Volta Charging is a San Francisco-based electric vehicle charging and media company that offers free charge sessions for electric vehicle (EV) and hybrid plug-in electric vehicles (HPEV). All of Volta’s charging stations are connected to 55-inch plasma video screens that are live 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Instead of monetizing the electricity for EV charging, Volta generates ad revenue from its video screens. This means that Volta provides charging to electric vehicle drivers completely for free. No membership costs or credit cards are necessary. Just park and plug in.

Volta Inc was founded in Hawaii in 2010 by Scott Mercer and Chris Wendel. By 2021, Volta had more than 2,000 charging stations available in 23 states. Since then, their network of chargers has continued to expand, with a growing number of installations in states like Texas, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Florida, Washington and Utah.

Volta 2 Hour Limit

At most, drivers are allowed 2 hours of free parking time while using Volta charging stations. Some stations limit charging time to as little as 30 minutes. Volta’s level 2 charging stations are equipped with J1772 charging cables, which are compatible with all vehicle types EV and HPEV types in the United States. Volta chargers are conveniently located near places where people already spend time, like the parking lots of grocery stores, restaurants, fitness centers, and other shopping hotspots.

Volta EV Charging Speed

Charging time depends on how large your car’s battery is, which type of EV charger you use, how much power the charger can deliver per minute, and how much power your vehicle can accept. On average, the DC fast chargers have a charging speed of 50-60 kWh, or up to 210 miles of range per hour depending on your EV, according to the official Volta Website. Level 2 charging is estimated to dispense 7-10 kWh or up to 35 miles of range per hour.

Volta Charger Near Me

If you’re ever searching for a free charging station in your area, the Volta app will help you locate one of its plug-in ports. Within the app, users may also start or stop a charging session. Charging sessions are updated in real-time so that drivers know which ports are available and which are occupied. The app will ask for your vehicle type so that it can display the appropriate charger types.

white Tesla charging with Volta station

Charging Stations Near Me

If you’re looking for an electric vehicle charging station in your area, I recommend trying the PlugShare application iOS and Android, it can also be used on the web. PlugShare has mapped and cataloged more than 200,000 chargers across the United States. While in the app, you can upload pictures, share reviews and leave equipment updates for known charging stations. PlugShare also allows users to see whether a charging port is occupied or available.

ChargePoint, Tesla, eVgo, AmpUp, and Volta are some of the most widely used charging networks that can be found using PlugShare.

Chicago EV Charging Stations

There are a few clutch spots that offer free parking and free charging for electric and hybrid vehicles in Chicago. Each charging station is within 6 miles of the downtown area, or the Bean (201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60602). At minimum drivers are allowed 30 minutes of free parking time while charging, at most, drivers are allowed 2 hours of parking time while charging.


The following charging stations all belong to Volta. The Volta network has free level 2 charging on offer in states like California, Hawaii, New York, and Chicago. Most chargers are available 7 days a week, 24 hours, even if the associated store is closed. Volta Charging stations are usually attached to highly visible, animated, plasma screens with blue lights atop their frames. If you know of an EV charging station fit for this list, please email the details to climatechangeisorg@gmail.com. Thank you in advance.

Volta Charger

The first charger is located in Jewels Osco’s parking lot, 1224 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605. This charger is on the northwest corner of the lot. Drivers are allowed a two hour charging time limit. The associated Jewels Osco closes before midnight. There are two J1772 connector types near the animated, plasma screens.

Here’s a single Volta charger in a Walgreens parking lot in Chinatown, 316 W Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL, 60616. 6 miles from the Bean. This station has a 45-minute parking limit while charging.

The second Volta charger can be found at 111 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60607. It’s within 4.2 miles of the Bean. The J1772 chargers are on the south side of the block closest to the Walgreen’s main entrance. Parking is allowed for 45 minutes of charging time.

501 W Roosevelt Rd Chicago, IL 60607, approximately 4 miles from the Bean, chargers are near the Walgreens entrance by Canal street. There are two J1772 chargers for use with parallel parking spaces between the animated, plasma screens. The Walgreens is open 24 hours a day.

The final Volta charger is located in Lakeview East, 3531 N Broadway, Chicago, IL, 60657. There are two J1772 chargers, one in outdoor parking lot on the same level as the associated Jewels Osco, the other on the inside of the parking garage. The entrance is on the south end of the Jewels Osco; the north ramp is for exiting. Both chargers are free with a two hour parking time limit while charging.


How Fossil Fuels Are Formed

Fossil fuels are formed by geological processes acting on the remains of living organisms from millions of years ago. As organic material from deceased plants and animals becomes buried deeper and deeper underground, that material is exposed to increasing amounts of pressure and heat. This heat and pressure transforms underground plant and animal material into coal, natural gas or oil. The form that the ancient remains take depends on the type of organic matter involved, the amount of time its been buried and the degree pressure and temperature. For example, plankton and algae can naturally transition from kerogen to petroleum if given enough time.

In the 21st century, fossil fuels are burned to meet most human energy needs. They also serve as the base for common plastic products, such as shopping bags, car parts, containers, electronics, and clothing. Our reliance on fossil fuels is increasing the net amount of heat energy in the planet’s atmosphere, causing global average temperatures to rise. The resultant greenhouse gases from burning these fuels also contribute to ocean acidification, air pollution, and water pollution.

Fossil Fuels Definition

Fossil fuels are organic substances that are removed from the Earth’s crust and used for energy. The remnants of decomposing organic material naturally create carbon- and hydrogen-plentiful compounds (also known as hydrocarbons) as they become buried, compressed and heated over millions of years. Hydrocarbon deposits are then extracted from underground sources by way of mining, hydraulic fracturing, and drilling. Burning hydrocarbons produces heat energy which powers engines, generates electricity and supports industrial processes.

The energy in fossil fuels comes from the hydrocarbon within them. Those hydrocarbons come from photosynthetic organisms (life forms that use sunlight to synthesize nutrients like oxygen and sugars from water and carbon dioxide). Hydrocarbons are molecules consisting of bonded hydrogen and carbon atoms. The stored energy in fossilized hydrocarbon compounds releases energy in the form of heat when burned. Hydrocarbon combustion, the chemical reaction in which hydrocarbons interact with oxygen, also produces water and carbon dioxide.

Fossil Fuels Used For

Fossil fuels have a diverse range of uses across sectors in civilization. Oil specifically, has byproducts that are used in pesticides and fertilizers. Natural gas is sometimes used to for refrigerating and cooling equipment, and to heat buildings. Coal, perhaps the most abundant fuel source, is critical for the generation of electricity. Fossil fuels may continue to dominate our energy economy because strategies and technologies for their extraction continue to improve.

Vegan Leather

There’s no denying that leather occupies an exceptional place in fashion. So a nice-looking pair of vegan leather pants or a functional bag is a must for anyone looking to make their closet cruelty-free and more sustainable. This way, you can be confident in what you decide to wear and guilt-free about your purchase.

Vegan Leather Fabric

Vegan leather fabrics are essentially imitation leather. The benefit of choosing vegan leather is that it’s less costly to manufacture, which means its retail value is usually lower. On top of that, faux leathers do not contain animal products or products tested on animals. The ethical concerns surrounding fast fashion have caused brands like Burberry, Gucci, Versace, and Prada to ban fur in recent years.

The Truth About Vegan Leather

Vegan leather should not necessarily be thought of as an eco-friendly alternative to real leather. Most vegan and faux leathers are made of plastics containing synthetic polymers, which are derived from nonrenewable petrochemicals, i.e. crude oil and natural gases. At each phase of plastic’s lifecycle, from fossil fuel extraction and refining to manufacturing and use, and even end-of-life (incineration, recycling) greenhouse gases are generated because of these petrochemical ingredients. According to a study titled “Microfiber Release from Different Fabrics During Washing“, leathers made of synthetic plastics shed pollutants during wash and dry cycles. When plastic fabrics are exposed to physical stress, they release microfibers and greenhouse gases into the air and water.

Plant-Based Leather

The good news is that not all vegan leathers are made equal. Plant-based leathers are more environmentally friendly than conventional plastic leathers, and they’re vegan! Plant-based leather is made from repurposed plant material and agricultural wastes. If you’re interested in sustainable vegan leather, then make sure the fabric that you buy is manufactured from organic, renewable sources rather than synthetic plastics.

What Is Vegan Leather Made Of?

Vegan leather is often made from polyurethane or polyvinyl chloride. Polyurethane, sometimes abbreviated as PU, is a type of organic polymer composed of urethane (rubber) links. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), another popular synthetic plastic polymer, is made of polymerized vinyl chloride. Both PVC and PU leather are made to mimic the look and feel of real animal skin, but their properties are quite different. Authentic leather is thicker and heavier than faux leather and authentic leather is less prone to peeling and cracking over time, as it absorbs more moisture than faux leathers do.

Vegan Leather for Sale

If you’re interested in vegan leather products, consider shopping at Nordstrom, Target, Free People, or Urban Outfitters. When buying your faux leather, be sure to read the product label to find out what materials it’s made from. Finding a vegan product is not the same as finding a plant-based one. Vegan fabrics will not necessarily contain any animal-derived materials but may contain synthetic plastics, which can contribute to the build-up of pollutants in air and waterways. For more sustainable fashion, be sure that your purchases are made from renewable sources such as food waste, various crops, vegetable extracts, and or wood.

Vegandale Chicago

festival crowd with hands in the air
festival crowd

Vegandale is a food festival in Chicago, Illinois. Hundreds of people gather downtown every summer to celebrate animal welfare and sustainability. Approved Vegandale vendors are allowed to sale cruelty-free products, such as soaps, fashion, foods and drinks. The Chicago event is essentially an outdoor party that brings people from across the country together.

Vegandale’s cultural attractions are just as important as its food, it includes music, contests, performing artists, etc. For this reason, it attracts vegans as well as meat-eaters, and everyone in between. So while sampling great tasting plant-based foods, visitors can also be entertained.

Vegandale takes place at Grant Park, 100 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL.

Vegandale Chicago

Vegans and vegetarians are welcome to apply as vendors at Vegandale in Chicago. Visit their website to contact a representative for merchant opportunities. The event is 100% vegan, so all products must be free of animal derivatives. Vegandale emphasizes the moral imperative for the vegan lifestyle. Chicagoans are encouraged to step out of their comfort zone and try products that avoid animal exploitation. 

 Vegandale Tickets

Chicago Vegandale tickets are available online here. “Early Bird” tickets are only $10.00. Vegandale also has “Chicago Pack of 4” tickets for sale for $30.00. The tickets permit access to the event from 11:00 am – 7:00 pm. Vegandale allows children ages 12 and under to be admitted for free, as long as an adult ticket holder accompanies them. 


People attend vegan festivals to share creative vegan and vegetarian dishes every year. The dishes on offer are ideal for clean eaters or anyone who’s dieting. These foods are generally light in calories and shouldn’t make you drowsy as you move through your day in Chicago. If you have not already been to a vegan festival, consider adding Vegandale to your list of stops.

Food festivals in Chicago can usually be a pain for parking; luckily, Vegandale suggests that its participants use Millennium Park Garage and Millennium Lakeside Garage. If driving is not an option, public transportation (train or bus) will certainly be your next best bet. If all else fails, consider renting a Divvy bike from one of the city’s 608 stations.

Goodfood Chicago

Goodfood is a well-known international food vendor. They will likely make another appearance at the next Vegandale gethering. Other vendors at the event include:

  • Vegan Street Food Chicago
  • The Bakehouse
  • Cinnaholic
  • Native Foods
  • Sweet Vegan Bites
  • Happy Bottom
  • Unearth Goodness
  • Mermaid’s Munchies
  • Danie’s Natural Juice Blends
  • Gr8 Bakes, Paulie Gee’s
  • Kale My Name
  • Justveggies
  • Vegan Bakers Man

Chicago Vegan Fest

If you’re a Chicago resident or just visiting, check to see if there are any vegan festivals that you might be interested in nearby. These fests make for a great time in the windy city during the summer. Whether you are going on a romantic date, vacationing with friends, or backpacking solo, events like Vegandale are well worth the price of admission.  

Vegan Leather Pros and Cons

leather jackets hanging on coat rack

The main benefit of vegan leather is that it’s less expensive than leather made from animal skin. The synthetic materials in vegan leather usually consist of organic polymers, like polyurethane, which are cheaper to manufacture than authentic leather. Synthetic, vegan leathers are also much easier to clean, as of their high plastic content. On the other hand, authentic leathers have pores and are thus more prone to absorbing liquid and staining.

The downside of vegan leather is that it won’t last as long as real animal skin. Synthetic leathers do not bend well, so they tend to wrinkle and crack over time. Another drawback to vegan leather is that many of them are made from plastics that contain synthetic polymers, which are derived from nonrenewable petrochemicals, like crude oil and natural gases. Plastics are responsible for greenhouse gas emissions at each stage of their lifecycles, from production to landfills. This is why it’s important to find synthetic leathers that are created with plant-based materials, rather than plastic products.

Vegan vs. Real Leather

There are several differences between vegan and real leather. One factor that many wonder about is the quality and durability. While vegan leather is usually considered to be more environmentally friendly, the material is thinner and can become less durable over time, while genuine leather is sturdy and can last over ten years with maintenance.

What Is Bonded Leather?

Bonded leather is a mix of real and faux leather. This material is a combination of recycled real leather that has been blended with synthetic leather. The threads are rolled together with adhesives and bonded onto a paper backing to create bonded leather. Some leather-making companies also add coatings of polyurethane to provide a skin-like texture. If you’re wondering if your product is made with bonded leather, check for the following names:

  • LeatherSoft
  • Faux Leather
  • Composite
  • Vinyl
  • Reconstituted

Vegan Leather Fabric for Sale

Popular places to purchase vegan leather include Etsy, Fabric.com, and more websites. Vegan leather is relatively cheap to acquire; Walmart even sells faux leather textiles for less than $5. Shop faux leather fabric by the yard at your trusted fabric provider. Many people report that it’s easier to work with and make vegan leather leather pants, jackets, and other fabric items. 

Is Seitan Healthy For Weight Loss?

woman holding tape measurer around waist

Plant-based diets are more than just a strategy for promoting sustainable agriculture, they can also improve weight loss efforts and reduce heart disease risks. Plant proteins like seitan are generally lower in fats and carbohydrates compared to animal proteins, so seitan is an ideal food while dieting for weight loss. Carbohydrates are macronutrients taken from the foods that we consume. Our bodies then convert carbohydrates into glucose, which is used as energy.

Effects of Low-Carbohydrate Vegan Diets On Body Weight and Cardiovascular Health

A 2014 randomized controlled trial titled, “Effect of a 6-Month Vegan Low-Carbohydrate (‘Eco-Atkins’) Diet On Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Body Weight In Hyperlipidaemic Adults: A Randomised Controlled Trial“, compared the effects of low-carbohydrate vegan diets (containing protein and fat from plant-based sources) to high-carbohydrate ovo-lacto vegetarian diets (containing some animal sources of protein and fat).

Research Method and Design

The 23 participants who completed the study were technically overweight, hyperlipidemic men and women. They were instructed to eat either the low carbohydrate or the high carbohydrate meal plan over six months after finishing a one-month-all variation of the diets. The macronutrient intake for the low-carbohydrate meal plan had 26% of energy come from carbohydrates, 31% from protein, and 43% from fat. For the high-carbohydrate meal plan, 58% of energy came from carbohydrates, 16% from protein, and 25% from fat.

The results of the study: weight loss for the low-carbohydrate group increased to -15.2 pounds compared to the -12.7 pounds weight loss increase for the high-carbohydrate participants. In addition, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (also known as bad cholesterol) and triglyceride reductions were more pronounced in the low-carbohydrate group.

Conclusion Drawing

The study’s authors conclude that low-carbohydrate vegan diets that get protein and fat from plant foods like seitan have weight loss advantages over high-carbohydrate ovo-lacto vegetarian diets that contain animal fats and proteins. Furthermore, low-carb vegan diets had greater lipid-lowering benefits than high-carb diets did, making low-carb vegan diets superior for limiting heart disease risks.

Is Seitan Healthy

home made seitan chunks in bowl
homemade seitan

Seitan, pronounced say-tan, is low in calories, low in carbohydrates, low in fat, contains zero cholesterol, and is high in protein – as it is derived from pure wheat gluten. Gluten is a class of proteins that can also be found in barley, rye, wheat, and triticale. Among gluten contains omega-6 fatty acids, iron, phosphorus, and selenium.

According to Kerith Duncanson, a senior research fellow at the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle, a portion of no bigger than the size of the palm of a person’s hand contains approximately 75 grams of protein. This means that seitan contains about three times as much protein as beef or lamb. Hunter adds that a portion no bigger than the size of the palm of a person’s hand contains 75 grams of protein. Among gluten contains omega-6 fatty acids, iron, phosphorus, and selenium.

In addition, plant proteins including seitan have not been associated with increased risks of heart disease. which is the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the CDC. Seitan and other plant proteins are therefore healthy alternative to animal meats.

Make It Yourself

Although it’s convenient to make seitan at home, many people prefer to buy it pre-made from stores and restaurants. However, store-bought seitan can come with extra sodium, flavoring, preservatives, or oils. The best way to avoid subtracting from the nutritional quality of your seitan is to make it yourself. Making your seitan yourself not only safeguards you against undesirable additives, but it also allows you to better customize the meal to your liking.

Why Epicurious Left Beef Recipes Behind

slab of raw beef
slab of raw beef

This year, the food company Epicurious decided that it would not add anymore beef recipes to its “recipe’s list”. The company stated that it will no longer feature recipes that include beef on its homepage or social media feed. Epicurious made it obvious that they were leaving beef behind for climate change, and posted that “… think of this decision as not anti-beef but rather pro-planet”. In this decision, Epicurious supports sustainable agriculture in more ways that one.

Why Has Epicurious Banned Beef Recipes?

To promote sustainable agriculture, Epicurious will not longer add beef recipes to its site. The consequences of unsustainable farming practices are most apparent in water and land use. Livestock animals eat massive amounts of vegetation so that they can meet their caloric requirements. Cows are large animals and are costly to raise to maturity. Just one dairy cow may consume tens of thousands more calories than any human does, and their calories come strictly for plants. Growing enough food for livestock limits the amount of land and water that could be used for human consumable crops. Livestock animals also need space to roam, play and interact.

Why Are Cows Bad for the Environment?

We must be tactful in how we use land, as it is not an unlimited asset. The same is true of our air. Methane is an element of natural gas found in underground reserves, produced in land-fills and released during enteric fermentation in ruminants, like cows. As mentioned in Epicurious’ blog post, “Every Question You Have About Cattle, Climate, and Why Epicurious Is Done With Beef”, the crops fed to livestock is made using pesticides and fertilizer that are derived from fossil fuels.

When that feed is metabolized in cows, it is converted into manure that is then spread over fields or runs off into water ways. In certain water systems, organic waste introduces excess nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, and facilitates algae overgrowth. Algae blooms deplete the oxygen and sunlight from surface water ecosystems, causing illness and sometimes death in other species within the environment. On land, manure releases nitrous oxide and methane into airways and drives rising temperatures. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that in 2019, 10 percent of America’s greenhouse gas emissions came from its agriculture sector.

Epicurious has expressed that not eating beef is a means to reduce one’s carbon footprint. Here at ecoTreatise, we believe pork, chicken, seafood and dairy may also be left behind if chefs are looking to further reduce their overall environmental impacts. Sustainable lifestyles require that we be mindful of the water, land and energy intensity of the products we consume.

What Foods Are Anti-Inflammatory?

Great Value Antioxidant Blend with strawberries, blueberries and rasberries
Great Value Antioxidant Blend with strawberries, blueberries and rasberries

Inflammation is the body’s immune response to infections, injuries, diseases, and disorders which generally helps the body heal itself. Sometimes inflammation occurs when it’s not supposed to, or it may occur in excess, or persist longer than it needs to. In these cases, inflammation can be the source of a problem, rather than the solution to it. Cardiovascular disease, infections, diabetes, and allergies are conditions associated with chronic inflammation. Luckily, some foods and plants contain anti-inflammatory properties, which can be used to reduce or manage inflammation levels. The below list of anti-inflammatory foods are all vegan-friendly!

What Is Inflammation?

Inflammation is your immune system’s cellular and molecular reaction aimed at healing harmful stimuli that may be prompted by several factors, including pathogens, damaged cells, toxic compounds, or irradiation. The inflammatory response happens when specialized cells recognize detrimental stimuli and activate inflammatory pathways. Once inflammatory markers are released, inflammatory cells are sent to respond to the inciting stimuli.


Berries are arguable the most essential anti-inflammatory food item. Blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, elderberries, raspberries and strawberries – as well as dozens of other fruits – contain anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are pigments that have an array of health benefits. This miraculous compound is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-obesity, anti-angiogenesis, anti-cancer, anti-diabetes, anti-microbial. Not to mention, most fruits and berries are rich in antioxidants, meaning that they help protect bodily cells against oxidative stress.


Turmeric is an India-native plant which is readily available in most super markets and local groceries around the world. Turmeric contains curcumin, which has been shown to inhibit NF-κB activation, a protein complex involved in cellular inflammatory responses. Curcumin has also proven useful in improving systemic markers of oxidative stress, which is closely associated with inflammation and chronic disease.

Capsicum Baccatum Peppers

Capsicum baccatum is a South American and South African species of chili pepper that is has a sweetish flavor and a pungent, hot taste. A 2012 study by researchers Aline Rigon Zimmer, Bianca Leonardi, DiogoMiron, Elfrides Schapoval, Jarbas Rodrigues de Oliveira and Grace Gosmann suggests that the butanol and the crude ethanolic extracts of Capsicum baccatum showed anti-inflammatory effects.


Broccoli contains phytonutrients, vitamins (C, A, K and B) and is low in fat. Broccoli can be used to treat oxidation and fight disease. Broccoli suppresses pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α and IL-1β by blocking NF-κB production in the body.

Cowspiracy Facts: Wildlife

two tucans in managed environment

The Cowspiracy film draws a cogent connection between animal agriculture and our climate change crisis. The film uses evidence-based research to support its claims about human activity across sectors, including how much land is being used and how humanity interacts with Earth’s animal populations and plant populations.

Cowspiracy’s references can be found on its official website under the “Facts” section. References for wildlife information include the The United States Bureau of Land Management, Predator Defense and a few individual opinion pieces. Most notably, a paper by author Vaclav Smil (2011), entitled “Harvesting the Biosphere: The Human Impact”. This document posits that human activities, primarily deforestation and ecosystem conversion, have demonstrably changed Earth’s biomass (both in its phytomass and its zoomass). For thousands of years, humans have used agriculture to help produce its resources. And because we’re omnivores, we have manipulated the plants around us as well as the use of certain animals in agriculture settings, such as cows, sheep, pigs, and poultry.

Benchmark Map of Forest Carbon Stocks In Tropical Regions Across Three Continents

The industrialization of agriculture production greatly enhanced the ability to raise livestock and grow specific crops. The conjunction of these activities has contributed to alterations in tropical forests, lakes and coral reefs ecosystems. The planet’s biomass, especially its phytomass, has paid a toll for excessive human use, according to Vaclav Smil.

Smil refers to observational data collected from Benchmark map of forest carbon stocks in tropical regions across three continents, and light detection and ranging, LIDAR, to reveal the vertical structure of forests (NASA 2010) as evidence to suggest that the global index of phytomass has decreased as human energy use has increased. Furthermore, as the populations of humans and domesticated animals have climbed in the most developed nations, zoomass of wild terrestrial animals has fallen. Earth’s total biomass then, is disproportionately made up of humans and domesticated animals relative to population sizes which preceded industrialization.

Bureau of Land Management and Predator Defense

Both the Bureau of Land Management and Predator Defense sources mention on Cowspiracy’s “Facts” page are short reads which share a common thread: the United States has authorized the killing of wild fauna. The Bureau of Land Management states that killing wildlife populations is aimed at reducing “overall herd growth rates”. The Wildlife Services on the other hand kills fauna to protect agriculture crops on both private and public lands. These methods go beyond wildlife management. Unfortunately, techniques that involve forcibly eliminating fauna further narrows the populations of animals that make up Earth’s total biomass, thereupon degrading biodiversity in favor of a limited selection of species.

Berlin Universities’ Canteens Remove Meat For Climate Change

Beginning this October, 2021, cafeterias at 20 Berlin universities will make their menus 68% vegan, 48% vegetarian, and 4% meat and fish. Mondays will be completely meat exempt, meaning that there will be no meat options available in the canteens on those days. It appears that there’s an emerging demographic of vegan eaters among Germany’s student body. The demand among Berlin students likely prompted the university’s decision to include plant-based options. However, the decision may have also been inspired by the desire to reduce carbon footprints in universities across Berlin.

Its thanks to the work of Studierendenwerk, a student affairs non-profit group, Berlin’s university cafeteria menus have been adding plant-based options over the past year or so. Daniela Kummle of Studierendenwerk told the Gaurdian that “we developed a new nutritional concept mainly because students have repeatedly approached us with the request for a more climate-friendly offer at their canteens”. Kummle says that the success of vegan and vegetarian options in canteens are evidence of transitions in student behavior. It may be fair to say that student’s minds are also undergoing a shift in Berlin.

Why Have Berlin University Cafeterias Dropped 96% of Meat

Greenhouse gas emissions from the production livestock goods, especially beef, are relatively high compared to what it takes to produce plant based foods. Livestock accounts for nearly 15% of greenhouse gas emissions globally; 41% of those emissions are borne from making beef foods.

Globally, generous amounts of farm land space are dedicated to the crops needed to feed dense populations of livestock animals, pigs, cows, chicken, sheep and goat. These animals, being animals primarily herbivorous, have diets that consist of wheat, barely, silage, wheat, oats, corn, seeds and fruits. Our World in Data estimates that 80% of global agriculture acreage is taken up by livestock operations, even though livestock operations generate less than 20% of the world’s consumed calories.

Diets that are more plant based can limit the amount of farm acreage that is allotted for livestock and animal crops. Reducing meat consumption will effectively decrease the demand for animals in agriculture. Also, switching to more plant-based foods could help save water. Fruit and vegetable crops require less fresh water than animal-feed crops. Animal products produce less food per ton of product than fruit and vegetable crops, making the water footprint of animal products higher than that of crop products. In order to conserve water and make better use of farm land, we can rethink our relationship with food and the way we practice agriculture.