Happy Happy Soy Boy shows its climate stripes

New limited-edition packaging for Happy Happy Soy Boy uses climate stripes to visualise the sudden and drastic acceleration of climate change, highlighting the urgent need to make environmentally smart choices.

Climate change is the most pressing issue facing humankind. While the international effort to reduce the effects of global warming has stepped up in recent years, this change is taking place at an increasingly alarming rate.

To demonstrate the sharp rise in global temperatures, climate scientist Professor Ed Hawkins of the University of Reading in the United Kingdom published his first iteration of climate stripes in 2018. Using different shades of blue and red, the climate stripes portray changes in the average global temperature from 1850 to the present, with a sudden shift to red from the 2000s onwards.

Professor Hawkins followed this up with the #ShowYourStripes campaign in 2019, drawing more attention to the climate stripes and publishing similar visuals for different countries and areas. In September 2021, Happy Happy Foods brought these climate stripes directly to the Australian coffee industry, replacing the back of its Happy Happy Soy Boy cartons with this Climate Stripes visual to emphasise the concerning speed at which climate change is occurring.

“Part of our broader mission with Happy Happy Foods is to not only make and promote products that are more environmentally friendly, but to draw attention to the greatest challenge of our generation: climate change,” explains Lloyd Smith, Co-founder of Happy Happy Foods.

“This image does just that. The climate stripes highlight the problem so succinctly and puts the change that’s occurring – and how fast it’s happening – into a visual representation.”

As an accompaniment to this limited-edition packaging, Happy Happy Foods has released three graphs comparing the land use, water use, and emissions needed to produce a glass of soy milk compared to traditional dairy, highlighting the stark difference between the two (see graphs on left).

Graphs illustrate the emissions, land and water used to produce a glass of soy milk (200ml) compared to traditional dairy. Source: Poore & Nemecek (2018), Science. Additional calculations, J.Poore

“It’s very important to educate dairy drinkers, as well as existing plant-based consumers, as to the impact both products have on land use, emissions, and water use, and how necessary it is to make climate smart choices,” Lloyd says.

“There’s never been a more important time to implement climate smart eating habits. If we’re going to tackle the problem of climate change, we need to make the very best choice we can with every single purchase we make, including when it comes to the food and beverages we consume.”

According to the data, soy milk produces about one-third of the carbon emissions, requires one-fifteenth as much land, and uses one-twelfth the water required for dairy production.

“Those comparisons between dairy and soy show how much more environmentally efficient choosing soy milk really is,” Lloyd says. 

“Dairy milk production and livestock farming contribute around one-fifth of total global greenhouse emissions. Every choice we make matters, even when ordering a coffee, and shifting to a predominantly plant-based diet is a key part of the climate solution.”

The climate stripes are one of many recent initiatives forming Happy Happy Foods’ ‘Climate Happy!’ campaign, highlighting the importance of making climate smart food choices. The company has assessed and measured its carbon emissions with CarbonCloud, is reducing what it can, and earlier this year, began publishing the climate footprint of its soy milk on the side of their cartons. Furthermore, it is offsetting the emissions it cannot mitigate through investments in the Rajasthan Bundled Renewable Wind Power Project.

Lloyd says that by introducing the climate stripes to the Happy Happy Soy Boy carton, the team hopes to generate a conversation between the barista and customer.

“We often chat to our barista and listen to their recommendations, so they have a lot of influence over how we drink coffee and what goes in it,” Lloyd says.

“We, the coffee and hospitality industry, have an obligation to use our voice and drive environmentally positive change. If we can help our customers make a climate smart choice, with a brilliant product that tastes as good as, if not better than, dairy, why wouldn’t we give them that experience? It’s good for the customer and the planet.” 

For more information, visit www.eatdrinkhappyhappy.com or www.showyourstripes.info

This article appeared in the October 2021 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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