It’s that time of year again where all gatherings revolve around one main thing, food, and lots of it. To the newer plant based individual this season might seem super intimidating. Maybe you’re worried about the looks and the comments you’re going to receive from friends and family when you bypass the turkey and deviled egg platers as they go around the table. Maybe you’re worried about not being able to enjoy the season as much or maybe you’re just wondering what in the world you’re going to eat. Please know that this can be (and is) so so simple and can also be oh so delicious.Read More
What if I told you that if everyone were to go vegan, there would be enough food and water for everyone? What if I told you that this isn't ALL about the animals but it's about the humans too. What if I told you that God gave us a world that has the ability to sustain us to live healthy lives but that we are ruining it every single day? Would you believe me? This is for everyone who thinks being vegan won't make a difference, who thinks being vegan is just for the crazy animal people, and who thinks that the state the world was in when we were given permission to eat animals in the bible, is the same state that the world is in now. All I know is that my God would not want things to be unfolding the way they are today.Read More
Let me start this by first saying, we have to stop being so hard on ourselves. When we become judgmental about if a vegan should or shouldn't eat honey we start to miss the mark and the point behind this entire lifestyle. I am not the kind of person who will agree to something or dive into something without first doing my own research and I have been researching this honey thing for quite some time now. I have found that I am not the only vegan who eats honey and I have also learned that vegans can be very very hypocritical. There is truly no such thing as a purist vegan. Small rodents and animals are killed and run out of their homes every time we need room for more farm land to grow the vegetables we eat. Bees are also pollinating the food we eat so at the end of the day, it's impossible to eat a vegan diet that could be considered pure and 100% cruelty free. We could talk about the fact and statistics all day long but we have to be realistic with where our priorities lie and my priorities do not lie in telling other vegans how to live their lives or shaming non-vegans. In some of my posts I will clearly lay out why I'm vegan and why I think it's better for humanity and our planet (yes that includes the animals), but I will not put your down or shame you for choosing not to be vegan. We have to work towards giving vegans a better rap than they have by being the best examples of the vegan lifestyle that we can be. We need to be kind, understanding, informative, but not pushy.
I have been excited to write this post for a while now because I think it will help clear some things up for those of you who are vegan as well or maybe who are interested in this lifestyle change. When I first went vegan I remember being a little confused on the "rules". How silly is that though? It's a lifestyle change, just like working out regularly is a lifestyle change. There really shouldn't be set rules. Obviously if you are vegan you are probably not eating any type of animal products including meat, fish, eggs, cheese, milk, etc. but what about honey? Going vegan was not super intense for me because I was never really that much of a meat eater and I knew I was lactose intolerant. But I remember feeling kindof bummed when I kept reading that honey wasn't vegan because it's the one thing that really keeps my seasonal allergies at bay. I use it over any actual medications and it's always been so helpful especially in combination with essential oils! After doing some research on the reasoning behind honey not being vegan and talking with local bee keepers, I came to the conclusion that eating local honey is something that I am ok with and will continue to do. Here's the deal, without bees we have no crops. With no crops, us as plant based eaters, have no food. As a vegan, vegetarian, or plant based eater, we rely on the work of the bees and the pollination they provide to the crops we so consistanty consume. In my opinion the "vegan" thing to do is to support the honeybees and the (ethical) beekeepers who keep hives on their own farms to pollinate their crop and who sell the leftover or excess honey if they want to. I made sure we found a local farmer who cares. We were strolling through the farmers market one day and saw a honey stand and I walked right up and started asking questions. I kept the conversation light and semi-jokingly asked "Do you love your bees?" and once I knew he was ready and willing to answer continued with "What is your farm like?" and he was more than happy to show me photos of everything and kept going on about how he's "a student of the bees" and just loves what he does. He also keeps hens on his farm who he refers to as "his girls" and was telling us all about their personalities and how they are more like pets to him. He was a cool guy and you could see and feel the passion he had for what he's doing. Most small and local farmers truly care and will not take any honey that the bees cannot spare and some mainly keep bees just to pollinate their own crops and sell whatever leftover honey the bees can spare.
At the end of the day we can't all be on the same journey and all plant based, vegan journeys will all be different. There is not 1 way to be vegan. Am I eating honey everyday? No. But do I keep it on hand for when our allergies get terrible? Yes, absolutely and I'm so thankful to have an natural alternative to allergy medication. If we spent more of our lives not basing ourselves off of other's opinions of us we would free up a lot of time and be a lot less stressed out. Be you and do the best you can. At the end of the day the goal behind veganism should be less cruelty, healthier humans, and a cleaner planet.
Some of the blogs I read in my research:
Thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed!!
Eco-friendly "not harmful to the environment."
Environment "the surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal, or plant lives or operates."
Something I am becoming more and more conscious of lately is how our everyday decisions impact the world around us. Our carbon footprints are becoming bigger and deeper than ever before and it's a huge issue. We are polluting the beautiful world we live in way more than we realize. It's more than just recycling and asking for paper instead of plastic at the grocery store. We need to be doing more and there are some surprisingly simple ways to do so! Here are a few of the ways we've been cutting down on waste, plastic usage and decreasing our carbon footprint.
Bars of soap for hand and body wash instead of plastic bottles - This one is such a no-brainer! I couldn't believe that I hadn't thought of it sooner. Hand soap and body wash are two things that most households go through quickly and what happens when you run out? You purchase another plastic bottle full of soap. Some may choose to purchase refill bags/bottles but those are still coming in plastic most of the time. My goal lately has been to eliminate any plastic that we possibly can but start with the simple things. Plastic is hazardous to our health and to our planet. Last time I was at target I grabbed a few bars of Dr. Bronner's castile soap and have been replacing all of the empty hand soap and body wash bottles with them as we run out. So all it took is one simple change and already we have avoided buying three new bottles of soap because we had bars on hand to replace them! Another great thing about this is that bars of soap last WAY longer than bottles of soap. So not only are you cutting down on plastic but you're probably saving a little money as well! You can purchase Dr. Bronner's soap at your local target, health food store or here!
Reusable Shopping & Freezer Bags - This is something I've wanted to do for a while and I'm finally doing it! Taking my own bags to the grocery store because this is one of the easiest ways to cut down on the amount of plastic usage we're participating in. These reusable shopping bags were super affordable and are so useful for even more than just groceries! We are going on a road trip next week and I know we will using them for packing shoes, snacks, and more! We are always freezing fruit for our smoothies and having these reusable freezer bags is a great way to cut down on waste and plastic as well.
Reusable Water Bottles - My husband and I are the type of people that take a bottle of water with us wherever we go and most of the cups and bottles I had been using were plastic. Not only is is not great for your body to be consuming foods and liquids out of plastic containers everyday, it was of course just more unnecessary plastic in our household. A few months ago we found Hydro Flasks at our local TJ Maxx for almost half off and we have been using them every day since! Definitely check TJ Maxx for them first but if you can't find them there you can also purchase here!
Stainless Steel Straws - This one is another super simple one! I purchased a set of super affordable stainless steel straws here and we use them to replace all of our plastic ones for smoothies, water at home, etc. I would love to start bringing them with me when we're in public as well to cut down on the amount of plastic we're using when we're out of the house. Every little bit counts!
Rags for cleaning instead of paper towels - This is a great one! When I took the time to really observe how many times I was grabbing a wad of paper towels to clean up a mess, wipe down the counter, etc. I was amazed. We were going through paper towels like crazy at our house and most of it was unnecessary. We've started using bar mop rags to clean the kitchen, bathrooms and wipe down counters instead of paper towels. We usually only use paper towels as napkins when we're eating now and I have not had to purchase them in a while! We get our bar mop rags at target! They are always super affordable.
Make your own products - I am diving into the world of DIY and have really been loving it so far! Sometimes doing it yourself is going to be the only way to make sure all of the nasty ingredients are left out. I am currently using doTERRA's On Guard Cleaner Concentrate and haven't had to purchase a bottle of multi-purpose cleaning spray in probably a little over 6 months. It works so well and I love being able to refill the same bottle every time I run out! Again, saving money and creating less waste. Send me an email through the contact tab in the menu if you're interested in getting your hands on some cleaner concentrate! We also just made our own 4 ingredient laundry detergent and we were pleasantly surprised at how well it worked and how nice it left everything feeling & smelling. Recipe coming soon after a week more of testing it out!!
Eating plant-based - This tip although it's my last in this post would be the most impactful for the environment in all aspects. Being eco-friendly is the act of choosing to do things in a way that does not harm the environment. The environment encompasses the living conditions of humans, animals, and plants. I believe (and it has been proven) that by choosing to eat plant based, we are not only saving the lives of animals and impacting our planet in such a positive way, but we are also impacting the lives of humans, the hungry, starving, homeless and sick. I am currently writing an entire blog post on this but just to break it down a little here are a few facts:
Land required to feed 1 person for 1 year:
vegan/plant based: 1/6th acre
vegetarian: 3x as much as a vegan
meat eater: 18x as much as a vegan
Agriculture is responsible for 80-90% of US water consumption. How crazy is that?!
The simple truth is that we are growing more than enough food to feed this planet, but animal agriculture is such a mass-produced, fast paced industry that animals are getting over half of what is grown. Think about if everyone was eating a vegan diet. No one would have to go hungry. Eating a vegan diet is one of the best things we can do for ourselves and for the world around us. I will go deeper into this in an upcoming post!
I truly hope you enjoyed this post and that it ignites some ideas on how you can make changes towards a more eco-friendly household and lifestyle. :)
Thank you for reading and for letting me share my heart with you all here in this little space!
I love a good app, don't you? Especially when it helps me make hard decisions like what products to use and foods to buy. Labels can be so deceiving and these apps will help you determine what is ACTUALLY healthy and/or chemical free. Seriously lifesavers!
1. The Happy Cow
This app is great for finding vegan or vegetarian-friendly restaurants wherever you are. Its simple to use which is great for when you need to find options fast.
2. Is it Vegan?
This one is great when you come across a questionable food label. Some labels will not say "contains milk" when in fact, there are milk derivatives in certain foods. It can be super frustrating and confusing so having this app has been awesome. It also works on things like medications and product labels!
3. Think Dirty
I believe this app is fairly new and they are still adding to it but it is still such a great one! It actually rates products by number and colors on their toxicity levels and breaks down why they are toxic and what body systems they could effect. So many things that I thought were safe and healthy ended up in the red zone which was definitely a wake-up call to start checking ingredient labels more!
4. EWG's Healthy Living
This one sort of picks up the slack for the think dirty app. It seems to be a bit more updated and has more products already in its database. I love having both handy when I'm shopping because chances are one of the two apps will have info on the product I'm scanning.
Last but not least! This app is great for determining if certain products are cruelty-free. Some brands label it and some don't so it's always nice to know for sure if you are on the hunt for cruelty-free products.
This was a super short and sweet post but I hope these apps help you!! They have changed the way I shop and have really simplified things when trying to buy cleaner products!
Let me know if you get any of these apps or if you've already been using them! Do you use any others that aren't listed? Let me know!
Thanks for reading!