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News at Brighter Green

Executive Director Mia MacDonald Quoted in Civil Eats Article 1/26/15

Executive Director Mia MacDonald was quoted in Advisory Board member Anna Lappe's article on Chatham House's recent study on peoples' understanding of climate change and food, particularly meat production. You can view the Civil Eats article here.

New Report Released by Brighter Green and the Global Forest Coalition on the Unsustainable Impacts of Livestock and Soybean Production in Paraguay 1/22/15

Brighter Green and the Global Forest Coalition, published a new report entitled, "Meat from a Landscape Under Threat: Testimonies of the Impacts of Unsustainable Livestock and Soybean Production in Paraguay". You can access the report here.

Brighter Green Featured in NYC Meatless Monday Press Release 1/22/15

Brighter Green and Executive Director Mia MacDonald were featured in NYC City Council Representative Helen Rosenthal's press release on the push for NYC to adopt the Meatless Monday campaign.

Executive Director Mia MacDonald Appears on Our Hen House's Highlight Reel Podcast Episode 1/10/15

Brighter Green Executive Director Mia MacDonald appears on Our Hen House's highlight reel episode on January 10th. The original TV episode can be viewed here.

East African Girls' Leadership Initiative Program Update 1/10/15

Brighter Green and Tribal Link released a January Program Update on the East African Girls' Leadership Initiative. You can access it here.

Brighter Green and Humane Society International Publish COP 20 Policy Recommendations 12/4/14

Brighter Green and Humane Society International published a policy recommendation document on animal agriculture and climate change for the COP 20 meeting in Lima, Peru. You can access the document here.

Brighter Green Releases Summary on Forthcoming Nature's Rights Paper 10/14/14

Brighter Green released a summary of a forthcoming nature's rights paper entitled Nature's Rights: Rivers, Trees, Whales, and Apes.

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“Cool China” Calls for One Vegetarian Day a Week

August 20, 2012 8:01am
Young Chinese climate change agents wave the three-finger sustainability symbol (

Young Chinese climate change agents wave the three-finger sustainability symbol ("peace plus one")

Perhaps for the first time in China’s history since the reign of Emperor Wu of Liang, more than 1,600 years ago, a vegetarian diet is being embraced by a governmental initiative. The difference is that instead of having a religious reason, the nation-wide action plan seeks to lower China’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and to engage every Chinese citizen in curbing climate change. And who knows? Maybe China’s leaders are also endorsing the values of sustainable living from China’s ancient belief systems, including those practiced by Wu who embraced Buddhism and Confucianism, learned from Indian spiritual traditions, and banned animal sacrifice and opposed execution.

The "Cool China" National Low-Carbon Action Plan was introduced in October 2011 by China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and sponsored by the Department of Environmental Protection’s Education Center and the U.S. Environmental Protection Association of China. The guidelines for the general public suggested seven “once a week” low-carbon lifestyle tips, which included as the second on the list, “one vegetarian day a week”. The seven tips are:

  • Green travel one day a week

  • Eat vegetarian one day a week

  • Hand wash clothes one day a week

  • Watch one hour less TV every week

  • Use stairs once a week

  • Collect shower water to flush toilet once a week

  • Consume one less container of bottled water each week

  • Since its launch, "Cool China” has spread to five provinces and eight cities, including Shanghai, Beijing, and Hangzhou, where were identified as low-carbon pilot provinces by the NDRC. In these mega-cities and provinces, the general public is encouraged to participate in a series of low-carbon activities in schools, businesses, and community groups. “Cool China” was also highlighted at the 2011 UN climate change conference in Durban, South Africa (COP 17).

    According to experts, if every person in China complies with these simple commitments, 22 kilograms (nearly 50 pounds) of carbon dioxide can be reduced per week and within one year each person will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by one ton. By working together, each Chinese can help realize the goal of the most recent (12th) national five-year period of reducing energy consumption per unit of GDP by 16% and CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by 17%, and therefore contribute to combating global warming.

    While the Chinese government is fully aware of the impact of livestock production on global warming, human health (especially children’s health), the quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink and, indeed, the Earth itself, it is absolutely vital that all leaders take progressive actions such as encouraging the public to move away from an animal-based diet. Hopefully, more initiatives such as “Cool China” will emerge and blossom in different countries – following the example of the world’s most populous nation.

    Photo courtesy of McMaster Institute for Sustainable Development in Commerce/Flickr