The release of a new app aimed at helping people measure the carbon footprint of their diet may help individuals recognise their influence on climate change.
The Climaratian Challenge app produced by Less Meat Less Heat, allows the user to enter in the type of food and portion size of each meal as the app calculates the amount of carbon used in growing, producing and delivering that food to the user’s plate.
The app allocates 8000 carbon points, the equivalent of 80kg of carbon, to each user for 30 days, with the challenge being to eat within that carbon budget. Which might be a little tricky for some people, seeing as a large portion of beef is worth 1,990 points, almost a quarter of the month’s carbon points.
The non-for-profit organisation, Less Meat Less Heat, does not want to shame people who eat meat, but rather inform them of the large carbon footprint they may unknowingly carry and look at ways to reduce it. They do not specifically advocate for a vegetarian or vegan diet, but rather a climatarian diet, which may include cutting back red meat to once a week.
The agricultural industry contributes approximately 10% of all global gas emissions, according to the Director of the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre at the University of Melbourne, Professor Richard Eckard, with red meat being the largest offender.
Mark Pershin, the founder and CEO of Less Meat Less Heat says that as more people emerge into the middle-class bracket of society, more people will want to start including red meat into their diets. Thus those with the privilege of choosing what they eat, need to lead the way in the climatarian diet. This ultimately would be eating less than 40kg or 4000 points worth of carbon each month.
Changing one’s diet is something everyone can do straight away to assist with the fight against climate change, without needing to consult a higher authority to influence change.
The app is free to download from the App Store and Google Play.