GOOD Ideas for Cities: Encouraging Consumers to Eat Less Meat

Studies prove that cutting back on meat and dairy can help to combat climate change. How to encourage consumers to buy and eat less meat?


Many studies have proved that cutting back on meat and dairy is the most significant single action individuals can adopt to combat climate change. Now think of it on a city scale: reducing the meat and dairy consumed by a major metropolitan area could drastically reduce emissions and save energy and improve the health of its residents. So how to encourage consumers to eat this way? At GOOD Ideas for Cities Portland, Ziba presented their idea for encouraging the citizens of Portland to buy and consume less meat. Ziba realized that the intervention needs to come at the decision-making phase, and created a series of apps that provide at-the-ready options for choosing foods and making grocery lists based on your economic, environmental and ethical values. They also propose a social club in which people try new veggie-focused meals and restaurants together, and a campaign that asks kids to choose and cook fruits and vegetables in exchange for incentives, putting pressure on their parents to eat better and ensuring healthier habits for life.

Challenge: A reduction of the amount of meat and dairy in local diets could have a profound impact on the city's environmental footprint. How do we get the residents of Portland to consume less meat?

Sustainable Food Policy and Programs, City of Portland: Steve Cohen, Manager

Ideas for Cities from Ziba: Steve Lee, Molly Ackerman-Brimberg, Carl Alviani, Joo-Young Oh, Eric Park, In Baek, Maria Lalli, Chris Butler, Paul O'Connor

To learn more about this idea contact steve_lee[at]ziba[dot]com or carl_alviani[at]ziba[dot]com

More information on GOOD Ideas for Cities can be found at or on Twitter at @IdeasforCities

Video by Paul Searle

GOOD Ideas for Cities pairs creative problem-solvers with real urban challenges proposed by civic leaders. To learn more visit

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