Looks like France is getting more and more environmentally friendly! World Wildlife Fund France (WWF France) and the ECO2 initiative are urging consumers to eat more fruits and vegetables to reduce their impact on the environment, as well as help their health and wallets.

WWF France and the ECO2 initiative looked at a “standard” shopping basket, compared to a “flexitarian” basket (one that contained two-thirds vegetable proteins and one-third animal proteins) for a French family of four (two adults and two children). The study compared the cost of the two baskets, as well as their carbon footprint and nutritional value. As you probably already guessed, the “flexitarian” basket was the healthier option.

WWF France and ECO2 concluded that if families went from eating six meals or fish meals per week to four, their carbon footprint decreased by 38 percent and there would be a 21 percent cost difference. The study also noted that the “flexitarian” basket contained 50 percent more organic items compared to the “standard” shopping basket.

“Consuming better quality products with less impact on the environment is within everyone’s reach. This is the conclusion of the study that we present today that proposes a “flexitarian” basket. It’s good for the health and for the planet and it does not cost more!” noted Pascal Canfin, Director General of WWF France about the study.

This certainly isn’t the first time it’s been recommended to eat less meat. Belgium recently released new dietary guidelines that put vegetables and plant proteins at the very top. The UK government recommends citizens consume less dairy, the Netherlands released a set of dietary guidelines that recommend limits on meat due to sustainability concerns. The Chinese government also released a new set of dietary guidelines that have the potential to see the country’s consumption of meat drop by 50 percent.

This push in France to consume less meat reflects the waves of changes we have seen in the world as more people come to recognize the impact that their food choices have on their own health as well as animals and the environment.

Although the U.S. government has yet to take such proactive actions in encouraging people to consume less meat and dairy, you can start making a difference today simply by starting with what’s on your plate. You can start eating for the planet by doing nothing more than choosing a delicious plant-based meal over one laden with animal products. If you look at it from a personal perspective, you can cut your own carbon footprint in half just by leaving meat off your plate for one year. (Plus save a lot of water, redirect grain for people to eat, and help protect endangered species…)

We all have the power to create a better future for our children, and the countless animals we share the planet with, by making one easy swap. If you’re ready to start doing this in your own life, check out One Green Planet’s #EatForThePlanet campaign.

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