Veganism is defined as the practice of not using animal products, particularly in diet, and is associated with the philosophy that rejects the use of animals as material objects. Veganism doesn't only drastically help our planet, but can transform our bodies inside and out.
Our country is experiencing an existential crisis. Humanity is exhausting our planet’s finite resources at a deadly rate, and the environment is undergoing changes that are going to be detrimental to not only the planet, but all of us people living on it. That is, unless we make drastic changes. You can’t fix all of our problems with veganism, but you sure can help be a huge part of the solution.
One reason people chose the vegan lifestyle is to prevent the exploitation of animals. Animals are living beings too, seeking life, and freedom. More commonly people chose to go vegan for the amazing health benefits it can have on our bodies. Both the British Dietetic Association, and the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic, recognized that the vegan lifestyle is suitable for every age, and some research has linked vegan diets with lower blood pressure, cholesterol, lower rates of heart disease, some types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes, than an average meat eater. Lastly a vegan diet, promotes water conservation, cleaner soil, and can reduce energy consumption. It takes 100 to 200 times more water to raise a pound of beef than it does to raise a pound of plant foods. Along with that, raising livestock erodes and weakens soil, this is because raising livestock usually leads to deforestation, which clears huge amounts of land, that provide nutrients to the soil. Lastly raising livestock uses a lot of energy, approximately, it takes 75 times more energy to produce meat than corn.
Now, I'm not saying going vegan will cure climate change, but it sure can help put a dent in the issue, and you'll create a healthier more sustainable lifestyle for yourself while you're at it.
Enroll In A Sustainability Course:
Coursera offers a large variety of courses on sustainability, sustainable fashion, renewable energy, climate change, and more!
MilkWood has a good amount of articles and videos that can give you tips about permaculture and other garden related topics!
Take a free, self paced class on EDX.org, on virtually any environmentally related topic you could imagine.
Listen To A Sustainability-Focused Podcast:
A Sustainable Mind
The Eco Warrior Princess Podcast
Start Some Eco-Friendly Projects:
Pick up trash at a local park
Make sure to always wear gloves.
Start a garden
Do some research to start a garden, or grow veggies/ herbs in pots on your window sill.
Purge your closet
To donate clothes you don’t need post-quarantine.
1. Cruelty-Free products tend to be healthier, and contain significantly less chemicals than other non cruelty-free products on the market. This means not only will you be helping save animals, but you'll be using items better for your skin.
2. Contrary to popular belief, companies who test on animals don't just test on mice. Companies will test these harmful products on a wide range of animals such as rabbits, cats, and even dogs.
3. Testing on animals, is completely unnecessary. There are already over 7,000 safe cosmetic ingredients. Companies only test on animals when they want to come up with "new" or "innovative" ingredients for their products, which is very avoidable.
4. You can actually save MORE money when opting to buy cruelty-free products. For example; E.L.F, Pacifica, NYX and so many more.
5. Brands that are cruelty-free, generally are more eco-friendly as well. Most cruelty-free brands steer clear of harsh chemicals, and replace them with more natural and sustainable ingredients, creating not only a better product, but a greener option.
One of Baltimore Beyond Plastic's co-founders, Claire Wayner, was invited to speak at the unveiling of the Harbor Heartbeat report, issued by Waterfront Partnership, Blue Water Baltimore, and several other local nonprofits and organizations with which BBP has worked. The report gives an update on Baltimore's water quality and outlines steps that we can take to get it to a swimmable and fishable state by 2020. That's only two years away! While we may not be entirely on track to get to that goal, the harbor is certainly getting cleaner. We here at Baltimore Beyond Plastic are excited that we have been a part of getting the harbor to where it is today through our student-led activism.
On Monday, the Baltimore City Council unanimously approved the city foam ban! Now we are just awaiting the mayor's signature for the bill to come into law. We are so excited that the council made the right decision, and all of our students are looking forward to helping with proper and equitable enforcement of the law.
Check out WYPR's "Environment in Focus" to hear one of our members, Claire Wayner, featured!
On Monday, February 26th, the Baltimore City Council unanimously approved the second reader of our foam ban bill. We are one step closer to banning foam in Baltimore! This is our second major win of the year following the phase-out of Styrofoam trays from Baltimore City schools. Now, onto the battle for a statewide ban. Thank you all for your support.
Read the front page article on the Baltimore Sun: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-foam-ban-20180226-story.html.
And also check out this article from the Baltimore Watchdog: http://baltimorewatchdog.com/2018/02/22/styrofoam-ban-moves-to-full-city-council/.
We co-authored this Baltimore Sun op-ed supporting the citywide foam ban. Take a look at the op-ed here: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-op-0219-foam-ban-20180216-story.html!
This morning, Baltimore Beyond Plastic brought out over 200 students and teachers from 17 schools to Baltimore City Hall to rally and testify in favor of a Baltimore ban on expanded polystyrene (i.e., "Styrofoam"). We got a lot of fantastic news coverage; check out all of the links to articles below. Thank you to all our participants!
Thank you to the Baltimore Community Foundation for funding our work and for creating this short video about the rally.
And here is a link to the entire hearing recording on YouTube.
Thank you to all for the standing ovation for our testimony yesterday at the 2018 Maryland Environmental Legislative Summit! We are incredibly grateful for all the support shown, and the feature on Bay Journal (https://www.bayjournal.com/blog/post/md_legislative_leaders_pledge_support_for_environmental_measures_amid_trump). This year, we decide our future as a state. Let's make it a future without styrofoam!
On Tuesday, January 9th, the Baltimore City Public School Board voted to phase out carcinogenic, toxic styrofoam trays from school cafeterias in favor of compostable trays. Baltimore Beyond Plastic was there to testify, and we were recognized for our efforts to make this vision a reality by Dr. Sonja Santelises and the rest of the board members. Huge thank you to Liz Marchetta and the rest of the staff on the Department of Food and Nutrition for their help.