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Huge Impact Week!
Day 1 and 2
My friend Shana and I joined up with the No-Impact Project to see how mindful we could be with our impact on the environment. Unfortunately the first day of the experiment started with us in Berlin, and we failed so miserably we decided to call it the Huge Impact project. The main thing was we had to take a long haul flight to get home, which uses tons of fuel and lots of carbon. The day before we bought all these nuts which were in these plastic tubs. We rationalized it by the fact that we are both raw vegans which means we barely use the stove (electricity) plus being vegan means you are not buying into the factory farm system- thus using less water, avoiding more pollution, and saving the earth from global warming (the #1 reason for global warming is from the over abundance of cow’s farts– no kidding!) At the airport we bought water in plastic bottles, and felt guilty, but we don’t want to drink tap water which I believe has lots of chemicals in it. And- the people need me alive and healthy to spread my no-impact propaganda, right?! At the Berlin airport we ran into famed porn star Ron Jeremy. He’s also got, uh I mean made a HUGE impact!
The Berlin airport is cool because they have trash cans that sort trash- paper, plastic, and refuse. You never see this in America. I splurge and have a Starbucks coffee with soy milk. I really don’t like to support Starbucks but it was 5 in the morning and I was in Berlin and I was tired!! Also, the soymilk in Europe is non-GMO and not filled with crappy sugar, unlike all of our soymilk. But yeah I am not really supposed to be doing this, I hate Starbucks, and normally I am carrying my own container which I forgot at home. At least I threw the plastic lid in the recycling section. PS if you want to learn more about GMO’s and your food supply I HIGHLY recommend the movie “The Future of Food.”
On the plane we did well- we refused napkins, something I normally do in my day to day life except when absolutely necessary- and also refused the food and brought our own. In the hotel we had prepared a beautiful salad of lettuce, sundried tomatoes and hijicki, and I ate it with my wooden spoon that I bring with me on the flight- and had the stewardess fill up my stainless steel water bottle from her big (plastic) bottle of water. That is much better than using the individual plastic cups. Since I travel a lot I try to always do this and use a lot less waste. Just looking around at everyone’s trays as I write this there are at least 8 different plastic wrappers contained in one meal plus 1-2 plastic cups. Wow.
Back home in NYC where I can control some of my impact a lot easier. I am already a dedicated composter- I put my vegetable scraps in a bag in the freezer and then take it to a local East Village garden regularly. But I still have a serious take-out addiction. Especially places like Caravan of Dreams and Liquiteria, so my plastic consumption is less than great. After a nice meditation, my friend Miguel and I decide to hit the streets of NYC and clean up some of the plastic to pay back for our sins. We meet some nice construction workers and they gave us a giant sack to collect the plastic. People look at us weird for collecting trash on the street. I think it’s weird that nobody else does it! We try to move fast to get some exercise while we are at it, but we end up on the Lower East Side next to some famous Jewish bagel shop and Miguel decides to buy some bread to eat while we are exercising. Nice. Even though I am mostly raw I succumb to the temptation and eat some and it’s heavenly. But then I notice the pigeons are kinda hungry so I end up feeding lots of them instead.
It’s so strange, because then I run into more famous people- this time cast members of that show Rescue Me (which I actually have never seen since I have thrown out my TV a long time ago) and Luis Guzman from some incredible movies like Boogie Nights and Carlitos Way. Luis is exercising on the Williamsburg Bridge and we totally end up hanging out with him and walking. He is one cool dude- he was telling us stories of how he was a kid hanging out in Washington Square Park with Dylan and Hendrix. Now he’s working on a show for HBO, playing a character that goes around to NYC bodegas trying to sell and energy drink called “Rasta Monster.” It sounds hilarious. We leave him and figured we messed up our exercise anyway with the bread, so we head over to Babycakes, the best vegan bakery ever- and pig out. I refuse the containers but take a small paper bag. It’s so hard not to make any trash!!! It’s so hard not to consume!
The good news is that today’s challenge is transportation, and I am proud to say I only walked or biked anywhere. No taxis (another challenge for me to give up.) Whew.
Miguel and I went to hear Gabriel Cousens give a lecture on his new program Fasting to End Global Warming. I’m gonna be assisting them and I’m so excited, since I really believe in fasting and Gabriel’s whole mission. I did a year of nutritional training with the amazing Amy Rachelle so I am psyched to help others become vegan/raw/healthy. We shop at the Union Square Greenmarket and buy locally grown food, but we have to make sure we buy organic because not all of it is- looks are deceiving. At another favorite shop of mine- Organic Avenue– we buy green vegetable juice in glass bottles and a raw vegan portabello mushroom wrap in a biodegradable corn container. Way to go! But what would be even better is to not buy at all. I’m getting there, I’m getting there….
Today is save energy day. I walked up 9 flights of stairs instead of using the elevator. Good for my ass, but I was exhausted. I use less lights. It’s more romantic in my apartment. I’m doing a juice fast and eating fruit today so not using any kitchen electricity (except for the juicer.) I’m psyched because I already do lots of things that the experiment suggests we do, but this whole thing has been making me be way more conscious. I want to also put in a plug for lemon as deodorant- just glide a lemon wedge under your arm after you’ve showered and presto! Your underarms will never stink. It’s astonishing! And you won’t be using any plastic deodorant ever again.
Today we have to watch our water consumption. I have a policy in my house – if it’s yellow let it mellow if it’s brown flush it down! Lots of water gets wasted by constant flushing. Leave the pee up in there, unless you’ve been eating asparagus- asparagus makes it smelly funny! Ever notice that? I went to the worst place possible to conserve water- The Russian and Turkish Baths. Even though there’s a sign saying “Please conserve Water” that’s the last thing they actually do. I turn off the shower in between my shampoo and my conditioner and try not to use a lot of their towels. Later that night, I go to a workshop with Greg Scherick, and do his incredibly high consciousness work called The Process. It’s all about commitment to the higher self, purifying all the unconscious ego crap that get in the way of true joy. This feels totally aligned with what I am doing in this experiment- cleaning up the environment=cleaning up my brain and soul!
The day of Service. I think it’s beautiful they put this in the experiment because really nothing is more important than service! I am a volunteer with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and my relationship with my little sister Iyana is incredible. Causes close to my heart include animal rights organizations like Farm Sanctuary and PETA. Check out my PETA ad I did in Germany…
I also think that “Service” doesn’t mean just volunteering or giving to charity- it also means being kind and compassionate to every person/animal/being you come in contact with. Be like Buddha. Be like Jesus! That’s the ultimate service. I’m not saying I can do that all the time-I yell at my boyfriend believe me- but it’s what I attempt.
One person I really look up to as far as the ultimate in Service to the Environment is Julia Butterfly. She is so inspiring. I first heard about her at Jivamukti Yoga where they encourage you to examine your relationship to the earth- and that even small things add up- so try not to use napkins or paper towels or straws, etc.
Eco-Sabbath. They say don’t do anything- don’t buy anything, don’t use electricity, etc. Argh. This has got to be the hardest one for me. I am a doer. I am addicted to doing. Thus, Non-doing is really really good for me-except I didn’t do it! I feel like I did really well this whole week- but today I really messed up. I bought a vegan brownie in a plastic container at Whole Foods, I took an elevator, I kept the lights on, I worked on the computer, I paid money for yoga class. Oh well, there’s always something to strive for. Tomorrow my single Life is But a Dream is coming out so I had a lot of work to do. Maybe I will try to Eco-Sabbath someday this week. I’m totally impressed by this whole experiment and pray that the whole world will join in and that I can step up my own commitment!
Tags: amy rachelle, babycakes, berlin, big brothers/big sisters, caravan of dreams, factory farms, farm sanctuary, fasting to end global warming, gmo, greg scherick, iyana, jivamukti, julia butterfly, lemon is the new deodorant, life is but a dream, luis guzman, miguel, no impact, organic avenue, peta, plastic, ron jeremy, russian and turkish baths, shana, the future of food, the process, union square greenmarket, veganism