How The Zero Waste Movement & Vegan Lifestyle Are Connected
Updated: Sep 24, 2020
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2019 is over!
I’ve drastically changed the way I live my life and who I am as a person in the past year. But I still have so much more growing to do !
If you follow me on Instagram you know I’ve been working towards eating a more plant based diet.
I haven’t been overly strict with myself as I don’t do good with rules .
At home for the past 2 months I have been eating mostly vegan food . I cut out all animal products.
When out for dinner or out and about I have been more forgiving with myself .
I want to be relaxed about this journey and do it because I want to not because I have too .
In fact throughout the holidays I went back to my old eating habits.
Going back to eating meat for a week really made me realize I don’t miss it at all !
I think it’s time I took the plunge . My New Years resolutions for 2020 is to stick to a vegetarian diet.
My goal is to one day eat only a vegan diet but I need to take it slow if I’m going to succeed .
Ive been asked a few times now how eating a vegan diet and being zero waste are related . Its a great question and I figured it needed its own blog post !
What Is The Zero Waste Movement?
The zero waste movement is about a lot more than just preventing waste .
It’s a goal to find a better way .
Its about creating a sustainable future.
Its about making conscious decisions about what we buy, use, and eat .
Zero Waste isn’t just about saying no to plastic it’s about learning to live with less.
It’s about saying NO to the consumer culture .
Its about being aware of your environmental footprint and continuously working on reducing it .It is about taking a stand for our planet and ourselves .
Zero Waste is about working towards a Zero Impact life!
How are The Vegetarian , Vegan , and Plant Based Diets Different?
Vegetarians do not consume any meat products . They do typically consume all other animal products such as dairy and eggs.
Vegans do not consume any animal products at all .
Not even honey.
A whole foods plant based diet is focussed more on eating whole foods and not processed foods. . Some who are on a plant based diet will consume animal products occasionally but their main nutrients come from plants.
There are many reasons to chose to reduce or not consume animal products such as not harming animals , reducing your environmental impact , and your health .
How Is a Vegan Diet Related to The Zero Waste Movement ?
When I open my fridge I see almost no plastic !
The plastic I do see comes from our animal products .
Meat is placed on a styrofoam tray then wrapped in an excessive amount of plastic , sandwich meat comes in a plastic bag , yogurt comes in plastic containers , cheese comes wrapped in plastic , and the list goes on.
I am able to avoid nearly all waste but when it comes to animal products I haven’t been able to find another option .
I don’t like that so I’ve made the choice to reduce how much we buy it.
By doing this I have been able to really reduce the amount of waste brought into our home.
My family is not on the same journey as me so animal products will continue to be in our house .
Of course there is more to it than just the packaging .
Animal agriculture uses an excessive amount of land , water , and energy resources.
70 BILLION animals are raised each year for our consumption and this number is growing ! This means huge chunks of land , water , and grains are devoted to these animals .
When we use land to raise animals and not crops, trees and plants are cut down, soil and water is lost, and untreated animal waste pollutes waters.
According to PETA.org:
Cows need to eat 16 pounds of vegetation for us to get 1 pound of meat .
A city containing 12 thousand people creates as much waste as a typical pig factory .
In order to feed animals raised for human consumption 260 million acres of forest have been cleared.
Cattle consume enough food to feed more than the entire human population!
Those are just a few facts from one website!!
Not to mention how terrible these animals can be treated, the hormones they are pumped with to help them grow fast and fat ,and the fact that we are taking an animals life .
A vegan lifestyle and the zero waste movement are connected in that they are both a way of reducing our impact on the planet .
You do not have to be zero waste to be vegan & you do not have to be vegan to be zero waste!
My waste free journey definitely didn't start out with me planning to swear off animal products but it has slowing grown into that as my knowledge increases.
Remember just because my journey takes me one way and your journey takes you another it doesn't mean one persons journey is better than the others.We are all on our own journey . We will all grow and do what we feel is best for our life and for the planet.