Your food is already vegan but what about your house? Does being vegan only refer to cooking?
There are quite a few misconceptions about what it really means to live a vegan lifestyle. Vegans don’t eat anything that comes from an animal or uses animals to be produced. Vegans do not wear any animal products, and they avoid buying those that were tested on animals. Most of the people think that these are the only essentials.
However, the vegan life philosophy goes far beyond the food and clothing.
Vegans do not own or use anything that was made of animals. Instead, they use plant-based products in every aspect of their life. Vegans also care about the environment and sustainability; therefore, they should make conscious choices choosing products that do less or no harm to the environment in their manufacturing process. Simply it means that they go for products that are less processed, consuming less energy, causing less carbon emission. These are the products consisting of a minimal number of ingredients. So if you are a real vegan, you should definitely think about reorganising your home space.
For most of the people these days, this transition is neither difficult nor expensive. It means to make your house more environmentally friendly, replace some regular decoration items with ethical ones or simply reduce some stuff. What to focus on?
There are commonly used materials for interior decoration that are not vegan. So you have to be careful when buying textiles, curtains, cushions, rugs and carpets for your vegan home. You should definitely ban these animal-based materials: silk, fur, feathers, all kinds of wool, leather and suede. Imagine that each year, the global leather industry itself kills over a billion animals! You can easily replace leather and other matters with natural fabrics such as cotton and linen, jute or bamboo silk, for example. Natural textiles will make your home very cosy. You can also decide to get pieces made of synthetic components such as acrylic, nylon or polyester. They are cheaper and therefore became very popular. In most of the cases, they can also be recycled.
Candles are typically made of bee wax or paraffin wax with an animal-derived stearic acid. Well, as you know none of them is vegan. How do we replace them? Go for candles made of soy! Soy candles can have a longer burning time, and by buying them, you support farming and not the big oil industry.
What about the bedding? Probably some of you still use the feathers filled duvets. Well, this is not vegan either. You can find plenty of natural fabrics or synthetic materials bed sheets, blankets and duvets in most of the shops. These materials are often more comfortable than the conventional bed sheets, more hygienic as well, and what is more, they are more affordable.
Be careful with the paint — conventional paints, which by the way contain a variety of toxins, are made with a milk protein binder. Vegan paints consist of natural binders such as vegetable casein, which is the protein glue. They are toxins free and safe for your health. Moreover, natural paints should be biodegradable and free of petrochemical ingredients to prevent environmental contamination. They are already available in many online shops.
Use sustainable wood and other environmentally friendly materials for furniture and home renovation. Production of commercial concrete, paints and synthetic wood-alike materials releases tons of the carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming. Sustainable wood means trees from a sustainable, renewable plantation. Trees are beneficial for our planet. They absorb CO2 as they grow and they require easy methods to process into construction products. Properly managed forests are also renewable and can provide biodiversity. Be aware that processed laminated wood furniture may not always be totally vegan. Treated laminated wood used for flooring and furniture production can contain glue that has animal-derived ingredients. If you really fancy the classic leather sofa look in your living room (some people say it’s just easy to keep it clean), then you should go for the faux leather. It has the same functional effect, but there is no harm or cruelty involved in its manufacturing process. The best thing you can do though is finding some vintage pieces of furniture and breathe them a new life with a total vegan revitalisation.
6. More green
Bring more plants to your home. They are the best functional decoration. Some of them are particularly useful and valuable for our health. They improve the quality of the air indoors. They clear the toxins from the air and the pollutants found in chemical cleaning products, paints and other materials. Choose the ones that are easy to take care of and are very effective, like aloe vera, dracaena, snake plant, English ivy, for example. They are the perfect plants for your living room and bedroom. They purify the air and the co2 emissions, eliminate benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene, and they fill the air with oxygen. Moreover, plants help to reduce the stress level. Isn’t it nice to come back home and sit at your sofa looking at green plants? Even thinking about it makes you calm. Does your flat have a balcony? Invest some money in pots and create an urban herbs garden. Bees and birds will love it, and you will have your own fresh herbs. Lucky to have a proper garden? It’s quite easy to bring some life to it. Trees, flowers, bushes need only water and some sun, and they will be happy if you let them grow. They will bring more relaxing climate to your surrounding. Many researchers claim that spending time in the green area has a beneficial impact on our physical and mental health. Moreover, working in the garden is like proper exercise for your body. So it can simply replace going to the gym.
7. Detergents and cosmetics
Choose your beauty and cleaning products wisely. Most of the biggest brands test their products on animals which leads to horrible existence and eventually death of these innocent creatures in the laboratories around the world. Moreover, some products still contain ingredients and preservatives that might be hazardous for your health (parabens, SLS, phthalates etc.), as well as damaging effects for the environment. These days testing on animals is not necessary. There are different methods to make sure products are safe for us. When buying, try to focus on these labelled as cruelty-free, eco-friendly or suitable for vegans. There is a range of products in every supermarket these days. If you have doubts about whether a certain product is vegan or not, you can always go to Veganbase website and check if it is listed there. At Veganbase we are creating a list of vegan, cruelty-free and sustainable items for your home.
Remember, every choice makes a difference! Make your space greener and more natural and remove the animal products from your life. It is more pleasant to live in a house that does not have any pieces related to harm and suffering. With a little effort, you can make your home look not only good but also feel good!