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7 Types of Vegetarians and Their Impact on Your Health and the Environment

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The term vegetarian came into use in 1839 and referred to people who ate a plant-based diet.  However, this type of lifestyle has been in existence from the beginning of time. Some notable vegetarians include Confucius, Plato, Leonardo da Vinci and Henry David Thoreau.

In modern times, as in the past, there are many different interpretations of a vegetarian lifestyle, which can be placed in several categories and go by many different names. Some people believe that veganism, which is a diet devoid of any type of animal product, is the ultimate way to showing kindness to animals and protecting the environment. Others use the name pollotarians or flexitarians which infer they are semi-vegetarians. Most vegetarians feel that by limiting or eliminating animal-based foods from their diet, they are benefiting the animal kingdom and the planet.

Because there are so many different types of vegetarianism, some people need clarification on which type of vegetarian lifestyle they want to lead. There are seven major categories of vegetarianism, each has a different level of commitment. However, it’s important to note that with each version of vegetarianism, a person adopting this type of diet will not only see an improvement in their health but also feel the joys of doing something to benefit animals and the environment.

The Vegan

A person practicing veganism does not consume animal products or animal by-products. A person living a vegan lifestyle does not use any type of products that are animal based or tested on animals. A vegan, therefore, would not only stop eating meat but also dairy products and foods using animal ingredients, including gelatin, albumin, rennet, and honey. A vegan may also avoid using sugars that were processed with animal bone char.

Impact and Benefits

Studies show that for every person eating a vegan diet, approximately 200 animals are saved each year. Generally, vegans are healthier than people who eat animal-based diets. A vegan would experience fewer incidents of cancer deaths or cardiac failure. By adopting a vegan lifestyle a person is able to make a positive impact on the environment by saving water, lessening pollution and helping to reverse land degradation that can be caused by growing and processing animal-based products.

The Lacto Vegetarian

A lacto vegetarian does not consume meat, fish, fowl, poultry or eggs. However, they do use dairy products. So, as a lacto vegetarian, you can eat cheese and yogurt and drink cow or goat’s milk. This diet allows for the consumption of the dairy products from an animal, but not the consumption of the animal meat.

Impact and Benefits

A lacto vegetarian’s health will benefit from eating a meatless diet. This type of vegetarian has a lower risk of certain diseases, including low blood pressure. Since a lacto vegetarian consumes cholesterol through dairy products, they may have some health issues related to the consumption of animal-based dairy products. Because a lacto vegetarian does not consume animal meat, they save a large number of animals, although less than a vegan.

The Ovo Vegetarian

The ovo vegetarian does not consume meat, fowl, fish, poultry or dairy products. However, they do eat eggs and egg-based products. The type of eggs normally eating by ovo vegetarians are from egg-laying hens, although they may consume eggs from other birds.

Impact and Benefits

The ovo vegetarian gains many of the benefits of a meat-free diet. However, as with the lacto vegetarian they ingest cholesterol in the form of eggs. By eliminating meat from their diet, they are able to save some animals and benefit the environment.

Lacto-ovo Vegetarian

Lacto-ovo is the most popular type of vegetarianism. A lacto-ovo does not eat meat, fowl, fish or poultry. However, they are able to consume foods that contain dairy or eggs.

Impacts and Benefits

Many lacto-ovo vegetarians experience an improvement in their health when they change to this form of vegetarianism, from a meat-based diet. The cholesterol levels may be significantly higher than a person who is a lacto vegetarian or an ovo vegetarian since they would be consuming both dairy and eggs. Since the person is still avoiding the consumption of meat, this diet does help animals and improve the environment.

The Pollotarian

Pollotarian is a controversial form of vegetarianism. A Pollotarian avoids all forms of meat, except fowl and poultry. They avoid meat, fish, and seafood. However, since they are eating poultry, most people don’t consider them vegetarians.

Impacts and Benefits

A pollotarian would see the health benefits of avoiding red meats. Poultry is more heart healthy than red meats, so a pollotarian would have less risk of heart disease than a person who consumed red meat. A pollotarian does save some animals since they limit their consumption to poultry and fowl. But depending on the amount of poultry consumed, a pollotarian may not be saving any animals at all.

The Pescatarian or Pescetarian

The Pescatarian or Pescetarian is similar to the pollotarian, except they consume seafood and cook fish instead of poultry. As with the pollotarian, many people feel that this is not truly a form of vegetarianism because it is not solely plant-based.

Impacts and Benefits

A Pescatarian or Pescetarian will see health benefits if they are changing from a meat based diet to a seafood and fish based diet. However, because many kinds of seafood are full of mercury and other pollutants, this diet may lead to other health issues. This type of diet also supports commercial fishing practices which may be harmful to the environment.  A Pescatarian does save other types of animals from factory farms which can help the environment.

The Flexitarian

Flexitarian is the newest type of vegetarianism. A flexitarian primarily consumes a plant-based diet, but they allow themselves to eat meat and meat-based products. The amount of meat a flexitarian eats is a personal choice. Many flexitarians consume a plant-based diet and only allow themselves to eat meat-based foods on occasion.

Impacts and Benefits

While a person who eats a vegan diet will experience the most health benefits from a lifestyle change to vegetarianism, research has shown that eliminating meat for one day per week can have a positive impact on a person’s health. Reducing meat consumption can save some animals that would otherwise be used for food. Participating in Meatless Mondays can offer a person the opportunity to reduce their risk of certain illness and help to improve the environment.

Simon Leadbetter is the founder and publisher of Blue & Green Tomorrow. He has held senior roles at Northcliffe, The Daily Telegraph, Santander, Barclaycard, AXA, Prudential and Fidelity. In 2004, he founded a marketing agency that worked amongst others with The Guardian, Vodafone, E.On and Liverpool Victoria. He sold this agency in 2006 and as Chief Marketing Officer for two VC-backed start-ups launched the online platform Cleantech Intelligence (which underpinned the The Guardian’s Cleantech 100) and StrategyEye Cleantech. Most recently, he was Marketing Director of Emap, the UK’s largest B2B publisher, and the founder of Blue & Green Communications Limited.

Environment

Want to Connect With Nature? Start by Disconnecting From Busyness

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Connect With Nature

Have you ever found yourself staring at one of your (many) devices and feeling slightly disgusted with how much time you waste on technology? If so, you aren’t alone. We all have moments like these and it’s important that we use them as motivation to change – especially if we want to be more connected with nature.

How Busyness Impacts Your Connection With Nature

Whether you realize it or not, you live an ultra connected life. Between smart phones, tablets, computers, and wearable devices, you’re never very far from some sort of technology that can connect you to the internet or put you in touch with other people. That’s just the world we live in.

While it could be argued that this sort of omnipresent connectivity is a positive thing, it’s also pretty clear that being permanently tethered to technology impacts our ability to strip away distractions and connect with nature.

When you’re always within arm’s reach of a device, you feel a sense of busyness.  Whether it’s browsing your social media feed, uploading a picture, reading the news, or responding to an email, there’s always something to do. As someone who wants to spend more time in nature, this is problematic.

4 Practical Ways to Disconnect

If you want to truly connect with nature and live a greener lifestyle, you have to be proactive about finding ways to disconnect. Here are a few practical suggestions:

1. Switch to a New Phone Plan

It’s not always practical to totally unplug from the world. Family and work responsibilities mean you can’t go off the grid and continue to fulfill your responsibilities. Having said that, there are some ways to scale back.

One suggestion is to switch to a prepaid phone plan. When you have a prepaid phone plan, you’re far less likely to spend hours and hours of your time making phone calls, sending texts, and surfing the web. It forces you to be more conscious of what you’re doing.

2. Get Rid of Social Media

Social media is one of the biggest time wasters for most people. Whether you realize it or not, it’s also a huge stressor. You’re constantly being exposed to the best snapshots of everyone else’s lives, which makes you feel like you’re missing out on something (even when you aren’t).

If you want to feel a sense of relief and free yourself up to spend more time in nature, get rid of social media. Don’t just delete the apps off your phone – actually disable your accounts. It’s a bold, yet necessary step.

3. Create Quiet Hours

If you aren’t able to get rid of social media and disable various online accounts, the next best thing you can do is establish quiet hours each day where you totally detach from technology. You should do this for a minimum of three hours per day for best results.

4. Build Community

Do you know why we’re drawn to social media and our devices? Whether consciously or subconsciously, it’s because we all want to be connected to other people. But do you know what’s better than connecting with people online? Connecting with them in person.

As you build real life, person-to-person relationships, you’ll feel less of a need to constantly have your eyes glued to a screen. Connect with other people who have an appreciation for nature and bond over your mutual interests.

Untether Your Life

If you find yourself constantly connected to a device, then this is probably a clear indicator that you aren’t living your best life. You certainly aren’t enjoying any sort of meaningful connection with nature. Now’s as good a time as any to untether your life and explore what a world free from cords, screens, and batteries is really like.

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6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Move

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Moving can be a stressful and challenging time. No matter how many times you’ve done it in the past, the process of packing up, transporting, and unpacking isn’t very fun. It’s also not very eco-friendly. As you prepare for your next move, there are things you can do to ensure you leave less of a footprint behind.

6 Tips for a Greener Move

Because of the stress and pressure felt when moving, it’s pretty common for people to rush through the process and focus on getting it done. In fact, a lot of people take an “at all costs” approach; they’ll do whatever it takes to make the process as cheap and fast as possible. Don’t be one of those people. It doesn’t take much effort to turn a standard move into an eco-friendly move.

1. Maximize Each Trip

When moving across town, it’s imperative that you make as few trips as possible. Each trip requires more gas, more emissions, and more waste, and more time.

If you’re taking your personal vehicle, consider pulling a trailer behind it. You’d be surprised how much stuff you can fit into a small trailer. Not only will it make your move greener, but it’ll also save you a lot of time.

2. Donate Things You Don’t Want to Keep

The longer you live somewhere, the more junk you accumulate. This isn’t always obvious until you start packing for a big move. Instead of bringing all of these things with you to your next home, get rid of the stuff you don’t need! If the items are useful, donate them. If the items don’t have much value, toss them.

3. Reuse Moving Boxes

Not only are moving boxes expensive, but they’re also wasteful. If you need a bunch of cardboard boxes, consider looking around on Craigslist, asking friends, or checking the dumpsters behind stores. You can usually find a bunch of recycled boxes of all different shapes and sizes. Here are 12 places you can get them for free.

4. Get Creative With Packing

Who says you need moving boxes? You may find that it’s possible to do most of your move without all that cardboard. Things like storage containers, trashcans, filing cabinets, buckets, and dressers can all store items. Blankets and sheets can be used in lieu of bubble wrap to prevent your items from getting damaged.

5. Use Green Cleaning Supplies

Once you arrive at your new place, resist the urge to pull out a bunch of harsh chemicals to clean the place. You can do yourself (and the planet) a favor by using green cleaning supplies instead. Ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia are great to start with.

6. Forward Your Mail ASAP

Don’t delay in forwarding your mail from your previous address to your new one. Not only is it wasteful for the Postal Service to route your mail to a place where you don’t live, but the next owner is probably just going to toss your letters in the trash.

Moving Doesn’t Have to be Wasteful

Most people only move once every few years. Some people will go a decade or more without a move. As a result, the process of moving often feels strange and new. The less experience you have with it, the less likely it is that you’ll be as efficient as you should. But instead of just diving into the process blind, take some time to learn about what an eco-friendly move looks like. That way, you can leave behind the smallest footprint possible.

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