Did you know?
GOING DAIRY-FREE CAN REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
Swapping butter with plant-based spreads for just one day a week can help the environment.
The Carbon Trust, a leading independent expert in sustainability, found that reducing butter in our diets has environmental benefits. It also found that plant-based Flora Freedom has a much lower impact on climate change, freshwater consumption and land use than the dairy-based alternative.
Well, a 500g block of butter results in 4.75kg of carbon emissions, requires 82L of freshwater consumption and 8.5m2 of land use. Compare this to a 500g tub of Flora Freedom that results in only 330g of carbon emissions, requires 45L of freshwater consumption and around 1m2 of land use.
||GHG footprint (kg CO2e/500g***)
||Freshwater* footprint (lt/500g)
||Land footprint (m2/500g)
* Taking into account Blue Water (groundwater and surface water abstraction)
**Based on previous Carbon Trust studies we have assumed that retail, use and end of life emissions for butter are negligible accounting for less than 3% of footprint.
*** Footprint incudes Polypropylene packaging
The Carbon Trust also found that over a third (37.6%) of butter’s carbon footprint comes from the methane produced by cows! This is one of the main contributors to climate change, as methane is 25x more powerful as a greenhouse gas than CO2.
Methane accounts for a staggering 1.77kg of the 4.75kg of CO2 equivalent emitted during the production of the milk required for butter. That’s one of the major reasons that its environmental impact is so much higher than plant-based spreads.
If we all make positive changes to our diet to reduce our personal environmental impact, we can play a vital role in protecting our planet.
For instance, if you simply switch from butter to Flora Freedom for just one day a week for a year, you could reduce your carbon emissions by the same amount produced by leaving a TV on standby for a year and a half – or the equivalent of watching almost two seasons of Peaky Blinders!
If a family of four were to do the same, they would cut their carbon footprint by the same amount it takes to keep a TV on standby for seven years. This is equivalent to reducing the carbon emissions from watching four seasons of Games of Thrones on TV. Four seasons!
Here are some more surprising facts and figures:
- The UK public eats 140,000 tonnes of butter each year
- The carbon footprint associated with making this much butter is on a par with powering all the homes in Liverpool and Southampton for 12 months
- The UK’s annual production of butter requires the same amount of freshwater as it takes to fill 10,000 Olympic-size swimming pools
By making simple swaps, such as replacing butter with a plant-based alternative, we can increase our chances of securing a more sustainable future.
What day of the week will be your ‘butter-free’ day?
The Carbon Trust is a leading independent expert in sustainability. Its mission is to accelerate the move to a sustainable, low carbon economy.
^By butter we are referring to the impact of both block butter and spreadable butter