Should You Be a Weekday Vegan to Help the Environment?

Published on August 18, 2021

cut fruit and bread for a weekday vegan

With the recent release of the U.N.’s alarming report on climate change, many of us are looking for ways to help the environment. Reducing your personal carbon footprint is one of the best ways to help slow down the harmful effects of climate change, and this doesn’t have to mean making drastic changes in your daily life.

There are several ways to reduce your carbon footprint, and one of them involves switching up your diet. Studies have shown that the meat industry is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, so reducing the amount of meat you eat or going fully vegan could have significant impacts on your overall carbon footprint. In fact, it’s one of the top lifestyle changes you can make to fight climate change.

In the name of balance, some people are opting for the path of the weekday vegan. This is exactly what it sounds like: munching on plant-based meals throughout the week while allowing yourself to dine on your favorite animal products on the weekend if you feel you can’t do without them.

What to Consider if You Want to Be a Weekday Vegan

You should always speak to your doctor before making any lifestyle changes, but here are a few key considerations to take into account in case you’re still on the fence:

1. Will Being a Weekday Vegan Work for You?

Most of us tend to gravitate towards a specific way of eating naturally. If you naturally prefer to eat plant-based foods like salads, quinoa or lentils, then you might as well commit to eating this way full-time because it’s best for the environment and your taste buds. However, if you have a penchant for bacon or a steak from time to time but you still want to cut back on your consumption to help the environment, being a weekday vegan could be a good compromise for you. Here is a full day of vegan meal ideas for inspiration.

salad on a white plate for a weekday vegan

2. How Do You Feel as a Weekday Vegan?

Another important consideration is how you feel when you eat certain foods. If you feel like your energy levels are improved from eating plant-based full time, then it’s a no-brainer to go full vegan or at least eat that way during the week. However, if your doctor or nutritionist recommends keeping some animal products in your diet based on your personal physical needs or a specific condition you live with, then it’s best to listen to their advice — you’ll probably feel better for it. Here are some expert tips for going vegan.

young woman jumping above the ground at sunset, feeling great as a weekday vegan

3. What Steps are You Taking to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint?

If you’re considering cutting out meat for the environment but you really love steak, try thinking about it in the context of your entire lifestyle. Do you ride your bike or walk everywhere? Donate to environmental causes you care about? Shop vintage? If you’re already doing well in these other areas, then allowing yourself your favorite dish occasionally isn’t a crime. It all depends on your level of commitment to environmentalism, and your personal priorities relative to other values in life.

woman riding a bicycle in a park

More Ways to Live Green

– Live a greener life through gardening, which can lighten your carbon footprint
– Make pre-loved, sustainable fashion a part of your closet
Reduce, repair and upcycle your fashion to keep your clothes out of landfills
– Conserve water, cut down on plastic and say no to chemicals, all of which are actions that help save the oceans

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The Author
Mackenzie Patterson is a Toronto-based writer and journalist. She enjoys long walks, iced coffee on tap, and discovering all the latest and greatest health and wellness trends.