January is the month we all try and live a little better. We want to be better versions of ourselves – I’ll do more, change this, go there. We actually put quite a lot of pressure on ourselves – so it’s no surprise that, despite our best efforts, our resolutions don’t last. In this Blog, I’m making it easier to take a small step to reducing your carbon footprint, without actually going fully vegan.
Doing Veganuary without going Vegan
If you’re not already vegan, the idea of cutting so many different food options out of your diet is just too daunting. It’s no wonder we don’t even try. Instead, why not check what’s in your cupboards, your fridge, your fruit bowl and note just how much you currently eat that’s essentially vegan. All the fruit and vegetables for instance – they’re vegan. Your baked beans? Vegan. Possibly even the spread you use on your bread, or the bread itself – Vegan. You’re already consuming a LOT of vegan food without even being aware of it, so just increasing these foods is the easiest place to start. Last January, I was making myself a marmite and crisp sandwich (I know, right! so good) – and realised every item was vegan, purely by chance. It really isn’t as daunting once you start to think of it this way.
Another way of doing Veganuary without going vegan is to swap your non-food items. Next time you’re running low on moisturiser, cleanser, make up, body wash – any bathroom or beauty product you have will have a Vegan alternative. Just look out for that Vegan symbol. Brands such as Tropic, Beauty Kitchen (found in Holland and Barrett) and soon the Body Shop are fully vegan.
Your cleaning products may not be something you’d consider when thinking about vegan swaps. However, there are many more vegan options available than there were a few years ago. If you have a zero waste store nearby, the likelihood is their refillable cleaning products will be vegan. Brands such as SESI and FILL offer refill options of their cleaning products, which is the most eco-friendly option. Alternatively, there’s a gorgeous UK brand called Iron and Velvet who sell plastic free cleaning pods. These fully dissolve in lukewarm water, meaning you can keep reusing your existing spray bottles – and they’re very affordable too. Alternatively, it’s so easy to make your own cleaning products from natural, vegan ingredients such as citric acid, bicarbonate of soda or white vinegar.
And lastly, if you want to take another step towards doing Veganuary without going vegan, just reducing the beef in your diet is a great change as beef has by far the highest carbon footprint of any food stuff, followed by lamb. If you’d like to go further still, but are holding back because you’re not sure you’ll get all the nutrition you need, check out a book by Dale Pinnock – The Medicinal Chef, Plant based diet has all the advice on which food to eat to maintain a healthy balanced meat and dairy free diet. Enjoy!