Encouraging Plant-Based Food Choices to Slow Climate Change
BERKELEY, Calif. — The Berkeley City Council unanimously approved a resolution to implement Green Monday in partnership with Green Monday US. Public programs, posters, and literature on the environmental advantages of plant-based food choices will be featured at libraries, and community centers around town. Green Monday certificates will be issued to restaurants featuring vegan items on their menus. All facilities owned and or managed by the City of Berkeley will provide plant-based foods on Mondays (or another day of the week), and the Council itself will procure vegan food for its meetings.
In June, the Council declared a Climate Emergency and resolved to become carbon neutral by 2030. Mayor Jesse Arreguin, along with Councilmembers Kate Harrison and Cheryl Davila, convened a Climate Emergency Town Hall last month attended by representatives of nine Bay Area counties.
The founder of Green Monday, David Yeung, hailed the passage of the resolution: “According to scientists and researchers, a global switch to diets that rely less on meat and more on fruit and vegetables is one of the most effective actions to counter climate change, food insecurity, water scarcity, not to mention public health crises. In fact, a plant-based diet could save up to 8 million lives by 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds, and lead to healthcare-related savings and avoided climate damages of $1.5 trillion. Our diet choice not only influences our personal health but also controls the destiny of the planet. That’s why the Green Monday Resolution passed by the Berkeley City Council to advocate its businesses and residents to adopt a plant-centric diet and a holistic environmentally-conscious lifestyle is a monumental step towards a sustainable future. As the Green Monday movement and platform is global, this Berkeley resolution will blaze an extremely important trail for the world to follow.”
Speaking in support of the Resolution, Factory Farming Awareness Coalition’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, Amy Halpern-Laff, remarked, “The UN Food & Agriculture Organization found that animal agriculture creates more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector—that’s more than all the planes, trains, and cars in the world combined!”
The Resolution was referred to City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley for implementation. Green Monday will follow the model set by the Berkeley initiative, working to pass similar resolutions in cities and counties in the Bay Area and nationwide.
To learn more about Green Monday US, visit https://greenmondayus.org/.