Does a Wind-Powered Butcher Cancel Out Meat’s Carbon Footprint?

A Michigan butcher says that having his own wind-power plant could have a positive long-term economic benefit and help to ensure the future sustainability of his family business.[social_buttons]

Earl Bosch, owner of Earl’s Meats in Holland, Michigan, says he wouldn’t consider himself an environmentalist, but he also says he is looking to alternative energy to power his meat cutting shop.

He’s not your typical green-power enthusiast. He’s 54 year-old butcher with 35 years in the industry, not a treehugging vegetarian. But he’s starting to see the light.

Bosch has already purchased solar panels for the roof, and now he’s ready to invest $140,000ย  in wind turbines in order to fully power his business from green energy sources.

His electric bills last summer were $2,300 per month to power the freezers and refrigerators in his shop, so Earl’s willing to put up the cash for two 20-kilowatt wind turbines on his property to supply electricity for his shop. If he succeeds, he may be the first person in his city to be fully powered with green energy.

The Planning Commission in Holland is currently accepting comments on a proposal to allow businesses and homeowners to put up wind turbines on their property to supply some of their power. The public hearing takes place in January.

Meat is kind of a taboo topic in environmental circles, even with studies showing that meat consumption has a big role in greenhouse gas emissions (Cows worse than cars).

For a butcher to power his meat-cutting operation with green energy, it just makes the line between eco-friendly and greenwashing that much fainter.

Does the wind-energy offset the greenhouse gas emissions from the meat production and consumption?

What do you think?


Image: rhosoi at Flickr under Creative Commons License

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3 thoughts on “Does a Wind-Powered Butcher Cancel Out Meat’s Carbon Footprint?”

  1. I don’t think the problem is meat per se, but rather the amount of it and the cuts of it that Americans and Westerners in general eat.

    I’ve started adding some vegetarian meals to my repertoire (such as the fantastic sweet potato chili recipe from last week, thanks EDB!) specifically to help lower my impact. I’m not ready to completely give up on meat, though.

  2. According to the article you site all American agriculture causes 7.56% of green house gas emissions. Transportation causes 29%. So if you are trying to say cows are worse than cars you should site something else.

    World wide that may be true because the Argentinians and Brazilians are deforesting land causing green house gases to be released.But it would still have to be all transportation not just cars. Cows themselves do not create as much greenhouse emissions as cars. Especially not in this country.

    That said I think every bit helps. I would rather he get his energy from solar and wind than coal, gas or oil. It would be helpful to know whether he was selling organic grass fed beef or CAFO beef. Grass fed beef is grown on sun not oil.

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