Cows produce methane which cause dairy products to have a higher carbon footprint than other vegetarian animal products such as eggs or honey. Another issue is that cattle dung and urine produce nitrous oxide which is a greenhouse gas 298 times more potent than carbon dioxide in contributing to global warming. Reducing or eliminating dairy from your diet makes your lifestyle much more sustainable and lowers your carbon footprint significantly. While it takes 14 kcal of fossil fuels to make 1 kcal of dairy milk it takes less than 1/3 of 1 kcal of fossil fuels to make 1 kcal of soymilk. There are many sustainable soy, almond, and coconut based products that can subtitute for dairy products. So, even if you find some that you don’t like, chances are that there are others that you will like.


  • Try alternatives such as almond milk yogurts, soy or nut milks, and soy or nut cheeses
  • Try products that are made from milk from animals other than cows
  • Buy from local dairies or dairies that have systems to capture methane
  • Have sorbet for dessert instead of ice cream
  • Resources:
    Dairy and Beef Industry 
    Canada to Eliminate Dairy as a Food Group
    The Carbon Footprint of Dairy
    Ease off of Dairy

    Back to Food.