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Vegan 101: Home & Beauty

The third installment of our Vegan 101 series shares tips on how to veganize and green your home and body.

You may think that veganism is all wool-free sweaters and seitan, but the compassionate lifestyle is larger than just that. The products you put on your body every day can be just as important to your health and the wellness of animals as avoiding Angus beef or shying away from silk. From facial cleansers to carpet cleaners, the items in your home matter, too. Feel like spring-cleaning for the vegan lifestyle might lead to an empty house? Never fear, and read on.

Cruelty-Free Cosmetics
Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and just as a pork chop will negatively affect your health, so will a chemical-laced lotion. Since the FDA does not approve the ingredients in skincare and cosmetics (only the color additives), thousands of potentially harmful chemicals go into hair, skin, and makeup products every day. Make sure to always shop for items with all-natural, organic ingredients that do not contain animal products (milk and honey are common offenders), and check the label (or the company’s website) to make sure the product is not tested on animals. Some of our favorite brands include Beauty Without Cruelty, 100% Pure Cosmetics, and Hugo Naturals. For more beauty, hair, and skin care tips, check out the following guides:
Vegan Hair Care
Sun Care Savvy
Fresh Face Forward

Decorating Sense
When it comes to veganizing your home décor, you already know what you need to know if you’ve read about how to shop for vegan clothes. No cashmere throws, no sheepskin rugs, and no leather sofas, to start! Many furniture designers are using cruelty-free alternatives to animal skins and hides that will make any living room look chic: Ikea, West Elm, Terra Furnishings, and GREENCulture Furniture offer faux-leather couches, canvas chairs, and more. You can also go cruelty-free while saving money and helping the planet by purchasing already-used or eco-friendly furniture. Check out what’s being sold on Craigslist or Freecycle, decorate your place with green finds from Bambeco, and make sure to read VN Associate Editor Jennifer Chen’s Savvy Vegan post, Decorating on a Dime, for tips, tricks, and our favorite design websites.

Clean, Mean, and Green Vegan Home
While vegan does not necessarily mean “green” or “eco-friendly,” it easily can. By following a vegan diet, you are reducing your carbon footprint dramatically: Why not make the way you live as kind to the planet as possible, too? One easy way to make the change is to switch to green cleaning products. With each spray, you’ll be preventing the release of hundreds of chemicals into the air you breathe. Getting ready to repaint your bedroom? Grab paint without Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC): when released into the air, these compounds combine with others to create ozone, which is bad for the planet and for your health. Greening your office is easy too, with a few simple steps. Check out Green Your Décor for more ideas.

With simple swaps and thoughtfulness, you can make your vegan lifestyle reach past the plate and closet. With so many eco- and animal-friendly cosmetics, cleaners, and couches, you can truly live the 100-percent wonderful vegan life.

Want to know even more about the vegan lifestyle? Check out the rest of the VegNews Vegan 101 Series here.

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