vegansaurus!

04/21/2012

Earth day is on Sunday: let’s talk reducing, reusing and composting!  »


Another year, another Earth Day! I like to look at Earth day as a New Year’s of sorts — I examine the steps I’m taking to reduce my carbon footprint, and also try to make new resolutions, then revisit old ones I’ve let slide. For instance — when I buy coffee, there is no reason I should ever come out with a paper coffee cup and plastic lid. I have travel mugs! I made a resolution awhile back that if I didn’t have my mug with me, I wouldn’t buy coffee. It’s time I re-evaluate that one, and stick to it!

I can’t write this and not mention how green the vegan lifestyle is, after all, my motto is “every day is Earth day when you’re vegan”! There are always more steps we can take, to reduce our consumption of resources! Let’s inspire each other!

The Vegansaurs have compiled a list for you, of the things we do (besides being vegan) to take care of this planet and it’s resources, so that we don’t have to move to Mars and allow the destruction of another planet in this galaxy to begin!

Sarah — “I reuse everything, literally everything: takeout containers, foil, Ziplock bags, shopping bags, boxes, teabags, etc. I’m not a hoarder, yet! Oh yeah, biking! I do this, too.”

Rachel — “I carpool to work and bike around town whenever I can (so much harder now that I don’t live in the Bay Area anymore!). I buy almost all my clothing and as much household furniture as I can used. I carry my own water around so I’m not stuck with bottled.” She also shops at farmer’s markets, supports local business, and brings her own bags to the grocery store. As far as household care, Rachel covers her windows in plastic during the winter so she doesn’t have to use as much heat and programs her thermostat “to mellow out at night and while I’m gone.”

Laura —“I compost everything! I throw out one bag of actual garbage, like once a month. It’s crazy what you can compost between the city and your own backyard! Amazing! Oh, and buy as much stuff used as possible, except underwear because I’m not Lindsay Lohan. Or swimming suits… speaking of which, do you have a pool? It is hot as shit out! And don’t use chlorine in that pool! But do use salt water or whatever is naturally antibacterial so you don’t get gangrene or chlamydia from me.”

Meave — “Composting! Plus, making your own vegetable stock from scraps, buying those recycled, recyclable toothbrushes. Washing everything in cold water. Public transportation and walking because driving is the worst. Filling a big jug with water when you’re heating it up to do dishes and then using it to water plants/dog/yourself/ice. Little things like this seem insane, but you have to look at it as habit-changes, not like ‘adopting crazy behavior’. It’s like how you had to learn to always read ingredients. You just learn to put the giant bottle under the tap, until the water’s hot, or wash your ziplocks instead of throwing them away”.

Megan — “I buy organic! I buy organic sheets, organic food, organic everything! Just so there’s less junk in the earth.” 

Mark forwarded me a spam message about hot tubs. I am assuming it was to prove the point that no paper gets wasted when one sends an email, as opposed to snail mail. And also because he’s funny.

Jenny (that’s me!) — My mom hates going to the the grocery store with me, because I never use those plastic fruit and vegetable bags — I think they are so wasteful! More than anything I try to keep my consumption of plastic products down, because the thought of the Pacific Garbage Patch terrifies me. I wash all my clothes in cold water, I try to not buy coffee out unless I brought my own mug, I use canvas bags when food shopping, and when I cook, I try to use ingredients that come in the least amount of packaging possible. You will hardly find processed cheeses or creams in my recipes. Like Meave, I also walk and take public transit everywhere!

Now it’s your turn! What measures do you take, to live a greener lifestyle?

Don’t forget, if you live in the Bay Area, there is not one, but two events for you to attend on Sunday — Berkeley Vegan Earth Day and Earth Day at Hayes Valley farm

04/13/2012

Berkeley Vegan Earth Day is coming! Win some shit, if you want!  »

Berkeley Vegan Earth Day is holding a contest on Facebook to win some prizes! Free shit, hell yeah, etc. It’s pretty simple: Change your profile pic to the BVED logo for 24 hours, and comment on their page that you did so.* Read to the rules and see the logo here. Prizes include DVDs, vegan treats, water bottles, books, and shirts, and the contest ends on Friday, April 20.

Are you planning on attending? I went last year, and it was intense! But, in a good way! I wasn’t sure what to expect and my mind was blown, by both the film (Call of Life) and speakers. Also making it a very special night for me — I tried Nacheez for the first time. I highly recommend going this year; it looks like a blast!

The official promo manager of BVED, Alex Eaves, sent me the tip about this contest. If you don’t know who he is, get on that! He was one of the panel speakers last year, representing his company Stay Vocal and maybe I swooned a little bit.

[Ed.: For further East Bay veg awesomeness, don’t forget about Oakland Veg Week, which starting this Sunday. Eat all the food, see all the speakers, get laid, don’t get laid, whatever, you know how we do.]

[Ed., again: Not sure how we feel about contestants that make you shill yourself on FB/Twitter but uh, it’s for veganism? And it’s only 24 hours? And you could win some water bottles? All right!]

11/15/2011

Everyday is Earth Day when you are vegan, so represent!  »

Karine Brighten is looking for vegans to represent at her second annual Berkeley Vegan Earth Day event. Got a film you want to show? Something to say? She is now taking submissions! You should participate, because you are smart and sexy, which means peeps wants to hear what you have to say. I know I do!

05/02/2011

Every day is Earth Day when you’re vegan  »

For Earth Day this year I celebrated by attending Berkeley Vegan Earth Day, hosted by eco-friendly event planner Karine Brighten. Though you may be thinking, “Earth Day was soooo last week, why are you getting around to this now?” I have two reasons: One is that I am a slacker. Two is that it doesn’t matter because EVERY DAY SHOULD BE EARTH DAY! And the information is still relevant!
What was special about this particular Earth Day event was the link Brighten emphasized between veganism and its positive impact on both animals and the environment, as well as exploring “reasons and ways to take that commitment even further.” Mission accomplished, girlfriend! 

Berkeley Vegan Earth Day included a screening of the documentary Call of Life: Facing the Mass Extinction, followed by a panelist discussion and catered reception. 

To put it mildly, Call of Life was intense. Really, read its tag line: “If current trends continue, scientists warn that within a few decades at least HALF of all plant and animal species on Earth will disappear forever.” We live on a planet full of ecosystems that depend on each other for survival. When one species, whether plants or animals, begins to dwindle or become extinct, it causes a ripple effect to which human animals are not immune. The scientists, anthropologists, philosophers and psychologists featured in this documentary are hypothesizing that if we don’t fundamentally change our behavioral and societal patterns (RIGHT NOW) we are going to contribute to both the extinction of the plants and animals on our planet as well as ourselves.

Another point this movie touched upon was that as humans, we are not oblivious to this going on around us and may suffer from feelings of terror, anger, and despair. Yet our society is adept at pushing consumerism as a way to suppress those feelings, or block them out entirely. We buy the things we “deserve” to feel better, and indulge in meat though we know factory farming is vicious and inhumane, as well as a direct reason for clear-cutting rain forests. The longer this movie sat with me, the more powerfully my thoughts centered around throwing myself off my second-story balcony, but then I remembered I was hosting Easter this year, which would hopefully save at least one pig sent for slaughter this spring (nothing like an agave-brown sugar seitan roast). Activism, people! It saves lives!

Next up were the vegan panelists: David Vlansey, the executive producer of Call of Life, Lauren Ornelas of the Food Empowerment Project, Hope Bohanec of In Defense of Animals, and Alex Eaves of Stay Vocal.

My favorite points from the discussion include:

Lauren Ornelas:

  •  In the US farm workers are not paid overtime, though in pretty much every other professional it is mandatory. There are laws against compensating them for overtime.
  • Environmental racism—it’s no coincidence that oil refineries, land fills, truck depots,etc happen to be located around low income neighborhoods and communities of color. These areas have higher rates of cancer and pollutants along with less access to health care or healthy foods. Examples of these regions in the SF Bay Area include Richmond and Martinez.

 Hope Bohanec:  

  • The only difference between organic beef and conventional beef is what they are fed. Eating organic beef doesn’t effect green house or fossil fuel admissions.
  • It’s not feasible to have enough grass-fed, free-range meat to feed 6 billion people (the Earth’s population). There simply isn’t enough room.
  • Eating vegan is eating green. Two vegan meals a week is better than eating an organic, locally sourced lifestyle.

Alex Eaves:  

  • Recycling is failure to reuse.
  • It takes 400 gallons of water for all the cotton that goes into one new t-shirt.
  • If his friends that own coffeeshops were to charge everyone that brought in their own travel mug $1 and $5 for every paper cup, people could then pay for their ignorance and denial.

The reception was catered by Millennium, which was great for me, as I’ve never eaten there.

Brighten said she is “extremely happy to have had such an amazing turnout, and so much support from the community.” Sign up for her newsletter to receive updates on upcoming events here! I may have heard a rumor about vegan speed dating in Berkeley in the near future.

04/23/2010

04/22/2010

Happy Earth Day! Now go buy stuff!  »

Over at Gilt, they’re having one of their famous ridiculous sales, and this time it’s on stuff you might actually want instead of their usual assortment of leather and luxury hotels. It’s Earth Day, and what better way to say “Thanks, Earth!” than to undo a year of trashing the place with a bit of green consumerism. Wait, this is a bad pitch, isn’t it. What I meant to say was, BUY STUFF! Think of it like you’re buying the Earth a birthday present.

On sale right now are Matt & Nat bags, Loomstate, Dr. Hauschka, and actually this eco-spa in Costa Rica looks really good, along with Edun, Stuart + Brown, and more. Gilt is members-only, so sign up and give me credits so we can get started early on our annual Vegansaurus HQ corporate retreat in Costa Rica. Also, everything on Gilt tends to run out really quickly so HURRY UP AND BUY NOW! HAPPY EARTH DAY!

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