BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 22 Sep '17

Week-long vegan challenge saves enough carbon dioxide to fly to the moon and back

Ever wondered how much of an impact veganism really has on the environment?

A leading vegan charity calculated the total savings by the 10,000 people who ate vegan for a week after signing up to its seven-day challenge, and the results are astonishing.

The impact

Participants in The Vegan Society’s environmental campaign Plate Up for the Planet collectively saved 147,000 kg CO2e, which the Vegan Society says is ‘equivalent to being able to fly to the moon and back’. With many of those remaining vegan, and the campaign continuing after reaching the 10,000 milestone, this impact is likely to be amplified even further.

10,000 people eating a vegan diet for a week saves 147,000 kg CO2e which is equivalent to:

  • 767,143 km travelled by long haul flight – equivalent to flying to the moon and back
  • 1,019,064 km travelled by car – equivalent to driving round the world 11.5 times
  • 539,000 washing machine cycles – equivalent to washing the clothes of everybody in Cardiff twice
  • 19,510,909 hours of low energy bulbs – equivalent to lighting every home in Brighton for three days

Celebrity support

The campaign has enjoyed support from MPs and celebrities, including Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas MP, Made in Chelsea’s Lucy Watson, poet Benjamin Zephaniah and Harry Potter star Evanna Lynch.

‘As a vegetarian, I’m very aware of the climate and animal welfare impacts of a meat based diet, but in the past I’ve struggled to eat only vegan food. The Vegan Society’s seven-day challenge provided a welcome catalyst to prompt me to go further, and reminded me just how delicious vegan food can be.’

CAROLINE LUCAS MP
Green Party co-leader

‘Going vegan is one of the most significant things an individual can do to help combat climate change, and indeed many environmentalists follow the lifestyle to decrease their impact on the planet.

‘Those who signed up to our seven-day vegan challenge were shown how much CO2 emissions they’ve saved compared to non-vegan equivalents of the meals.

‘What they’ve saved over the course of the week is astonishing and surprised many people, which we hope will lead to more people concerned with the environment choosing the vegan lifestyle.’

LOUISE DAVIES
Head of campaigns and policy at The Vegan Society

Think about what you eat

Research published last month by The Vegan Society found that one in five respondents (19%) said they would consider becoming vegan, while the UK’s current vegan population is around 1%.

Its Plate Up for the Planet campaign – the single biggest campaign investment The Vegan Society has ever made – encourages people to think differently about what they eat and how it impacts our planet; with every 100 calories fed to animals, only 12 calories are received back by consuming their meat and milk.

The campaign focuses around a seven-day, planet-saving challenge that encourages participants to consume a low greenhouse gas emissions meal plan. The Vegan Society can then tell participants the greenhouse gas savings they are making compared with an omnivorous diet.