First celebrated in 1970, April 22 marks Earth Day, the planet’s largest annual civic event.
With a mission to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide, EarthDay.org has over 75,000 partners in over 190 countries to drive positive action for our planet.
The first Earth Day mobilized millions of Americans from all walks of life and birthed a new movement to protect the planet. 20 million Americans—10% of the United States population at the time—took to streets, college campuses, and hundreds of cities to protest environmental ignorance and demand a new path forward.
The first Earth Day led to the passing of landmark environmental laws in the US, including the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts and the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Many countries soon adopted similar laws, and in 2016, the United Nations chose Earth Day as the day to sign the Paris Climate Agreement. Many other organizations and initiatives have formed since.
With the theme of “Restore Our Earth,” three days of climate action will mark Earth Day 2021 from April 20 to April 22, including a live digital event beginning at 12 p.m. Eastern Time at earthday.org. To explore other events happening in your area, visit earthday.org/earth-day-2021.
Why a vegan lifestyle is kinder to the environment
In the past decade, more people have paid attention to the negative environmental effects of the animal agriculture industry and moved toward plant-based diets. The industry is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction, and is responsible for up to 91 percent of destruction to the Amazon rainforest.
Not only does the industry produce 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions—more than the combined exhaust from all transportation—emissions also include fossil fuels burned for road, rail, air, and marine transportation for the industry.
Animal agriculture water consumption ranges from 34 to 76 trillion gallons annually. Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56 percent of water in the US, and producing beef, eggs, and dairy requires thousands of gallons of water more. Not only is there an enormous amount of waste from land animals to deal with, 2.7 trillion animals are pulled from our oceans each year. Experts claim we could see fishless oceans in 2048.
Vegan fashion is a kinder wardrobe for the environment too: fur production is a toxic and energy-consumptive process. Pelts are dipped in toxic chemicals and animal waste runoff from fur factory farms pollutes soil and waterways. Akin to factory farms, the thousands of animals on fur farms have a severe ecological footprint.
As the pandemic has proven, our relationship to animals is a fragile one that intersects with our treatment of the Earth. Moving toward a vegan lifestyle also means moving toward environmental sustainability.
vKind makes eco living easy!
vKind exists to make it easier for people to find vegan businesses so they can lean into a vegan diet and lifestyle. We now know it is possible to have a thriving economy when businesses pivot to offering online options. We have an “Online Services” filter when you search for businesses on vKind so you can find and support companies that operate 100% online.
In addition, we have a “Vegan Owned” filter for businesses owned by vegans, and a “Vegans of Color” filter to support businesses owned by people of color. Recognizing that factory farms, slaughterhouses, processing plants, and fields operating under the animal agriculture industry are typically in low-income communities of people of color where employees work long hours, earn poverty wages, and suffer from a high risk of injury, supporting more businesses owned by vegans of color is one way to address environmental racism.
Here are just a few of the environmentally-minded businesses you can find on vKind:
• Plastic Free Ocean has the mission of eliminating plastic from our oceans and landfills, by providing eco-friendly alternative products and encouraging a low waste lifestyle. They aim to have all zero waste essentials in one store, for all your needs. All of their products are vegan and we LOVE that they ship carbon neutral and plastic-free every time. Based in Washington, USA
• Vegan Printer provides vegan-friendly and sustainable alternatives for all of your printing needs, from paper items to boxes and trade show graphics, using recycled paper and/or eco-friendly options whenever possible.
• EFFi Foods (Eco-Friendly Foods Initiative®️) is a purpose-driven food company that is deeply invested in the health of people, animals, and the planet. They are on a mission to create long-lasting positive impact through innovative plant-based and nutrient-dense foods.
• EQUO International products—which include plantable pencils and biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes and straws—harness the raw power of mother nature to replace single-use plastics. All of their products are 100% natural, plastic-free, non-toxic, chemical-free, biodegradable and compostable!
We challenge you to find another resource for vegan professionals and organizations online that has full transparency around vegan business listings! We want to make it as easy as possible for anyone using our site and app to spend their dollars not only in the VegEconomy®, but on businesses that reflect their values.
For more ideas on how to take civic action and contribute to EarthDay.org’s “Billion Acts of Green,” visit earthday.org/take-action-now.
Whether you’re a climate change activist, eco fashion influencer, or living a vegan lifestyle as your way of alleviating the burden on the environment, we salute you. Happy Earth Day!