Could you skip eating meat for a month? Organizers of the new Carbon Footprint Eating challenge are hoping that a Meatless Month for Mother Earth will offer so many personal health and global climate benefits that it becomes a new lifestyle for many.

They understand that some people will want more flexibility – like eating turkey on Thanksgiving, while others will want to take it a step further and eliminate dairy and all animal-based foods for a vegan diet. So, they have organized a challenge for flexitarian, vegetarian and vegan diet options that reduces everyone’s carbon footprint.

Using data collected by the world’s leading resources for climate solutions at Project Drawdown, two local organizations, KC Drawdown Society and Carbon Footprint Eating, have selected one of the top climate solutions for their challenge. Project Drawdown outlines 80 solutions ranked by the greatest impact on reducing carbon emissions. Changing to a plant-based diet is ranked #4 for its potential large impact. The solution shows how paring down meat and dairy in favor of plant-based foods could dramatically reduce land clearing, fertilizer use and greenhouse gas emissions from animals raised for food.

According to a 2016 study cited by Drawdown, “business-as-usual emissions could be reduced by as much as 70 percent through adopting a vegan diet and 63 percent for a vegetarian diet, which includes cheese, milk and eggs. Additionally, $1 trillion in annual health-care costs and lost productivity would be saved.”

The Carbon Footprint Eating website offers meal planning, recipes, cookbooks, restaurant recommendations and travel guides. Participants can join the initiative at any time. Those who started with the official launch on September 22 and new registrants will have an online celebration at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 22. Anyone is welcome to join by requesting the Zoom link at Carbon Footprint Eating.

For more information, email CarbonFootprintEating@gmail.com.