Carbon Free January 2021

Week 2 – “Meat Free”

Welcome to week 2 of going carbon free. Our challenge this week is to go meat free for the entire week!  Instead, we will relish in all things vegan and eat our way to a more sustainable world.

So what’s the beef about beef? Why should we stop eating meat and change to a plant rich diet to help reduce climate change? A 2017 study found if everyone swapped beef for beans it would get us halfway to the emissions goals of the Paris Climate accord. Shockingly, our meat centered diet counts for one-fifth of global emissions.

If cattle were their own nation, they would be the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases. – Drawdown

Meat FreeShifting away from meat and dairy may be the most effective personal climate action we can take. As we decrease our demand, there will be less cows, so less methane will be emitted into the atmosphere. Methane, released through cow burps and manure, is 30 times more potent as a heat trapping gas than carbon dioxide.

Even if we are totally successful at fighting fossil fuels, we will not be successful at meeting our carbon emissions goals if we ignore the need to shift away from meat. We need to make a shift towards poultry, fish and plant based foods and demand more sustainable agricultural practices, including the reforestation of a million square miles of ranch land. To find out more about why a plant based diet is important to fight climate change, check out the Green Living Food section.

So let’s leave the meat out this week and welcome in the world of vegan cuisine! After you try some of the tasty vegan meals listed in the resources section below, you might just want to eat less meat, or make one day a week meatless, or who knows, you may opt for going fully vegan! Every shift to a more eco-conscious consumption makes an impact. Together our personal and legislative actions multiply and weave the fabric of a sustainable new world.

Week 2 Action

#1 – Got 2 minutes? Support Bill S8517 / A10600 requiring schools to provide plant-based meals in food service. Please contact your New York State Senator and Assembly person now and urge them to pass this law.

Here is a suggested short script:

“Dear ________, I’m a constituent and I am calling to ask for your support on bill S8517/ A10600 which would require schools to offer plant-based food options in public schools. It’s important to offer healthy choices to students who don’t want to eat meat, and it will significantly help reduce methane emissions.”

#2 – Got more? Let’s support green transportation with electric school buses! Join 350BK’s Power Hour on Monday (Jan 11) from 12-1 pm, to contact our elected officials about the NY City Council bill to demand electric school buses (0455-2018) Sign up here for the log-in info. (Join us even if you can’t stay the whole hour!)


Brooklyn Vegan Restaurants

Luckily for us, Brooklyn is a mecca for vegan restaurants! Check out the favs below, some of which are reviewed in The Beet, “the all-in-one guide to eating a more plant based diet”.

Vegan Recipes

During Covid, many of us are cooking more at home and by month 11 you might be getting a bit tired of your recipes. We’ve got you covered, try out some of these delicious vegan recipes! As promised, Cashew  Alfredo Fettuccine from Minimalist Baker which claims that their recipes include 10 ingredients or less, 1 bowl, or 30 minute or less to prepare – sounds like a New Yorker’s dream!  My mouth is watering thinking about Jerk Spiced Vegan Tacos from Love & Lemons’ 85 Vegan Recipes. Chef, Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s, owner of renowned Modern Love Brooklyn, has an amazing blog with recipes as well as several vegan cookbooks, including the classic Vegaomigon. Her Porcini Ramen looks delicious for a wintery night. If you’re on the Instant Pot craze, try this Instant Pot Cauliflower and Butternut squash Thai curry. This Vegan Instant Pot cookbook has gotten rave reviews!

Vegan Deli

If you’re having a craving for cold cuts, try out Louie’s Lunchonette, for delicious plant based deli meats, located in Greenpoint. All of their packaging is sustainable!  Brooklyn Natural Foods Cafe in Prospect Heights offers a plethora of vegan options. If you’re in the city, check out Orchard Grocer, an all vegan deli and market inspired by classic NY deli’s of the past.

Vegan Dairy

Good news, there are plenty of vegan cheese options in your local natural food stores. Violife offers everything from vegan feta to vegan provolone and plenty in between.  Miyoko’s creamery, has vegan butter covered and be sure to check out her mouthwatering recipes. AND luckily for us, Riverdel, in the LES, is a full on vegan cheese shop, with rounds of artisanal vegan cheeses which are wrapped in paper! If you’re more of a DIY cheesemaker, check out the book “One Hour Dairy Free cheese”.

Carbon free bonus – Want to learn how to make “vegan dairy” at home? Riverdel is offering a Plant Milk Class, Wed. Jan 13.

P.S. Remember to share your triumphs and struggles in our Facebook Group – 350 BK Carbon Free January Challenge!

350BK Plastic Free Team


*Please note that 350 Brooklyn does not necessarily endorse the organizations that we link to, but we want to share NYC carbon free resources with you!