One of the most intimidating and challenging aspects of being vegan is handling conversations with people who aren't vegan. These chats can easily swing from calm and understanding to debate-like, with each person defending their food choices. I spend a lot of time pondering and researching the best ways to handle oneself in these situations, and have offered up my opinion in several videos (see below). Below are are some more tips to help guide yourself through these tête-à-têtes.
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.
One of my big eco-vegan missions is making my own everything, from meals to cleaning solutions to personal care products. Recently, it occured to me that I was wasting a lot of plastic containers every time I bought a new chapstick, and at $4-5 a pop it was getting expensive. So I decided to learn how to make it myself and discovered it was extremely easy, fast, and fun! Making it reduces packaging, saves money, and you get to control exactly what ingredients are used - talk about being eco-vegan! Here's how you can do it too (watch video or read written recipe):