Australia’s beautiful Great Barrier Reef is in pretty bad shape, with coral cover having declined 53% in 30 years. This is largely due to the fact that there are approximately 4.5 million cattle grazing in the Great Barrier Reef catchment area. Cattle farming has led to clearing of vegetation, widespread soil erosion, and increased nutrients and phosphates ending up in the reef – along with fertilisers, herbicides, and pesticides.
LMLH’s Skip Beef for the Reef campaign aims to ease the burden on this fragile natural icon in two key ways:
1. By pressuring politicians to enforce stricter regulations on harmful agricultural run-off in the Great Barrier Reef catchment area.
2. By encouraging individuals to reduce the strain of intensive cattle farming by pledging to lower their red meat consumption and ‘skip beef for the reef’.
McDonald’s Australia sells a massive 27.8 million kilograms of beef every single year. Even if only 1 in 1,000 customers swapped a Quarter Pounder for a meat-free option, it would save an annual 27,800 kilograms of beef, 1.844 million kilograms of carbon emissions, 422 million litres of water, and 840,000 square kilometres of Australian farmland.
Not to mention the lives of many innocent animals that would be spared from slaughter, with this one simple menu addition.
That’s why Less Meat Less Heat has launched a petition calling on McDonald’s to introduce a plant-based burger to its Australian menus.
When it comes to doing something about climate change, many people feel powerless. But there’s one way everyone can help make a real and immediate difference. By eating less red meat we can create a food system that’s kinder to animals, uses less land and water, and produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
That’s why in 2016 Less Meat Less Heat launched the world’s first smartphone app to help users track the carbon footprint of their diets. The Climatarian Challenge app helps people monitor the environmental impact of their food for 30 days, empowering them with the tools and information to adopt low carbon eating habits.
It does this by assigning each meal and portion of meat consumed ‘carbon points’ from a budget equivalent to 80 kilograms of carbon, or approximately half the average Australian output each month.
Since launching, the Climatarian Challenge has been downloaded more than 5,000 times – saving the planet a potential 400,000 kilograms of CO2 emissions.
In November 2017 Less Meat Less Heat’s founder Mark Pershin and volunteer Alice Vodden attended the UNFCCC COP23 climate conference in Bonn.
Our priority at COP23, aside from raising the prominence of animal agriculture as the biggest overlooked strategy to address climate change at the UN climate talks, was actually one around how we account for various greenhouse gases – carbon accounting.
To better understand what this means we recommend reading our our primer on the issue, watching the narrated slideshow, the associated FAQ and take a look at our policy document to get a better understanding of what we are trying to achieve at these talks. We are building a broad coalition of climate scientists, civil society organisations (UN speak for other non-profit organisations) and country delegates from both the developed and developing world aptly called ‘Put Climate On Pause’.