Many people choose to follow a vegan diet for an assortment of reasons. Vegans refrain from consuming animal products in any form. Not only do they refrain from eating meat, but also eggs, dairy products and other animal-derived substances such as honey. People who follow the vegan lifestyle believe consuming animal products is cruel and inhumane. Instead, they get all their nutrients from plants. Some research has even linked vegan diets with lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer making this type of diet healthy and beneficial for everyone.
There are also major environmental benefits of veganism. According to The Vegan Society, the production of meat and other animal products places a heavy burden on the environment from crops and water required to feed the animals, to the use of agricultural land, to the transport and other processes involved from farm to table. The vast amount of grain feed required for meat production is a significant contributor to deforestation, habitat loss and species extinction. A June 2018 study published in Science Magazine asserted that the adoption of plant-based diets in the United States alone could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 61% to 73%, and the global adoption of a vegan diet would reduce the use of agricultural land by 75%, which would significantly combat climate change.
As the vegan diet continues to gain popularity because of its many health and environmental benefits, vegan design products are also on the rise. Consumer demand is pushing designers to make cruelty-free products more mainstream. The rise in demand for vegan products is slow, but steady as society continues to become more and more aware of the benefits of a sustainable environment. Deborah DiMare founded VeganDesign.org with the mission to show others through demonstration and education that beautiful, less toxic design can be achieved without the suffering of living species or the destruction of our planet.
The Hilton London Bankside Hotel recently opened the world’s first vegan suite designed by Bompas and Parr. The design team omitted the use of leather, wool and feathers throughout its interiors. The suite features several plant-based materials including Piñatex, a leather-alternative made from the cellulose fibers in pineapple leaves. The headboard of the bed is made from Piñatex and the pillows are organic buckwheat, millet seeds, and bamboo fibers. The flooring was made with 100% renewable and sustainable bamboo and the carpet, organic cotton. Even the stationary and toiletries are eco-friendly.
As the world continues to strive for sustainability, the demand for eco-friendly and renewable products will continue to rise. It is our responsibility as a society to reduce the carbon footprint and combat climate change. From our diets, to fashion, to design products, every positive change we can make will help to create a planet that will continue to flourish and thrive for many, many generations to come. Contact us at JL Architects and we can help you design a sustainable building that meets your needs.
*Photo Credit: Hilton London Bankside Hotel