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Green challenges

Thinking global and acting local, Julie Grundy takes on any challenge we throw at her.

Why not be a vegetarian all week?

Graham Hill, founder of Treehugger.com, talks on being a weekday vegetarian at TED 2010.

Credit: TED

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The weekday vegetarian challenge isn’t G Magazine’s way of making things easy on you - it’s a way of being vegetarian when you otherwise don't have success with the all-or-nothing approach, that was thought up by the founder of Treehugger.com, Graham Hill.

Like many of us, Hill knew that eating meat isn’t real great for the environment. He was aware of the cruelty to animals that happens in industrial agriculture, and of the health benefits of going vegetarian. It was just that he found it a more difficult change than going car-free or remembering his reuseable bags.

Hill decided that it didn’t have to be an all-or-nothing approach. By going vegetarian on weekdays, he was making a 70% improvement on his “meat every day” diet. And he didn’t have to go cold turkey (so to speak) on something he enjoyed eating. He felt that he’d have more chance of success than if he went fully vegetarian for a while but then gave it up because it was too difficult. He's been doing the weekday vegetarian method for several years now.

I like his approach - I’ve often found that making drastic changes in my life means that I give up on them after a while. Easing my way in and allowing for loopholes means that I get more done than if I jumped in the deep end.

We all want to do the right thing, but it’s easier said than done sometimes. By doing the G Challenge, you can give things a try and start slowly with no pressure. And like Hill says, if all of us ate half as much meat, it would be like half of us were vegetarians.

You can find out more about Hill’s idea by watching the TED talk he gave about it: Why I’m a weekday vegetarian. It’s just four minutes long, and I think you’ll enjoy hearing him explain how he came up with it.