Food and the Climate

We do it every day, usually several times – eat.

And what we eat makes a difference. As you can see from a few examples below, based on the BBC Climate Change Calculator.

Now we don’t recommend calculating the greenhouse gases for each meal… there are more fun ways to drive yourselv mad … but it does help to become aware of the very high impact especially meat has compared to other protein alternatives.

And it’s not necessary to go totally plant-based (though I had a plant burger yesterday, as part of my practical research for this blogpost, and found it indistinguishable from the meaty thing). A reduction is totally enough!

If everyone was to reduce their beef intake by 50%, this according to an Irish Times article, would mean a reduction from 19 kg (2019) to 9.5 kg per head of beef per year. According to research by Teagasc, in Ireland, 1kg of beef caused on average 11.9 kg CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases (CEGG).

So an immediate reduction from 29% of beef dinners (which is the typical number for Ireland, according to Bord Bia) to 14.5 % – having 3 dinners with burgers / beef lasagne / steak per fortnight instead of six – would save (9.5 kg beef times 11.9 kg CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases) 113.95 kg CEGG. Per week.

Chickpeas, tofu, beans make surprisingly good alternatives – you could experiment yourself with recipes, just google for vegan dinner ideas, or even reach for fake meats, which however only reduce the amount of climate gases by about 45% percent.

If you opt for beans, legumes etc instead of beef half the time, you could even reach for organic beef the other 50% – and improve your impact on the environment even more by ensuring that no pesticides or artificial fertilisers are used.

By the way, there is only so much we can do for climate and biodiversity as individuals.

Even if all of us drastically change how we live overnight, it would not be enough.

The number one thing we all can do in this climate and biodiversity emergency is to let our politicians know we care. And the media. And our friends. Together, we can make a difference!

Plus raising awareness must never be about a “greener than thou” attitude.

As Mary Robinson said:  “Get personal, get angry, get involved.” (Quoted in a recent, excellent article by Sadhbh O’Neill, entitled “What can I do to help combat climate change“) Sadhbh O’Neill writes: “The focus on changing our individual behaviour can be overwhelming and, frankly, pointless, given the scale of the challenge and the power of the fossil-fuel industry. The most important thing an individual can do is not be an individual. The climate movement in Ireland is growing, and it is diverse and inclusive of everyone.”


  • Join us at our monthly First Fridays For Future events, every first Friday at 7 pm (or 7 am sometimes)
  • Subscribe to our email newsletter!
  • Would you like to join our Sustainable Skerries Chat Group on WhatsApp? Send an email to with your name and phone number!
  • Follow us on Facebook, on Insta, on Twitter – and please, please, like, share, comment on, our posts so our reach grows!
  • And of course… come to our events, we’d love to see you there!

And we’ll leave you with just a few facts…

Source: 9 things you can do about climate action

Source: BBC Climate Change Calculator

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: