An eco-friendly way for climate change mitigation by the use of vegetables

Muhammad Qasim, Qudrat Ullah, Irfan Haidri

Department of Environmental Sciences

Government College University, Faisalabad, Punjab Faisalabad


In a number of ways, using veggies can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. First of all, compared to animal products like meat and dairy, producing vegetables often uses less energy and resources. More consequently, diets focused on vegetables often have lower carbon footprints than diets based on animals. Additionally, the growing of vegetables can aid in the atmospheric sequestration of carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. During photosynthesis, plants take in carbon dioxide and deposit it as carbon in both their tissues and the soil. This aids in reducing the negative impact of greenhouse gas emissions. Vegetarian diets can also lessen the need for the resources and land needed for breeding animals for food. Deforestation is a key cause of greenhouse gas emissions, thus this may help stop it. As a whole, using veggies can contribute to a healthier and more sustainable food system, hence lowering greenhouse gas emissions.


In many ways, using veggies can help cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. First off, since the processing of animal products is frequently more resource-intensive and produces more greenhouse gases, diets heavy in vegetables tend to have a lower impact on the environment than diets high in dairy and meat products. A study in the journal Nature found that adopting a plant-based diet might reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by as much as 70% (Springmann et al., 2018). Another study revealed that switching to a plant-based diet could cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 50% when compared to the usual American diet (Hallström et al., 2015). Growing vegetables can assist in removing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in addition to the other direct advantages of eating a diet high in vegetables. A study in the journal PLOS ONE found that using cover crops, crop rotations, and little tillage while growing vegetables can assist to lower greenhouse gas emissions and boost carbon sequestration (Smith et al., 2015). Vegetable consumption can generally assist in lowering the release of greenhouse gases and reducing the effects of climate change. A growing corpus of scientific research backs these advantages.

In this blog, we will discuss the way of climate change mitigation through the use of vegetables.

Plant-based diets reduce greenhouse gas emissions

According to a 2014 study that appeared in the journal Climatic Change, shifting to a diet consisting solely of plants may reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by up to 50%. According to the study’s findings, adopting a plant-based diet can significantly reduce the effects of climate change (Gephart et al., 2014).

Reduced land use and deforestation

Vegetable farming uses less land than animal farming, which can lessen deforestation and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing meat consumption and switching to a plant-based diet might free up space for reforestation, which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a report published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology in 2018 (Poore and Nemecek, 2018).

Reduced use of fertilizers

Generally speaking, vegetables require less fertilizer than major feed crops like corn and soybeans. Reducing fertilizer use can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions because fertilizer production and consumption can contribute to these emissions. Reduced nitrogen fertilizer use might dramatically lower agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, according to a 2019 study that was published in the journal Nature (Feng et al., 2019).

Reduced emissions from livestock

Through their digestive processes, livestock produces enormous volumes of greenhouse gases, mainly methane. The consumption of animal products can be decreased, and diets can be changed to include more plant-based foods. According to a 2016 study in the journal Environmental Research Letters, cutting back on meat intake worldwide might cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30%. (Hedenus et al., 2014). With 14.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions coming from livestock farming, it is a substantial source of global carbon emissions. (FAO, 2013). Enhancing feed efficiency, cutting waste, and employing renewable energy sources are just a few methods for lowering carbon emissions from cattle.

Organic farming

Reduced greenhouse gas emissions can also be achieved through organic farming, which cultivates crops without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. In comparison to traditional farming methods, organic farming can cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 35%, according to a study that was published in the journal Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment (Tuomisto et al., 2012).

Reducing carbon emissions from transportation

Lowering transportation-related carbon emissions is one of the most crucial tasks in combating climate change. (Rachel Aldred et al., 2021). Transporting meat from farms to markets and then to our homes requires a significant amount of energy and produces greenhouse emissions. On the other hand, vegetables frequently require less processing and shipping, which produces fewer greenhouse emissions.

Increasing carbon sequestration

The process of removing carbon dioxide from the environment and depositing it in different environments, such as soils, forests, or deep within geological formations, is known as carbon sequestration. Increased carbon sequestration is essential to reducing the effects of climate change (Zomer et al., (2016). Plants, especially vegetables, absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during photosynthesis. Eating more vegetables and adopting sustainable farming practices will help increase carbon sequestration and reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide.


Vegetable waste that is composted prevents organic waste from ending up in landfills, as it would otherwise degrade and release methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Composting can cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 1.3 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per metric ton of organic waste, according to research published in the Journal of Environmental Management (Muthu et al., 2014).

Reduced food waste vegetable

Waste reduction can also aid in lowering greenhouse gas emissions. By 2050, research in the journal Environmental Science & Technology found that cutting food waste by 50% might result in an annual reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases of up to 4.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent (Kummu et al., 2012).


Vegetable consumption can lower greenhouse gases in a number of ways. Compared to meat and dairy products, vegetables often have a reduced carbon footprint. The main greenhouse gas emissions from livestock farming are methane and nitrous oxide, which are both more harmful than carbon dioxide. Vegetables can lessen the overall environmental impact of our diets by taking the place of meat and dairy products. Since trees capture carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, deforestation significantly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. One of the main causes of deforestation is livestock rearing, which involves clearing forests to make room for grazing space or to cultivate feed crops. We can lessen the need for grazing areas and food crops, which lessens the stress on forests, by eating greater amounts of produce and fewer animal products. Production of meat, dairy, and eggs uses a greater amount of energy and resources than the production of vegetables. For instance, raising cattle takes a lot of water for irrigation and drinking, and feed crops need pesticides and fertilizers that increase greenhouse gas emissions. While requiring less water and other resources to cultivate, vegetables are an environmentally friendly food option. Overall, increasing the number of vegetables in our diets while decreasing the amount of meat and dairy we consume can assist to lower emissions of greenhouse gases and lessen the effects of climate change.


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