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News at Brighter Green

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.

Jim Harkness Positively Reviews "What's For Dinner?" 10/6/14

Jim Harkness Senior Advisor on China at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy positively reviews "What's For Dinner?" and interviews Executive Director Mia MacDonald.

Brighter Green Associate Interviewed by "Eating Animals" Director, Christopher Quinn 9/29/14

Brighter Green Associate Wanqing Zhou was interviewed by Eating Animals director Christopher Quinn. BG also provided Mr. Quinn Chinese contacts, including What's For Dinner? director Jian Yi, for the film.

Brighter Green Associate Wanqing Zhou interviewed by Our Hen House 7/23/14

Brighter Green Associate Wanqing Zhou was interviewed by Our Hen House on Brighter Green's What's For Dinner? and China screening tour in June and July 2014.

Brighter Green and Partner Global Forest Coalition Published in "Square Brackets" 7/1/14

Brighter Green and partner Global Forest Coalition published their article "Implementing Aichi Target 3 in the livestock sector" in "Square Brackets: CBD Newsletter for Civil Society".

Brighter Green Releases June 2014 Newsletter 6/27/14

Brighter Green releases its June 2014 newsletter highlighting achievements and events in the first part of 2014. You can view the newsletter here.

Brighter Green Launches "What's For Dinner?" China Screening Tour 6/15/14

Brighter Green launches the China tour of the short documentary film "What's For Dinner?". The film is screened in multiple cities through July 2014 and provinces including Beijing, Shanghai, and Zhejiang province. To learn more please click here.

Brighter Green Presents at the Global Research Forum on Sustainable Production and Consumption 6/11/14

Brighter Green Associate Wanqing Zhou presented her paper, "The Triangle: Factory Farming in the U.S., China and Brazil" in Shanghai, China at the Global Research Forum on Production and Consumption.

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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