All posts tagged: environment

Why I’m Vegan

Why are you vegan? I’m asked this question all the time and the full answer is far too complicated for me to answer succinctly. Instead, I tackle the interrogation with a simple answer – “for the environment, animals, and my health” – but the truth is there’s far more to it. Sometimes my response is enough, but more curious folks will press further. How is being vegan better for the environment? But aren’t dairy cows treated well? So where do you get your protein? In such moments, I wish I had a packet I could give them and say “read over this and that’s your answer.” Although realistically I can’t walk around with copies of a document highlighting the facts that informed my decision to go vegan, I can share one digitally. So here’s my web-based Why I’m Vegan fact sheet for those who are curious and for vegans who need a reminder of why they made changes to their lifestyle. Let’s start with one of my favorite facts: “Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 …

Catalina Island: Facts n’ Photos

Before visiting Catalina I knew nothing about the island except for the fact that it’s off the coast of California and (most importantly) that it was the iconic setting for the end of Step Brothers. After spending a weekend on Catalina Island I learned quite a bit and am here to report back with some fun facts and a few photos I took during my short visit. 1. The Catalina Island Wine Mixer is now a real thing, and it’s happening in September! There’s even a Step Brothers themed costume party y’all. 2. The Wrigley family owns Catalina and has since the early 1900’s. 3. The Wrigley family were known for their gum and numerous other business ventures, including as part-owners of the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs even held their spring training on the island from the 1920s until the 1950s. 4. There aren’t many cars on the island. In fact, residents have to spend 30 years on a waiting list before they can even get a Smart Car. Now that’s patience. 5. Instead of cars people use golf carts, and they’re loud, annoying, …

Fast Fashion & “The True Cost”

The True Cost is one of those documentaries that everyone should watch, and then tell their friends and family to see too. I discovered the film after a friend told me it was necessary viewing, and I’m so grateful for her insistence. In order to be conscientious consumers, it’s imperative that we know where our clothes come from, who’s making it, and how they’re being treated. The True Cost examines the human rights, labor rights, and environmental impact of the garment industry, focusing on the horrific practices of fast fashion in particular. It’s also important to note that with women making up the majority of garment workers across the globe, this topic is a feminist issue as well. Before watching The True Cost I admittedly shopped at places like Zara and H&M because they offered affordable, cute clothing. But such low prices are the first sign that something is not ethically produced. Now I not only shop less (why do we need so much stuff?) but I buy second-hand and search for brands that are known to treat their employees well and embrace sustainable practices. Compared …

Positive Change as an Individual

In these socially and politically tumultuous times, I think it’s important to reflect on what we can do as individuals to contribute to the greater good. While significant change is enacted by policy-making, progress within one’s lifestyle and personal relationship to society as a whole is also essential in creating change. Below is a work-in-progress list of ways I think an individual can create positive change. While I’m sharing this on Catch-all, it’s also a personal reminder of the many ways I can use my individual power for good. This list will always be evolving, so please comment below with any suggestions you may have. Ask more questions! Think critically, engage with new ideas, listen to your peers, confront your own problematic assumptions, and always look beyond the surface level Cultivate a community of friends and family who hold you accountable for your actions and words Support businesses owned by immigrants, women, people of color, members of the LGBT community, etc. Support the work of diverse journalists, artists, authors, and filmmakers, etc. Question the status-quo Avoid fast fashion and …

Among the Trees at Sequoia National Park

A few weeks ago my parents visited and we took a weekend trip to Sequoia National Park. Out in nature is where I find I can truly relax and rejuvenate, so I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to escape from the city for a bit with my family. This trip marked my first time seeing the giant sequoia trees of California, and wow are they impressive! Below are a few snapshots that don’t do the magnitude of these sequoia’s justice, but do capture a bit of what I saw on my trip (or more like mere portions of what I saw, because these trees are too big to fit into one photo). Pictured below is General Grant, the world’s 3rd largest tree, found at King’s Canyon National Park, and General Sherman, the world’s largest tree, found at Sequoia National Park. If you’re ever visiting California I absolutely recommend checking out both Sequoia National Park and King’s Canyon National Park. I wish I had spent just a little more time among those massive trees, but I look forward to venturing back some day. Next stops, …

Video of the Day: “Fighting For Flint”

The Flint, Michigan, water crisis is an immense tragedy that is largely underreported on a national level. What has happened in Flint is an abomination – so why haven’t we been hearing about it everyday on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News since the unearthing of this calamity? Why is this community being overlooked? In an interview on The Real, Russell Simmons discussed environmental racism and declared that the same sort of disaster would never happen in a place like Beverly Hills, and he’s absolutely right. Because Flint is largely impoverished, their plight has been systemically ignored. Please watch and share Fighting For Flint from Elite Daily, which features the stories of Flint citizens whose lives have been destroyed by this catastrophe. And if you are in the position to donate, please look into giving to the Flint Water Fund and the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.

Happy Earth Day!

I’m no scientist, but this I know: if we continue treating our planet without care or compassion, the repercussions will be insurmountable. This Earth Day, lets not only celebrate our beautiful world, but also acknowledge the threats we pose to our environment and the need to take action! Here are a few web-based resources where you can learn more about what’s threatening our environment today: Non-profit environmental institutions: World Resources Institute, Greenpeace, Air & water pollution: National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, Oceana Climate change: Climate Action Network, The Climate Institute, Endangered animal life: World Wildlife Fund, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services Animal agriculture: United Nations Environment Programme, PETA Global warming is real. It is happening today. It is being charted by our satellites. It is being charted by our scientists. It is being charted by those of us in this body, and I think the real key is if we are ready to admit that fact and take the action to make the necessary conversion. – Dianne Feinstein War contributes greatly to global warming, which shouldn’t surprise us. All those bombs going off, all …

If You Care About Our Environment, Then You Must Watch “Cowspiracy”

As a vegetarian for the past decade or so, I’ve been well aware of the ethical implications of eating meat, but I was never fully educated on the extreme impact animal agriculture has on our environment. About a month ago I decided to become vegan for three reasons: animal welfare (because eating dairy and eggs causes just as much harm to animals as eating meat does), the positive impact a vegan lifestyle has on the environment, and for health reasons. I was inspired by a number of vegans on YouTube (who I will post about in a few weeks), and documentaries available on Netflix, but watching Cowspiracy has cemented my decision more than anything else. The truth of the matter is, if you want to leave a planet for our children and our children’s children to thrive on, then we need to start making changes. There is so much that the general public isn’t aware of when it comes to animal agriculture, pollution, and sustainability, but the information is out there and we do have the power to make a difference. If you think of …