Last week, while meeting with senior executives in a large corporation, we spent some time discussing the powerful “GREEN” advantages of helping all of the company’s associates learn to adopt an earth-friendly plant-based diet. One of my PowerPoint slides began with:
Life began on planet Earth four billion years ago. We humans have been here only 200,000 years—just 5/1000th of one percent of that time. Mother Earth has seen many species come and go and she will be just fine, no matter what we do. The question is this:
“Will we inflict so much damage on the fragile harmony of our planet that she will no longer be able to sustain humans and the other “Earthlings” who live here?”
It’s not about saving the planet, it’s about saving our own great-grandchildren, it’s about preserving the long-term sustainability of the human race.
That’s what living “green” means to me.
GREEN benefits—order of magnitude. Most large companies everywhere are taking “green” initiatives seriously. It’s good for their public image, it’s good for their business and it’s good for their bottom line. But are they really making a difference? How do they measure the environmental impact of their good intentions? I have a question:
How are these companies doing compared to the maximum amount of environmental benefit that they and all of their employees could have?
My estimate. Consider the fact that meat & dairy-based diets (on a per calorie basis) require over ten times as much land, over ten times as much water and over ten times as much energy—as a plant-based diet. Then consider the implications of 50,000 employees shifting to plant-based diet. A little math tells me that all of those people would cut their total water consumption by 75%, would cut their total energy consumption by 30% and would free up a total of about 250,000 acres (an area = to about 1/3 of Rhode Island).
Now, what if ten other large companies did the same thing? Now, we’re talking about 2.5 million acres, almost as much land as all of Connecticut. Just consider the staggering impact on three of our most precious natural resources: water, land and fossil fuels. How does that “staggering impact” compare to the typical “green” initiatives of most companies?
I am guessing that the above “staggering impact” would be at least ten times all the solar panels, clean fuels, green packaging, recycled paper, energy saving lightbulbs, efficient toilets, etc., etc. COMBINED. Just consider the environmental benefit of 2.5 million acres (formerly used for raising and growing feed for food animals) but was now returned to forests and natural habitats for rescuing our declining eco-system.
The Bottom Line. Humankind has been recklessly squandering our natural resources for the past hundred years or so—running roughshod over our planet as if we could all move somewhere else when we’ve completely “used up” our home. Speaking of HOME, the scientists in that movie reported that:
In just the last fifty years, the human race has inflicted more damage on the fragile harmony of nature than all other previous generations of humans for the past 200,000 years.
They also pointed out that unless that trend changes in less than ten years, that we may have reached a tipping point and never be able to fully recover.
And since the movie came out in 2009, their reported deadline is coming up in 2019, about 6.5 years from now. A few of my earlier blogs on this topic:
- Are “sustainability schools” ignoring the plant-based solution?
- Forget “saving the planet.” Think great grandchildren.
- Doing “things right” or doing the “right thing.” Which is better?
Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com
- The movie that’s changing the lives of millions: Forks Over Knives DVD
- Healthy Eating, Healthy World, The “big picture” about food (our book)
- An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
- Dr. McDougall’s new book, The Starch Solution, with lots of great recipes.
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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation