By Caitlin Berry, Shoppertainment’s Environmental Officer
Our Journey Through Veganuary!
As a business, how do we create an eco-conscious space? Well, let me tell you…
Our first step within Shoppertainment, is implementing monthly green challenges. These are a sustainable initiative within the workplace, to inspire staff to think deeper into the environment. This applies not only in the office, but on the road and at home – slowly turning small changes into lifelong habits, one step at a time.
The aim of this month’s Green Challenge was Veganuary. A worldwide campaign, Veganuary encourages people to adopt a plant-based diet not only for health reasons but to help the environment. This is achieved with simple swaps and alternatives of your usual grocery shop. Veganism benefits the world greatly as consuming animals and their by-products massively lends to deforestation, river and ocean pollution, and wild animal populations becoming extinct.
Did you know … A study done by Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn found that a vegan diet caused more than 500 genes to change in three months, turning on genes that prevent disease and turning off genes that cause cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses.
You can read more on Veganism and its background, including some famous celebrities who follow the diet and trending informative documentaries on the topic, on our LinkedIn post for World Vegan Day – 2022.
As an office, we appreciate taking on a plant-based diet is a big commitment, however encouraging staff to change one day week was more than we could ask for and the outcome has been positive. We have found several member of the team not only trying new products and recipes, but actually preferring them to animal products.
Over the course of the month, we were very inspired by social media influencers, @thevegangals, @vegan and @veganbowls just to name a few. Go and check them out for fun, delicious recipes, and get a sneak peek on the new vegan foods/drinks being released from famous fast-food restaurants. Another great account to keep an eye on is @plantbasednews. This Instagram account regularly posts the week’s top news stories and how veganism has made the recent headlines, keeping you in the know on all things VEGAN!
To keep motivations high in the office we took part in several fun tasks throughout the month. A personal favourite in the office, was that we all attempted the foodie crossword from the Sainsbury’s magazine to find the secret phrase to try and win ‘Eat More Vegan’ by Annie Rigg. In this brilliant cookbook, she gives some great easy tips on becoming and staying vegan:
- Make vegetables the star of the show, rather than replacing meats with plant based alternatives
- Add as much texture and colour to your food as possible, achieved with nuts, lentils, beans and spices
- Using an array of different oils can elevate the flavour of food
Several members of a team experimented with vegan recipes, taking recipes from the likes of Chef Derek Sarno, and the couple behind So Vegan.
We will be implementing lessons learnt from this month’s green challenge, beginning with hosting Meat-Free Mondays once a month in the office and stocking up the biscuit tin with our favourite “accidentally” vegan biscuits such as Oreos, Jammie Dodgers and Bourbons. This one is especially a favourite throughout the team!
So, would you give Veganism a go? Studies show even the smallest of changes, make a difference. By halving your meat consumption, you will see a reduction of your carbon footprint by 20-30% per person.
Don’t let a vegan diet fill you with fear, ‘Veganism is not a sacrifice, it is a joy. – Gary L Francione.’