Act: Green & Natural Living
You're already inspired and excited about changing the world, now it's time to get out and do something! In the articles below you'll find hundreds of ways to implement small changes that make a big difference on the planet.
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"The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river." ~ Ross Perot
A few days ago I was nominated to do the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for ALS, and I really hesitated to participate. I talked it over with a few people in person, then turned to social media to get the Eco-Vegan Gal community's opinion, which was really all over the place. It is evident that there is a lot of confusion and frustration around this topic, so I started doing research to learn more. Over the course of several hours pouring over websites on ALS, a book on animal testing, and several sources on water waste, I put together a video to address my findings and feelings. Since vegan chef Jason Wrobel was also nominated to do the challenge and hesitated for similar reasons, he joined me on camera to spread the message on the importance of educating ourselves before supporting a cause and joining a social trend.
People mean well when they donate to health charities, but many are unaware that they may inadvertently be supporting cruel and unnecessary animal experiments. With growing awareness of the dangers of reliance on data from animal tests, the public should be able to make an informed choice as to how their generous donations are really being spent. ~ Helen Marston, chief executive of Humane Research Australia.
Book review by EvG team member Rachel Curit:
Most vegans are familiar with the concept of farm animal sanctuaries, where abused and neglected beings find peace and happiness for the rest of their lives. Many of us don't spend our days kissing pigs and massaging sheep while simultaneously mucking stalls and doing office work. For those of us not able to see the transformation of "broken beings [becoming] whole again," there is "Animal Camp: Reflections on a Decade of Love, Hope, and Veganism at Catskill Animal Sanctuary" by Kathy Stevens, Founder and Director of Catskill Animal Sanctuary in Saugerties, New York.
Most people live a "lifestyle of consumption, enabled by convenience", perhaps because "we don’t have to think about the costs, beyond what is printed on the package or on our receipts. We don’t have to think about the consequences." One of the biggest problems we face is plastic, which is turned into inexpensive products that are not designed to last and "are packaged so that they can wait indefinitely on store shelves for our sudden desires". While some call plastic addiction the “crisis of our civilization”, it's really just a reflection of the real issue - "the biggest challenge is paying attention".
These are quotes from Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too, a book by Beth Terry, who educated herself about environmental, health and political issues surrounding plastic and found ways to get it almost entirely out of her life. Her passion lead her to pen a now very successful blog called My Plastic-Free Life that inspired the book, both in which she shares her personal journey and offers accessible solutions without imposing guilt. But her driving forces goes beyond plastic - there's a bigger message within her words that encourages people to start thinking and living differently to achieve longer, happier lives.
The following video is a review of Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too. My feelings are best captured on camera than in writing, but I wanted to share some more details, facts, quotes and links to more information here because it's more easily accessible.