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VEGANUARY: How Making Simple Swaps Can Reduce Climate Change
Firstly, can you believe it’s already January 2023?! Secondly, if you haven’t yet considered exploring the vegan lifestyle by taking part in Veganuary, there’s still time to do so. Maybe you’ve thought about it for a while now, or perhaps you first heard it existed only a few weeks ago on social media, and it’s piqued your interest.
Veganuary (and veganism in general) isn’t as complicated as many people believe it is! Choosing to adopt this lifestyle doesn’t have to mean changing everything about yourself and the way you live; the environmental impact of making just a few simple swaps can be huge. Oceans Plastic Free look at how and why, here.
Following the vegan way of life in terms of diet – whether that be in its entirety or just in some areas – is extremely beneficial to the planet. You know those “climate emergency!” headlines we’re seeing more and more of in the UK media? Yeah, we can't keep ignoring them or questioning their veracity!
Greenhouse emissions could decrease by 35% by swapping half of all animal-based meals with vegan alternatives. This means that even switching one animal product for a plant-based product would have a crucial impact on helping climate change.
This Veganuary, don’t overwhelm yourself with plans to transform your entire fridge if your heart (and stomach) isn’t ready for such a huge change. Instead, start small by beginning to have oat milk with your breakfast cereal instead of cow’s milk, or swap chicken breast for Quorn fillets once a week. As discussed, this alone can still have a significant positive impact on the environment.
When many of us think of veganism, our brains go straight to the diet side of matters. While that is, of course, a huge part of the lifestyle, it can be easy to overlook the power that plant-based products have on the environment too.
Throughout January, if you want a taste of veganism without having a literal taste of it, start by being more eco-conscious when it comes to buying household items and clothes. When we look at plant-based beauty products, there’s evidence to back up claims that harvesting the ingredients involves sustainable processes; the components were found in nature, therefore, generating them in a laboratory is an avoidable step.
The same ideas can be applied to household products, such as cleaning liquids and toothpaste, many of which contain animal fats.
Being eco-friendly and helping the environment goes beyond how products are made, too. Many brands of kitchen rolls, for example, while they’re safe for vegans to use, most come wrapped in plastic that will likely find its way to the ocean or landfill. This month, you could quite simply do your bit for the environment by choosing sustainably sourced kitchen roll that comes without the unnecessary plastic.
How many vegans does it take to change the world?
“What would be the point in me going vegan? One person isn’t going to make a difference...” If this statement has ever left your mouth or entered your mind, it’s a good thing you’re reading this article! One person carrying out the simple swaps outlined above really will make a difference to the environment, even if it’s just temporary.
For instance, one person following a vegan diet for just one day per week saves approximately 40 lbs of grain, 30 square feet of forest, and one animal. Now, let’s imagine that you and 50,000 other Brits decide to embark on veganism, starting small by following the diet for just one day out of seven...
That would save 2 million pounds of grain, 1.5 million square feet of forest, and 50,000 animals. If everyone had the “one person isn’t going to make a difference” mentality, we’d sink further into climate disaster.
Oceans Plastic Free Kitchen Roll
Are you ready to make a change?
2023 is the year of making positive changes that not only impact us as individuals but also as a planet. This article should have hopefully uncovered the fact that it doesn’t have to be ‘all or nothing’, and as such, these simple swaps should be much easier to manage.
There are over 30 vegan alternatives offered by Quorn alone, finding a beauty product that’s vegan certified is easier than ever before, and there are household products out there that promise not to harm our oceans and the wider environment. Why wouldn’t you want to make these easy trades? In fact, you’ll probably realise that they’re simple enough to maintain beyond January, and therefore you’ll single-handedly create more fantastic results for the planet!
It’s also important you don’t forget that you’re not alone throughout this experience. There are hundreds of resources available to educate and support you while on this journey, and you can also find help in various social media groups and pages. This is the year you realise your power, potential, and w-earth. You’ve got this!