It's the beginning of a brand new year and time for the Veganuary challenge. Now that we're getting towards the end of January, we want to congratulate you on even the smallest changes you have made this month. As well as to encourage you to carry over these changes into the upcoming months.
What is Veganuary?
The Veganuary challenge was launched in 2014 to educate people about veganism. It encourages people to live a plant-based lifestyle for the month of January.
How does veganism help the planet?
The importance of a vegan diet on the environment is undeniable. The Independent has reported that if everyone was to adopt a vegan diet, we could reduce the amount of land used for farming by 75 per cent. Whilst that is an impossible goal in our current social structures, even the smallest changes in our lifestyle will have a material impact on the condition of our planet.
For us, Veganuary is a way to help us set the path for the remaining year, not just limited to the month of January. Here are some tips on how to carry on following a plant-based lifestyle after the challenge ends in January.
Keep using your favourite recipes
If you have managed to find at least one recipe that has wowed you and your family, try cooking it at least once a week. This way you'll look forward to your weekly vegan meal without feeling like you are making a sacrifice. In case you were thinking you'll miss out, you've not yet had good vegan food. Follow some of your favourite vegan food bloggers to get inspiration.
Stick to your easy swap
For some people, switching to oat milk is the easiest way to reduce the consumption of animal products. The production of plant-based milk results in 80% less land usage in comparison to cow’s milk. Although a swap of milk in your morning coffee or cereal might not seem like a big deal to you, it will have a massive impact on the environment. More importantly, it will be easier to stick to the swap if it doesn’t feel like a big effort.
Don’t be hard on yourself
Going vegan for a month sounds more manageable and we're more likely to complete the challenge if it has an expiration date. Changing your lifestyle for good, however, is another matter. Don’t beat yourself up for choosing a non-vegan product that you've decided to cut out.
Veganuary isn't just about the food
The theme of Veganuary is heavily focused on dietary changes. There are so many more areas to a vegan lifestyle that get swept under the carpet. Instead of solely focusing on diet, being a vegan is also about using vegan make-up, household goods and clothing. You'd be surprised to know some of the most common personal care and household products contain animal by-products and are tested on animals. Not only is animal testing an ethical issue, but the materials in cosmetics, cleaning products and even our clothing are choking our planet. The packaging also sends millions of pounds of single-use or non-recyclable materials to the landfills and our fragile oceans. Livestock and produce are affected by the contaminated soil and the cycle keeps on going.
Choose vegan and cruelty-free products and look for independent certifications that validate their vegan status. Luckily, there are enough brands that offer vegan options for shoes (Veja), bags (Stella McCartney), women's clothing (People Tree), men's fashion (Brave Gentleman) and try our favourite Wearth London to get vegan toiletries and household supplies.
Choose vegan and plastic-free
You know plastic pollution is what we care about a lot. Be careful when choosing vegan products that end up damaging the planet in another way. Many vegan products are made from fossil-fuel based plastics. If you walk into a vegan store, you will see packs of five kale chip bites packed in a plastic pouch that is completely non-recyclable. Plastics in clothing are common in the form of synthetic fibres such as polyester, acrylic, polyamide and nylon. If you care about the environmental benefit of going vegan, you surely care about plastic pollution as well.
Spruce products are certified by the Vegan Society, cruelty-free and free from single-use plastic pollution. We only use safe, non-toxic ingredients. Not to mention, it smells absolutely divine!
Written by Sofya Zakharova