Friday, June 17, 2016

Rethinking One-Use Items at Restaurants

I was eating out at a diner with one of my buddies recently, and I was insanely excited when the waitress put my sandwich down. Not because of the obvious reason that I was going to gorge the crap out of said sandwich, but because it didn't have a plastic toothpick in it. Where a colored, plastic toothpick shaped like a pirate sword once penetrated, now stood a nifty, bamboo alternative.

I thought that was really awesome. No plastic one-use item that was going to get thrown out in the regular trash. No wood toothpick that may or may not be from a fresh tree. But a bamboo toothpick made from an invasive species, that can easily be used for many things from bike frames to pillow stuffing.

One-use, non-biodegradable plastic items get used all over the world every day for minor tasks. 50% of the plastic produced is for one-use items. A big contributor to short-term use waste are restaurants and bars. Aside from toothpicks, they also use straws, stirrers, plastic utensils, plastic or Styrofoam takeout containers, paper napkins and more. A lot of this waste is not separated and recycled, so unfortunately, it goes out with the regular trash.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A Dozen Disturbing Facts About The Egg Industry

With the internet connecting everyone to growing media outlets, it's getting hard to escape videos and articles about how the animal agriculture industry isn't exactly the picture of health, or Old MacDonald's Farm it paints. The awful and unsanitary conditions of factory farms became a health concern I worried about, and was one of the first reasons on my list of why I became a vegetarian.

I knew cattle "raising" was bad, but what I wasn't aware of is how the egg industry is just as messed up. Eating mostly plant based for the last few years, I maybe consume 4 eggs a year when times are rough and I can steal one of my room mates. After all the disturbing things I learned, I think I may be cured of eating an egg again.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Veg Option Allies and Advocates - Vegetarian Food Festival NYC

Nicole Eisenberg has been a vegan advocate for seven years. Realizing how difficult it could be for those with a plant-based lifestyle to have conversations with omnivores, she founded Veg Option Allies & Advocates (VOAA).

VOAA aims to knock down walls between vegans and non-vegans by joining them together to break bread at delicious events to respectfully engage in conversation.

Hear more about VOAA and upcoming events from Nicole at the Vegetarian Food Festival in NYC.

Social Media @vegallies

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

An Innovative Way To Save Marine Life and Reduce Plastic Waste

Out of the 200 billion pounds of plastic consumed yearly by humans, 10% of it ends up in the ocean. 90% of garbage in the ocean is plastic. This garbage circulates and accumulates in our ocean's gyres creating garbage patches the size of small counties. This causes many ecological disturbances, including the most obvious one being a danger to marine life.

Entangled seal by derelict net, Hawaii. Photo Source: NOAA
An estimated 1 million sea birds, and 100 thousand sea mammals and turtles become entrapped or ingest plastic mistaken as food and die. It is pretty awful way to die on this planet. Just a quick internet search of "seals stuck in trash" will break your heart when you see their little suffering faces. I don't know about you, but bringing sickness, suffering or death to any creature that relies on humans to keep their backyard clean is pretty shitty.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Guerrilla Wearfare Pro-Veg Clothing - Green Festival NYC

Trying to share information about the impact eating vegetarian, vegan, or less meat in general has on the body, mind, environment and economy is no easy task. Vegheads are usually met with sighs, eye-rolling and complaints about their food choices being respected.

Fortunately, pictures are worth a thousand words, and Christopher Baez of Guerrilla Wearfare has brought his message down to street level with thought provoking tees for every day wear.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Amphora Indoor Hydroponics Planter by Cloud Farms - Green Festival NYC

I love gardening, but living in an apartment in Queens, NY, options are limited. I made the main window area in the front of my apartment a sun room, full of house plants some some edible plants I have growing in containers. My basil is doing great, and I've grown several more plants from cuttings of it. I also have an avocado tree growing from a pit, and pineapple from the scrap top of one that I ate one time.

While I adore picking off basil to eat fresh in my recipes, or dry out to save for later, I could live without all the dirt. Especially since I seem to get spider mites on the edible plants. I found them hiding out in the dirt during the winter. I've changed the dirt and cleaned the plants which did help, but all it takes is one hiding out somewhere to find its way back. I just need to dump everything and start again, but getting some hydroponics in my apartment would definitely stop them from hiding out inside the soil.

The Amphora by Cloud Farms is an indoor, hydroponics, "vase" that grows herbs without the use of soil. It holds enough water for the life time of your plant, so it never needs to be watered, which is great for conservation and efficiency. And laziness and forgetfulness, let's be real. Up to 8 plants can be grown with a single kit, for about a years worth of herby goodness. For more about Amphora, check out my video below with it's inventor, Bradley Ferrada at the Green Festival in NYC.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Twig Terrariums at the Philadelphia Flower Show

I have always loved Terrariums! Mini, self sustaining eco-systems inside of glass that remind us of the interconnections of life, and our part as humans in maintaining that system. Applying that to the bigger picture of the Earth's environment, just leave shit alone and stop messing with it so much, it knows what it's doing.

Plus, terrariums are miniature worlds, and who doesn't love a good tiny thing? Twig Terrariums from Brooklyn, NY do just that, creating small worlds you can hold in your hands.

Katy Maslow, co-founder of Twig, invited me to the Philadelphia Flower Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center March 5-13th where they were exhibiting. I took the time to do a quick video with them in all the hub bub, so come dive into the tiny world of Twig.

287 3rd Avenue Brooklyn, NY

Monday, April 25, 2016

Photos from the NYC Green Festival Expo 2016


Not a huge batch of photos, but had another fun day this year at The Green Festival in NYC. See what's in store for you when the Green Festival hits your area. Click to see more.

Washington DC:  May 6-8
Los Angeles CA:  September 16-18
San Francisco CA: November 11-13
Portland OR: December 9-11

More info at GreenFestivals.org

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

How To Survive The Green Festival in NYC

Only three days away from The Green Festival at the Jacob Javitz Center in New York City! Green Festival, in cooperation with Green America and the Global Exchange, is America's largest and longest-running sustainability and green living event. For over a decade Green Festival has committed to helping people and communities in America find solutions for living that are physically, socially, economically and environmentally healthy.
The Green Festival launches it's 5th year in New York City April 15th, and I can't wait! I will once again be a part of the widest selection of services and products that fully support a green lifestyle from work to play. There will be exhibits of fashion, food, health, construction, and design. I'm looking forward to vegetarian and vegan cooking demos as well as the meatless food court, the Yoga Pavilion, plus there is educational activities for kids, discussion panels, inspirational speakers, live entertainment and more. It isn't a primarily vegetarian event though, there will be organic and sustainably raised meat companies there too.

Javitz Center will be packed with over 300 business that engage in eco-friendly practices from all natural, Fair Trade, renewable resource materials, recycling, and more. Plus, you will find a variety of edibles that support either organic, non-GMO or local.

With so much going on, and so much to see, how does one manage the day?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Discounted Tickets to the Green Festival in NYC!

Browsing Living Social for something to do for my Birthday, I saw that there is a deal for half off admission to the Green Festival. It is an AWESOME event, and if you are into green living, sustainability, green tech, gadgets, as well as health and eco-conscious food, this is the place for you. You will have a blast!

The discount will only be available for a limited time, so I wouldn't sleep on it. The Green Festival hits The Javitz Center April 15-17th. Three days of feeling right at home surrounded by people who get me. I can't wait.

If you are not in NYC, they hit other cities throughout the nation. I hope they come through your town so you can check it out. So much fun to see all the green innovation out there as well as groups or foundations that are dedicated to making this world a more sustainable place.

The Philadelphia Flower Show - March 2016


I couldn't turn down a last minute invitation from Twig Terrariums to visit the Philadelphia Flower Show last weekend. I do love me some nature of all sorts. I went down on Friday March 11th and was able to snap some pictures and soak in some flowery atmosphere. Had a really nice day! Check out the Flickr Set.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Florida Everglades are in Terrible Shape

Photo: Everglades Foundation

Every day we seem to come across climate change and environmental debates. From what is a hoax, to what there isn't enough proof of to make conclusions about, to politicians favoring corporations and abolishing policies that protect the environment. What does one believe with all the confusing and contradicting information out there?

While everyone is arguing and trying to dismiss each other, the physical impact of our neglect and poor decisions are right there in our faces and hard to ignore. So, I wonder often, how can we actually BE ignoring these things?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Amazing Grass - Green Super Food Free Samples

If it's free, it's for me. That's what I always say. If it's free and healthful, then it is DEFINITELY for me. 

If you share my motto, claim your trio of free samples from Amazing Grass and feel like a super hero. Flavors include original, berry and lemon-lime. Sorry, no chocolate! But I am sure we can add some coco powder or carob to the "plain" flavor.

Original Green SuperFood is a powerful blend of nutritious greens, phytonutrient-packed fruits, veggies and cereal grasses, digestive enzymes and probiotics which increase energy, promotes detoxification and boosts your immune system. Their product claims to support overall health and immunity, aid natural digestive function, as well as naturally balance and increase alkalinity.

I have not gotten my sample yet, so I am not endorsing this product. Let's give it a go together.

It sounds promising as it is vegan, kosher, Gluten Free, GMO-Free as well most of their product being organic. There also appears to be NO soy in them, which is great for my allergy.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Sweet and Spicy Cauliflower Karaage with Scallion Pancakes

I love the reduced produce section of my supermarket. I always end up with a ton of something random for really cheap. This time it was cauliflower. I had JUST finished watching an episode of Shokugeki no Soma where there was a karaage competition, and I was inspired!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Kick Startin' My Days Ass with Banana Berry Vanilla Oatmeal

I used to like the idea of oatmeal as a kid, but whenever I actually ate it, I really couldn't get into it. Maybe my Mom just made lame at oatmealing. It wasn't until I had homemade avena from my Puerto Rican Mom away from home after coming in from the snow.  I was awoken to my own oatmeal experimentation and started actually giving oatmeal a fair chance.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Companies Profit Off Canned Air Non-Solution as China Chokes on Smog

Mel Brooks in Spaceballs
The movie Spaceballs has become a reality. Canned air that was meant as a joke in the Star Wars parody film by Mel Brooks, now sells out in China due to their serious air pollution problem.

As the poor citizens of China choke on smog, companies such as Vitality Air capture and bottle fresh, mountain air and makes a profit off of those who haven't taken a fresh breath in months or more. In fact, children born and raised in modern day China have no concept of clean air, water, or their environment in general.

While these company's aren't specifically targeting places like China, the majority of their customers live in cities. Seems like taking advantage of people who live in pollution prone areas by selling them something as ridiculous as canned air is shitty thing to do. What is even more ridiculous, is that we have let such a product have a growing need by being eco-irresponsible.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Plant Based Cool Chocolate Mint Cake Topped with Pudding and Strawberries

When I want treats, I just mix things together in the kitchen. I'm no chef, and I don't do measurements. I've just cooked enough in my life to know what amounts sorta work, what causes issues, how textures and thicknesses of batters are supposed to be, etc. So if you are new to baking, or meticulous about measurements, you will hate me. 

But if you are an experienced, clean eating, and plant-based kind of person, the experiments I do around here will give you some ideas. One day I will get more organized for a cookbook, until then, meh.

This chocolate, peppermint gluten-free, soy-free, corn-free, egg-free, dairy-free, oil-free and sugar-free cake with a coconut cream pudding and fresh strawberries was such a wonderful summer goodie. It actually would have been better if the mint was put in the pudding, and not baked in with the cake, but still tasty. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Plant Based Chickpea of the Sea Mock Tuna Salad

This was so delicious! Finally something plant-based and soy free that isn't so damned boring. Life with a soy allergy really is the pits. If I didn't make it myself, or by someone in the know about soy, I can't trust it. It is in EVERYTHING you put in and on your body in some form or another, but that is a different post completely. 

But today we are talking sammies. Made from scratch, gluten-free "bread" and all. Well... almost made from scratch. The mayo used is the soy-free version of Vegenaise by Follow Your Heart. It's pretty good, and much appreciated. Just Mayo is my favorite soy free mayo, though. These two may be the only soy-free and vegan mayonnaise's on the market, and they both hit the spot when you are missing potato salads, and tuna fish.