Vegan diet? Check. Cruelty free beauty products? Check. Now, here’s how to create a vegan home…
By Chere Di Boscio
There can be little doubt that veganism is on the rise: when Veganuary was launched in 2014, 3,300 people signed up; by 2017, a staggering 168,000 signed up, and those were just the numbers that signed up officially online. Notably, 84% of this year’s registered participants were female, while 60% were aged under 35.
And if you want to talk about vegan celebs, we could name Ellie Goulding, Ariana Grande, Woody Harrelson, Ellen DeGeneres, Liam Hemsworth, Miley Cyrus and many, many more. The main reasons for going vegan are cited as: animal welfare, health concerns, and environmental reasons.
As we all know, veganism means consuming no animal products – and most vegans are also aware that this extends to their wardrobes, too. Consequently, they shun leather, wool, fur and other animal based products. But what about…vegan homes?
Given the amount of leather furniture, silk drapes, wool blankets and beeswax candles and waxes on the market, committing to a vegan home can look like a big job. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you know what to eliminate (and what to replace it with), making your home cruelty-free and vegan can be a pretty simple process.
Here, I’ve written up the ultimate guide on how to create a vegan home.
Your Ultimate Guide On How To Create A Vegan Home
Preparing to Create A Vegan Home
Before you can start transitioning from an everyday American (or international) household to one that’s animal- and eco-friendly, you have to know what products, materials and derivatives need to go. Some are pretty obvious, but others include products that most people don’t even realise contain animal products and byproducts.
Toss out the:
- Beeswax polishes
- Cleaning products, like bleach and others
- Down pillows, cushions or duvets (donate to homeless shelters)
- Certain fabric softeners and some soaps
- Fur blankets or decorations (donate to PETA)
- Glues used in woodwork and musical instruments
- Lanolin based cleaners
- Latex gloves and other products
- Leather furniture or accessories
- Products with red dye derived from carmine (crushed bugs)
- Sheepskin throws and mats
- Silk curtains and cushions
- Some kinds of paints
There’s no need to get into the details here of why these products can be cruel -after all, there’s a pretty good chance that you already know if you’re considering such a big change for your household. But you should know that even when some products appear to be byproducts of the meat industry (like sheepskin or suede, for example), that’s not always the case. Even plant-based products, like carnauba wax and palm oil, are significant contributors to animal cruelty all over the world.
Of course, don’t literally throw these in the rubbish – donate them all to a homeless shelter! They shouldn’t go to waste, and PETA takes donated leather and fur to keep the homeless warm each winter. See more suggestions on what to do with your old products, below.
What to Do With Animal Unfriendly Products
When wondering how to create a vegan home, one thing you’ll have to decide on is what to do with the products you can’t keep around any longer. There are a few ways to approach this, so you’ll have to weigh up your options before you make a decision. Here are the most common options:
- Use it until it dies: You might decide to just keep using your household items until they’re worn out and basically dead. When the items are no longer useful, then you can trash them and replace them with new cruelty-free products.
- Donate or sell: Did you know that PETA gives donations of leather and fur items to keep the homeless warm? Your fur blankets and pillows, feather pillows and duvets will be most welcome. Other items, like leather furniture, can easily be sold on sites like eBay.
- Dispose of responsibly: If you decide the first two options aren’t for you, please ensure you dispose of your non-vegan items responsibly. For example, household cleaners and paints may need to be thrown out in special containers, or collected by your local council, to ensure they don’t pollute our groundwater.
The Best Vegan Household Alternatives
So now you’re wondering: what can I use in my now-vegan home? Even if you’ve ditched some much-loved items and brands, don’t worry; there are plenty of alternatives that are actually better than their animal-based counterparts. Many are plant-based and some are synthetic, but either way, these alternatives below will be welcome items in your home.
When it comes to cleaning products, there are plenty of vegan and cruelty-free alternatives. Look for products that feature a cruelty-free logo. Some animal-friendly and cruelty-free products (at least as of this writing) include:
- Bar Keepers Friend Powdered Household Cleaner
- Biokleen Carpet and Rug Shampoo
- Biokleen Oxygen Bleach Plus
- Citra Solv Air Scense
- Citra Solv Natural Cleaner & Degreaser
- ECOS Furniture Polish + Cleaner
- ECOS Liquid Laundry Detergent
- Ecover Dishwasher Tablets
- Method Dish Soap
- Method Squirt + Mop Hard Floor Cleaner
- Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Fabric Softener
- Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Lavender Glass Cleaner
- Seventh Generation All-Purpose Natural Cleaner
- Seventh Generation Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Household Furniture and Bedding
If you’re looking for cruelty-free, vegan furniture that’s made without harming or exploiting animals, you’re in luck: many furniture companies have strong cruelty-free policies, including:
Synthetic leathers feel just like the real deal, and you can opt for faux fur and down alternatives made from both plant-based and synthetic materials.
*Side note, though: If you’re shopping for a vegan mattress, choose wisely. Sometimes they’re made with latex, which contains casein (a protein found in mammal milk).
Remember: Don’t fall prey to the cruelty-free logos that some companies put on their products; in many cases, they’re misleading, and in others, they’re completely fabricated. Your best bet is to find a company with a logo from Choose Cruelty Free or Leaping Bunny, which each vet and accredit businesses. Even then, double-check the company’s reputation on the organization’s website. (Unfortunately, anyone can download and use these logos.)
Tips for Buying Animal-Friendly Products
You may be freaking out a bit, wondering what the heck you were thinking when you bought that down-filled duvet or cowhide carpet. Don’t worry – when you know better, you do better! The point is to move forward in the way that makes the most sense for you. Check out these tips when you’re buying cruelty-free, vegan furniture or other household items:
- The only way to be completely sure a company is cruelty-free is to check its certification with Leaping Bunny or Choose Cruelty-Free. Sometimes a statement that says “cruelty-free” or “not tested on animals” only refers to a finished product, not its ingredients (or mixtures that companies buy from other companies).
- Know that animal testing is never required for household products or cosmetics. Neither the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission force companies to test these types of products on animals. In fact, most chemicals and products have already been tested on animals in the past, making it even more unnecessary to do so now or in the future. That being said, many companies still do this, so be sure you stick to point 1.
- Don’t be afraid to read the fine print on ingredient lists or call companies when you have a question. The more you know, the better decisions you can make.
More Info On Cruelty-Free Products and Brands
If you’d like to learn more ways to create a vegan home, check out Leaping Bunny, Cruelty-Free Kitty and Logical Harmony to find cruelty-free brands and products. Leaping Bunny even has a cruelty-free app you can download on iPhone or Android devices.
Original article from Redfin Last image: courtesy Ohhio Studio. Second last image: Anthropologie
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