I'm participating in One Small Change, making one intentional change each month to make our family lifestyle better for the environment. So far we've decreased our shopping and use of disposable plastic, and increased our use of public transportation.
So what is the next step? I was debating between meat and fabric, and they both have big issues. Meat production uses more land than feeding the same number of vegetarians would, and the methane gas produced by cattle actually contributes to global warming. And then there are all the ethical issues involved in how we raise and kill the animals. So there are a lot of reasons for environmentalists to become vegetarians.
On the other hand, cotton may be "the fabric of our lives", but conventional cotton farming uses massive amounts of pesticides. Organic cotton is much better for the environment, but it's more expensive and would require that I seek alternatives for much of the fabric I use.
But after consulting as a family, we are going to go with the meat this month. We aren't going to become vegetarians, but we are going to cut back. Yes, ethically raised meat is more expensive - but that provides a natural limit on our consumption. So most meals from now on will be vegetarian, because we will only eat organic, ethically raised, local meat. I'm not sure how that will affect eating out - I'm not ready to totally give up restaurants, so we'll see how that goes.
Plant-based diet, here we come!