you don’t have space for outdoor compost, you can buy a special indoor composting bin and compost anyways! Your local hardware store, gardening store, or plant nursery likely carries indoor composting containers. Learn how to make your own indoor worm composting bin, courtesy of the EPA.

 

3. Grow Your Own

Growing your own fruits and vegetables at home is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint: replacing water-intensive landscaping with a garden saves money and reduces your footprint, while eating the food grown at home reduces the overall footprint of your diet, and provides a convenient use for your compost (see above).

When using your own compost to grow food at home, you can potentially save up to 4 pounds of CO2e per vegetable per year! That's a lot of savings and some tasty vegetables - get started now!

Check out these resources from CalRecycle on composting and home gardening.