Have you ever considered going vegetarian but haven’t felt committed enough to really take the plunge? If so, then WUSTL’s new Green Monday Pledge is the perfect opportunity to give your herbivore side a shot. After garnering widespread success in Hong Kong, founder David Yeung has decided to bring Green Monday to the United States and encouraged WashU to be among the first universities to launch the program.
Ok, so we realize that not everyone is into the whole vegetarian thing and it may have been disconcerting to see students wearing “Green Monday” T-shirts, handing out pamphlets and encouraging you to hold the meat…while you waited in line to order everyone’s favorite Monday DUC special: sesame chicken. But if you’re okay with that sacrifice, going veg on Mondays could actually make a big difference.
While many of us know that a vegetarian lifestyle serves health purposes like reducing the risk of heart disease that comes with eating red meat, as well as fulfilling the emotional goals of not harming animals, most people don’t realize how vegetarian lifestyles help the environment. Veronica Jong of the College of the South 40 explains:
“As most people are unaware, the production of food, especially meat, is a large contributing factor to global warming. In fact, current production levels of meat are responsible for approximately 18% of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gases globally produced per year, which is more than what is produced by all cars, trains, and planes combined. By going vegetarian at least one day per week, we can substantially reduce carbon emission’s detrimental impact.“
Every Monday, you will be able to find Green Monday ambassadors at either the DUC from 12pm to 1 pm or Bear’s Den and the Village from 6pm to 7 pm, where you will have the opportunity to take the pledge and get your name on the wall of Green Monday badges.
The Office of Sustainability will also be featuring weekly messages educating the WUSTL community on agriculture’s role in climate change, water consumption, waste generation and global hunger.
Still feel intimidated or maybe unsure how you can go on without your daily Carvery wrap? Jong has some recommendations:
“Wash. U. Dining Services has done a stellar job in offering scrumptious vegetarian options for all meals of the day: a hot porridge bar of steel-cut oats or quinoa with berry compotes and infused local honey; green lentil cake with pickled red onions, tempeh and smoked tomato nage; savory French onion soup; and so much more to come! The meals go beyond the general misconception of just salads all day, every day.”
If you’re interested in checking out what Green Monday is all about, take a look at the schedule provided by the Office of Sustainability.
Want to be even more green? Check out these vegetarian recipes and tips:
- 5 Vegetarian-Friendly Foods that Have a Surprising Amount of Protein
- How to Host a Vegetarian Thanksgiving
- The Smart Girl’s Guide to Going Vegetarian
- Homemade Veggie Chorizo
- Vegetarian Chili