January Challenge: Veganuary

January Challenge: Veganuary - Happy Earth®

Happy New Year, Happy Earth fam! We're excited to tackle more sustainability initiatives in 2022 - but first, we want to hear from you!

This year, Happy Earth Ambassador Challenges will have quarterly themes to better focus our community's sustainability efforts. Each month will host a central challenge that ties into the current quarter's theme. We know that it's hard to tackle something new each month. Testing new eco-initiatives isn't easy, even when you're eager and committed to developing a sustainable lifestyle. The goal of these challenges is to help each of us learn, understand, appreciate, and implement more Earth-first behaviors throughout the year. We all have our own starting points, means, and interests; but we're all unified by our collective goal to better our world. So let's get to it!

Q1 Theme: Sustainable Foodie

January: Earth-first Diet

February: Minimizing Food Waste

March: Composting

This month, we’re fighting for our planet by changing what we put on our plates. How our diet impacts the world is complicated and nuanced. A basic principle is to do your best to understand the story behind what you’re eating – be it plant or animal: when you know where your food comes from, you make the connection from farm to table, which gives you a better appreciation for what goes into raising livestock, growing vegetables, and producing the foods you eat.

Plant-based eating is a big fixture of a sustainable diet – and for good reason. Across the globe forests have been devastated to make space to rear cattle and to grow crops to feed livestock. Oceans are trawled and overfished. Food production is not only the greatest driver of wildlife loss, it contributes to climate change: about a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions are associated with food.

This month, challenge yourself to eat more sustainably.  Remember: the world doesn't need a handful of people being perfectly sustainable, we need millions of people doing it imperfectly. Adjusting your diet means something different to everyone.

Big red-meat eater? Try adapting dishes to exclude beef.

Routine carnivore? Try integrating more non-meat centered meals into your schedule.

Can't break away from certain foods? Try scaling back in areas that won't be a deal-breaker.

Vegetarian? Try some full-vegan days and new plates.

Vegan? Try bringing in more seasonal foods or locally-sourced options.

Test out new dishes.  Opt for the more sustainable version (e.g. pasture-raised, organic eggs). Treat yourself to trying alternatives (try putting together a fun tasting to explore what flavors, textures, and brands you prefer!).  Buy what you need and aim for less waste.

Expect some slip-ups and keep pushing forward!  Everyone's journey is different - track yours this month and let us know your thoughts. Make sure to bring some fun into it! Trying new foods and experimenting with new styles is a fun way to greet 2022!

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