Veganuary 2021 - A Guide

14.5% of man made greenhouse gas emissions are the result of livestock farmed for meat and dairy!!

Veganuary 2021 - A Guide

Christmas has been and gone and 2021 is nearly here (at last!). This year, after the coronavirus pandemic and the year that has been 2020, a fresh start and new beginning is needed more than ever. Despite bringing the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 also continued the trend of shedding more light on the issue of climate change, with more and more of us trying to do our bit for the planet. Me included! In April 2020, I launched Sustainer Container providing eco friendly gift boxes and sustainable starter kits - if you want to get a head start on your eco new year's resolutions, make sure you check out the shop…

Like lots of people, I am continually trying to be more environmentally conscious and Veganuary is a fantastic way to give a plant based diet a try and start the year doing your best for the planet, and you might even enjoy it! With lockdown and tightened coronavirus restrictions meaning you have more time to try out new recipes, 2021 is the perfect time to give Veganuary a try with the help of this guide to Veganuary 2021.

I will round up everything you need to know in this guide to Veganuary 2021, including:

  1. What is Veganuary 2021?
  2. Why veganism is good for the planet?
  3. Preparing for Veganuary
  4. Ideas for Veganuary and top vegan recipes
  5. Veganuary essentials

So grab a cuppa tea (with plant based milk) and lets go vegan for January!

1. A Guide to Veganuary 2021: What is Veganuary?

Vegan graphic

Taking part in Veganuary involves committing to try a plant based, vegan diet for the month of January. Being vegan means you only consume plant based foods and use plant based products, so no meat, fish or other animal products such as dairy and eggs. If you currently eat all of these foods, this could sound very intimidating, but there are loads of plant based alternatives to all of your favourite foods - Veganuary will be an adventure. But - Veganuary is all about getting stuck in and giving plant based living a try, don’t worry if you slip up (it happens to the best of us) just give it a go and do your best to commit to a plant based diet for the 31 days of Veganuary. 

2. A Guide to Veganuary 2021: Why veganism is good for the planet?

A massive 14.5% of man made greenhouse gas emissions are the result of livestock farmed for meat and dairy. If every human being on the planet adopted a vegan lifestyle, food related greenhouse gas emissions for the world would be reduced by 70% by 2050!

BUT, it isn’t just meat and dairy that can be harmful to the planet, the following vegan foods can also be problematic. 

  • Avocado chopped in half
    Milk - an essential part of a good cuppa and whilst dairy milk is the least sustainable, rice and almond milk also use significantly more water in their production than soy or oat milk. 
  • Avocados - the favourite food of many Gen Z and millennials but it takes 2,000 liters of water to produce just 1 kilo of avocados - 10x more than is needed to produce the same weight of tomatoes.
  • Soya - a main ingredient of many meat free options such as sausages and burgers. But soy is the second largest agricultural cause of deforestation, after beef, with land being deforested to make space for soy production. Yet most soy is grown for the meat and dairy industry and only 6% of soya is consumed directly by humans.
  • Palm oil - found in many supermarket products including food items and cosmetics. But palm oil is frequently grown irresponsibly and has caused major deforestation and has driven orangutangs almost to extinction in Southeast Asia
  • Imported fruit and vegetables - check where your fruit and vegetables were grown as these food miles can impact how sustainable the items are to consume

So now I’m saying a vegan diet is unsustainable and bad for the planet? No, the above foods can be problematic in terms of their environmental impact so it is worth researching further and perhaps limiting consumption of these foods - on the whole, being vegan is good for the planet. 

3. A Guide to Veganuary 2021: Preparing for Veganuary

Preparing for Veganuary - Shopping

To make the transition into Veganuary as easy as possible, a great way to prepare is by researching by reading articles such as this Veganuary 2021 guide and finding out more about Veganuary and which foods and products you usually consume are plant based. With many supermarkets throughout the UK being closed on January 1st, it is worth having a look at some vegan recipes for new years day and stocking up on a few bits - so you aren’t caught out. We usually have party foods for tea on new year's day - there are so many vegan options for premade party foods in the major supermarkets so this makes day 1 easy and hassle free (especially if you are feeling a tad tender from the night before). 

4. A Guide to Veganuary 2021: Ideas for Veganuary and Top Vegan Recipes

No Veganuary guide would be complete with out some recipe inspo! Taking part in Veganuary does not have to limit your diet - in fact, there are vegan alternatives to pretty much all of your favourite meals! Here is a vegan chilli recipe to get you started, a delicious alternative to a traditional beef chilli. 

Easy Vegan Chilli Recipe

Vegan Chili Recipe

This vegan chilli recipe for two is an easy and cheap way to eat a little more sustainably and get all the nutrients you need. You can change the vegetables (I love to add in some sweet potato) depending on what you have and easily multiply the ingredients to make more!

  1. Fry the onion in a tablespoon of oil for 3 minutes on a low heat.
  2. Add the rest of the veggies, the garlic and the spices and stir for 5 minutes to soften them and release the flavours of the spices.
  3. Stir in the tin of tomatoes and chickpeas and leave to simmer for fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Serve on rice and enjoy with a friend or keep some for the next day

For more vegan recipe inspiration, I have put together my top 5 Easy Recipes for Veganuary which are available to download here.

5. A Guide to Veganuary 2021: Veganuary essentials

Taking part in Veganuary is about trying to consume plant based foods as much as possible. But, many of the cosmetics and toiletries we use are not actually vegan. To get you started, I have put together a Vegan and Cruelty Free Toiletries Set - which covers all your toiletries for Veganuary. The set includes a shampoo bar, conditioner bar, a Shea butter cleansing bar and an orange and grapefruit soap bar - which smells delicious! There is also a soap saver bag, which can be used to store your soap to help the bar last longer and can also be used as an exfoliator. Plus, as well as being vegan, all of the toiletries are plastic free and come packaged in recyclable cardboard packaging - get yours here.

From what Veganuary involves and how being vegan benefits the environment to preparing for Veganuary and vegan recipes and essentials, this has been my guide to completing Veganuary 2021. Are you planning on taking part in veganuary this year? I would love to hear about your favourite vegan recipes below.

If you would like to follow my Veganuary journey, make sure you follow Sustainer Container on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest!

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