How To Live More Sustainably as a Vegan

Understanding the profound impact of our dietary choices on the environment is what led many to embrace veganism. However, to be a sustainable vegan, one must go beyond just altering their diet.

Veganism is about adopting a holistic approach towards life, which considers every aspect – from the food we consume to the clothes we wear and the products we use.

So whether you’re a seasoned vegan or just starting on your journey, read on to discover practical tips that can help you make a significant difference!

Key Takeaways

  • Embrace the habit of sourcing your vegan food locally and seasonally. It helps reduce your carbon dioxide emissions, promotes fresher and more nutritious meals, and supports local farmers.
  • Prioritize buying organic versions of foods known to have high pesticide residues, also known as the “Dirty Dozen”.
  • Consider swapping disposable plastic bags for reusable shopping bags made from natural fibers. This helps reduce plastic waste significantly.
  • Home composting and using a home biogas digester are excellent ways to manage your vegan waste sustainably. They not only reduce landfill waste but also provide nutrient-rich soil for your plants and energy for cooking respectively.
  • Switching to solid vegan soap and shampoo can be beneficial for personal health, animal welfare, and the environment due to their non-toxic, cruelty-free nature and reduced plastic packaging.
  • Opt for clothing from eco-friendly vegan fashion brands that prioritize ethical practices and environmental responsibility.
  • Buying items in mint condition instead of brand new can be a more sustainable option that is kinder to both your wallet and the environment.

Prioritize Sustainable Food Sourcing

You’ve chosen the vegan path, and that’s a fantastic first step toward sustainable living. But there’s more you can do!

The sustainability of your vegan lifestyle also depends on how and where you source your food. 

Local and Seasonal Foods

Opting for local and seasonal foods isn’t just great for your health, it’s a powerful way to reduce your carbon footprint too.

As a vegan, you’re already making a positive impact on the environment by reducing demand for animal agriculture, which is one of the largest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. By choosing local and seasonal produce, you take it a step further.

Local and seasonal produce require less transportation and refrigeration, hence producing fewer emissions compared to imported or out-of-season products. Plus, they’re often fresher and more nutritious as they are harvested at their peak.

To truly embrace this sustainable lifestyle shift:

  • Start visiting your local farmer’s markets, where you can find an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables that are grown locally. They will be ideal for nearly all plant-based diets.
  • Get familiar with what fruits and vegetables are in season during different times of the year in your region.
  • Try growing your own vegetables if you have space. Even herbs on a windowsill count!
  • Consider joining a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program which supports local farmers while providing you with fresh produce.
  • Opt for loose fruits and veggies instead of those in plastic packaging whenever possible.

Remember, every small change helps build a more sustainable future. Not only will these habits help protect our planet, but they’ll likely lead to delicious meals packed with flavor too!

red and white fruit display on market

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Organic vs Non-Organic Foods

Have you considered the difference between organic and non-organic produce?

Organic farming practices are designed to benefit the environment by reducing pollution and conserving water and soil quality. They also avoid the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, which can harm both the environment and human health.

However, organic food can be more expensive and less accessible than non-organic options.

If you’re unable to purchase all-organic, prioritize buying organic versions of foods known to have high pesticide residues – often referred to as the Dirty Dozen. These include strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, and potatoes.

This way, you’ll not only reduce your exposure to potentially harmful pesticides but also support farming practices that are more in tune with nature.

Vegetable and Crops Beside Spilled Basket Stock Photo

Choose Reusable Shopping Bags

Ditching those disposable plastic bags and embracing reusable shopping bags can be a game-changing move in your quest for sustainable vegan living, making each grocery trip a testament to your commitment to our planet’s health.

Single-use plastics contribute significantly to environmental pollution and waste, leading to adverse effects on wildlife and ecosystems. By opting for reusable shopping bags, you not only reduce plastic waste but also send out a strong message about your eco-friendly lifestyle choices.

Here are some tips on how you can make the most of this green initiative:

  • Opt for bags made from natural fibers like cotton or hemp. These materials are biodegradable and have less impact on the environment compared to synthetic alternatives.
  • Clean them regularly to maintain hygiene standards. Most cloth bags can be machine-washed, making it easy to keep them fresh and clean.
  • Store one or two in your car or backpack so that they’re always within reach. You never know when you might need fresh vegan produce, and having a bag always at hand will help you reduce plastic pollution.

Remember, small steps add up over time. Your choice of using reusable shopping bags is more than just an eco-friendly practice; it’s an embodiment of the sustainable vegan lifestyle you’ve chosen, contributing positively towards a healthier planet.

Person Holding Orange Fruits in White Net

Consider Your Waste Management Options

If you own a house with a garden, you may want to consider your waste management options. There are much better ways to dispose of your organic waste than to throw it away into a dumpster.

Composting at home is an excellent way to reduce food waste, turning it into nutrient-rich soil for your plants.

Similarly, investing in a home biogas digester can convert organic waste into cooking gas and fertilizer, offering you a brilliant solution that’s both eco-friendly and practical.

Compost Your Waste

Isn’t it amazing that you can turn your vegetable scraps from your plant-based diet into nutrient-rich fertilizer through composting? As a vegan, this is an excellent way to contribute to sustainability.

All your fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds, tea bags, and even cardboard can be composted. This process not only reduces the amount of trash going to the landfill but also creates nutrient-dense compost that will make your plants thrive.

Composting at home is much easier than you might think:

  • Start with a designated bin in an outdoor area where it won’t bother anyone with its natural decomposition smell.
  • Add all green waste from your vegan diet (like veggie scraps) and grass clippings, along with brown materials such as leaves or newspaper strips for balance.
  • If you want to, you can turn the pile occasionally to speed up the decomposition process and ensure all elements are breaking down evenly.

In time, these discarded plant-based foods and other organic items will transform into rich, dark soil perfect for nourishing garden plants or your own veggies alike.

Remember: as a vegan, living sustainably means more than what’s on your plate—in every aspect of life, you have opportunities to choose earth-friendly practices!

Vegetables on the Soil

Home Biogas Digester

Imagine being able to cook with gas generated from your own food scraps or leftover plant-based meals!

A backyard biogas system not only reduces your reliance on non-renewable energy sources but also decreases the amount of organic waste sent to landfills.

This is crucial as decomposing waste in landfills releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas contributing significantly to climate change and global warming.

Using a home biogas digester is as straightforward as it seems. Here is a breakdown of how it works:

1.You add organic waste (like vegetable peelings or dinner leftovers) into the digester.
2.The bacteria inside the digester break down this waste anaerobically (without oxygen), producing biogas and nutrient-rich slurry.
3.The biogas can be collected and used for cooking on a gas stove or heating, while the remaining nutrient-rich slurry may serve as fertilizer for your plants or garden.

By integrating a home biogas system into your vegan lifestyle, you’re taking sustainability up another notch. Not only are you making an even smaller footprint on our planet, but you’re also gaining self-sufficiency in both energy production and crop nutrition – all from leftovers!

biogas digester

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Use Solid Vegan Soap and Shampoo

You’d be surprised how much of a difference switching to solid vegan soap and shampoo can make in your journey toward living more sustainably.

  • Plastic-Free: Solid soaps and shampoos often come packaged in paper or cardboard, which are both biodegradable and recyclable materials. If everyone made this switch, we could significantly reduce the amount of plastic ending up in our oceans each year.
  • Cruelty-free and Vegan: These bars are typically cruelty-free and don’t contain any animal-derived ingredients such as lanolin (from wool), shellac (from insects), or tallow (animal fat). So you’ll be doing good for animals too.
  • Chemical-Free: Many high-street brands use toxic chemicals like sulfates and parabens that end up polluting our waterways when they go down the drain. On the other hand, vegan soaps and shampoos use natural plant-based ingredients that are safer for both your skin and the planet.

So why not give it a try? Not only will you be making a positive change for the planet by reducing waste, supporting animal rights, and avoiding harmful toxins – but you’ll also notice a difference in how your body feels!

white cheese on brown wooden table

Switch to Eco-Friendly Vegan Fashion Brands

Ready to revamp your wardrobe? Consider making the switch to eco-friendly vegan fashion options that prioritize ethical practices and environmental responsibility.

Choosing vegan and sustainable clothing means opting for items made from plant-based or recycled materials rather than those derived from animals or synthetic fibers.

Brands like People Tree, Matt & Nat, and Patagonia are leading the way with their commitments to cruelty-free production processes and innovative use of eco-friendly materials.

Buying clothes from sustainable brands not only supports the environment but also contributes to a more ethical fashion industry. As a vegan, this is another step you can take in minimizing harm toward animals while maintaining your stylish look.

Embrace the green side of fashion and make your wardrobe an extension of your vegan lifestyle!

Photo of a Woman Looking at Shirts

Consider Buying Mint Condition Instead of New

The unfortunate reality is that items wear down and sooner or later need replacement. However, outside of exceptions, buying brand-new things is not the most ecologically sound option.

As a vegan who cares about sustainable living, buying mint condition instead of new can be an enjoyable and rewarding practice. It’s all about changing our mindset from consumerism to conservationism. To help you grasp the benefits more clearly, let’s take a look at this simple comparison table:

Buying New ItemsBuying Mint Condition Used Items
Contributes to mass production and exploitation of the natural environmentHelps lower the demand and supply of new items
Often involves excessive synthetic packagingUsually involves minimal synthetic packaging or has no packaging at all
Adds to landfills due to short lifespan productsProlongs the lifespan of items hence reducing waste
Higher carbon footprint due to manufacturing processLower carbon footprint as no additional resources are used
Generally costs moreIt can be budget-friendly with some great bargains

Remember: every choice we make impacts our planet in one way or another. So why not make choices that are kinder to both our wallets and Mother Earth?

brown wooden table and chairs

Final Thoughts

Living sustainably as a vegan is about much more than just the food on your plate. It’s about making conscious choices in every aspect of your life – from what you wear to how you manage waste and even the personal care products you use.

By choosing the solutions mentioned above, you’re taking meaningful steps toward reducing your environmental impact.

Two More Recommendations for Your Plant-Based Journey

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2. This is the best vegan multivitamin I’ve found in my 14 years of being vegan. It has vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega-3—and nothing else. Translation: It only has the nutrients vegans are actually low in. Read my full review of Future Kind’s multivitamin here (with 10% discount).