Vegetarian Red Thai Curry Recipe

Hello everyone! I took a week or so off from posting, but more content will be up this week! School has been so hectic, but I promise I have some really awesome stuff happening. You asked for more recipes, well here is one of my favorites!

Thai Curry is a pretty large dish & you can store it for a couple of meals throughout the week. I chef this up every so often because it takes a little bit of time to prepare everything. But trust me when I say it is so worth it.

Ingredients

1 ¼ cups of rice…. I use wild rice, which technically isn’t even rice it’s grass! But I find, it leaves me less bloated (:

1 tablespoon coconut oil 

1 small white onion, chopped 

3 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger (I usually add a little more, gives it some zing)

2 cloves garlic, pressed

1 red bell pepper, sliced into small pieces

1 green, orange, yellow pepper sliced into pieces

1 half of a cauliflower chopped ( use the green leaves too!) 

3 large carrots, sliced into rounds

4 tablespoons Thai red curry paste* (Thai Kitchen is vegetarian, some brands contain fish sauce)

2 cans of regular coconut milk (This is what makes this recipe SO Great)

½ cup water

1 ½ cups of kale or spinach chopped 

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons of lime juice

2 tablespoons paprika 

Handful of basil or cilantro

For more spice add some Sriracha

What to do 

1. To cook the rice add the amount specified (or more) in a rice cooker, or in a boiling pot of water. It isn’t like pasta though! Rice absorbs SOOO much water, so just be sure to use less water than you would for pasta. If you add too much, just strain it!

2. Separate from the rice, add oil into a warm pan and wait 30 seconds. Then add the chopped onions and garlic into a pan for about 2 minutes. After the two minutes add the ginger, carrots, and peppers into the pan until they are softened to your liking. 

3. In a fairly large pot add the water, coconut milk, and kale over medium heat

4. Reduce the heat and add the other elements from the pan with peppers, carrots, ginger, etc…

5. Add the Thai curry paste, and cover with a lid for 10 minutes. It can simmer or bubble a bit, but it should never come to a boil.  

6. After about 10 minutes, add the paprika, soy sauce, cilantro/basil leaves, and lime juice.

7. Taste every so often to judge whether you might need more Thai curry paste, salt, pepper…. This isn’t a strict recipe! I like mine very spicy, so I usually add a fair amount of sriracha and cook it for around 45 minutes to make sure all of the flavors really soak in.

8. Whenever you are ready, serve over rice & enjoy!!!!

Let me know what you guys think! This Recipe is an awesome way to pack in tons of nutrients, and switch up your meals. Making a single pot of this usually lasts me 3-4 meals!

Some people like to add tofu for extra protein, if you choose to do so I would cook it in a pan for a little while first!

Subscribe, like, and as always share my posts please xxx

Wake Me Up Combo

Created with RNI Flashback

Mornings mid semester for me can be roughh. But breakfast sets the tone for the entire day, so I always try to eat something! Most of the time that’s a smoothie, but I also enjoy various morning toast spreads. 

Easy Turmeric Latte

There are tons and tons of recipes for turmeric latte’s, but I keep mine simple and easy for the morning! 

I usually use oat milk, put about a cup over the stove and heat it up for a bit. 

While the stove is cooking, I plop in a decent amount of turmeric, maybe 4 shakes worth? One small dab of cinnamon and a couple of shakes worth of cardamom.

All of these spices are great immune boosters, especially turmeric. It has natural antibacterial properties, which means that it aids in destroying unwanted bacteria out of your body! As well as plenty of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, AND antiviral properties.

Hummus Toast

All you need is hummus and toast! I like to sprinkle a little feta or greens on top to give it some more flavor, but this is a super simple way to start your morning when you don’t have a lot of time.

If you like eggs in the morning, cook one up your favorite way and put that on top instead. 

You could also put some micro greens or sprouts on top, but I didn’t have any in my fridge this week. 

I buy Udi’s Gluten Free bread. 

Pacific Food’s Oat Milk

Organic Turmeric, Organic Cinnamon, and Organic Cardamom

Pulling the Plug

The Torch

When was the last day you didn’t see something online or through media about the ways in which we are destroying our natural environment?

The closer we are connected with technology, the further disconnected we are with the environment. As amazing as technology is, bringing anyone from anywhere to be connected at any time, it is part of the reason people don’t care about the destruction of our natural world. Our production and consumption of resources is exemplified by our manipulation of our natural surroundings. We don’t own nature. Talk about an abusive relationship, we are causing global catastrophe’s, we are driving out entire species to extinction, and are in the process of ruining our own.. Nature does not exist for us, nature exists for herself and herself alone.

The reason I say technology is part of our own destruction is because of the ways that we become disconnected from our surroundings. It isn’t just limited to nature. Everyone is constantly plugged in. We are unconscious of what’s going on beyond our screens. I wonder sometimes if people would even notice if the bird’s stopped chirping, because everyone is always listening to something on headphones.

We need to plug back in to the world around us.

My E-tips for this, are simple.

Put your phone down when you’re with your friends, don’t take those people for granted. Be present and embrace the fact that you are alive in this world.

Get some fresh air! Go on a hike, or at the very least, a walk outside. Take a look around, you’ll see and find trash everywhere you go. It’s in the trees, on the ground, in the oceans, on the beaches, it’s everywhere. Even if you aren’t choosing to pick it up, you are noticing how polluted our world is becoming. That pollution is right in our own backyards, affecting us every day. It’s estimated that over 100 million animals die every year due to litter, that includes marine and land animals.

Unplug, literally! Energy in our homes mostly comes from fossil fuels. Unplugging your devices legitimately reduces your carbon emissions, energy demand, and your electric bills $$$$!

Unwilling to switch anything up?Follow, Follow, Follow. These are 20 earthly educating Instagrams that you can follow. Even if you just follow one account, it can turn mindless scrolling into some awareness. I only have some suggestions here for instagram, mostly because I usually don’t use other forms of social media that often! Just copy and paste the @ to see what all these pages are about!

@sustainyoself

@easyecotips

@educatedearthlings

@get.waste.ed

@zerowastestore

@natgeo

@unitednations

@solaraid

@earthalliance

@theglobalgoals

@1percentftp

@environmentalworkinggroup

@savethereef

@theecoguys

@sustainable.collective

@impactforgood

@finalstraw

@blueland

@4ocean

@ecowatch

As always, thank you so much for reading and repost! Share! and subscribe (:

What’s the big deal? It’s just ONE straw.

bamboo straws

Said a possible seven billion other people on the planet. But seriously, what is the big deal with straws? The World Watch Institute claims that straw use could circle the earth two and a half times every 24 hours. Imagine flying Americans alone go through 500 million straws a day!

Historically, straws were first created out of gold, then grass, then paper, and now plastic. In the 50’s and 60’s paper straws suffered a slow death with the rise of plastic ones which served to be more durable.

Most plastic straws are made out of petroleum-based plastic and are NOT biodegradable when disposed into the environment. This means, every single plastic straw that was ever invented and used still exists somewhere. The straw breaks down, but never fully degrades away. The plastics break down into micro-plastics that get swallowed by marine life (WATCH THIS). Plastics have been a problem for centuries, this video is from 2012. Animals are eating plastic and for those of you who eat animals, you are probably eating them as well.

Scientists estimate that there could be as many as 7 million plastic straws scattered in oceans and on beaches.

E-tips to say no to straws

When going out to eat in restaurants, remind yourself to say no to straws as much as you can. Every straw makes a difference.

Don’t add straws into soda cans, or bottles. It isn’t “boujee”, it’s wasteful.

Buy a reusable straw! There are so so so many options. SO many options that are not a plastic straw. Recently I discovered this bracelet straw, you don’t have to carry around anything more than a little band on your wrist. Here are several other options to use other than reusable straws!

The final straw Collapsable style straws

Strawlets Straw bracelets

Urban Outfitters Steel straw style set

Amazon stainless steel Straws with cleaning brush

Bamboo Straws My favorite! Bamboo is biodegradable (:

Paper Straws Still Biodegradable and easily disposable

Hay Straws These straws are created out of hay, yes HAY

Please repost, share, send to your friends, and remember not to SAY NO to straws, and plastic as much as you can (:

Going Flexitarian

Going vegan can be a huge missed steak. However, eating meat today has a costly impact on the environment. The global human population continues to climb and there could be around 10 BILLION people on the planet by 2050. Scientists measured various effects of food production from greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, biodiversity loss for converted farmland, and excess phosphorus productions from fertilizers. Managing all of these properly without causing excess harm to the environment is unmanageable at the rate we consume meat.

Hundreds of millions of people do NOT have access to clean water, and livestock guzzle tons of fresh water before and after being slaughtered. In short, the less livestock, the more water there is to go around. Aside from the animals themselves drinking the water, it takes around 400-500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef.

Livestock globally cause more air pollution than all modes of transportation combined. Lancaster County Pennsylvania, my home town, is ranked the 15th worst air quality in the United States. Lancaster, as you might know, is known for the amish and it’s farms. So why on earth would a wholesome, suburban, hill covered county like Lancaster have worse air quality than a bustling city? One of the many causes for this is because of the concentration of agricultural and livestock production. Air pollution matters, because it invisibly causes risk to the lungs of the young, and the old.

I’m not writing this as another vegan activist trying to get you to stop eating meat altogether, instead I offer an achievable idea that everyone can implement into their lives. I am advocating for more flexibility, flexitarianism actually. For people who can’t give up meat, but want to eat better for the environment, this is the best way to go.

Flexitarians have no clear cut rules to follow, it’s a lifestyle not a diet! That’s what makes this choice so easy for people that want to eat green.

How Do You Eat Like a Flexitarian?

The goal is to eat mostly fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while replacing the Western meat centered plate. The goal is to include, rather than restrict foods into your diet and it’s easy, as long as you remain flexible. Eating this way can help in decreasing meat consumption (which preserves the natural environment), decrease water use, and greenhouse gas emissions. Flexitarian’s can still eat icecream, pizza, and donuts as far as I’m concerned as long as you are mindful about what it is that you are consuming.

Following a vegan or vegetarian diet is far from being the be all end all to climate change, although it does offer up some surprising facts and statistics about the world we live in today. 70% of grain grown in the US feeds livestock. It’s estimated that 700 million tons of food that could be fed to people are instead given to animals every single year.

Here are my e-tips for nutrient rich foods without involving animals

Proteins: chickpeas and other legumes, tofu, other soy products, lentils, hemp tempeh, nuts & nut butters (peanut, pecan, macadamia, almond, cashew)

Non-starchy veggies: spinach, green beans, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, asparagus, beets, cucumbers, eggplants, okra, zucchini, tomatoes (enough w/ the it’s a fruit crap)

Starchy veggies: sweet potatoes, cassava, corn, squash, beans (pinto, black, kidney), squash, peas… Fruits: bananas, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes, oranges, limes, lemons, pomegranates, kiwis, peaches,

Grains: quinoa, buckwheat, whole grain or gluten free breads, faro…

Nuts, seeds: almonds, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, pistachios, cacao nibs, seeds (sunflower, chia, pumpkin, flax, fennel, sesame, poppy, hemp, mustard), pine nuts Healthy Fats: avocados, olives, coconut oils, nuts… Plant-based milks: almond, cashew, walnut, coconut, soy… Herbs, Spices: nutritional yeast, mint, basil, cinnamon, dill, parsley, ginger, sage nutmeg, chili, cumin, turmeric… Condiments: low sodium soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, salsa, mustard, ketchup without sugar, pesto, hummus, guacamole, hot sauce, maple syrup, bbq..

One Week Flexitarian

Here is a possible week of meals on a flexitarian diet Monday Breakfast: Toasted avocado toast with lemon, fried egg over medium Lunch: Mediterranean style quinoa bowl Dinner: Tomato soup, grilled cheese w/ side salad of choice

Tuesday Breakfast: Green smoothie (One of my recipe’s in link at the bottom) Lunch: Hummus toast topped w/ cucumber and feta Dinner: Lentil pasta with garlic shrimp butter sauce

Wednesday Breakfast: Overnight oats topped with berries, coconut shavings, and seeds Lunch: Cucumber and or avocado sushi with miso soup Dinner: Blackened chicken, sweet potato fries, green beans

Thursday Breakfast: Yogurt with granola Lunch: Cranberry, walnut, apple salad Dinner: Roasted buffalo cauliflower, celery, carrots and a vinnaigrete salad

Friday Breakfast: Mango smoothie bowl Lunch: Tofu tacos with cilantro, avocado, beans, cheese, tomatoes, etc… Dinner: Stuffed Bell Peppers and mac & cheese

Saturday Breakfast: Bacon, eggs, and cooked onion potatoes Lunch: Peanut butter, banana honey sandwich on whole grain or GF toast Dinner: Zoodles with creamy cashew sauce, spice rubbed chicken

Sunday Breakfast: Banana Pancakes and coffee Lunch: Broccoli cheddar soup Dinner: Veggie Stir fry over rice

All of these meal ideas were random that popped into my head while creating this post… Obviously everyone has their own tastes and preferences, but a simple google search can help you get any recipe with or without anything you might not like into the mix. Click HERE for my Green Smoothie Recipe!

I personally tend to avoid meat so I didn’t include any recipes in my week plan. However, eating a burger or a steak shouldn’t be against the rules every once and a while if you just pay attention. Flexitarianism isn’t cutting meat off cold turkey, it’s whatever limit you make it out to be. If you are interested in this lifestyle send me a message to let me know how you want to join this movement!

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Sources: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/01/commission-report-great-food-transformation-plant-diet-climate-change/

Abbey’s Green Smoothie

When I’m in need of smoothie inspiration, I utilize the best search engine known to man to find nonsense… I genuinely don’t want to know how they found this recipe, I want the ingredients. So, naturally here are the ingredients…. with a side note. In my post I mentioned I would share one of my favorite smoothie recipe’s. If I am going to be honest, I eye-ball everything rather than taking the time in the morning to measure everything out… If you are concerned about the amount, send me a message and ask! I would be happy to find out for you.

First, you’ll need some sort of blender, I use a Nutri-bullet most of the time. Next, you’ll need the ingredients below!

  • Ingredients
    • Handful Spinach
    • One Frozen Banana ( or unfrozen you can add a few ice cubes )
    • Choice of Nut Milk ( I prefer cashew or almond in smoothies )
    • A Nice Scoop Peanut butter ( or almond butter )
    • Spoonful of Ground Chia or Flax Seeds
    • Spoonful of Pumpkin Seeds
    • Pinch of Cinnamon
    • Maca or Cacao powder is optional for chocolatey flavor

Add the ingredients into the blender and wait to turn it off until it runs pretty smoothly, you don’t want any chunks!

Creamy, smooth, and full of packed nutrients to kick off your day! Enjoy (:

Don’t forget to repost!!!!

How to be more Eco Friendly

Here’s to a New Year and a New Era of Sustainability.

I am far from being perfect, but every day I learn something new about how I can be more conscious when it comes to the environment. This year I have some goals to help reduce my impact and inspire all of you to do the same.

Attaining a zero waste lifestyle seems nearly impossible given the ways people live their lives today. I aim to get as close to that goal as I possibly can, which is why my goal for 2020 is to attain a minimal waste lifestyle.

What is Zero Waste?

Zero waste is aiming to purchase products that eliminate waste going wherever that waste might go into the world. Product lifecycle today is short and way too short and harmful for us and the planet. This movement encourages the redesign and reuse of products to prevent them from heading straight to landfills, oceans, and incinerators.

Zero waster’s are redefining the system. Most businesses live off of a linear model. Products are made by producers. Then they come to us, the consumers, and after we use them, they are sent to be burnt/ put in some hole in the ground never to be seen again. This process enables us to imitate the natural circle of life. In a zero waste lifestyle we can reduce what we need, reuse what we have, recycle the little left, and compost what we can’t.

My Eco-Tips To Attaining A Less Wasteful Lifestyle

Wasting less is a choice. There are tons of simple choices we can make in our lives that help us in wasting less products. Plastic consumption needs to go. But for now, it’s here to stay and being used at an alarming rate in all areas of our lives. It can seem hard to avoid plastic because it is in everything from beauty products, to food, to bike helmets.

Next trip to the grocery store, take notice to the different variety of goods wrapped in plastic. Most fruits and vegetables are not wrapped in plastic so choose to go fresh and unpackaged. If you want to make Guacamole instead of buying a dip with tons of who-knows-what wrapped in plastic, then make your own! You can, most likely, buy all the necessary ingredients without the need for any packaging at all. Recipes of all kinds shapes and sizes are readily available on Pinterest, instagram, and all over social media. Something I am going to start sharing with all of you this coming year are all my earth friendly recipes! If you go into the aisle where all the nut butters are, there are probably 5-10 different options for peanut butter alone. That aisle is a great way to judge all of the possible packaged ways to get your PB while also realizing the plastic packaging problem.

Environmentally safe packaging

Pay attention to packaging in general. Be mindful of what kinds of materials your products are wrapped in. I’m learning to make my own oils, but for now I buy products that are safe for my body and the earth. These are all plastic-free products that I figured I would share. After I use up all of these, I will keep the containers and re-use them rather than throwing them away.

Eat less take-out and cook at home! In addition to packaging when buying your groceries, there is packaging from food you get to-go. Styrofoam and plastic are the evil culprits involved in take-out food. They are used and wasted very quickly, and cause harmful chemicals and pollutants to be released into the environment. I know, its the 21st century… Everyone’s got something to do, and somewhere to be. Meal prepping is a great way to save some time during the busy weeks, while also avoiding take out food! Most of the time, when I choose take out food, it’s because I’m tired and starving and meal prepping has saved me from that quick, sushi booty call. However, if you ARE getting take out, try to wash and re-use your containers giving them a longer life.

bamboo utensil set

One of the best things you can do is prepare. Making the choice to waste less helps when you have the right tools. Now when I go anywhere, I bring along this set of bamboo silverware that I can use in case I am going to eat take-out somewhere. If you are interested in buying some, they aren’t expensive and aren’t a hassle to carry around. I got mine from a local shop in my home town, but just like everything else it’s on amazon!

Get some Ball Jars. Honestly, Ball Jars are a life saver. They are so versatile and provide an insta-worthy aesthetic for anything you might need. They aren’t expensive either! They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but my favorite is the simple, wide-mouth 16 oz glass jar. I pack them on so many occasions. I use ball jars to keep my spices, nuts, and seeds stored from the grocery store. I use them when I get smoothies or coffee from any location, whether that be from a place as big as Jamba Juice and Starbucks, or as small as local juice bars and cafés. They aren’t harmful for the environment because they are made out of glass. Plus, they save you money! There are all sorts of Bring-Your-Own-Cup discounts in stores to incentivize consumers to be more conscious about the products they are using.

Buy a refillable water bottle. Ball Jars are great, yes, but if you aren’t into that, then at least save yourself some money and stop buying plastic water bottles! The Guardian reported that one million plastic bottles are bought worldwide every. single. minute. If consumers don’t decrease their use, then that number will increase by 20% by 2021. Lucky for us, HydroFlasks are in and Brita just made their own filtering water bottle. Choose to invest in a water bottle, and remember to bring it with you. Remembering to bring it with you can be the hardest part sometimes, but it saves you from purchasing plastic water bottles.

Opt for a bamboo toothbrush. This switch is easy, you barely even notice the difference. I have been using them for about two years and not once have I ever gotten a splinter, they are completely safe! Conventional toothbrushes are made of harmful plastics, and last forever. Lucky for us, bamboo toothbrushes are available everywhere in big time pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens, or places online like Amazon. This alternative is cheaper, if not the same price as plastic competitors. People don’t like to change because it inconveniences them, but this switch is as simple as picking up any other toothbrush, except it benefits the earth you live on.

Simply say no to the little things. Little things add up, you might feel like you just used one plastic bag, but so did another 14 million or more people that day. Say no to plastic bags at stores and bring your own. Say no to free plastic pens at conventions and events. Say no to a cup of coffee if you didn’t bring your own cup. No matter how small, it’s crucial to always ask whether or not you really NEED something.

We need to accept the fact that we will produce some waste, and that we are not perfect. This lifestyle is a challenge and a really good challenge. Doing one small thing goes a really long way. When it comes to 2020, we all need to make better choices for our planet. Choose to dine in at the restaurant rather than take it to go. Choose not to get the vanilla latte if you didn’t bring a re-usable cup. Choose to carry your items out of the store with your hands if you didn’t bring a bag. Choose to pick the Kombucha from a glass bottle, rather than a plastic one. Choose to to make better choices. We all need to be more conscious of what we’re wasting. So I challenge you, for one week to keep a simple note in your phone of how many bottles, or bags you are throwing out. For just one week, keep track of wasted products and share your results with me! Doing this will help you catch a small glimpse of what happens everywhere and everyday on a massive scale.

Like, Share, Repost & Happy New Year!!

Sources

https://mashable.com/article/zero-waste/

A Decade of Eco Victories

As the end of a decade strolls on in, I decided to take a break from all of the negativity. Yes, there are a million and one wrong ways in which we both knowingly and ignorantly harm the environment but I wanted pause for a moment and reflect with all of you some of the progress that has been made in the last decade. Here are my Ten for the 10’s.

Number One: Green Fuel

Accelerating clean energy needs to be a higher priority. The world moves so fast, and now that everyone is used to the way things are, its hard to just take it away. Heliogen is a new clean energy company working on eliminating the need for fossil fuels.

The sun’s power reaches to every corner of the earth, and will soon be available in our gas tanks. Heliogen is harvesting solar energy, heating it to a certain temperature where the matter changes to 100% fossil free gas. As exciting as this discovery is, it’s crucial to convince energy producers to replace their will of old ways for this grand new alternative.  

Two: Food Waste

Food waste contributes to millions of tons of Methane gas leaking into the atmosphere and costing governments trillions of dollars to get rid of. 40% of ALL food produced in the U.S is thrown away each year. In the last decade tons of countries have taken notice and initiated action.

Australia committed action last year to reduce food waste it generates by 50% in the next 10 years. France became the first country in 2016 to ban supermarkets from throwing away outdated/unsold food by instead donating it to food banks, Italy followed in their footsteps, and Seoul in South Korea made households pay recycling costs according to how much food they threw out.

Three: Reviving the Reefs

Marine life survival is essential in stabilizing our ecosystems. Coral takes part in that ecosystem. Coral reefs provide sea habitats, and protect our own coastlines. About 90% of coral reefs are at risk from human activities without progressive climate action taken by 2030! Just one more quick decade away from now. However, one small step in restoring their livelihood is artificial reefs. Artists and scientists combined to create structures that bring back sea life and inspire coral growth. Although these projects began a few years ago, results are flooding in. Made from a marine cement, the revival of life can be seen all throughout the structures as well as allowing natural ones to regenerate and repair. National Geographic posted this video in 2011!! 

Four: Ocean Cleanup

There is a lot of waste to deal with, regardless of who is producing it. There has been tons of initiatives to help the problem 4 Ocean’s battle for cleaner waters took off in 2017. Two Florida surfers came up with this idea in Bali, Indonesia. What began as a beach cleanup, took off to become a widespread organization helping all kinds of life in our seas. Buying their signature bracelet made of recycled materials they find in the ocean, helps clean up 1lb of trash. Their variety of colored bracelets benefit all kinds of marine life ranging from penguins to coral to sea turtles. Aside from bracelets, they offer other kinds of merch as well as host clean-up events! If there is an event near you, you can use this link here from their site to sign up.

Let’s keep our oceans as clean as beautiful as this one: I took this photo in Denmark, in this body of water no gasoline fueled boat is allowed into the water.

Afroz Shah led the largest beach cleanup EVER in 2015 in Mumbai! He is an amazing leader and educator for the environment….Watch the video here to learn about his story. Another awesome recent invention is System 001. Boyan Slat, a Dutch inventor is responsible for creating the Great Pacific Garbage patches cleaning machine. This invention captures and interrupts plastic in it’s tracks without causing harm to marine life.  Watch the Youtube video here.

Five: Re-forestation

Norway committed to banning deforestation in their country this year as well as giving funding to countries like Brazil to stop/halt their deforestation processes. Forests are stunningly beautiful, their part of the lungs for the planet. More than half of the worlds land-based creatures survive in forests. The loss of forests accounts for around 10%

Ant Forest in China has taken a new approach to reducing peoples carbon footprint. The United Nations champions of the Earth award winner for 2019 is turning good deeds into trees. They encourage people to record their carbon footprint through things like transportation, or energy bills which accumulate into points. A certain amount of points gets a tree planted. They have planted over 100 million trees so far!

Six: The Battle Against Plastic Bags

Philadelphia is the 6th most populated city in America, millions of people bustling about. Just a few short days ago lawmakers FINALLY passed a bill preventing retail stores from providing single-use plastic bags! As long overdue as it is, it makes my heart so happy to hear that people are waking up to our plastic problem.

As of 2019, 127 countries now regulate their plastic bag usage by not offering it, or charging a fee for using one. There are an established 195 countries in total, so thats a little over 65% of countries implementing some sort of change. Not to say that more change isn’t needed, it is immediately but steps are being taken. All around the world people are reducing their plastic bag usage by opting for a reusable bag instead of the paper/plastic one offered by retailers in stores.

Bottom line is— BYOB Bring your own bag 

Seven: Saving the Bees

Barry Benson is not done just yet! Bees are crucial to the survival of our planet. They pollinate our crops for food. It’s estimated around 1/3 of crops and 90% of livestock diet, or the food that feeds the food, is bee pollinated. Scientists in Finland have been working on a vaccine that protects these little guys from diseases killing them off.

Eight: Recycling Initiatives

Recycling has taken a new wave of giant support. People are opting to make clothing out of recycled plastic bottles. Starbucks among other corporations chooses post-consumer recycled materials to use for their hot drinking cups. In the U.S eco-cycle is working to implement zero waste policies all across the nation. Their site offers a map view of their recycling, composting, and waste sites and goal plans. Germany implemented a return machine in 2018 for plastic bottles/cans. .25 is given back for every item recycled….

Nine: Vodka for the Planet

Alcohol is a process, it doesn’t just appear. Most alcoholic businesses are grown from the ground up…literally. There are grapes for wine, barley and hops for beer, sugarcane for rum, apples for cider, agave for tequila, potatoes for vodka, etc… Growing them requires tons of energy to fuel the international thirst for a buzz. There is harvesting, processing, transportation involved all to sneak inside of a small martini glass in your local bar. No one thinks about the huge environmental impact that alcohol has until now! Air Co. has created vodka from carbon dioxide polluting the air. They extract the carbon, add water, and modern science to separate it into ethanol and oxygen. After harvesting and processing it from the air, instead of the ground they distill their carbon negative 80 proof vodka, making it the most eco-friendly spirit on earth.

Ten : Protests

Activists gathered all around the world this year to protest climate change. In September students internationally participated in a strike from school called Global Week for the Future. Also called Fridays For Future and backed by the name everyones talking about: Greta Thunberg. With about 4500 locations and 150 countries, over 6 million people participated in the strikes collectively making it the largest climate strike ever. Being revolutionary is not defined by where you are in life, whether thats age, job position, salary, or status of any kind in the world. All it takes is action. Everyone has their different ways of taking that action, some make it to physical protests, others, join the conversation on social media and read about it from #hashtags, or contacting Legislators. I am putting my voice out there to share the facts, and try to encourage people into making sustainable choices. One of the best ways to make it known that you care is by contacting your representatives. This link, Here is used to find your local representative. All you have to do is type in your zip-code and if you are interested in sending a personal message I would be happy to help you in creating one! Just fill out the form in my contact page with your specific topic, messages, or concerns, and I’ll help write something out! (CLICK HERE to reach the form).

Many of the stories in my ten amazing POSITIVE contributions made to the environment in the last decade were started by ordinary people that are now doing extraordinary things. Starting here gets you one helluva step closer closer to making a difference, and I want to thank you for reading my posts up until now! So excited to talk about my New Year’s resolutions in my next post!

Stay tuned, and don’t forget to like/share my post

Sources

https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/corals/coral07_importance.html https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-04/documents/epa816f04030.pdf https://www.unenvironment.org/resources/report/legal-limits-single-use-plastics-and-microplastics https://www.wwf.org.uk/learn/effects-of/deforestation

Safer Ways to do Your Laundry

When I say safer, I mean for the environment and ourselves. Hopefully by now, most of the people reading this do their laundry but for the few of you that save it for home… take some of these ideas with you to your parents.

Pinterest.com

In my last post I talked about how fast fashion and synthetic fabrics directly leak from factories and into the fresh water and oceans, but I also mentioned how those fabrics indirectly reach our waters. Indirectly, they are reaching the oceans simply from families washing clothes.

How Does this happen?

Ever dry your clothes? That icky looking blackish/brownish collection of fibers and dust is called lint. Those fibers separate from your clothes and are caught in the lint collector for all of us to see. Well, this process also happens when you wash your clothes but you don’t look at it afterwards. These fibers, combined with whatever conventional laundry detergent you are using, are polluting our oceans. The synthetic blend of fibers like nylon, rayon, spandex, and polyester, leach into the environment because they are undetectable by treatment plants and add to the collection of micro plastics accumulating in the food chain- being ingested by marine life and eventually us.

researchgate.com

Conventional laundry detergent like Tide, Snuggle, or Gain add to the mix of harmful toxins polluting our world. Even though they make your clothes smell fresh and cozy, the chemicals inside are KNOWN to be carcinogenic!

Found in most laundry detergents, including Tide, is a chemical known as 1,4-Dioxane. This chemical is considered a human carcinogen according to the EPA. “1,4-Dioxane is used as a solvent. Short term inhalation exposure to high levels of 1,4-dioxane has caused vertigo, drowsiness, headache, anorexia and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs in humans. It may also irritate the skin. Damage to the liver and kidneys has been observed in rats chronically long term exposed in their drinking water.”

How do we reduce our impact?

We are so fortunate to live in a time where safer, non-chemical products are available at almost all popular retail, and grocery stores like Target, Walmart, Weis markets, Aldi etc.. 

In general— thinking beyond laundry detergent there are all sorts of high quality non-toxic brands that produce a variety of home cleaning spreads ranging from surface cleaner all the way to laundry detergent. But for the simplicity of this post, I’m going to share some of my tips on how you can do laundry better for yourself, your future, and this beautiful earth.

E-tips 

  • Do FULL loads of laundry. So much money, and energy is wasted by simply running a washing machine. 
  • One of the BEST Tips I can offer is buying a fibre filter bag! It will significantly reduce the amount of micro plastics and fibers into the environment and make your clothes last longer and preserve it’s original colors!
Patagonia.com
  • Wear the clothing more than once! Some clothes, excluding socks or underwear, do not need to be washed after each use. 
  • Use cold water, 90% of the energy is used in heating the water in the machine
  • BUY non-toxic laundry detergent! If you know it harms your skin, and the earth you walk on then why purchase it when you know there is an alternative for equal to/ half the price? Dropps are the new and improved version of a tide pod. People love pods because they are wayyyyy more convenient than carrying around a huge bottle of detergent. They offer a plastic free, naturally derived product with a carbon neutral shipping guarantee!
  • If you don’t feel like the new idea of opting for something like shipped laundry pods there are safer brands you can buy in stores that don’t cost any more than regular detergents, and smell just as fresh! EverSpring Laundry Detergent is sold at Target is one option, or Method’s products which are sold at Walmart these are both convenient for many college shoppers!
  • Aim to buy the most eco-friendly materials and clothing so that when you do your laundry you are reducing the amount of micro-fibers entering the oceans. If you want some suggestions read my post Forget Fast Fashion here!

Please consider implementing some of these very simple and attainable lifestyle choices when cleaning your dirty clothes! By doing so you are helping our planet and the beautiful sea babies suffocating in tons of plastic. As always, Don’t forget to to like share and REPOST!!!!

Sources

Click to access ffrro_factsheet_contaminant_14-dioxane_january2014_final.pdf

Forget Fast Fashion

What Is Fast Fashion?

The recently coined term fast fashion, has quickly become one of the worst polluting industries in the world. Fast fashion’s carbon footprint is second behind the oil industry. Understanding the environmental impact of this movement is essential in understanding another cause of climate change and what choices we can take to make a difference. Fast fashion is the process of big brands like Forever 21, H&M, Uniqlo, and Zara pumping out cheap runway styles constantly for consumers. This luxurious process seems like it comes easy, but it follows with a hefty price.

Up until the mid-twentieth century fashion ran on four seasons, fall, winter, spring, and summer. That was before fashion became accessible to everyone. Since then, the fashion industry has quickened its pace, and today there are a little over 50 seasons a year. The manufacturing process allows for cheap quick production, based off of the excessive and never-ending demand.

The Lorax

Many of these garments are made from synthetic man-made materials like nylon, full of lead, grown from pesticides, and combined with countless other chemicals that will never break down. All of these toxic synthetics harm the people making them, the people who wear them, and life on earth. People making the fast fashion are known to be underpaid and underfed in horrible working conditions where they are breathing in these carcinogenic chemicals. Our skin is our body’s largest organ, and we abuse it with the clothing we wear every day. The clothing made spends their lifespan releasing toxic chemicals into our water systems, the air we breathe, and the skin on our bodies.

Here are some Fast Facts

Pintrest.com

• 700 gallons of water is needed to make just ONE cotton t-shirt, and overall, textile industries withdraw around 4% of the globe’s fresh water supply per year.

• 80 billion pieces of clothing are thrown away world-wide annually. That is a little over 11 items of clothing per person on the planet, or 242 per U.S citizen.

• 20% of industrial water pollution comes from textile treatments and dyeing. Whether that comes directly from the plant, or indirectly when consumers buying the product wash the clothes.

For the Non-Reader

Watch Netflix’s The Patriot Act here with award winning comedian Hasan Minhaj to learn more about fast fashion. This show is a comic wake-up call approach for audiences to start paying attention to what is going on all around us, and this episode perfectly wraps up many of the issues surrounding the ways in which fast fashion is a threat to the planet.

E-Tips

• First and foremost reduce, re-use, and Up-cycle clothing! Luckily for the environmentally savvy, thrifting is IN. Personally, I find some of my best styles and looks from local thrift stores and places like plato’s closet and the Salvation Army. It’s inexpensive, and sifting through all of the clothing is worth it to find one-of-a-kind and unique outfits to show off. Many consignment shops, and modern thrifts will buy your clothes for ca$$$h!

• Reselling clothes in general are a great way to bring in some extra money in our broke pockets, and give clothing a longer life and a new, loving home.

• Buy less, invest in quality clothing, and wear sustainable fashion! Choose clothing made with natural dyes and fibers so they don’t leak back into the environment and pollute our water and soil. On Etsy there is plenty of naturally dyed, handmade clothing from a variety of sellers. AnthemiaCO founded by Barrie Cohen is a Brooklyn based company, she dies her fabrics out of plants. Olderbrother based out of Portland offers another source for ethically dyed clothing ranging from Turmeric, to Hibiscus. Tentree is another option I am adding to the mix, buying an item buys the planting of ten trees. They offer clothing made from Hemp, recycled polyester fibers, and wearable wood pulp… Cool, right?

grist.org
Rent the Runway

• Be an outfit repeater, you can style clothes so many different ways and you don’t have to just wear it once and throw it away! If you have a specific event that you would only wear a dress or suit once to, Rent The Runway is an awesome way to save time, money and the environment. You get your dream looks while not breaking the bank, or watching a one-time look waste away in a closet.

Check out my previous post! The Dirty Secret Behind Candles


Sources

https://www.statista.com/statistics/226193/clothing-production-in-china-by-month/

https://www.cbinsights.com/research/fashion-sustainable-technology/