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  • Young Climate Warriors

12 days of COP27 ... how many plant-based meals can you create?

Updated: Nov 11, 2022

This year’s big Climate Change conference is nearly here – from 7th - 18th November. It’s called COP27 and is being held in Sharm el-Sheik on the coast of Egypt – you might remember last year’s COP26 was in Glasgow, Scotland. Representatives from almost every country in the world are meeting to help us all make global decisions and commitments to tackle climate change. But what about ‘little ME’ – how can I really make a difference?

Are you ready for this challenge? … You’re going to need to be super imaginative, adventurous and brave – all key skills for a Young Climate Warrior! It’s about ‘ME’ – and MEat, and MEthane. The aim is to try to eat lots of plant-based MEals for the whole of the duration of COP27 – that’s 12 days! Changing to plant-based foods is one of the most powerful ways for us, as individuals, to help combat climate change.

If it seems a bit overwhelming, maybe start by thinking of some key MEal ingredients. The following are all ‘plant-based proteins’ - chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, almonds, quinoa, wild rice, beans, almonds, peas, chia and hemp seeds, sweetcorn, and even spirulina - a type of algae! Did you know dark green vegetables like broccoli and kale, mushrooms and baked potatoes also contain protein!? How about falafels – it’s good fun to shape them with your hands. Veggie pasta bake? Autumnal butternut squash soup – naturally sweet and warming? Pea risotto? Cool Mexican bean wraps? Cashew nut stir-fry? Wild rice pilaf? Peanut butter on toast? Lentil bolognese? Crispy corn fritters? Three bean chilli? Rainbow Risotto topped with almonds. Kid-friendly quinoa salad? You could always venture even further into meat alternatives like tofu or soy mince.

So what’s the link with MEthane? Well, MEthane is a really powerful greenhouse gas – its impact on climate change is around 34 times greater than carbon dioxide over 100 years. It is released into the atmosphere by wetlands and melting permafrost, as well as via agriculture, fossil fuel mining and landfill waste. You have probably heard that cows, sheep and goats produce lots of methane when they burp. Did you know that fish farming also produces methane because fish poo and uneaten fish food gather at the bottom of ponds where there is barely any oxygen, making it the perfect environment for methane to be produced? Rice paddy fields are also a source of methane. By reducing our consumption of meat and farmed fish by eating more plant-based foods we can help to lower our impact on climate change. Try out the BBC Climate Change Foods calculator?

HIT THE RED BUTTON when ‘little ME’ has made a special MEal, helped reduce our MEat consumption, and reduced our MEthane emissions.


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