Monday, February 15, 2010

A Green Read

Life requires education. It is like everything else. It must be taken with a grain of salt. When information is not readily available, you must exercise your due diligence as a human being to remain informed on the things that can affect you. From human laws, to human nature, one must remain in a state of constant education.

I have long prided myself at able being to disconnect from the global fascination that is the grotesque swelling of celebrity, but I must risk my credibility by spotlighting a few that I do actively follow. (Why do I follow? Well, celebrities read and inform themselves just as we do. The only difference is, they are in a position with global attention and often share their findings with those for an ear to listen.) Natalie Portman is one of them. She is secretly the reigning queen of the vegan world. In 2007, she launched (and unfortunately went under) a vegan shoe company. She puts her foot down at fashion shoots and on movie sets, refusing to wear anything that has been derived of animals.
Another stone maiden of the vegan world is the lovely Olivia Wilde. I follow Olivia for her green lifestyle more than her diet. The set of House did not recycle before she got there. She remains unwavering on set and at publicity shoots by famously demanding that there not only be vegan options at every meal, but by also demanding that everything they put to her skin is green—and she makes them prove it to her. Plus, she simply gets points for having grown up on a bus.

I am not a vegan. I am a vegetarian. I eat eggs, cook with milk, and sweeten my food with honey—not sugar. My theory is simple: if it can be obtained without hurting the animal and if it’s not factory farmed, then it’s okay—how do I ensure it’s not factory farmed? I hop on my bike (cheekily dubbed my greenmobile) and I bike to local farmers markets. I wear wool, but not leather. And in my realm of vegetarianism, fish count as animals.

That is my personal view, and I know that there are varying levels of commitment to every lifestyle.

That being said, I thought I’d share some of the places where I get my green life education!

James Lovelock’s brilliant book on the coined ‘Gaia Theory’ was truly visionary, and to me, made the most scientifically arguments on why to go green, that I could no longer, in good conscience, do nothing. It’s one of the most important arguments anyone will make, and is slowly stirring the world of science into awareness.

I came across the following book while I was checking up on the happenings around Natalie Portman. The author is a friend of hers. There is no real collective way to address the topic of meat. It is not so very cut and dry. Each farm farms differently. Each slaughter house slaughters differently. It is not a clear case for vegetarianism, but rather, a book with the goal of informing, so that the case is made to you and you can decide your varying commitment.

“Sugar is poison, and I won’t have it in my body, or in my house.” These are the famous words Gloria Swanson spoke to William Dufty upon their first meeting, and it sparked the frighteningly truth about what sugar does to the human body. Just imagine: When sugar is refined, the discard that does not make it into the sugar bag must be discarded as toxic waste! So, just what are you putting in your body?

Parabens in creams. Talc in powders. Lead in lipstick. Mercury in mascara. If you only knew what you put to your skin in the quest for beauty, you’d be disgusted, and you’d be angry. While it’s true that these are minute amounts, consider that you wear these minute amounts everyday, for eight hours a day. That’s a third of your life!

Olivia Wilde is quite particular about the effects of her living space upon her. She once went on record saying that her house would even be painted with organic paint. I found that statement not long after discovering this book:
These simple recipes will keep your house looking beautiful without adding to toxic output. You will be astounded by the difference in your health you can make just by decorating your house green.

I’ve stressed before the importance of building green. It’s healthier and cheaper! This book is a beautiful how-to manual, making the idea a little less daunting.

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