In 1992, over 15,000 scientists from 184 countries issued a warning to humanity to protect planet earth (Ripple et al., 2017)1. These warnings included the ever dwindling availability of freshwater, the devastating effects of unsustainable marine fisheries, the increase of coastal ‘dead zones’, the continual loss of forests, the collapse of ecosystems and biodiversity and unsustainable population growth.
This list paints a pretty devastating picture of critical stress on our environment. It is critical that we all now chip in to do our part to protect this beautiful planet that we are privileged enough to be guests of. Of course, we are not claiming to be perfect, but here are the things we are doing to reduce our load on the planet.
The vegan lifestyle is a multifaceted way of protecting the environment. Like it or not, veganism is one of the most fundamental things an individual can do to ease their load on the environment. Here are a few ways that veganism alone can help the environment.
Chickens, pigs and cattle raised for consumption are the main consumers of water across the globe. According to the Australian Government (https://www.agric.wa.gov.au)2; a single pig drinks up to 45 litres of water per day while dairy cows can drink up to 160 litres per day. Not only do animals raised for consumption use valuable drinking water but they also contribute heavily to the pollution of natural water resources. Livestock farming produces billions of pounds of feaces each year. Unlike human waste, animal waste is not treated before it is disposed of. The website Foodprint.org reports that, in 2012, livestock and poultry on the largest concentrated animal feeding operations produced 369 million tons of manure: this was almost 13 times more waste than that of the entire US population of 312 million. This waste, along with bedding waste, cleaning agents, antibiotic residues and dead animals is stored in huge open ponds, known to the industry as lagoons. The waste is applied as fertilizer to fields and often ends up in groundwater supplies, polluting natural waterways.
The untreated waste from factory farms often ends up in natural waterways due to the amounts used being too much for the land to naturally absorb. This waste can cause heavy metal contamination of soil and water due to the metals such as lead, zinc and copper used in the animal feed.
In addition to land pollution, we know that air pollution is a big deal in the production of animals for consumption. Waste from manure and urine emit around 400 harmful gases into the environment. It is estimated that 10% of Australia’s greenhouse gases and around 80% of ammonia emissions in the U.S. come from farmed animals. Worldwatch Institute estimates that a staggering 51% of global greenhouse emissions are due to livestock farming.
Photo by Jo Anne McArthur
The Smithsonian Institute estimates that land the size of 7 seven football fields is razed every minute to create land for livestock and the agriculture required to feed them. Over 80% of the agricultural land in the U.S. is used to raise animals for consumption. It is estimated that pigs alone eat tens of millions of tons of feed every year.
Photo by Roya Ann Miller
In Australia, The Guardian reports that more than 1.6 million hectares of land was cleared for cattle between 2013 and 2018, that’s 73% of land clearing in Queensland. This is a huge problem around the Great Barrier Reef catchment which is already in trouble from climate change, other farming practices and fossil fuel production.
We use recycled materials
It is thought that 17 million tons of textile waste in the U.S. ended up in landfills in 2018. It is estimated that up to 95% of this waste can be reused. By using recycled PU Vuxari is constantly reusing material that would have otherwise be left in landfill. The composition of our material depends on the batch, colour and texture of the material.
In addition, billions of tonnes of plastic bottles are produced each year and sadly, there is still a demand for them, with 1 million plastic bottles being sold each minute. It is estimated that over 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans every year. With technology on our side, we are incorporating plastic waste into the fabric lining of our bags and we stay clear of single-use plastic in our brand and daily lives. Check out Vuxari's cruelty-free handbag collections now!
Saying 'no' to leather
Even without considering the inherent cruelty to animals, the leather industry is responsible for using a crazy amount of water each year; approximately 20-80 cubic meters of water is used to tan a single animal skin. Not only does this put pressure on our ever-stretched water resources, but the process of leather tanning uses a plethora of toxic chemicals, including formaldehyde and chromium, which have been known to find their way into the environment causing eutrophication and poisoning.
The leather industry continues to contribute to deforestation every year in countries such as Brazil, where it is estimated that estimated over 80% of deforestation in the Amazon is due to cattle farming, fueling the enormous forest fires that ravaged huge parts of the Amazon in 2019.
We have partnered with ‘One Tree Planted’ to give you the option to plant a tree for each bag purchased from Vuxari and we hope to make a small difference each year to our dwindling forests. The One Tree Planted initiative has planting projects across North America, Latin America and Asia, see here for more information: https://onetreeplanted.org/
- Ripple, W.J. et al. (2017) World scientists’ warning to humanity: a second notice. BioScience 67, 1026–1028