There are several parallels between the vegan movement and Earth Day. Both involve an outlier group leading the charge, both work to protect our environment, and, most importantly, both unite people to create lasting, positive change. Vegans save animals and protect Mother Nature every day, but—as we’ve recently discovered—this Earth Day we can conserve our bank accounts, too! Check out the discounts and deals below to see how you can save some green this Earth Day.
1. National parks
Looking to connect with nature on Earth Day? Hug a tree for free all weekend, courtesy of the National Park Service. All 400 national parks will waive their entrance fees on these final two days of National Park Week, which concludes Earth Day weekend. Find a park near you, grab your hiking boots or picnic basket, and enjoy a free frolic through the flowers.
2. Coffee shops
Last year, Starbucks offered free coffee to customers who brought reusable cups to its stores. Unfortunately, this promotion will not be repeated for 2017, but this year, the coffee behemoth is honoring Earth Day by giving away free reusable mugs to the first 25 customers at each of its locations. If you prefer to sleep in, visit The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf between noon and 4pm to receive a free tumbler with the purchase of any regular or large drink. Also, Peet’s Coffee & Tea is offering half-off prices on beverages until Sunday.
3. Health-food stores
If your kitchen cabinets are sparse, this weekend is the time to stock up on the essentials because Whole Foods Markets will offer a 25-percent discount Saturday on certain Whole Foods 365 products such as tissues, napkins, and toilet paper. Stores will also host various tasting events throughout the weekend (in Orange County, CA, Whole Foods will feature kombucha tastings). Smaller natural-food stores, such as Mother’s Market, are planning Earth Day celebrations, so be sure to check in with your favorite grocer so you don’t miss the fun (and free samples).
Have a favorite vegan-friendly restaurant? If you’re not already following them on social media, now is the time to hit “follow” so you don’t miss out on any Earth Day deals. At True Food Kitchen, diners can enjoy a Citrus Skinny Margarita for $8, and the restaurant promises to plant a tree for each cocktail they sell (we’ll drink to that). For fast-casual joints, think about getting your meal to go and ask the staff to place your food in a reusable container.
5. Meal prep/delivery
Check out your favorite vegan-friendly meal delivery company to see if they offer any Earth Day specials. For example, Veestro is offering a special Earth Pack for all of April. The deal includes 12 vegan meals and a dessert for $99. That works out to $8.25 a meal, which is not bad considering the preparation time you save.
6. Cooking classes
Save the earth and save gas by learning to prepare restaurant-quality dishes at home. Two of the top-rated international vegan cooking schools, Rouxbe and Matthew Kenney Culinary, are offering discounts to celebrate the spring season. With Rouxbe, a completely online plant-based program, students receive half off the Culinary Rx course for a discounted price of $99.99. The 60-day program includes cooking and nutrition lessons via 96 instructional videos and 75 recipes (the offer lasts through April). Furthermore, Matthew Kenney Culinary offers both online and on-site courses throughout the world. Training ranges from professional plant-based chef certifications to weekend workshops. Discounts range from 25-45 percent, depending on the number of courses purchased (the more you buy, the more you save), and last until midnight on April 22nd.
7. Major retailers
Always forgetting your reusable bags when you go to the store? Swing by Target on Earth Day for a free reusable tote. Bonus: each bag is stuffed with a few samples of sustainable, earth-friendly products. Amazon is another big brand capitalizing on the holiday, as Amazon Warehouse (slightly refurbished and/or open-box products) will further discount selected items by an additional 20 percent. Best Buy will also host sales with up to 30-percent off major energy-saving appliances. For the experience-seekers, both Groupon and LivingSocial will feature up to 20-percent discounts on everything from fitness classes to getaway packages.
Tanya Flink is an Orange County-based vegan, foodie, and certified Master Personal Trainer.
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