Can Living a Vegan and Sustainable Lifestyle Really Save the Planet?

February 28, 2020

It will come as no surprise to many that the world is struggling environmentally-speaking. Carbon dioxide emission and greenhouse gases have risen to extreme levels and triggered severe weather across the world. That in combination with deforestation, agriculture, and human activity is having devastating effects on the environment. As a single individual, trying to make changes to your lifestyle to save the planet may seem overwhelming. While it will take more than one person making a change to turn things around, the lifestyle you chose to live can have a huge impact. Here’s how adopting a vegan and sustainable lifestyle can help us all save the planet.

Save the Animals, Save the Planet

You may have heard the claim lately that living a vegan and sustainable lifestyle helps save the planet. It sounds like a big statement to make, right?

Veganism is a lifestyle in which individuals chose to exclude anything from their life that may have exploited or caused animal cruelty. This includes food, clothing, health products, furniture, and anything that could have been made at the cost of an animal’s well-being. Some well known sustainable brands are Levis, Everlane, and Patagonia. Look up your favorite brands to see if they align with a sustainable and vegan lifestyle.

Agriculture and food production are some of the biggest contributors to poor environmental health. According to a study done in 2019, livestock farming provides 18% of calories eaten globally but takes 83% of all farmland. So the carbon footprint of just beef alone is enough to take quite a toll on the environment. Add in that of lamb, pork, and chicken and it’s no wonder the world is suffering. Choosing a lifestyle that lowers the need for meat production and animal farming, and the carbon footprint left behind will surely decrease.

A Sustainable Lifestyle

While veganism is considered the “single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact”, there are quite a few other changes people can make to have positive effects on the environment. For example, consider the energy used each day to power our homes, offices, shopping locations, schools and more. Thanks to modern energy-efficiency measures, energy use in the U.S. today is the same as it was in the year 2000, despite a growth of 30% in the economy. Inventions like energy-efficient lightbulbs and the increased use of solar power have helped greatly with environmental impact. Imagine how much of a difference could be made if everyone adopted more environmentally friendly energy use.

Deforestation for paper products and building material is another huge negative impact on the environment. Annually the United States produces 92 million metric tons of paper. Not only can paper production cause deforestation, but also air and water pollution due to the chemicals used in the creation process. Making even a simple change like setting up paperless billing in your business can do a great deal to cut down on deforestation and paper production.

When striving to live a sustainable lifestyle, you may even consider how your mode of transportation can affect the environment. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, there are over 24 million hours of general aviation flight every year. When making short trips, carpooling or even biking is a much more eco-friendly choice. But when you do have to make long trips, there are a few things you can do to make it an eco-friendly trip. The first is to pack lightly. The heavier the airplane, the more carbon emitted to keep it flying. Every ounce makes a difference. If you are traveling between a few countries for a vacation, consider traveling on land rather than flying between countries. Even one short flight can make a difference.

It’s Up to You

So to answer the question, “Can living a vegan and sustainable lifestyle helps save the planet?”, it’s a resounding yes! While the changes one person makes may not seem like they can do much, one voice can spread to more and more. Share your experience with others and encourage them to make changes as well. One individual may not be able to save the world alone, but with other’s a big change can be made.

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