By Alyssa Edmunds
Climate change is always in the news and there is no shortage of ways to address it. While I’m just the social media intern at Chemical Processing and the only real chemistry knowledge I have is from my 10th grade honors chemistry class, I do take great interest in the environment. So I was intrigued to read Mark Rosenzweig’s editorial in the June issue of Chemical Processing “Greenhouse Gases: Science-Based Targets Advance.” It’s comforting to read about businesses taking the initiative and doing what they can to preserve this planet for future generations. Indeed, his column notes that more than 100 corporations worldwide now are using targets that have been approved by Science Based Targets initiative’s team of experts for emissions reductions that align with the goals of the Paris Accord.
We, as individuals, can help save the planet, as well. My family, close friends and I — after watching documentaries and reading articles — have gone vegetarian and significantly reduced our plastic consumption. We’ve subbed plastic water bottles for reusable ones, Ziploc bags for tupperware containers and have stopped using straws completely.
It’s obvious why reducing plastic consumption helps the environment, but the positive effects of vegetarianism on the environment are less known. According to a 2016 Time Magazine article entitled “How a Vegetarian Diet Could Help Save the Planet,” “Livestock alone account for more than 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and by 2050 the food sector could account for half if cuts are implemented in other sectors along the lines that countries have committed to doing.”
It’s these steps forward by corporations and individuals that will make the most impact. Sustainability is key. From the people standpoint going meatless sounds great in theory, but there are times when we all want to eat a steak or feel obligated to try a burger from the pancake-house-turned-burger-chain IHOB? It’s OK. Instead of going cold turkey why not try Meatless Mondays? If big corporations can change their practices for the climate maybe we can, too.
Alyssa Edmunds is Chemical Processing’s social media intern and a student at The Ohio State University. She is studying Actuarial Science. She sometimes misses meat but knows she will miss a beautiful environment more.