Pattycake Bakery, a vegan bakery in Columbus, Ohio, was recently in the news for winning the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio’s Emerald Award in the Small Business category. According to the article from ColumbusLocalNews.com, “the awards honor green initiatives throughout Central Ohio.”
Of course, the fact that Pattycake is totally vegan means it is already doing more than its part to save the planet, since animal agriculture is a top contributor to climate change (more than the entire transportation sector combined) and so much other environmental degradation. But, admirably, Pattycake is taking it further, and “reuses flour bags, cardboard boxes and more,” plus, recycles everything, including jelly jars, cans and plastic buckets.
Though I was disappointed that the article did not include the blatant and yet still under-reported connections between animal agriculture and climate change — and the enormous strides Pattycake is taking for the planet just by being vegan — I was nonetheless thrilled to see a vegan business being honored in this way.
And it got me to thinking. (Uh-oh…)
With green this and green that on everyone’s minds of late, for those of you with vegan businesses — particularly those of you who, like Pattycake, also practice environmentally responsible behavior beyond just providing vegan goods, why not exploit — I mean use your greenness to your advantage? Meaning, if there is a contest in your community for the greenest business, or if there’s an article in your local paper about environmentally-responsible business practices, jump on that green-wagon! Point out, whenever possible, how eco-friendly you truly are, and then tell them why. If you’re following in Pattycake’s footsteps (which are much bigger than their nearly non-existent footprints), then you: 1)recycle, 2)reuse glass jars, 3)perhaps compost, and 4)never contribute to the wastefulness of animal production! I can see possibilities “in” to these green circles in so many ways, including by writing letters to the editor pointing out that you’re a vegan business owner (again, pointing out the green benefits inherent in that); entering those green business contests; advertising in eco-centric publications, both online and in print (ah, the irony…); and simply offering resources at your establishment connecting the dots between veganism and sustainability.
But don’t just talk the talk. Like Pattycake, make sure that you’re not doing wasteful things like using styrofoam, forgetting to recycle, overdoing packaging, yadda yadda yadda…. The last thing we need is to be perceived as planet-hating but animal-loving vegans. For many of us, our veganism goes deeper than just an understanding that animals should not be exploited. It extends to the earth, too, of course.
So if you are indeed walking the walk, make it known! Get attention for your vegan business. If it’s a food business, make sure people know how delicious and how eco-friendly it is. If you can get yourself recognized in the world of greensters, like Pattycake did, more power to you.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to figure out how I’m going to get to Ohio to try me some of those scrumptious-looking Pattycake delectables…