Do you want to help the environment even more? Here are 4 things you can do to improve your ecological footprint (even on a vegan diet).
First off, there is no doubt that being vegan helps the environment.
This is because industries involved in livestock farming or agriculture meant for livestock has a significant negative impact on the environment.
Thus, by cutting out meat and animal-derived products from your diet – and life – you stop contributing to these processes.
However, people often mistakenly believe that being a vegan means that all your food choices are environmental-friendly. However, this isn’t the case. You can still be vegan and buy food that may not be entirely good for the planet.
If you want to help more animals and the world they live in, here are some additional steps you can take:
Quit the Palm Oil
It is virtually impossible not to have heard of the terrifying impact palm oil production has on the planet. Although it is a plant-based oil, palm oil is associated with deforestation and a reduction in biodiversity. In short, it isn’t good for animals or any living creatures at all.
Ever since the harmful impact of palm oil became more obvious, several companies have been switching over to sustainable palm oil. However, there is evidence to suggest that these processes aren’t much better than the original production scheme.
This means that if you are vegan, you should be cutting palm oil completely out of your diet. So, watch out for any brands that contain any kind of palm oil, even if it appears to be from a more sustainable source. Since it is used in numerous skin care and beauty products, you should be mindful of these products as well.
Buy Foods with the Lowest Carbon Footprint
When was the last time you paid attention to where your food is grown? The truth is that most people don’t care to check where their fruits and veggies come from. They are simply happy to find it in their supermarkets.
If you were to take a closer look, though, you would realize that your produce arrives from all over the country and the world. In case you imagine this is harmless enough, just think about how the food got to your neighborhood.
It was either flown in or brought on trucks. Either way, you can be sure that a considerable amount of fuel was required to get the fruits and veggies to your city. Needless to say, this does make these food items less environmentally friendly.
This is why you should look for food sources brought from short distances away. This way, you’ll know that it didn’t travel quite as far to get to you. Make a list of local farms or food producers and contact them. You may be able to work out a system where you can get the food from them directly.
Another thing to be mindful of is to buy only fruits and veggies that are in season. This increases the chance of these foods being locally sourced. Outside of the regular harvesting season, the produce will need to be flown in from elsewhere.
Get Wise to Growing Methods
Since most people aren’t farmers, they have no idea how certain foods are grown. Thus, you may be buying foods that you think are perfectly fine, but in reality, are damaging the environment to a certain degree.
Plants require resources to grow as you know, and some of them require a bit more. This includes foods such as avocadoes, mangoes, cashews, almonds, cocoa, and certain types of mushrooms. So, while they are not nearly as bad as livestock farming, they still harm the environment.
So, does this mean that you should avoid these foods completely? No, not if you don’t want to. Nevertheless, you may want to do a little more research to determine where these foods are coming from. In particular, steer clear of food products grown in destroyed rainforests.
Furthermore, you may want to consider cutting down on your consumption of these foods. Try to consume these food items as a treat instead of as a daily staple.
Only Buy What You Need
Of course, following all of the above suggestions can be a little difficult to manage. One thing you can do, though, is to reduce how much food you throw away. Developed countries, in particular, waste a lot of edible food. Considering the number of resources it took to get the food to your supermarket in the first place, this is something you should avoid.
Fortunately, the remedy is quite simple – only buy how much you need. Before you go grocery shopping, plan your meals for the week. This will help you limit how much produce and ingredients you purchase. Then, carefully calculate how much you will use.
Now, this advice isn’t just for your home. It is important to keep in mind that restaurants waste quite a bit of food as well. This is why you should try to cook and eat at home as much as possible. At the very least, only order as much as you are capable of eating. And, if there are any leftovers, take these with you when you leave.
There is no denying that all this is a lot to digest. And, it’s fine if you can’t live a completely green life – for some people this may just not be feasible. At the same time, you need to stay informed as well. These days, it is easier than ever to find out exactly how your food is grown, processed, and distributed.
This way, if you do have a choice when it comes to what you eat and buy, you can make the greener choice. At the end of the day, every little thing you do can go a long way. So, it doesn’t matter what kind of alterations you can make to your lifestyle, it certainly will be appreciated. On this note, try to make your vegan lifestyle a little greener than it was before.
If you like this blog post on How To Improve Your Vegan Diet Ecological Footprint, make sure to check out our other post on our blog. We also have recipes as well over on our Food & Recipe tab!
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