Take climate action through the foods you choose

Male sitting on a garden box biting into an apple

Did you know that what we eat and where it comes from can have a big impact on our carbon emissions? More and more people are choosing to eat plant-based foods as a way of helping to reduce emissions and tackling climate change.

This page provides information about the climate impacts of growing and eating red meat. Any changes to your diet should be done in consultation with a medical professional.

In Australia, agriculture contributes around 13% of our greenhouse gas emissions each year. Nearly half of these emissions are methane. Methane is produced by cows and sheep when they digest food.

Another source of emissions related to agriculture is land clearing for pastures and grazing. Australia has been identified as a global hotspot for land-clearing with a lot of this used to help the agricultural sector grow.

Growing and eating red meat has a greater impact on our carbon emissions. It can create up to fifty times the footprint of many locally grown vegetables and fruit. 

A report from the United Nations Environment Programme says that “animal products, both meat and dairy, in general require more resources and cause higher emissions than plant-based alternatives”.

The report notes that a global shift towards adding more plant-based foods to our diets could help to reduce food production greenhouse gas emissions by 70%.

Not only can choosing plant-based foods have positive impact on the health of the planet, but they can be delicious and exciting too. Here in Yarra, we’re lucky to have so many delicious plant-based eateries. Why not try some?

What you can do

  • Make fresh fruit and vegetables, grains, beans and plant-based proteins a bigger part of your diet. 
  • Increase your number of plant-based meals per week.
  • Try out a plant-based eatery next time you eat out with friends or family.
  • Support sustainable agriculture by choosing local produce whenever you can.

Helping you choose plant-based foods

We have lots of resources to help you choose plant-based foods more often.

Watch this interactive cooking class with Open Table to learn how to cook two delicious plant-based zero-waste dishes, and hear how to ditch fossil fuels and go all-electric at home.

Title slide to webinar recording that says 'Climate action cookalong'


Shannon Martinez, owner and head chef at Smith and Daughters and Smith and Deli, talks about why we need to eat a lot more plants if we are to tackle the climate crisis.

Shannon Martinez, owner and head chef at Smith and Daughters and Smith and Deli, provides some top tips for cooking more plant-based meals at home.

Want to cook something plant-based and super delicious? Watch Shannon Martinez cook a scrumptious corn congee and then see if you can make it at home.

We also have longer conversations about putting veggies at the centre of your diet and taking climate action through the foods we eat. Tune into these insightful, interesting and entertaining webinars with: 

  • Shannon Martinez, owner and head chef at Smith and Daughters and Smith and Deli.
  • Gemma Plesman, Campaign Manager, Wilderness Society.
  • Alice Zaslavsky aka Alice in Frames, cookbook author, speaker, TV and radio host and champion of all things veg!

If you're keen to cook Shannon Martinez’s plant-based sausage roll as seen in this workshop, here is the recipe [PDF 72kb].