Vegan brands around the world are taking note of Earth Day this week and increasing their sustainability efforts to further help the planet. While vegan meat and dairy products are already better for the environment because they require fewer resources and therefore have a smaller environmental footprint, many brands are looking to do more to bring awareness to the impact of our food choices, help slow climate change, and secure our global food supply. From promoting better environmental policies with bold statements to encouraging consumers to trade in their dairy milk for pea milk, these six brands’ eco-initiatives help build a greener future.
Trade in dairy milk
During the month of May, Ripple is hosting a one-of-a-kind, in-person “Milk Trade-In” effort to give consumers the opportunity to trade in their empty milk or other dairy-alternative brand containers to be recycled in exchange for a free bottle of Ripple. The effort aims to encourage consumers to ditch dairy—which produces a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). Uniquely, Ripple uses yellow peas to make its plant-based milk, protein shakes, half & half, and frozen desserts, an ingredient that has a much smaller environmental footprint than dairy and some dairy alternatives.
“We want to spread the word about Ripple—which consumers rate as the ‘best plant-based milk’ —and educate people in a fun and entertaining way about Ripple’s unique benefits,” Laura Flanagan, CEO of Ripple Foods, said in a statement. “Ripple milk contains the same amount of protein as dairy milk and has more protein than regular almond and oat milks, all while delivering on the creamy taste and texture consumers are craving.”
The in-person trade-in initiative will feature live events in New York City (May 3), Los Angeles (May 12), and Austin, TX (May 21). Attendees will have the opportunity to sample a variety of Ripple products in addition to trading in an empty milk or other dairy-alternative brand container for a free 48-ounce full-sized bottle of Ripple. Anyone in the United States can also join virtually by visiting Ripple’s Instagram throughout the month of May for a chance to win free products and other prizes.
“We hope we can encourage people to ‘moove over’ to Ripple by putting our money where their mouth is—giving them a no-cost opportunity to try Ripple so they can see and taste the difference for themselves,” Flanagan said.
Vegan burgers save precious resources
In celebration of Earth Day, Beyond Meat is giving out free Beyond Burgers at its custom ride-thru in Toronto, ON. This one-day initiative is part of a larger national campaign rolling out across North America this month featuring star-studded collaborations with celebrities and public figures who are helping consumers make the connection between their food choices and the planet.
The campaign and custom ride-thru aim to close this awareness gap and demonstrate that change can start on our plates with a more sustainable protein option. According to the company, its original Beyond Burger preserves the earth’s precious resources by generating 90-percent fewer GHGs and using 99-percent less water, 93-percent less land, and 43-percent less energy to produce than a quarter-pound traditional beef burger.
The Tofurky Company
Tofurky promotes policy change
Similarly, Tofurky is promoting plant-based burgers for Earth Day. Americans eat 50 billion hamburgers a year and raising livestock to make those burgers accounts for an estimated 15 percent of global emissions—that’s equal to all forms of transportation on Earth. Tofurky believes a switch to plant-based burgers and policy changes will help fix some of our climate issues.
This month, the brand is pushing for improvements in environmental policies by packaging its Plant-Based Burgers with bold statements like “Climate change affects everyone” and “Talk to your reps about climate change. Call 202-224-3121.” The packages also feature QR codes that provide consumers with additional resources. Here, visitors can register to vote, find phone numbers and text services for representatives, sign pledges and have access to scripts to use when contacting policy makers about climate change.
Future Farm’s carbon neutral burger
Brazilian plant-based protein brand Future Farm is taking its commitment to the planet to the next level with the launch of its carbon neutral Future Burger. Whenever you buy a Future Burger in any of the 28 countries where it’s available, including the US, 100 percent of the carbon emissions—from growing the crops to disposal of the packaging at your house—are offset by Climate Partner.
This means Future Farm has taken the extra step to calculate its carbon emissions, reduce emissions where possible, and offset the unavoidable via Climate Partner’s carbon offset projects. With this initiative, Future Farm is specifically aiming to offset emissions by preventing Amazon deforestation in the brand’s home country of Brazil—the world’s largest exporter of beef.
The Forager Project
Brands make bold Earth Day statements
Plant-based creamery Forager Project is encouraging a conversation and consumer action surrounding the topic of planet health and its direct correlation to the food we eat. This month, the brand has unveiled limited-edition packaging that says “Eat Organic Vegan Food & Help Save Our Planet” front and center on the foils of all of its spoonable cashew milk yogurts, one of Forager Project’s top-selling products that are sold in more than 10,000 stores nationwide.
This packaging update was created and inspired by Forager Project’s co-founder and CEO, Stephen Williamson, to advance his passion for protecting our planet. His commitment to organic, plant-based food is the backbone of Forager Project, and it was important to him that the company take a stand to showcase its philosophy for being mindful about the food we eat for the sake of the Earth.
Fast food that helps the planet
Eating traditional fast food—with all of its environmentally damaging beef and dairy—is not a good way to honor the planet. This is why vegan fast-food chain Veggie Grill is celebrating Earth Month with several new initiatives. First, the chain—along with its Stand-Up Burgers and Más Veggies brands—is helping plant-based newbies expand their horizons on VG Rookie Day (April 25). Any customer who brings a vegan first-timer to any Veggie Grill-operated business that day will get a BOGO meal.
Veggie Grill is also helping the planet with its VG Classic Burger. Throughout the month of April, the chain will donate a portion of proceeds from the menu item to Grades of Green, an organization that gives young people tools and resources to build a greener future.