Changing Your Diet This World Environment Day Can Help Tackle Air Pollution

Changing Your Diet This World Environment Day Can Help Tackle Air Pollution

Written by Jenny Rose Edwards

Today is World Environment Day, and the theme for this year is air pollution. World Environment Day is run by the UN, and is a day dedicated to encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment.

We all know the various, small changes we can make to improve air pollution, e.g. drive less, walk more, consider electric cars and appliances, etc. However, how much do you know about your diets impact on the quality of our air?

The production of animal products demands a large amount of pesticides, fertilizer, water, and feed. The whole process is responsible for releasing greenhouse gases, toxic chemicals, and manure into our air. According to the World Health Organization, air pollution caused an estimated 4.2 million premature deaths in 2016.

Beef results in up to 105kg of greenhouse gases per 100g of meat, while tofu produces less than 3.5kg. (Source)

Methane emissions from cows and fertilizer use, creates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all the world’s cars, trucks and airplanes (Source).

In the UK, agriculture is responsible for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions, 83% of ammonia air pollution, and 16% of water pollution. (Source)

What you can do:

  • Reduce your meat and dairy intake

  • If you eat meat, buy local and check for sustainability labelling

  • Eat more plants

  • Buy organic and sustainable wherever you can