Monday, October 15, 2007

Living Chic, Vegan & Green!

So today is Blog Action Day and since bloggers around the world are blogging about & for the environment in different ways, here is my small contribution for the day and I'm excited to be a part of the action.

The biggest impact that you can have on global warming is going vegan. That fact comes from the UN report stating that livestock production is more detrimental to the environment than all total combined emissions from the transportation sector. Living a vegan lifestyle is the best thing you can do for the earth- so simple, yet curiously not a message that Al Gore or other "environmentalists" ever shout out loud because they are not ready to go there. How sad.

I'm sure you've heard this all before but here are some things that I do to lessen my footprint:
  • Recycle, recycle, recycle (I am a recycling fiend. I have gone through yucky trash at one of my photo shoots to pull out the cans & bottles because I forgot to set out a recycling bag which honestly, people never pay attention and still dump trash in the recycling...)

  • Avoid disposable plates & utensils like the plague. It's so wasteful & unnecessary- I understand the convenience factor, but not really because it doesn't take that much more time to do the dishes. If you absolutely must purchase disposable utensils & plates, buy biodegradable & sustainable products made from sugar cane fibers, corn & potatoes online at The Green Office.
  • Avoid straws & disposable wooden chopsticks when eating out. (When dining at an Asian restaurant, I have ask for real chopsticks if not, I opt for a fork. Eating sushi with a fork is not ideal, but it gets the job done. My other idea was to get a a pair of cute travel chopsticks in a case to bring with me...)
  • Buy paper products (toilet paper, tissues, printing paper) made with recycled post consumer content and avoid paper products whitened with bleach.

  • Don't waste water. (The water that I wash my veggies in is saved for watering the plants and I do not leave that water running while I brush my teeth! And because I am a good procrastinator, I make sure I have a full load of laundry before I do the wash and wash everything in cold-saves energy.)
  • Shut everything off at night. Put everything imaginable with a plug on a power strip & shut that power strip off at night to avoid those energy vampires because even when it's seemingly off, that cable box is still sucking energy...
  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  • Use environmentally friendly, animal friendly & animal-free cleaning products like Method and Ecover.
  • Bring my own eco-chic bags when shopping. I love my super cute, green wonder string bag that holds so much more than you can imagine from Ecobags. It doesn't take much space rolled up and I bring it everywhere.
  • Avoiding conspicuous consumption by buying less things that are not necessities.
  • However, if one must actually indulge, buy eco-friendly products like this great bag I just bought made from recycled & discarded old sailcloth & rubber from sailboats by Red Flag Design. Mine is grey with green handles and the bags are one-of-a kind because they made from reclaimed sails the material is marked by it's voyage on the seas. The image is from Branch a really cool store which sells wonderful sustainable products- oops, had to change that pic because the pic I had was one of the few bags that contained leather and that's not the one I would be interested in which was pointed out to me through one of my lovely comments below- thanks!.

  • Use biodegradable- environmentally friendly kitty litter like Feline Pine made from recycled pine trees. It's so much better for everyone involved than clay & crystal litters. The clay & silica dust are harmful for kitty's lungs & yours.
  • Not that I am recommending this for anyone, but I make Booboo's favorite toy from her own fur. Yes, Booboo plays with sustainable toys. I got the idea from a boiled wool mouse that Fcat bought her before I went vegan. Booboo's got a lot of fur so I started making little rolled up furballs which I ball up with soap & hot water. She loves them because they bounce & fly through the air as she swats & chases them.

So there you have it, a few of the many things that I & Booboo do to live a more environmentally friendly life. Every single action has a consequence, let's be more conscientious and start a chain reaction to save the world & ourselves.


Theresa said...

Thanks for this informative post! I agree with you on all of these tips. Especially avoiding conspicuous consumption. Aside from going vegan, that's the easiest and most effective way of reducing waste, emissions, and environmental harm. Yet, it seems so difficult for people to grasp.

urban vegan said...

Great, great, GREAT post. Thanks for all these ideas and reminders. I consider myself pretty environmentally friendly [being vegan, and all ;)] but your post reminds me there are many more things I can and should do--like using real chopsticks.

And your idea of making BooBoo's toys from her own fur is dead brilliant. I am going to clean out the dryer lint catcher right this minute [Bossa doesn't shed very much].

bazu said...

Booooo- I just left a long comment and Blogger ate it all up!

I just want to say, thanks for the cool post and all the great ideas. I especially love the Booboo toys- my cats are also interested in the fur that gets stuck in their brush after I groom them. How come the simple idea of making toys with it never occurred to me?

Jesse said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful ideas! Just in case you didn't know, the image of the bag that you've posted is one of the few on the site that has leather on it--wanted to put out a warning just in case someone bought it without reading!

Emmie said...

I always roll up my kitties fur into little balls for the two of them to play with. They love them so much.

Something I really need to do is get a nice big bag to carry my groceries in. We always buy those plastic bags in the store and that's a total waste. We use them as bin liners, but it's better to buy actual bin liners (you can get ones made from biodegradable 'plastic').

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

WOW! This is a great post. While I try to be conscious, you reminded me of things I should be doing! You're awesome!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Oh & I love that bag! I think I need one. :)

Vegan_Noodle said...

What an awesome list! Great things to think about.
I carry a bamboo fork knife, spoon, and chopsticks in my purse at all times. That way I'm never caught without sustainable silverware. (plus I carry a big purse, which makes it easy)
Thanks for all of those links!

The Little Vegan said...

Thanks so much for that really helpful list! And travel chopsticks are great-- I have a pair of blue ones with cherryblossoms :o).

VeggieGirl said...

well-said, Vko!! Love all the ideas you presented here, to be more environmentally-friendly!!

Village Vegan said...

Grr, I totally forgot that yesterday was eco-blogging day.

Anyway, thanks for those great, great tips! I never would have thought to save the vegetable washing water to water plants or not to use disposable chopsticks. (You should totally carry around a cute pair of reusable chopsticks with you ;-) )

One good thing about Germany is that you never get plastic bags at stores here-- you're expected to bring your own canvas bag or a basket. Too bad the US or at the very least NYC can't do the same.

Oh, and cute cat toys!

stellarjoolz said...

Great post, great tips on making this world a batter place (yes, must be foodian slip. I have baking on my mind. I was going to correct it, but then I decided to leave it just the way it is.)

Whew, I have months and months of blog catching up to do. I'm tentatively thinking about chronicling the big W on the blog. Anyhoos, enough about me, more about your great blog. My, how it's grown! It's a wonderful thing!

Your new name, Meowgan! Meows and vegan! You know how I crack myself up! Ok, enough sirryness. Thanks for some great tips that even I can apply to our lives!

BTW, I think my buddy might be breaking on the Jack thing. Yay!

Ashasarala said...

Hey there! Those are some really great ideas that people would never think to do. I always recycle (and luckily they have a recycling bin at my work as well) but I admit that I need to brush up on other ways of conserving energy and not being so wasteful. I'll definitely put these ideas into play!

By the way, the fur ball toy is crazy! But in a good way! I never would have thought to do something like that, but it's really a great idea! Though, my cat enjoys chasing her tail and running back and forth from room to room and that seems to keep her busy. Haha

Pink Theory said...

Wow, great post! I wish I had had the time to participate in this. I love (and do most of) your tips! I have even thought about bringing in a cloth to dry my hands on at work after washing them in the bathroom b/c I hate using papertowels. Sometimes I just wipe my hands on my pants but wet hand prints maybe aren't the best thing to "wear" at work :-P
Oh, and I love the kitty hair toys!

Pink Theory said...

Wow, great post! I wish I had had the time to participate in this. I love (and do most of) your tips! I have even thought about bringing in a cloth to dry my hands on at work after washing them in the bathroom b/c I hate using papertowels. Sometimes I just wipe my hands on my pants but wet hand prints maybe aren't the best thing to "wear" at work :-P
Oh, and I love the kitty hair toys!

Kati said...

These are all excellent ideas, but I have to say, I am totally captivated by Booboo's toys. That's complete genius! Now I'm wishing my kitties had longer hair...

johanna said...

Got here from googling "vegan cat toys" -- anyway, leaving a super-late comment to mention that clay kitty litter is also environmentally a bad idea because it's strip-mined. So viva Feline Pine, Swheat Scoop (what we use in our house) or World's Best!

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