Is anybody else feeling a little warm? Like seriously it’s hot. These sunny sixty degree days in the middle of January do make braving the mean streets of Manhattan much easier, but it’s a bit unsettling. On January 12, 2017, New York City broke 120-year old temperature record – it was a balmy 65 degrees. And New York is not alone, 2016 has been officially declared the hottest year on record across the globe. But don’t get too excited, this is not the type of record you want to be breaking – especially not three years in a row. That’s right, 2016 beat out 2015 for the title of “hottest” and before that 2015 beat out 2014. We hate to sound like a broken record, but we need to stop breaking these records.

These rapidly increasing global temperatures are already affecting the lives of humans, and for the rest of the living creatures on the planet and if we don’t start taking climate change very seriously very soon, the consequences will be disastrous. The earth’s rising temperatures are causing the polar ice shelf to melt, which will cause sea-levels to rise and imperil billions of people living in coastal cities across the globe. Global warming also results in rising temperatures in the sea as well as the acidification of our planet’s waterways – both these factors threaten to destroy the ecosystems and marine life that inhabit these waters. Rising temperatures are also affecting the flora and fauna above the water. A recent scientific study from the University Of Arizona documented micro-extinctions across the globe because of the “warm edge” of global warming.

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In short, this is a global issue that affects every living thing on the planet. And while it does not look like we will be receiving much assistance from the federal level, that’s O.K. We can fight climate change in our ever day lives by changing the way we eat.  A conscious diet makes a staggering difference on your carbon footprint – you can cut your carbon emissions in half here’s how.

As we know, we can make small changes every day like choosing to walk or bike to work rather than driving, seeking out recycling bins for plastic waste, and even being mindful of the impact of their consumption choices. In keeping with this theme of doing small things, there is another solution that can have an enormously positive impact for the planet – and, it might just be the simplest one yet: changing the way you eat.The animal agriculture industry is conservatively estimated to be responsible for 14.5 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions – that is more than the entire transportation sector combined. By eliminating meat off your plate, you can effectively cut your carbon footprint by 50 percent, by adopting a plant-based diet you can reduce this number by even more.

If you’re are already eating like this, good for you! But there are still more ways to make your diet more sustainable. When you go to your local supermarket, look at where your produce comes from. The fewer miles your food has to travel to your plate means the fewer planes, trains, and automobiles it had to use to get to you. The carbon emissions involved in refrigeration and transportation contribute a significant amount of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. So when you can, buy local produce or grow your own! To learn more about how you can attack the problem of climate change with your fork and knife, join One green Planet’s #EatForThePlanet movement and together, we can save our planet.

Click on the graphic below for more information

 

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Image source: Bruce Rolff/Shutterstock