Do you wish your employer were more vegan friendly? Use events like the Earth Day (April 22 of every year) to open the door. Even companies that generally resist vegan ideas are usually up for something outside the norm around the Earth Day. Besides the Earth Day, at least three other times of the years are excellent for suggesting a vegan theme.
Case in point: My Fortune 500 employer has not traditionally done much for veganism. However, the company is big on sustainability so naturally (even without a push from vegan employees), mentions of a dietary impact on the environment have crept in communications. The year before last, I was amazed to read in an all-employee newsletter that some offices had adopted Meatless Mondays during the Earth month. I believe I even saw the v-word in the memo.
What can you do? Here are a few easy ideas:
- If you know your company will be sending some Earth Day communication, talk to the person in charge and see if you can work in some language on vegan benefits. ChooseVeg.com and this Time.com article offer some good environmental talking points.
- See if you can put up these flyers or infographics in the lunchroom (or include them in the newsletter).
- See if your department/cafeteria would be up for Meatless Mondays in recognition of Earth month. This could be done in May while the Earth theme is still lingering. HSUS has many resources available, including Meatless Monday toolkits.
- Suggest a plant-based-only food theme for office events organized in April/May, to honor the Earth month.
- Get a buy-in to bring in a guest speaker or outside provider (find out if there is a local plant-based vendor offering nutrition coaching/weight-loss, cooking demos or a vegan food delivery program). Stress the benefit to the employees/company!
Besides the Earth Day, other good opportunities are May/June (getting fit for the summer), September/October (when the benefit enrollment usually starts and employers emphasize health/wellness) and December/January (time of resolutions—challenge your office to sign up for Veganuary).
Or, if you want to do something even more creative, November 1st of every year is the official World Vegan Day. Why not ask your company or your co-workers to recognize it with a symbolic action, such as challenging the whole department to eat vegan for a day. You can even make a fun team-building event out of it.
Remember: Just ask—the worst thing that could happen is to get a no, and you’ll likely give people some food for thought they won’t be able to shake off. And there is a good chance you’ll get a yes!