The Optimise Programme

Welcome to Optimise! We have created this programme to help you reduce the amount of meat you eat. It was developed by the LEAP team (Livestock, Environment and People) at the University of Oxford. All you have to do is sign up with your email address – you can get started today.

What is the Optimise programme?

A lot of people find it hard to reduce their meat consumption because they are not sure where to start. What we eat is mostly a result of our habits, and it can be difficult to make changes. This programme aims to help you try different ways to reduce your meat intake – and hopefully, find some easy and sustainable changes that work for you.

The whole programme lasts nine weeks in total, but you can do as much or as little as you like. During the first week, we would like you to continue eating as usual so we can measure your usual meat intake. We will send you an email every morning, inviting you to log in to this website to fill out a questionnaire asking about your meat and fish consumption on the previous day. This will help you to see where you can make changes to your meat intake. At the end of this first week, we will give you some feedback on the environmental and health impacts of your usual meat consumption. We will also ask you to reflect on how much meat you eat and set yourself a goal to reduce your meat intake.

After the first week, we will guide you through the Optimise programme for four weeks (weeks 2-5) and invite you to complete different daily and weekly tasks:

1. Log your meat intake daily to get an overview of your meat consumption and notice changes over time.

2. Plan a daily action to reduce your meat intake. We have created a list of actions that you can choose from to make life easier.

3. Take note of your achievements each week. We will give you some feedback on the changes in your meat consumption, including information on how this may impact your health and the environment.

4. Evaluate your actions weekly. We will ask you to reflect on the actions you have tried out that week and think about whether you found them helpful/whether you would like to continue doing them.

The combination of these different tasks creates what psychologists call a self-regulation process. The idea is that you use information about your current meat-eating habits to help you make changes in the future.

We hope that throughout these four weeks you will identify a couple of actions that you find helpful and easy to do. We would then like you to continue with these actions for another 4 weeks (weeks 6-9). You will not have to log in to the website again until the last week. In week 9, we will invite you to log back into the website daily to complete the meat intake questionnaire, so you can see how much you have achieved through the programme.

Here is an overview of the programme:

The Optimise Programme

Sounds complicated? We know this is a lot of information at once, but please don’t worry. We will send reminders to your email account on the days we would like you to log on to the website. Everything will be explained in detail on the website, so you don’t have to remember all the details. This is just to give you an overview of what you can expect from the programme.