About Default and Plant-Forward Initiatives

What is Greener by Default?

Greener by Default is a simple and inclusive way to offer healthier and more sustainable meals. Demonstrating choice architecture, a Greener by Default menu features plant-based meals as the default option, while giving diners the choice to add or opt into meat and/or dairy options upon request. Simply by changing the default, consumers are much more likely to choose a plant-based meal, even when meat and dairy options are available.[1] This win-win solution helps achieve sustainability goals, reduce catering costs, and serve more inclusive meals.

Greener by Default: is good for the environment:

Eating more plant-based foods is one of the most effective way individuals can reduce their contribution to climate change. [2] The following comparison to the Mediterranean Falafel Bowl — one of the signature dishes at the University  Club at the University of Victoria — shows that substituting beef instead would have 25 times the climate impact.

… is good for diners:

Serving DefaultVeg meals makes it easier for everyone to eat healthier meals and create a healthier world.

… is good for animals

Greener by Default is a kinder alternative for the more than 99 percent of U.S. farmed animals confined on intensive factory farms. [3]

Plant-forward Initiatives:

Default Veg (Washington) – https://defaultveg.org/

Sample Menu:

DefaultVeg Resource Guide (2.8 MB)


World Resources Institute – Cool Food Pledge:

Forward Food: http://www.forwardfood.org/challenge/ 

[1] Harvard School of Public Health, Workshop on Behavioral Insights and Health.

[2] Damian Carrington, “Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth,“ Guardian May 31, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/environ-ment/2018/may/31/avoiding-meat-and- dairy-is-single-biggest-way-to-reduce- your-impact-on-earth.

[3] Jacy Reese, “US Factory Farming Estimates,“ Sentience Institute, April 11, 2019, https://www.sentienceinstitute.org/us-factory-farming-estimates.