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News at Brighter Green

Brighter Green's film What's For Dinner? to be featured in the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital 3/21/14

Brighter Green's short film What's For Dinner? was recently selected to appear in the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital. It appeared on March 19th at 12PM in the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, along with a discussion partnering with the China Environment Forum.

Associate Sangamithra Iyer Publishes eBook 3/5/14

Brighter Green Associate Sangamithra Iyer publishes an eBook entitled The Lines We Draw distributed by Hen Press, the publishing arm of Our Hen House. The book explores the boundaries — physical, biological, and ethical — evolved out of a conversation with the late Dr. Alfred Prince, a hepatitis researcher, about the use of chimpanzees in medical research, and is expanded into a larger discussion about ethics.

Brighter Green Releases New Policy Paper on Industrialized Dairy in Asia 2/20/14

Brighter Green releases their newest policy paper Beyond the Pail: the Emergence of Industrialized Dairy Systems in Asia exploring the trend toward increased dairy consumption and production in Asia and argues that the growth of industrial systems results in severe consequences for the environment, public health, animal welfare, and rural economies. You may access the paper here.

Brighter Green Presents at the Ivy League Vegan Conference 2/7/14

Brighter Green Executive Director Mia MacDonald and Associate Sangamithra Iyer present a session entitled "The Global Diet & Sustainability: Multi-country Perspectives" at the Ivy League Vegan Conference at Princeton University. The conference is in its third year and is dedicated to exploring veganism and bioethics.

Brighter Green Documentary What's For Dinner? Launches Chinese Website 1/1/14

Brighter Green documentary What's For Dinner? launches Chinese website. This will increase awareness of the issues raised in What's For Dinner? and allow individuals in China to learn more about the film.

Brighter Green Documentary What's For Dinner? Signs Distribution Deal 12/20/13

Brighter Green documentary What's For Dinner? signs with Icarus Films, a well known
independent film distributor, to help ensure that What's For Dinner? is screened widely.

Brighter Green End-of-Year Newsletter 12/19/13

Take a look at our most recent Brighter Green newsletter where we announce some of our recent accomplishments as well as what we have planned for 2014. You can read the newsletter here.

Executive Director Mia MacDonald on Katerva Awards Panel 12/6/13

Brighter Green Executive Director Mia MacDonald participated on the Food Security Impact panel as a part of the Katerva Awards.

At COP 19, Global Landscapes Forum Calls for Change 11/27/13

COP 19's Global Landscapes Forum, where Brighter Green co-sponsored a side event, released a statement calling for a new approach to tackling climate change, food insecurity, and poverty saying that "fragmentation is our enemy". The statement calls for the need to "work together across landscapes".

Brighter Green Submits Policy Recommendations at Global Landscapes Forum 11/18/13

Brighter Green submits policy recommendations with Global Forest Coalition after the networking panel session "Land, landscapes, livestock, and farms". For more information please read about Brighter Green's involvement in COP 19 here.

Brighter Green in Outreach Magazine at COP 19 11/15/13

Brighter Green publishes an article entitled "Industrial animal agriculture: acknowledging industrial livestock production as a driver of forest loss" in Outreach, a multi-stakeholder magazine on climate change and sustainable development distributed at COP 19. The article is based on a project addressing livestock production as a driver of deforestation between Brighter Green and the Global Forest Coalition.

Brighter Green Cosponsors a Panel at the Global Landscapes Forum at COP 19 11/14/13

Brighter Green is cosponsoring a panel at the Global Landscapes Forum in Warsaw at COP 19. The forum, with exhibitions and panels, will focus on environmental change and development, linking farming, forestry, and other land uses. Geoffrey Evans from Humane Society International [HSI] will be speaking for Brighter Green, HSI, and the World Society for the Protection of Animals. The forum will take place from November 16-17, 2013 in Warsaw.

Brighter Green Produces Policy Document with Human Society International and the World Society for the Protection of Animals 11/11/13

Brighter Green, Humane Society International, and the World Society for the Protection of Animals, produced a policy document making a case for why the Conference of Parties (COP 19) should address animal agriculture and the global climate crisis. The document will be distributed at the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP 19) in Warsaw, Poland from November 11-22, 2013.

BG and the Global Forest Coalition Expand Biodiversity Laws in Joint Paper 10/28/13

Brighter Green and the Global Forest Coalition expand biodiversity laws on their joint paper: Industrial Agriculture, Livestock Farming, and Climate Change: Global Social, Cultural, Ecological, and Ethical Impacts of an Unsustainable Industry.

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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