On Monday 14 June, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils will be joining organisations across Oxfordshire by taking part in the #SwitchUpYourLunch campaign.
The campaign, run by Good Food Oxford and Oxfordshire Greentech, asks people, companies, schools, universities and community groups to pledge to eat a vegetarian or vegan lunch for one day in June each year to help make a difference to the environmental impact of our food in Oxfordshire.
Our diets tend to include lots of meat and dairy, which produces significant amounts of Co2. While we can do a lot to reduce our carbon and ecological footprints by buying local food, reducing the amount of animal products we consume and introducing more vegetarian and plant-based meals into our diets would have a much greater impact. By pledging to eat a vegetarian or vegan meal more often, we can help to slow climate change, conserve precious natural resources, and improve our health.
Cllr Sue Cooper, Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “We’ve made tackling the climate emergency a key priority and it is our aim for South Oxfordshire to be a carbon neutral district by 2030. Reducing our meat consumption is just one small action that people can take, and something that could make a real difference if enough people do it.”
Cllr Catherine Webber, Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency and Environment at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “Tackling the Climate Emergency is at the heart of our Corporate Plan, and as a society we must do all we can to reduce our carbon footprint. Even small actions, such as switching your lunch to a vegetarian option for a day, can make a real difference by reducing your personal carbon footprint, so I am very pleased to be supporting this campaign.”
To take part on 14 June simply share a photo of your vegetarian lunch on social media tagging #SwitchUpYourLunch, @goodfoodoxford and @ox_greentech. To find out more about the campaign visit goodfoodoxford.org/switchupyourlunch
Pledging support for the #SwitchUpYourLunch campaign is the latest action the councils are taking to address the climate emergency, a key priority in their respective new Corporate Plans.
South Oxfordshire also declared an Ecological Emergency and introduced a Climate and Ecological Emergencies Advisory Committee (CEEAC) to advise Cabinet on the climate and ecological crises, while the Vale launched its own Climate Emergency Advisory Committee.
Both councils have set targets to become a carbon neutral council by 2025 for south and by 2030 for Vale, and a carbon neutral district by 2030 and 2045 respective. South Oxfordshire has also published updated Air Quality Guidance for Developers.
There are some exciting new projects just around the corner too, both districts are working closely with Oxfordshire County Council on a park and charge scheme which aims to install electric vehicle chargers in the district to encourage those who genuinely need to use a car to make the switch away from petrol or diesel. The councils continue to encourage people to walk, cycle or use public transport where possible, and continue to work with partners on projects which help to improve the local infrastructure to make travelling locally as easy and as safe as possible.