Berkeley Becomes First City In The U.S. To Approve A Resolution To Implement Green Mondays Promoting Plant-Based Food

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The Berkeley City Council unanimously approved a resolution to implement “Green Monday” in partnership with Green Monday US.

Public programs, posters, and literature on the environmental advantages of plant-based food choices will be featured at libraries, and community centers around town. Green Monday certificates will be issued to restaurants featuring vegan items on their menus. All facilities owned and or managed by the City of Berkeley will provide plant-based foods on Mondays (or any other day of the week), and the Council itself will procure vegan food for its meetings.

In June, the Council declared a Climate Emergency and resolved to become carbon neutral by 2030. Mayor Jesse Arreguin, along with Councilmembers Kate Harrison and Cheryl Davila, convened a Climate Emergency Town Hall meeting last month, attended by representatives of nine Bay Area counties.

Speaking in support of the Resolution at the City Council meeting, Green Monday US Coordinator Amy Halpern-Laff remarked, “Animal agriculture creates more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector—that’s more than all the planes, trains, and cars in the world combined! Halpern-Laff also pointed out that around 80% of deforestation in the Amazon is due to animal agriculture and livestock grazing.

“According to scientists and researchers, a global switch to diets that rely less on meat and more on fruit and vegetables is one of the most effective actions to counter climate change, food insecurity, water scarcity, not to mention the public health crisis,” noted Hong Kong-based David Yeun who founded the startup in 2012 to promote healthy and sustainable living. “In fact, a plant-based diet could save up to 8 million lives by 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds, and lead to healthcare-related savings and avoided climate damages of $1.5 trillion. The Berkeley Green Monday Resolution is a trailblazing example for cities and countries around the world to follow.“

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