All That Glitters

This post only seemed right, seeing that my birthday is coming up.

Birthdays are a fact of life, but an essential ingredient in many of those party’s come in tiny shimmering form; glitter!

Glitter is another form of micro-plastics.

Micro-plastics are everywhere from the air we breathe to the food we eat. The plastic bits have reached our highest mountains and deepest oceans. Fish and birds digest them, and collect in their stomachs often killing them from starvation.

Much of the time these micro fibers are from items being broken down when leached into the environment. Plastic trash is more than just a problem. This month I took on a personal challenge to go out every day, no more than two miles from my house, and every single day I fill a bag with plastic bottles, cans, cigarette butts ( which also contain plastic) etc.. That radius falls in a moderately busy suburban area in central Pennsylvania.

Plastic never fully breaks down and today it is estimated that more than 8 trillion bits hit oceans every day. Using glitter adds to this pollution. When you think of these plastic bits though, you might imagine broken down bottles and jugs but it is much more than that. That is why I decided to talk about glitter.

Glitter is washed out plastic fine as grain. This type of plastic used in makeup and other cosmetics, holiday decorations, clothes, and party favors.

Luckily we live in a world where for every bad thing there are tons of good things. There is BIO-GLITTER! It is available on amazon, the package free shop, and this company who makes all sorts of colors.

Not only is it harmful when it finds its way into the animals of birds and fish, it hurts our bodies too. These tiny plastic particles are not even approved by the FDA! Micro beads were banned in July to be used in products but many glitters are made of plastic (still).

The plastic lifecycle is something entirely new to research and study because it is happening right now. I present this wonderfully put together article of facts that perfectly explain and aid in visualizing the problem.

Avoiding glitter is hard, but manageable if you are conscious of it. (:

Earth Day Every Day

Short, but necessary post!

Happy April everyone, I know that we are all cooped up at home but I hope that it is nice enough that you are able to spend a little bit of time outside to get some fresh air. Maybe, you can make some good use out of that fresh air by picking up some trash….

Earthday is coming up, and seeing that I have all of the time in the world this month I am going to be trekking all across my home-town to collect trash every single day. I am turning earth day into earth month and doing a small part in picking up the trash I see in my local area.

I challenge all of you to go out and do the same, even if it’s just one small piece of trash! BUT PLEASE wear gloves.

You want to make sure that you are staying clean and sanitized when going out and picking up random items on the ground. Remember to try not to touch your face, and wash your hands when you get home.

If you decide to go out and pick up some trash, tag me in a post, or send me a photo and I’ll be re sharing all of your trash collecting pictures here and on my instagram.

Happy trash picking (:

Lights OUT

Hello everyone! It has been a bit since I last posted, but I really wanted to get writing again. I have been quarantined at school in complete isolation for a little over a week now, and things have been surprisingly okay. I was in Spain for spring-break and could not risk giving the virus, despite having no symptoms, to my parents or other family members. (Yes you can spread the virus without symptoms) Just doin what I gotta do!

I’m sure some of you have seen what the ‘absence of humanity’ has done since lockdowns began. The air pollution in Italy and China have significantly fallen, and canals in Venice are crystal clear. But I don’t think that humanity has to go away for nature to thrive.

Sometimes lifestyles and habits change, and as we are shifting toward a lifestyle at home, I started thinking about all of the habits we have at home. I have been racing to think of ways that we can stay as eco-friendly as possible while also staying safe. One thing that struck my mind was energy, specifically electricity.

E-Tips for Staying at Home

Turn off your lights! Most electricity in the United States comes from natural gas and coal. No, the outlets in your wall don’t just spark up naturally. The electricity you use to make your frozen pizza and charge your phone mostly comes from burning fossil fuels!

As you move from room to room in your home, try to remember to turn off your lights! Turning off lights, reduces energy, which reduces carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases. Maybe you will create a better habit for when life gets back to normal and everyone is using less electricity.

UNPLUG your devices! Ever hear of a vampire device? It does exactly what it sounds like it would, it sucks energy from your outlets even when it isn’t being used and the power is switched off. Keurig’s and other coffee makers are a big culprit! TV’s, radio’s, treadmills and other devices are as well.

Almost 75% of the energy used to power household electronics is consumed when they are switched off, which can cost you up to $200 per year! So unplug that sh** for your wallet too.

As we are constantly plugged in to technology, try to charge your phone during the day until it reaches about 100, then unplug it rather than wasting the energy over charging at night while you sleep! Plugging your phone in while you sleep can actually weaken the battery’s lifespan anyways. Since none of us are doing our regular 9-5 days, just try it out!

Here is the link to the EPA’s guide on reducing energy in your home. Here you can find out what kind of energy is used near you. And what kinds of appliances/ products work on reducing the amount of energy they use in the first place!

USE LESS water. Gentle reminders, as we wash our hands maybe a little more than normal… Please remember to turn off the water between soap scrubbing and actually washing!

When you are brushing your teeth, turn OFF the water. Brush them pearly’s but please remember to turn off your running water!

Take advantage of the time that we all have and…plant a garden! Gardens can reduce air and noise pollution, filter ground water, and cut down on pollution. You might be wondering how this is possible, to do when all kinds of stores are closed! But I know for sure grocery stores sell a limited amount of seeds and other plants that you might be able to start with! Succulents are easy to take care of, so are a lot of other house plants that can bring a little bit of outside, inside your home.

I hope all of you are responsibly quarantining, and social distancing to slow this thing down! Dance and sing your hearts out, stay safe & healthy — but like always give me a like, share, or repost pleaaaaaase (:

xoxo

Reef Safe Sunscreen

NOAA

With spring break steam rolling around the corner, and college students fleeing to beaches worldwide… There is something that MUST be said about sunscreen.

Many conventional sunscreen’s today cause a lot of harm, killing off and damaging our coral in the oceans. When you wear sunscreen in the ocean, it comes off and leaches into the water and marine environment.

Despite coral looking like an inanimate rock, it is very much alive. Watch this National Geographic video on Coral Reefs.

These ingredients in the sunscreen dissolve in the ocean and threaten marine life, they sink and become part of the ocean sediment.

Sunscreen can affect other marine life as well. In dolphins, the sediment can accumulate in their tissue and deform and potentially kill them. It can decrease fertility in dozens of other fish species as well, rendering them unable to reproduce.

The studies performed have proven since 2013 that several chemicals in conventional sunscreen are harmful for coral and other marine life, yet it is still allowed to be used. Luckily there are tons of alternatives that keep your skin, and reefs safe!

Still today, there are no federal regulation’s on what companies can advertise as reef-safe. They could be falsely marketing the product, which is why the ingredients list is SO important. Some of the main coral killers are Oxybenzone, or BP-3, Octinoxate, Benzophenone-2, or BP-2. This list I put together is the best list of reef safe brands I could find! There are tons of options with sprays, creams, lotions that protect against UV rays, are the recommended SPF, and non-toxic.

E-tips for Reef Safe Sunscreen

All of these can be found on Amazon, but I added some of their websites so you can see what their message and company is all about.

Raw Element’s Sunscreen (SPF 30) Tin moisturizer, reusable and recyclable!!

Zero Waste Store (SPF 50) Vegan beach or mountain protection, PLASTIC FREE

Babo Botanicals is (SPF 30) Ultra sheer, lightweight, hypoallergenic mineral sunscreen

Butterbean (SPF 30) This product is 100% compostable and great for travel

Coola Mineral Sun Silk Crème (SPF 30) Plant sourced protection, creams, sprays, etc…

Love Sun Body (SPF 50) Made in the U.S, a clean, plant based alternative

Honest Mineral Sunscreen Spray (SPF 30) water resistant, mineral based

Sun Bum Face Lotion (SPF 50) Vegan, fragrance free, hypoallergenic, matte finish

Raw Love (SPF 30) Mineral based & reef safe!

Like, Share, Repost!!! But more importantly, remind your friends to buy the right sunscreen this spring break. Have fun, and safe travels xoxoxo

Reusing Soup Cans

Created with RNI Flashback

This is why you should re-use your soup cans, recycle them when you can’t, and keep AVOIDING plastics.

Aluminum has it’s upsides and downsides. It requires a lot of heavy machinery and enough land to mine from. In the surrounding mining areas, plant and animal life is immediately affected. However, the impact is semi-balanced because of the efficient recycling process that comes from re-using this source.

Aluminum is one of the most recyclable materials. They are, in fact, 100% recylable. Aluminum cans can be used in the making of cars, new aluminum cans, kitchen utensils, and plane parts!

Aluminum is better than plastic in the ways in which it can be recycled, however it requires a lot more energy to produce this product vs. plastic. Aluminum requires more energy, which in turn produces more of a carbon footprint. It produces around 18% more tonnes of CO2 in comparison with plastic. However plastics can be super hard to recycle. Certain types of plastic cannot be mixed with others, each type is actually shown on the bottom of the item with numbers. Each number represents a different chemical which melts at different temperatures. If you had a #1 that melts at let’s just say 100 degrees, and a #7 that melts at 250, they would melt differently and cause havoc in the recycling process.

Re-use those cans!

I keep preaching, but up-cycling is way more important than re-cycling. This encourages people to be mindful of the products they use, and to get creative! This is probably one of the easiest things that you could do for yourself as a college kid, or anyone anywhere who uses canned goods. I buy canned goods several ways, I use coconut milk, canned beans, and soups.

Soup has become a necessity this winter. It’s cheap, and I can store it forever in my cabinet until I am in need of something quick and healthy. I have been buying Amy’s Chunky Vegetable soup because it is organic, free from preservatives, and vegan! It also is not as high in sodium. Cambell’s soup can have upwards of 1400 mg of salt, Amy’s has 280 mg. 0:

Regardless of what canned foods you are using, you can give them extra life with my E-tips here.

  1. Start using them as cups! Maybe you are like me, and you think about how often we throw away those red solo cups at parties, but you also don’t want to clean up after a bunch of drunk kids. Red solo cups seem easier…Right? Well you could save up your aluminum cans and use them for the party. Either wash them to use again, or recycle them. This way they weren’t just simply used once and thrown away.
  2. Use them as plant holders. My roommate just got flowers for Valentine’s day so we put them in a Tito’s bottle as well as an aluminum can on our counter top! The roses still flourish just as beautiful as if they were in a clear vase.
  3. Decorate them! Pinterest offers tons of ways to get crafty with those cans to make them more -aesthetic-
  4. Use them as a make-up brush holder!
  5. Use them as cups, aside from the party. I use them for my smoothies and juices, I use them just like I would any other cup and it works just as great!

Thanks for reading! Like, Share & Subscribe to this site (:

Source Links

https://www.warwickri.gov/sanitation-recycling/faq/why-cant-all-plastics-be-recycled

https://www.thesca.org/connect/blog/environmental-impact-aluminum

https://www.azocleantech.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=585

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/