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Ecosia has commissioned a Censuswide survey that reveals new plant-based trends. The major takeaways are that more than 20% of participants have reduced their meat intake due to the climate crisis. 32 percent of respondents said they are open to changing their diets in order to improve the environment. More than half of those polled said the UK government was not doing enough for the environment.
2021 was filled with examples of how climate changes are affecting the planet. Many are now aware of the increasing climate crisis. Tree-planting EcosiaTo find out if climate change has any tangible effects on diet choices in the U.K., we commissioned a survey of 2,000 participants.
What the U.K. says
Ecosia found that one in 10 participants refers to themselves now as a climate activist. A change in diet, or even seriously considering one, was ranked as the most common course of action. Gender splits revealed that more women than men are making dietary adjustments, with vegans more common. Pescatarian nutrition was preferred by men. Geographical data revealed that Newcastle was the most populous city with people reducing or eliminating meat from their diets. London is close behind with 24% and Manchester with 25% respectively.
“The detrimental effects of the food system on the world are well publicised – contributing more than a third of greenhouse gas emissions, with meat accounting for at least 60% of this, as well as causing deforestation, biodiversity loss and polluting our water systems,” Sophie Dembinki, U.K. country manager for Ecosia said in a statement. “It’s no wonder that such a growing number of people are changing their diet because of the impacts of the food we eat on the environment and the climate. Whilst becoming a vegetarian or vegan won’t solve the climate crisis alone, reducing or eliminating meat from your diet can help contribute to a more sustainable food system and send a message to governments and food producers that there need to be systematic changes to the way we produce food if we are to reduce carbon emissions and limit global warming.”
The data was sorted by age group. Individuals aged 25-34 were more likely than others to admit to dietary changes for climate reasons. 29 percent of respondents claimed this to be true. This age group had the highest percentage of vegans, with 6 percent using this term. The highest percentage (13%) of those who are reducing meat consumption for the planet came from the 45-54 age group. People aged 55 and over were less likely to take action on climate change by eating less meat. Ecosia says that Gen Z (16-24 years old) is the most likely to alter their diet. If it could combat climate change, 46 percent would be willing and able to eat flexitarian, vegetarian, or vegan. Ecosia found that there is a general optimism among all age groups about the possibility of addressing climate change.
Who is responsible?
Speaking with Green QueenEcosia cited extreme weather events and a well-publicized COP26 as reasons for commissioning the study. The search engine company stated that it wanted to gain valuable insight into the U.K.’s perception of who initiated changes and who was already taking action.
Despite the fact that many people are already taking action, only 36% feel it is up to them to combat the climate crisis. Only 5 percent feel the government is doing enough, and 29 percent believe climate change should be a priority over the economy. It was clear that a majority wanted to see fossil fuel companies take responsibility.
45 percent believed that fossil fuel companies should receive penalties for their emission contributions. Data from the past were published in The GuardianAccording to Shell and BP respectively, 71 percent all carbon emissions are caused by 100 companies. U.K. climate activists want to see a complete ban on fossil fuel pollution and not just performative reductions. It was also found that rewilding is a popular activity.
These findings are important, as it was recently reported by the BBC that Google allows fossil fuel companies access to its search engine. Insane adsIts search results. Readers believe that big companies are contributing to the reverse of climate changes by including ads in their key environmental searches. Talk to Green QueenEcosia spoke out about these practices and said the following:
“It’s unsurprising that Big Oil would try to obscure their ads and instead present them as search results,” Dembinski said. “They have owned the narrative on the climate crisis for such a long time and continue to do so by using the reach of platforms like Google. Ecosia uses 100% of its advertising revenue to invest into climate action. We have planted over 140,000,000 trees all around the globe as a result. This has helped to restore forests, provide homes for endangered animals, protect landscapes, and empower local communities. We also flag up polluters with a grey icon, so users are aware about who they are seeing results from.”
As GreenwashingAs search engines become more heavily regulated, these practices will hopefully be outlawed.
Practice what it preaches
Green Queen asked Ecosia about its own employees’ eating habits. Ecosia revealed that veganism is not a mandate, but that many of its employees are vegan, including Christian Kroll, CEO. It also revealed that many employees eat a plant-based diet in light of climate change. The weekly team lunch is all plant-based, and the food is prepared with local crops from a regenerative farming farm. Alternatives to business-specific flying are compensated and extra travelling time accounted for, but the company’s stance on climate protest is what makes it stand out.
“We have a company policy which provides paid time off for employees to demonstrate their democratic right and participate in climate protests which is fantastic and also why Ecosia, alongside a number of other purpose-driven companies, has been vocal against the UK Government’s most recent Policing Bill,” Dembinski concluded.
Lead photo by fauxels from Pexels.