Last year on Earth Day you probably resolved to take shorter showers, or to start composting your kitchen waste, or maybe to take public transportation to work. These are all important steps towards a more sustainable life, but this year how about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Huh? You may think that it may sound quite tasty, but how does it help the planet? Well, eating a PB&J or other plant-based meal instead of one based on animal products is actually a powerful step towards fighting global warming, saving water, and using less land.
We’re not talking peanuts here. We figure that if every one of the ten million people Sodexo serves goes for a plant-based meal on Earth Day, instead of what they’d ordinarily eat, we could all save about 12,400 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, about 1.3 billion gallons of water, and about 5,500 acres of land.
And making a difference can also be delicious! We picked America’s favorite sandwich to show that helping the planet is easy and tastes great, and on Earth Day we’re looking forward to the creative PB&J-themed dishes that Sodexo chefs are inventing across the country to make just this point. Don’t like peanut butter? No problem – basically any meal built around grains and beans will work – pasta, bean burritos, falafel, tofu. (We don’t want to scare anyone away by saying this is healthy, but we can’t lie: eating more whole grains, legumes, and veggies is good for your health too!)
We’re not talking about major life changes here, just to put this change in the environmentally-friendly toolkit along with taking out the recycling, riding public transportation to work, or screwing in a compact fluorescent light bulb. Any time you’re staring at the menu and trying to make up your mind, it is an opportunity to make a difference. We’re delighted to see Sodexo taking this Earth Day to share this powerful message with millions of Americans. And besides, which is more fun to eat, a light bulb or a PB&J?