Sustainable & Vegan-Friendly Materials & Ingredients
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It's very common for people that are unaware of what exactly living a vegan lifestyle means to just assume it's simply a more extreme meat-free diet than vegetarianism. But, being a vegan is much more than not eating meat. It's making the choice to minimize what pain and cruelty your actions have on others, including both other people and animals alike.
While making the conscious choice to minimize cruelty by refusing to eat meat or foods that use animals products while made is to also refuse to support businesses that hurt animal life while manufacturing their products. A couple example of that would be clothing companies that use leather products and companies that manufacture health & beauty products that contain animal byproducts.
However, sometimes choosing a vegan-friendly option isn't also an environmentally friendly one. To take your good will lifestyle to the next level, it's important to do your best to try and use food sources and products that are both vegan-friendly and come from sustainable and environmentally friendly sources.
Cruelty-Free & Sustainable Materials Every Vegan Should Know
Sometimes vegan friendly foods and items aren't environmentally friendly in the strictest sense. Here are some ideas for upping your green living game while maintaining your cruelty-free lifestyle.
Material for Clothing and Other Uses
Vegans are well aware that their clothing choices are important. Making the moral decision to not eat beef while continuing to wear leather is a bit of a contradictory stance.
However, it's important to not only look at what a product is made of, but also know how it's manufactured. A manufacturing process can avoid the use of animal byproducts while still causing harm to animals due to its impact on the environment.
You can minimize that by opting to use products that are sourced from both vegan-friendly and environmentally friendly sources.
Bamboo is one of the world's wonder plants. It's used for everything from being a natural outdoor sound barrier to tasteful interior décor. But, bamboo can also be broken down into a fiber, which is then processed to yarns and fabrics.
Clothes made of bamboo is surprisingly warm and soft. And though Its original beige color might seem bland and boring, it can easily be dyed. Just make sure the manufacturer used an environmentally friendly dye.
Aside from bamboos sustainability, the fact that its naturally and not made using harsh chemical treatments like some synthetic fabrics means it's much less likely to cause skin irritation and other allergic reactions.
In general, bamboo clothing tends to be soft, highly absorbent, and is hypoallergenic,. It has antibacterial properties, insulates very well from heat and cold as well as offers UV protection. Above all, bamboo clothing is arguably the most eco-friendly clothing in the world.
The main reason that bamboo is considered a sustainable plant is that is grows incredibly fast and can be replenished as fast as you can use it.
Besides its use in clothing, it's use continues to grow. Many Asian countries are increasingly using bamboo trees in the construction industries to make pillars and scaffolding. Bamboo twigs are used in the hotel and entertainment sector to construct shades and blinds, bringing out its attractive natural look. Walk into a sports store and you will find bicycles with frames made of bamboo. You can even purchase bamboo toothbrushes to replace your old plastic ones.
Pot? You can make clothes and other items out of pot?
Hemp is not marijuana. Though both hemp and marijuana are part of the Cannibas family, they are different planst. And yes, hemp is a seriously awesome and useful plant. In fact, it might be the single most useful plant known to human kind.
For example, here is a list of some of the many things that can be made from hemp. Keep in mind, this is just a sample and not nearly everything -
- clothing including shirts, jeans, and shoes
These items are usually made by blending hemp with other fibers to produce excellent end-products with unique, customizable qualities. But, hemp seeds are used to produce an oil that's used in additional products like shampoos, lotions, and even food items.
Bing a plant, it certainly passes the vegetarian and vegan litmus test, but it's also incredibly sustainable. The hemp plant requires little nurturing and grows incredibly fast. Additionally, it is weather, mold and insect resistant; requires little to no irrigation; can block UV rays; and requires no herbicides or pesticides to boost its growth. That sounds awfully sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Cotton can either be grown organically or conventionally. The conventional growth of cotton often exposes the cotton plants to harmful chemicals. That basically takes conventionally farmed cotton out of the green column.
On the other hand, organic cotton is vegan, cruelty-free and environmentally safe. Farming cotton organically has been proven to improve soil quality in addition to economizing water consumption in organic farms.
Organic cotton can be used for the same exact end user products as conventionally grown cotton, and has been providing consumers with soft, warm and hypoallergenic garments safe and soft enough to be used even by infants for years. It's an excellent choice for pillows, blankets, and clothing of all types.
It’s commonly used in hospitals, health facilities and even first aid centers. Health facilities are actually among the biggest consumers of organic cotton, rendering its farming a highly marketable venture.
Ingredients for Raw Consumption & Cooking
A lot of the same vegan-friendly and sustainable plants that are great for clothing, household good, and beauty products are also great in the kitchen.
Bamboo buds are often used to make delicacies. You can often find them being consumed in high-end hotels and it's almost a staple in many Asian cultures. And, aside from being part of the menu, many kitchen items are also made from bamboo, such as utensils.
Hemp can be used to make firewood and as a raw material for making charcoal. The two can be used in the kitchen as fuel to support cooking. It's also used in certain vegan food supplements and protein powders as well as in tofu, flour, and even milk.
Flax seeds were't mentioned before, but they can be used as a vegan and sustainable ingredient. They are very healthy and rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids.
Despite synthetic and animal materials being cheaper and easily available they are not both cruelty-free, environmentally friendly, and sustainable. You can really take your moral choices to the next level by focusing on sustainability as much as you try to minimize the suffering of others that your choices cause.
It's not always easy, but no one ever said it was going to be.