Easy Ways you Can Help!

The number of issues out there negatively affecting our environment, animal welfare and our own health, can seem overwhelming at times. Many feel like their actions will not make a difference, but that is simply not true. Everything and anything you do goes toward a society that is more responsible and less reliable on convenience.

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I have put together a list of really easy fixes that can make a big difference and probably won’t change your life much at all. Today we are looking at reducing your plastic footprint.

I know one of the “R’s” we are taught is to recycle and yes it does have some value, but understand that 91% of all plastic is not recycled and ends up in landfills and waterways, including our oceans. We are now producing 300 million tons of plastic each year and of that, over 8 million tons is being dumped into our oceans. Worse still, is about half of the plastic produced is used one time only!

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Here are some easy ways to reduce your plastic use:

  • Carry with you - reusable straws, chopsticks, fork, knife and spoon. I keep mine in a cloth pencil case in my purse.

  • Be sure and ask for NO straw or disposable cutlery when you are eating out.

  • Always carry a reusable shopping bag. There are some that fold up quite small. Over 500 billion plastic bags are produced each year and they have a “working life” of about 15 minutes.

  • Buy and use a reusable water bottle and coffee cup.

  • Avoid excessive packaging when buying fruits and vegetables. You don’t need your carrots or apples in a plastic bag.

  • To help avoid excessive packaging with all groceries, stock up at your local bulk food store and bring a reusable container like a mason jar to fill up. Also, if your favorite product does use way too much packaging, email, Facebook or Instagram them and ask them to cut back. Companies will listen.

  • Ditch the Ziploc bags and use glass containers instead.

  • Swap out your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo brush. Over 50 million pounds worth of toothbrushes end up in our trash. They both need to be replaced at the same rate but the bamboo will biodegrade after 6 months.

  • If you live in a country that hasn’t banned micro-beads, make sure your cosmetics do not contain them.

  • Over 2 billion plastic razors are thrown out each year. Switch to a metal reusable razor and ditch the plastic for good.

  • AND FINALLY, every time you make any type of purchase give it a look over to see how much plastic it contains or is wrapped in, then decide whether or not the item is worth the millions of years that the plastic will spend on this earth. Choose wisely and companies will have no choice but to get on board or if not, to get thrown out with the trash.

Starting Your Plant Based Lifestyle


If you are thinking about changing your lifestyle to include being vegan, you have made a great choice! We have some steps to help make the transition easy!

First thing is there are no hard and fast rules. You need to make changes in a way that works for you. Don't view a plant based lifestyle as the finish line, but as an evolving process of mindful eating and living. I can tell you that you will eventually lose all cravings when it comes to eating animal products. I can also tell you, you WILL get enough protein, and you WILL be asked this question for the rest of your life.

Many people go vegan overnight and if that works for you – great. But for a lot of you, baby steps work best. You can start off by making small changes to your everyday meals. Here are some ideas but always make sure whatever plan you chose, it works for you.

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During your first week, you can try switching up your breakfast meals to plant based choices. Tofu Scrambles, Nut Butter and banana toast, avocado toast and protein packed smoothies are all quick to prepare and delicious. Our website has tons of easy recipes. Adding either nut or coconut milk or vegan cream replacements to your coffee is another easy one. There are great butter replacements in the grocery stores or you can use coconut oil. Try to source out ingredients that don’t contain unsustainable palm oil.

Next, you can start adding plant based lunches. If you can switch them all up at once that’s great. If not, change up your weekday lunches and leave the weekend meals for later. Smashed chickpea and avocado wraps, vegan pesto pasta, instant vegan miso soup, and quinoa veggie bowls are all super easy to make, are packed with protein and are tasty. There are plant substitutes for almost everything out there. So if you are craving mayo on your wrap, your grocery store probably stocks vegan mayo-if not, ask for it.

Looking up new plant based recipes to try will give you some inspiration and help you when you go grocery shopping. While you are researching new recipes, take a look for local restaurants who offer vegan choices.  When you are eating out, most restaurants will accommodate your requests for a vegan meal, so if you don’t see something on the menu just ask.

And as far as the protein question goes, here is your answer - rich sources of protein are found in all types of plant based foods including beans, soy products like tofu and seitan, quinoa, nuts, seeds, nut butters, lentils, non-dairy milk, green peas, oatmeal, hummus, hemp seeds, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, bananas, nectarines, nutritional yeast and wild rice…. As you can see there are tons of ways to add protein to your plant based diet.

Beet Burgers

Beet Burgers

Remember that living a plant based life isn’t just about your food choices nor is it a “diet”; it is about living a healthy life while causing the least amount of harm to animals and our environment. You need to find your reasons for choosing this lifestyle and remember them if and when you think you might stray. Once you learn the real affects animal products have on your health and the environment, it will be an easy choice.



Our One and Only World

Absolutely everything we do in our daily lives has some type of impact on our environment. Many of our daily habits may have more of an impact that you might have realized, so for today, I would like you to Consider This…

Eating with disposable chopsticks – not one I ever considered, but over 80 billion pairs are thrown out each year. They all end up in landfills. The plastic ones don’t biodegrade and their wooden counterparts take over 4 million trees a year to produce just in China! Sulfur, paraffin and insect repellents are used in the production. 

Easy fix:  Buy a few pairs of reusable sticks and put them in your home, car, your purse or briefcase.

Here is one we like.

If you prefer made in the USA, try these.

We Only Have One World

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The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it-Robert Swan.

On any given day we are inundated with messages about water, soil and air pollution, global warming, fracking, overuse of pesticides, deforestation, GMO’s and a very long list of issues that are negatively affecting the planet we live on. It can seem overwhelming. 

USING SUNSCREEN – This is a topic with much debate. Studies have shown the common ingredient oxybenzone used in sun screens has a detrimental effect on coral reefs around the world, some studies say it is toxic for us as well. Other studies state that while coral does not do well when exposed to oxybenzone, other factors like over-fishing, global warming and pollution are part of the problem as well – no duh! 


-          Keep covered up

-          wear sunglasses

-          wear SPF clothing

-          find shade or bring an umbrella

-          use water resistant sunscreens and ones that don’t contain oxybenzone

-          Here is one that we like. 

The bottom line is, we all need to care, we need to help out where we can, and we need to realize that we are all connected-the earth, oceans, animals, air and humans. We need to respect each other and create an environment that doesn’t need protecting.


Consider This... Water

Thomas Fuller said it best, “We never know the worth of water till the well is dry”.

In the middle of a very cold winter two years ago, I went out to fill the water troughs for my Highland cows. I was horrified when the turned-on tap didn’t produce a single drop because just like us, animals cannot live without water. Water is life and there is not a single living organism that can live without it. And yet, we collectively waste it, pollute it and allow companies to drain our aquafers even during the worst of droughts.

It has been said that the Earth provides for everyone’s need but not everyone’s greed, and that is what I would like to talk about today. It is unlikely that the Earth will ever run out of water, but how much of our H2O remains usable and available to those who need it, is of great concern. Experts have predicted in less than 10 years nearly three billion people will be experiencing a real water scarcity and two thirds of the world will be living under water-stressed conditions. Some feel armed conflicts will result. That being said, I would like you to Consider This….

The number of issues facing our water supply is immense. From fracking and global warming to polluting our oceans and drinking water to a growing demand and a growing population, the list goes on and on.

I am going to talk mostly about our water-footprint which is basically the total amount of H2O that is needed for the production of all goods and services added to our personal water usage. There are a lot of numbers out there, but in North America the norm is about 7800 litres (2060 gallons) per day-which is as much as it takes to fill an Olympic sized pool!

I know it seems like that number is completely ridiculous, but let’s walk through a typical morning for many of us. We get up and take a shower, brush our teeth, flush the toilet, and then eat a breakfast of say toast, eggs with a couple of pieces of bacon, a small glass of juice and a cup of coffee to wash it down. We haven’t left the house and have already used about 1200 litres or 320 gallons, and that doesn’t include the over 5,000 litres/1320 gallons it took to put on our cotton shirt and our favorite pair of jeans. It also took water to make the dishes we eat off of and produce the shampoo and to run the electricity and and and...

The cars we drive take more than 60,000 gallons to produce, and then there is 2 gallons of H2O for every gallon of gas. Some of our favorite treats take enormous amounts of water to produce from almonds at a gallon for each one to about 400 gallons for a chocolate bar and 60 gallons to produce a glass of wine. There is good news for Beer drinkers – each beer takes only 19 gallons to produce and for the vegans and vegetarians out there, your water-footprint is much less than the meat eaters. With beef, chicken and pork ringing in between 600 and 1850 gallons per pound, which is around 150 times more than it takes to grow the same weight in plant food.

If you would like to figure out your water-footprint, there is a very cool tool on line that calculates your daily average water footprint (this one is specific to America, but you can use it to get a good idea).

Not running the water to brush our teeth and purchasing low flow everything helps but that type of water usage is very small compared to what is used to produce food and consumer products. So what can we do?

One of the most important things we can do is to be less wasteful. This means stop overbuying food that ends up in the landfills and clothing that we hardly wear. Work hard at the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Eat lower on the food chain-start off with Meatless Mondays, then add another day or two of vegetarian or vegan meals. If you do eat meat, buy locally produced grass fed products. Buy less processed foods, more sustainable foods and grow some yourself. Don’t support companies that are known for their water crimes-a quick Google search will tell you who they are. Fix leaks, buy Energy Star appliances, use shower buckets, take fewer baths, and conserve energy.

We all need to work at creating an environment that doesn’t need protecting, and we do this with knowledge and our efforts.

Consider This: Air Fresheners


If I were to lock you in a room, shut the windows and door, and then proceed to shower the area with a concoction of formaldehyde, and say another couple hundred or so chemicals (I wouldn’t know exactly what they are because there is no ingredients listed on the can), would you thank me? Probably not. How about if when I sprayed this magic fog, it got rid of a disgusting wet dog smell or yesterday’s fish stench? I would like to hope that you would still opt out of the toxic brew. But for a huge portion of the population, they choose to breathe in these poisons in the form of air fresheners over and over, day after day!

We spray, plug-in, heat up and even burn these deadly cocktails to the tune of over 8 billion dollars’ worth each year! We seem to be obsessed with Island Breeze, Clean Linen and Berry Burst. The commercials show us spraying enough of this stuff to ‘wash rooms’, entire families are euphoric as they plug in their car vent clips, and spray-happy women are dousing shoes, clothing and even pets. We melt them and light them and even have them change scents as if they were a music player on shuffle. And yet, most of us know very little about these addictive air fresheners.

The next time you go to purchase a can or a candle or plugin, I would like you to Consider This…

The top few ingredients in air fresheners are phthalates, formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, dichlorobenzene, DBP’s, DEP, and DIBP, collectively called VOC’s. Then add another couple hundred others – one study listed 350 chemicals in a sample. Unfortunately for us, it is impossible to know exactly what we are buying because for the most part companies do not list the ingredients on their products, nor do they have to. All of these toxic chemicals are apparently an industry secret and also, none of our business. Numerous studies do show that a large number of the chemicals used are linked to cancer, asthma, allergies, birth defects, changes in hormone levels, heart and lung problems, poor semen quality, and changes in genital development!


Many of the products out there simply mask odors; the scent of the spray is stronger than the actual stink you are trying to cover up-especially if you spray as much as the ads suggest! Others contain chemicals that trap the smelly smells and block them from escaping to our noses. Some coat our nasal passages with a film and others actually use nerve-deadening chemicals that interfere with our sense of smell-yikes!! 

Now this is when I would like to suggest the all-natural route, the organic choice. Unfortunately even air fresheners advertised as green or natural, tested about the same for toxic and hazardous chemicals as did the other brands.

So, then what can we do?

Personally, I try to keep odors to a minimum to begin with; wash up and open windows. Even then, my seriously stinky dogs can override my best efforts. So for those times, I have several Mason jars around the house half filled with baking soda to which I add about a dozen or so drops of my fav essential oils (you can buy these anywhere – they are especially cheap at the bulk food stores). The fancy way to do this is to pierce the metal lids but I just put a piece of tin foil on top and poke holes in it. I also have a pot on my stove which is always filled with water and a combination of cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, rosemary, lemon peels or vanilla pieces.

You can also purchase air fresheners made of distilled water and essential oils in a pump bottle or diffusers made from basically the same ingredients. Eco Me offers a great product.

As it is with everything we buy, we are in control of the products made available to us. Knowledge is our power and ignorance is theirs