The lie of “decluttering” and the purpose of the little banana slicer

There is something I’ve come across quite a lot during the last years – I’ve heard it in real life and online. People, especially bloggers talk about “decluttering” their life to feel better, have a cleaner home and live more minimal. They do it in different ways. By selling, donating, gifting, or throwing away clothes, shoes, cosmetic products, electronic goods or other little things laying around in their flat or house, they create more physical space and get a happier feeling after the work is done. While I understand the idea of getting rid of material products that “don’t serve you anymore” and “don’t bring happiness to your live anymore”, I do take a critical stance on this concept.

We live in excess

Let’s be honest. We have a massive amount of material goods in our lives and have the means to buy more in the future. We are constantly buying something. We are living in this world where purchasing a product is easy, accessible in a few minutes and is thought to add value to our lives. And even if you are thinking “I am an exception. I don’t buy as much as other people.” (I am definitely guilty of thinking that myself from time to time) Here’s a thought for you: Think about how much your grandparents are buying. Is it more or less? And if it is more – imagine how much products your great-grandparents were buying in their everyday lives. Your great-grandmother had 5 dresses she wore from age 25-95 and passed them on to your grandmother? Well, maybe not exactly like that but you get the point, right?

It is a new phenomenon that our society is constantly buying (food being an exception, of course). There are so many products out there that are not just made entirely out of plastic but where I am thinking to myself “Does our economy really need to invent useless products that are supposed to make our lives easier but are really not?!”
Do you know that “wish” commercial that I see on Youtube sometimes? Wish is an online shop where you can get different products for every aspect of your life for a shockingly cheap price or as they advertise “the lowest prices on earth”. The commercial basically shows people sitting in front of products from the online shop while trying to figure out what they are (if that isn’t shocking enough). Among other things: a banana slicer, a spring onion cutting device, a tripple bladed pair of scissors and a pineapple cutter. Another commercial of the brand shows a woman hysterically unboxing her new mermaid tail blanket.

What is your purpose, little plastic banana slicer?

I get sick to my stomach when I see something like this. Everything we manufacture and create in this world has a negative impact on the environment – some more than others. Now, since we are making so many products nowadays, this impact is skyrocketing. And if that isn’t enough, when these products are not used anymore and thrown away, they are damaging the environment even more. For what? A plastic banana slicer that takes as long to cut a banana into pieces as your regular kitchen knife would. This banana slicer is wrapped in a shiny plastic packaging that is shipped in a carton box with extra plastic protection, of course.

The circle of consumption

Now, people got that slicer as a gift or thought it would make a great addition to their kitchen equipment (along with their apple slicer, their bread slicing machine, their spatulas, their assortment of knives and baking trays, their popcorn maker, their pizza wheel and their different sized plastic colanders) and one day they notice that their home is overflowing, they don’t have space for more things and they constantly have to tidy up their rooms. So they start “decluttering”. They make “donate”, “give away” and “throw away” piles and create more space to fill up with new things. And they feel light, happy and proud of themselves and pat themselves on the shoulder for a job well done and go on with their lives. Maybe they tell themselves to be more consciously when it comes to buying new things the next couple of days/ weeks/ months but eventually they see this “cool marble design slicing board” and get back to old routines. A few months or years later they start the decluttering process all over again.

If you are part of our “normal consumption” society, you have to make space for new things so you have to declutter. Even companies understood that. H&M put recycling boxes in their stores all over the world, where you can put in your old and unwanted clothes and get a discount to buy more new and wanted clothes at their store. It’s recycling so it’s doing something for the environment (great for H&M to promote a sustainable image) and the consumer gets a reward for it – win, win! And the H&M customer pats themselves on the shoulder for a job well done and goes on with their lives. Right?

We are fooling ourselves

It’s not that easy. Truth is, the majority of the “recycled” clothes cannot be recycled because they are fabric blends (like a cotton and polyester blend for example) and they get thrown away, burned or dumped to Third World countries (where they are not needed – there is no human in the world that is in the need of clothing! Food and water, yes but clothing, no). This is harming the environment rather than achieving a sustainable future. Kristen Leo (an amazing sustainable Youtuber I respect) said something in one of her videos that was something like: “I buy so many clothes from the thrift store because I know they get thrown away  by the second hand shop if they are not bought.” She further said that she has this urge to save the clothing from the landfill.
Things seem to disappear from your life and you feel good about it when “decluttering” but they don’t disappear and they are over-saturating second hand shops, land fills and our oceans. And since so many people are following this practice, it is getting worse and worse.

The truth is, there are hardly situations where we get rid of a thing because it is “used up/ broken/ at the end of it’s life” and if this happens, it is because we bought such a cheap, low quality thing that it was destined to last under a year. Think about it, when you get rid of “old” clothes, is it because they are broken and falling apart? Or are they not fashionable anymore and you haven’t worn them that much. When was the last time you went to the tailor and let them sew up that tear or make that dress bigger/ smaller? Did you ever dye that shirt a different colour after realising “light blue is not your thing”. We are going in the wrong direction where buying something new replaces fixing existing things we already own. During an interesting discussion about sustainability in the fashion industry I’ve been invited to, Orsola de Castro, co-founder of Fashion Revolution, said (or passionately shouted) something that stuck in my head: “We are too impatient to wear out our jeans that we buy distressed jeans from the store!”
It is absurd. A lot of distressed jeans trends can be made easily at home (I am thinking about those trendy minimal slits on the knee parts, those slits under the butt cheeks or those “rustically” cut up jeans shorts) yet we still buy them new. And if you don’t want to cut up your favourite pair of jeans – is this trend something you really like? I remember that about 1 or 2 years ago Jay Alvarrez and other Social Media famous boys started wearing those black jeans with slits on the knee parts. Max (my boyfriend) thought it looked cool and he wanted those jeans too. Since I knew how hard it was to find ethically made, sustainable jeans, I suggested him to make them on his own. He had (still has) only one pair of black jeans and finally came to the conclusion that he’d rather have a simple un-distressed black pair of jeans than those with the trendy slits.

Going back to the roots – with a twist

We value shopping so much, while our own things have no value to us anymore. Throwing it away is easier to us than making the effort to repair and preserve it.
You’ll be wasting your time organising your home, decluttering to make space and shopping for new things if you don’t realise that this is not a good habit of our society. We need to remember how generations before us consumed and modernise it to create a more sustainable and positive way of consumption. We need to spend more money on a single item that has better quality, is more eco-frienldy and ethically-made and that will last us a longer time. We need to keep this item for years and years and repair it until falls apart because it is no longer fixable. We need to keep in mind that we don’t have to own all of the things we find beautiful but rather admire them from afar. We need to think twice, thrice and ten times before buying something and allow us to think for some weeks, months or even years. We need to accept that not being able to buy something because it is not available anymore, is only making us upset for a few seconds before moving on with our lives. We also need to rewire our thinking and realise that NOT buying something and having a minimal, empty home because of it is a better feeling (especially longterm) than those 20 seconds of shopping joy and lifetime of stress we have because of material goods.

And on a final note, yes, it is totally okay to declutter your home once in a while. But learn something from it! Your closet is full of clothes you don’t like anymore? Work on consciously buying less clothing and learn what your style is. You have boxes full of electronic gadgets you think are cool but you hardly use them? Work on that. Stop impulse buying and learn what kind of products you actually use and like and which ones will be cluttering up your home before thrown out unused.

My tip for transitioning to a more minimal life: Choose something you can buy when you have that urge to buy something, that you’ll actually use up and that you KNOW you’ll like. My example: Whenever I was on “shopping sprees” with my “in-laws” or walking through the city when traveling, I would decide on 1 or 2 things I would buy IN CASE I see it. This was and still is natural, vegan soap bars. If there is no natural and vegan soap, I would go home empty handed and feel really good about it. If there was a small handmade soap shop I would go home with my natural, vegan soap and feel good about it too. Plus, the soap is a product I can use up so it never cluttered up my home and I never regretted buying zero waste, handmade, vegan, natural soap bars.

MY FOOD HISTORY – from toaster waffles to vegan calorie counting to orthorexia until now

Food and I never had an easy relationship. I felt inspired to share my food journey with you and hope I can inspire you to change your food habits for the better and maybe even share your own food journey.

Childhood – Candyland and body dysmorphia

As a kid, I was a really picky eater. liked sweet foods, lots of carbs and simple foods. I didn’t eat eggs, milk, red meat, almost all cheeses, fish and I didn’t like some fruits and vegetables. I did eat foods that contained eggs and milk (including hot chocolate, milk in tea) but I never ate eggs and milk in their pure form. My favourite foods included: pasta without sauce, Indian chicken korma, pancakes (or the Austrian version “Palatschinken”), noodle soup and (I hate myself for having to say this) Chicken McNuggets. My mum was working full-time and didn’t have lots of time for preparing food. I remember that my brother and I loved the toaster waffles topped with icing sugar or Nutella for breakfast. Apart from that my mother was trying her very best to feed me healthy food. Apples, carrots, cucumbers and other raw fruits and vegetables were part of my snacks and school lunches. I liked the apples and raw vegetables but I always loved sweet foods like chocolate, cookies, dairy desserts and more. I kept this eating habit until my teen years. At the age of 8 or 9, I started to dislike my body shape and felt “too fat”.

Teens – bulimia attempts, becoming vegetarian and eating disorders

When I grew older I had a body that reflected my habits: I hardly did any exercise and ate lots of junk food. I had a normal weight and looked thin but was super weak, had no endurance and was what you call “skinny fat”. Plus, it was 2008/2009 so thigh gaps were in and eating disorders very common. This is the part I’m not proud of and feel awkward thinking back. I spent a lot of time in my school since it ended at 6pm (some students even stayed there 24/7 since there was a boarding school option) and it was known that girls at that school were doing a lot to look a certain way. Girls were throwing up in the bathrooms after lunch and skipping meals. It’s easy when parents are not around to watch what you’re eating. I started to have an unhealthy relationship with food. It started with eating the same junk food but feeling guilty after it and eating less. I was also on the verge of getting bulimia but fortunately, that phase ended when summer started and I changed schools in autumn so I wasn’t in that toxic environment anymore. Then as the years passed I became more aware of health and became vegetarian. Fun fact: I went vegetarian because I didn’t enjoy the taste of meat anymore so I just stopped eating meat thinking I’m just taking a break from meat for a week and stuck with it since then. I slowly discovered that thing called calorie counting that fitness bloggers nowadays promote as “tracking”. That’s when my relationship with food was at its worst. I limited my calories and became crazily obsessed with it. It is something that is hard to get rid of and some people even say that you’re never going to have the same relationship with food as you had before an eating disorder. I lost a lot of weight very quickly during that time – something that is not sustainable (the quicker you lose weight the more short term it is). My body dysmorphia got worse and worse and I wanted to lose more and more weight. It got a little out of control and I started to have extremely negative feelings (like crying, hating myself etc) when I ate “too much”. That’s when I discovered Freelee the banana girl. She’s a crazy Youtuber who basically retired now but her message was that you should eat vegan as well as eat as much as you want as long it is healthy and you’ll still look thin. I slowly got interested in the vegan diet and became vegan – still limiting my food intake to a minimum.

Vegan recovery – orthorexia and weight gain

After a few months, I decided to stop counting calories and eating intuitively. I did, however, limit my fat intake to a minimum since that was something Freelee promoted. I was much happier. I started to eat “rawtill4” which is basically only eating fruit for breakfast and lunch and having a low-fat dinner. I loved this way of eating as a way to recover from my eating disorder. But when you start eating again after an eating disorder you experience the Jojo effect. I immediately gained a lot of weight – more than I started with before my eating disorder. I wasn’t happy about it but overall I was so much happier with eating lots of vegan and healthy food. My mind became healthier again as well. I looked at old photos of me and was shocked how thin I looked – something that I didn’t see when I was in my unhealthy state. The vegan low-fat rawtill4 diet or “lifestyle” as everyone calls it, was still a bit restrictive and I still was a little too obsessed with it. I felt bad after eating out where they used oils and salts (which is a no-no for this diet) and would feel guilty for every fatty, salty or sweet food I had – even when it was just a handful of nuts or avocado maki. My anorexia turned into orthorexia –  which basically is the addiction of eating healthy. I also started to read more about health and about the science, environmental impacts and moral impacts of a vegan diet.

From then – stability and health + the power of working out

Since then I started to listen to my body more. I still don’t use oils and salts when I cook at home because I noticed that I don’t feel good afterward. I do eat junk food from now and then (vegan Ben & Jerry’s everyone?) and accepted that unhealthy food is good for your soul. I now feel when I eat too much junk food and need to go back to my healthy food routine but I also feel when I need something sweet. I don’t eat strictly rawtill4 anymore. I sometimes have porridge or pancakes (see my recipe here) for breakfast or lunch and I don’t feel guilty when I have lunch at a restaurant with my boyfriend. I do mostly have smoothies, smoothie bowls, fruit platters or juices for breakfast but my diet is much more balanced now. I also increased my fat intake and I include more nuts, seeds and avocados in my diet now.

I’ve come a long way and so much has changed over the years. I’m still very interested in health and I’m still amazed by raw foods and the health they can bring to your diet. I focus on whole foods now and avoid processed foods because that’s when I feel my best. I’m not afraid of eating vegan junk food anymore and enjoy burgers, milkshakes, ice cream, popcorn and more from time to time. I love that I don’t care about how many calories a food has anymore. I absolutely love the vegan lifestyle and I’ll never go back to eating animal products and I can recommend eating vegan to everyone – especially to those who struggle with eating disorders. Something that also helps me with my body image is exercising. I workout regularly now and experienced the power of moving your body. I feel grateful for my body because I am able to run, lift weight and get endorphins from it. I want to feel strong instead of skinny. Sometimes I do experience some setbacks when it comes to orthorexia and I obsess a bit too much about eating healthy but I’m still young and have lots of time to have a good relationship with food.

 

I’d love to know your food history! Tell me in the comments or write me a message!

LIVE SUSTAINABLY ON A BUDGET – my 8 tips for an eco-friendly lifestyle when you’re broke

I’ve been asked to share my tips to live more sustainably and plastic free while having a limited budget. I myself am a student and cannot afford to live completely waste free and sustainable but there are so many things you can do that either don’t cost you anything at all, saves you money in the long run or just cost a tiny bit more and have a huge positive impact on the environment! Here are some of the things that I do to live more sustainable:

1. Bamboo toothbrush

I’ve been using bamboo toothbrushes for over a year now and I love it. They are doing the exact same job as plastic toothbrushes but without the plastic waste. Did you know that you have to change your toothbrush every 3 months? So a pack of 4 toothbrushes will last you a whole year! There are a lot of different bamboo toothbrush labels out there and I have tried 2 different brands so far. my favourite is the Panda brush Bamboo toothbrushes are usually a bit pricier than the plastic ones but it’s just a matter of a few pounds/ euros/ dollars/… a YEAR and it makes such a difference!
-Panda bamboo toothbrush (pack of 4) $12
-bamboo toothbrushes in different colours and children’s brushes (from €3.55)
-Save some Green toothbrushes from £2.75
-Bamboo toothbrush subscription from €4.99
-Brush with bamboo (pack of 4) $20
-wowe bamboo brushes (pack of 4) $11

2. “No straw, please” or straw alternatives

If you go to a bar, café or restaurant simply say “no straw, please” when ordering a drink. I know that some places have paper straws now which is fine but saying those magic words will open up a conversation and show the restaurant/ bar/ café that people care about such things. Don’t forget to say “thank you for not using a straw” when the waiter/ waitress gives you your straw-free drink! This sustainable hack doesn’t cost a thing! But if you want to step up your game and love drinking from a straw I recommend investing in a plastic straw alternative. Nowadays there are straws made from paper, bamboo (or here), stainless steel and glass (for example here and here)! I myself own stainless steel and glass straws and I use them at home. Simply rinse them after using them or use a straw cleaning brush which often comes with the straws. The stainless steel straws should last a lifetime and the glass straws too if you don’t break them (guilty). But I use my glass straws every single day so one broken straw is not a big deal. You’ll also save a lot of money in the long run!

3. Plastic-free dishwashing brush

I’ve been using wooden dishwashing brushes (here or here) for over a year now as well and I love them. I don’t see any negatives about them and they are plastic free! Plus, you can buy the brush heads individually and put a new brush head on the handle once in a while when you feel like the brush needs an update.

4. Reusable tote bag

I think everyone has a reusable tote bag nowadays but if you don’t go and buy one! They are everywhere! I suggest buying one from an e.g. cotton fabric rather than buying a plastic one but honestly, you even get tote bags for free e.g. when buying something or as a PR gift. I have a huge collection of tote bags now. I got them from my university, PR events, when I bought a fair fashion item, etc. I always keep a tote bag in my purse so that I have one when I spontaneously go grocery shopping. Nowadays you have to pay for plastic bags in a lot of places (which is great because it encourages people to bring their own bag) so you’re saving a lot of money using your own bag. It’s such an easy switch and it saves the environment a lot! Don’t be that dick that uses unsexy plastic bags that end up killing animals in our oceans.

5. Good old bar of soap

One of the most stupid and environmentally harming developments is that humans invented shower gel and everyone is using it. It has become mainstream. Remember what humans used before shower gels in plastic bottles? A bar of soap. You can find them everywhere and they mostly even contain fewer chemicals than shower gels. I love buying natural & vegan bars of soap when I’m out and about in the city and see soaps that are ideally unpackaged or packaged in paper. But think about it: even if the soap is wrapped in a tiny plastic film it’s better than those huge plastic bottles. Plus, bars of soap are so much easier to travel with. Invest in a soap tin (here) if you travel a lot and want your soap to be neatly packaged. I’ve been using bars of soaps instead of shower gels for years now because it’s such an easy change. I’ve been buying soaps from all around the world too! It’s also a great souvenir.

6. Reusable water bottle

It feels weird including this but use a reusable water bottle and have it with you! I think everyone has a reusable water bottle and if you don’t – get one, they are everywhere. A plastic free (made from stainless steel or glass) one is ideal for the environment and your health but I myself even keep a little reusable plastic bottle with me that I got gifted from a PR event. Single-use plastic bottles are so bad for your health, the planet, and the animals and are just so unnecessary.

7. Reusable coffee cup

Same as for the water bottle. If you drink tea or coffee regularly then you should have your own reusable coffee cup with you. You can buy them online, in stores and even in coffee shops so it’s an easy change. I do understand though that it’s not that easy if you don’t go to the coffee shop regularly and don’t know what to do if you do go one time. This is my situation. I either ask if they can serve the drink in a ceramic cup (old school style) when I know that I’m staying at the coffee shop or I ask for no lid. Then the beverage is served in a paper cup and is not as bad for the environment as with the plastic lid. And again, this doesn’t cost you anything.

8. Waste-free period

I know a lot of people will either know this already or think that I’m crazy but let me tell you one of my favourite sustainable products ever that changed my life: the menstrual cup. It is a tiny silicone cup that you use instead of tampons. The menstrual cup can be bought in a lot of drug stores, health food shops and online and it lasts between 3-5 years. I was skeptical and confused when I first heard of it but I love it so much now so just try to be open to it! Here are the advantages: it is damn cheap when thinking about you’re using it for up to 5 years – there is no cheaper period product! Think about the money you are saving (I’m still mind blown about this part)! It is super convenient – buy one for your home and one that you always carry around in your purse and you are safe – completely worry-free. It is basically waste-free. Imagine the waste tampons and pads create in 5 years vs a tiny menstrual cup. It is insane. It is probably the healthiest and safest period product out there. Tampons and pads contain a lot of chemicals like bleaches and tampons are known to be highering the chances of getting toxic shock syndrome. I myself looked for tampon alternatives when I experienced cramps everytime I used tampons vs a pad. It still freaks me out a little that I get cramps from tampons – probably because of the chemicals – yuck. Pads are messy and produce waste and also contain chemicals and bleaches. Menstrual cups are also easy to use. You simply empty it in the toilet and wipe it with toilet paper (when on the go) or rinse it in the sink and boil it in hot water (to kill all bacteria and make it safe to use the next month) when your period is done. It is super hygienic compared to pads and tampons that are not hygienic at all. It takes a little practice and I recommend using small pads when using it the first times so that you feel safe but once you get the hang of it it will change your life!
-OrganiCup £21
– Lunette cup $40
-Mooncup different sizes £20
-more menstrual cups 

I hope you consider implementing these tips in your life and become a more environmentally conscious person! Here are some more sites and links that show you how to live plastic-free and have a lower (negative) impact on the planet:

Trash is for tossers website 
Zero Waste Home 
Girl Gone Green Youtube
Gittemary

FAVOURITES OF THE MONTH (MARCH) – FASHION, TP(?!), BOOK, GYM & MORE

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

I’ve been thinking of new blog posts to spice it up a little and after coming up with my FAIR & VEGAN FASHION QUICKY, I thought that it would be cool if I share my favourites of this previous month. I hope you like this new segment. I’m really excited and I can’t wait to introduce you to ethical, vegan and sustainable products and brands that make my heart skip a beat!

P1660704.jpg

Shoes of the month

I’ve been wearing those so often. They make every outfit look more chic. I even wore then with jeans and a t-shirt and instantly looked more put together. The brand was very new to me. Love Sofie is a young vegan shoe label that uses recycled and organic materials and manufactures under ethical conditions in the EU minimising their impact on the environment by decreasing transport time.
-Heels by Lovie Sofie 

Bag of the month

I had to force myself not using the same bag everyday because I love this one so much and would even mismatch an outfit with it. The design is classic yet the colour adds a touch of youth to it. I love how versatile the gold chain strap is. The label Labante is my favourite vegan bag label currently. The company manufacture under ethical conditions and try to minimise their environmental footprint by using recycled materials. They are PETA approved vegan so you don’t have to worry about non-vegan glues.
-Kelly bag in pink £115

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

Gym + Onzie workout clothes

Just like the previous months, I loved going to the gym! Moving my body has been a must for me lately. A couple of months ago I started this deal with myself to workout 5 times a week. If I’m only able to go less than 5 times that’s still great but I needed to set this goal so that working out becomes a habit for me. I didn’t always reach the 5 times a week target but I worked out every week and felt happy doing it! That’s a huge win for me! What helped me feel good in my skin while working out are my new workout clothes by Onzie. They are ethically made in the USA and look and fit amazingly! They’ve motivated me to go to the gym because I was so excited to wear them. I’ve been looking for fair workout clothes for so long and was so happy to find this label. I’m wearing their sports bra and high waisted leggings in the photo below.
Ritz bra in black $48 and Royal Legging $78 by Onzie

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

Book of the month

Here’s a confession: I haven’t been reading a lot of books in the last years. I loved reading books when I was a child and in my teen years but I’ve spent my time doing other more creative activities in the last years like taking photos with Max and myself. But this month Max surprised me with this book and I loved it! It’s called “Lean in” by Sheryl Sandberg. I’m sure some of you already know it and have read it already. It’s quite well known. It’s basically about women in work and as leaders as well as gender equality. I can highly recommend it to all you motivated bosses out there! It’s empowering and motivates you to take your career to the next level.
– Lean in – women, work and the will to lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Candle of the month

I received a huge package from Vegan Bunny this month filled with natural and vegan soy wax candles. I bought one of their candles a couple months ago and loved the scent, natural & vegan philosophy and design so I was so happy to try all the scents! I burned the Sweet Orange candle this month and it made my apartment smell like sweet orange indeed but not overpowering to the extent that you get headaches. Conventional candles contain paraffins that are linked to lung cancer and the scent is always too strong for me. ❌ Natural candles use natural ingredients that don’t cause cancer. 🙅‍♀️ That’s why I love Vegan Bunny candles. Plus, the new copper packaging looks so cute! 😍

Natural & vegan sweet orange candle by Vegan Bunny £10

Brand of the month

I want to take this section and write about companies that I love. I’m excited to introduce you to Who gives a crap who don’t just have the best company name ever but are also doing amazing things for the environment and people! This is not just any toilet paper brand. Let’s start with the most awesome fact about them: they donate 50% of their profit to help build toilets and improve sanitation globally! Why? Because 2.3 billion people don’t have access to a toilet and around 289,000 childrenunder five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation! That’s crap. So I love seeing a company that cares and makes a difference in the world. But that’s not all. Who gives a crap uses bamboo and recycled paper to make their toilet paper instead of virgin trees which saves water, energy and lots of trees! Plus, they send a huge box of plastic-free toilet paper right to your home! That’s great if you are too lazy to go shopping (a.k.a me) and if you want to decrease your plastic consumption. And for my health conscious people out there: Who gives a crap toilet paper is made without chemical inks, dyes or scents. Last but not least: how freaking cute is the plastic-free packaging!

-Bamboo toilet paper by Who gives a crap (get £5 or $10 (USA, AU) off with discount code LIVIAVANH)

This blog post includes PR samples but it is not sponsored 🙂

Fair & green energy by Our Power & my tips to save energy

Here on my blog I try to inspire people to live a more ethical and sustainable lifestyle. I’ve been sharing lots of ethical & sustainable outfits and fashion brands with you, I’ve shared my guide to become vegan, my guide to reduce your waste and much more. There are lots of ways to live a more ethical and sustainble lifestyle and I’m always up for challenging my own lifestyle to become more ethical.

While my closet is filled with fair and green fashion, my bathroom is equipped with natural cosmetics and my fridge is stuffed with healthy, environmentally-friendly vegan foods, I haven’t thought about where my energy comes from.

Do you know where your energy comes from?

We use energy daily and constantly. It is an important aspect of our modern everyday lives. Without energy I couldn’t use my laptop and smartphone to work on blog posts and social media content. Yet when I moved to my new flat in fall I didn’t think of what kind of energy I’m using and if it is ethical. This is why I was so excited about to learn about Our Power.

I think we all agree that renewable and green energy is the way to go. But is green energy more expensive? You all know that I’m advocating that a more sustainable and ethical lifestyle doesn’t have to be more expensive and that there are always alterantives and ways to even save money! Our Power’s tariffs use renewable energy as part of the OFGEM generation mix. The company is transparent about their energy source and intends to make all tariffs green. The proportion of renewables recently have been high:

Wind
Solar
Hydro
Gas
Nuclear
Coal
Bioenergy
Pumped Storage
Interconnectors (Imports)
Oil

Their new +IMPACT tariff is a 100% green AND ETHICAL energy tariff. The not-for-profit energy supplier knows their energy sources and buy from community-owned energy schemes and renewable sources in the UK, where possible.

 

While Our Power wants to supply greener energy, their mission is also to make household energy more affordable! How?  By not paying dividends to shareholders, by finding the most efficient ways to operate, by generating their own power and by reinvesting any profits to benefit the customers and communities.

FUEL POVERTY – HEAT OR EAT?

Our Power is owned by social housing providers, community organisations and local authorities. Their idea is to maintain a low price so that they can provide green and affordable energy to low income households or those in risk of fuel poverty. What is fuel poverty you may ask?
Over four million households in the UK live in fuel poverty, meaning that they regularly have to make the choice between eating a hot meal or heating their home.

Our Power wants to make the energy market fairer and fight inequality. The more customers switch to the +IMPACT tariff, the more Our Power can maintain the lowest prices for customers at risk of fuel poverty. “Put into numbers, for every home that switches to the +Impact tariff, Our Power can offer an affordable tariff to a lower income or fuel-poor household, helping them heat their home for an average of 54 more days than they could for the same price on a Big 6 standard variable tariff.”

SAVING ENERGY

Changing to a renewable energy provider isn’t all you can do. Trying to save energy in your everyday life makes a difference in costs and the environment. Our Power will deliver ways to help you manage fuel costs.

“A smart meter in your home will enable us to offer personal, tailored and confidential advice on the best ways to get value for money from energy used in your home, to stay warm and to save money. You will easily see how much energy you are using and how much you are spending.”

My own advice for easy ways to save energy

When Max and I moved to the new flat we immediately changed the light bulbs to LED light bulbs which are more environmentally-friendly and save energy (and therefore costs). Further ways to save energy include:

  • closing windows when turning on the heat
  • washing your laundry on a cold setting (this is also better for your beloved fashion items so that you can wear them longer) and in a full load
  • air dry your clothes rather than using a dryer
  • check your fridge settings and adjust the settings when it is set too cold than necessary
  • plug your home electronics into power strips and turn the power strips off when you don’t use them

[This blog post is sponsored :)]

 

GERMAN + ENGLISH – My day at the animal sanctuary – help out animals with your donation!

WhatsApp Image 2018-02-22 at 19.11.42

My bff Sarah and I have been wanting to help animals by doing our own little project for quite a while now. Eventually, Sarah came up with the idea of putting together a wishlist on Amazon for an animal sanctuary so that people can buy food for the animals which will be sent directly to the rescue shelter. That way every donation is going to the animals to 100%.

We loved the idea so much and started preparing immediately. After lots of organisational work, we finally collaborated with the local animal sanctuary in Austria and planned our visit there when I was in Vienna. You can read about our visit down below. But first, please look at the link to the Amazon wishlist and consider donating some food to the animals. YOU can brighten up an animal’s life with just a few euros!

Click here to get to
THE AMAZON WISHLIST

 

Once we arrived there we’ve been greeted by Oliver, one of their employees. He showed us the whole area, told us lots of information about the sanctuary and answered all of our questions. The animal rescue shelter is 2000m2big and actually is in the need for renovations. They struggle with mold and humidity. There are over 80 employees and lots of animals that have to be fed daily. Every financial transaction is financed by donations. They fully depend on donations.

The animals there are mostly brought to them by pet owners who don’t want to have them anymore or are unable to care for them anymore. There have been cases of animals that simply haven’t been fed by their owners anymore and given to them. There are also sick animals that have been found in the wild or on the streets that have been brought to them to get healthy again and be let free to the wild again. At this point, Oliver told us that it can be problematic when people give them wild animals that are thought to be sick but are actually not. He advices to call first and ask for advice or inform yourself first if the animal is really sick. Even though it was an emotional visit, the animal sanctuaries in countries like Hungary or Croatia are worse. They are actually killing centres. Therefore, there are lots of rescued animals from Hungary or Croatia at Austrian rescue shelters as well. One case shocked me especially. There was a smuggling of over 600 turtles at the Croatian border. Over 100 of the turtles didn’t make the transport and died. The rest of the animals were put in animal sanctuaries all over Europe.
There are also animals at the shelter that were given to them to care for by a pet owner during the owner’s holiday. However, lots of pet owners don’t pick up their animals anymore after their “holiday”.

whatsapp-image-2018-02-22-at-19-11-50.jpeg

There are dogs, cats, mice, rabbits, birds, sheep, pigs, turtles, monkey, reptiles, fish and more living at the sanctuary. Some animals get adopted, especially puppies, “trendy” dog breeds, young and healthy ones. However, most of the old, sick, calm and dark coloured dogs and other animals stay at the sanctuary their whole life until they die. The employees train the dogs to be comfortable in everyday life environments. They even have a practice car to train the dogs to get in and out of cars and a practice living room to make them comfortable in indoor environments. Some animals are trained for therapies with elderlies. They are especially calm and help older people with their mental health.

The sanctuary also offer partnerships where people can donate €30 per month to play with a dog regularly. They also offer a partnership where you can get to know your dog of choice and are able to adopt it after you made up your mind. You can choose the animal that you want. However, the team at the sanctuary will ask for your lifestyle and current situation and assess if your chosen dog fits to your life. They won’t give a young, strong and playful dog to an old man who can barely walk for example.

DEUTSCH/ GERMAN

Meine Freundin Sarha und ich wollten schon lange Tieren helfen und unser eigenes kleines Tierprojekt starten. Im Dezember kam Sarah dann auf die Idee eine Amazon Wunschliste für ein Tierheim zu erstellen, damit Leute Futter und andere wichtige Dinge direkt an das Heim spenden können und wissen, das ihre Spende zu 100% an die Tiere geht.

Wir beide liebten die Idee sofort und haben gleich mit der Planung begonnen. Nach etlichen Stunden Organisationsarbeit, ist eine Kooperation mit dem Wiener Tierschutzverein Vösendorf zustande gekommen. Wir besuchten das Tierschutzhaus dann gleich am 19.2. nachdem ich in Wien angekommen bin. Du kannst unten über unseren Besuch lesen, aber zuerst möchte ich dich bitten dir den unteren Link zu der Amazon Wunschliste anzusehen. Die Tiere würden sich so über deine Tierfutterspende freuen und alles, was du tun musst, ist nur für ein paar Euro über Amazon Futter bestellen!

KLICKE HIER UM ZUR
AMAZON WUNSCHLISTE ZU GELANGEN!

Als wir beim Tierschutzhaus ankamen, begrüßte uns Oliver, der Zuständige für PR. Er zeigte uns das ganze Gelände und informierte uns bis ins kleinste Detail. Auch unsere Fragen beeantwortete er mit Geduld. Das Tierschutzheim ist 2000m2 großund ist definitiv baufällig. Das Heim hat mit Schimmel und Feuchtigkeit zu kämpfen.
Es arbeiten über 80 Angestellte dort und es leben viele Tiere dort, die täglich gefüttert werden müssen. Finanzierung läuft zu 100% über Spenden. Das Heim ist vollkommen auf Spenden angewiesen.

Die Tiere werden oft von ihren Besitzern ins Heim gebracht, weil sie die Tiere nicht mehr wollen oder nicht mehr halten können. Oliver erzählte uns auch von Fällen, bei denen die Tiere einfach nicht mehr gefüttert wurden und von den Besitzern hergebracht wurden. Es gibt auch viele kranke Tiere, die auch teilweise in der Wildnis oder auf der Straße gefunden wurden und zum Tierschutzhaus gebracht wurden, um wieder gesund gepfelgt zu werden und ausgewildert zu werden.  Dazu erzählte Oliver uns auch, dass es problematisch sein kann, wenn Leute ihnen gesunde Tiere bringen, weil sie sich zu wenig auskennen. Er empfiehlt hier das Heim vorher anzurufen und nach Rat zu fragen, wie man kranke Tiere erkennen kann. Voher informieren sei hier sehr wichtig!
Obwohl der Besuch sehr emotional war, so sind die Tierheime in Ländern wie Ungarn oder Kroatien schlimmer. Diese Heime sind Tötungsstationen. Regelmäßig versuchen Tierheime in Österreich Tiere von diesen Tötungsstationen zu retten und bei sich auf zunehmen. Ein Fall schockte mich besonders. An der kroatischen Grenze wurde ein Schmuggel-Transporter aufgehalten, der über 600 Schildkröten versucht hat zu schmuggeln. Über 100 Schildkröten haben den Transport nicht überlebt. Die restlichen Schildkröten wurden überall in Europa in Tierheimen untergebracht.
Es gibt auch Tiere, die von ihren Besitzern ins Heim zur pflege gebracht werden, wenn der Besitzer auf Urlaub fliegt. Leider werden diese Tiere oft nicht wieder abgeholt.

Es gibt Hunde, Katzen, Kaninchen, Schafe, Schildkröten, Schweine, Vögel, Fische, Reptilien, Affen und noch mehr im Tierheim. Manche Tiere werden adoptiert –  ganz besonders Welpen, Jungtiere, “Moderassen” und gesunde Tiere. Leider verbringen jedoch oft die alten, kranken, ruhigen und dunklen Hunde und andere Tiere ihr restliches Leben im Heim und sterben auch dort.
Die Angestellten trainieren die Hunde, damit sie sich in einem Alltagsleben des Menschen wohl fühlen. Es gibt ein Trainingsauto, in dem sie das Ein-und Aussteigen trainieren und ein Container, der wie ein Wohnzimmer eingerichtet ist, sodass die Hunde auf das Leben in einer Wohnung oder einem Haus trainiert werden. Es gibt sogar Therapietiere, die auf alte Menschen trainiert sind und bei Besuchen in Altersheimen eingesetzt werden.

Das Tierschutzhaus Vösendorf bietet Partnerschaften an, bei der man €30 pro Monat spenden kann und mit Hunden regelmäßig spielen kann. Man kann sich das Tier aussuchen, aber das Team schätzt ein, ob der zukünftige Besitzer und dessen Lebensstil mit dem Tier zusammenpassen. Das Heim wird zum Beispiel keinen jungen und verspielten Hund einem älteren Herren vermitteln, der kaum gehen kann.

WhatsApp Image 2018-02-22 at 19.11.43

[This blog post is not sponsored :)]

 

A DAY IN MY LIFE: FAIR FASHION SAMPLE SALE IN LONDON & VEGAN DOUGHNUTS

IMG_3176P1670718

If you are buying fair fashion yourself, then you might know that it’s super hard to purchase ethically-made clothes and fashion pieces in an actual shop. There are some boutiques here and there but I myself always buy my fashion online. I personally love the convenience of online shopping but it does have an obvious disadvantage: you cannot try on the clothes.

P1670777 P1670781

That’s why I was so excited when Cossac, a fair fashion label that I’ve been loving for quite a while now, invited me to the ECO HOT sample sale in London. Four fair fashion labels –  Noumenon, Cossac, AmaElla and Naida C. Castel – put together a little sample sale in the vegan Canvas Café at Brick Lane London.
I’ve dragged my boyfriend with me and spent a wonderful time talking to the founders of these amazing brands, trying on ethically-made fashion and looking through the beautiful designs. It doesn’t happen every day that you get the chance talk about the origin of fabrics and hear the personal stories behind fashion brands and fair products. The founder of Noumenon talked about the idea of using reclaimed furniture fabrics for her jackets, the creator of AmaElla showed me her GOTS certified organic lingerie and sleepwear pieces, Naida introduced to me her newest handmade jewelry collection and Agata told me the story how she met Naida (Naida was modelling for COSSAC when Agata found out that Naida has a jewelry label) while talking about COSSAC pieces. That’s what fair fashion is about. It’s so much more personal than fast fashion. There are faces and stories behind every fashion item.

P1670750

I couldn’t resist taking some pieces home with me and even Max took the opportunity to gift me a Naida C. Castel jewelry piece as a pre-Valentine’s day present.

P1670783

After that amazing shopping experience, Max and I had to celebrate with some vegan doughnuts at Crosstown. We had one matcha doughnut but our favourite was definitely the vanilla glazed one which is why Max haaaaad to get two. 😉

img_3160.jpg
bag by Labante & vegan pink silk scarf by JAN’N JUNE (currently only blue version available)

After our Sunday at Brick Lane we went home and I immediately showed my new ethical fashion goodies on my Instagram story and did a little try-on haul.

IMG_3164 IMG_3176

[This blog post includes PR samples but it is not sponsored :)]

 

THE FASHION INDUSTRY EXPLAINED – why you support slave labour when shopping fast fashion, why workers don’t get unemployed if you stop and second hand shopping

I’ve made a blog post about my smartphone struggle and how to shop electronic devices ethically and I’ve explained that second hand shopping is a good alternative for buying ethically made items. I want to explain why second hand shopping is the most sustainable and an ethical way of shopping. To explain this, I have to explain how the fast fashion industry works and since I haven’t done that on my blog, I want to take this chance and write about fast fashion 101. So take a cup of tea and take your time to read about this important issue of our century and make up your own opinion about it.

1. How are you supporting labour exploitation
when buying from fast fashion companies?

The supply chain of fast fashion

When you buy a t-shirt from a High Street brand such as H&M the money you spent to purchase it goes to the company. With this money the company is getting profit and are financing their business processes. They use the money to pay for their transport, marketing, design processes, manufacturing and more. When it comes to manufacturing, big fashion companies don’t have their own factories anymore. It is easier for them to give textile factories their designs and hire them to manufacture the clothing for them. This also means that these huge companies can easily shift responsibility to their manufacturing factories when there’s a scandal happening. But that’s another story. When a fast fashion company hires a contractor they tell them how much they want to pay for their order of clothes. They put the factories under a lot of pressure to meet their demands. So to be able to produce clothes so cheaply to please the client (eg H&M), the factory has to pay their employees (the garment workers) very very little. And it’s not just the low wage that the factory owners are forced to give their workers, the workers also have to work very fast and under a lot of pressure too. Why? Because the High Street fashion companies release new clothes every week which is why it’s called “fast fashion”. The fashion brands want their clothes cheap and fast. So the workers are not getting enough breaks, not enough days off and their health is not protected. The reality of this is that workers work for two days in a row without break, are not allowed to take a break to eat or drink, have to work even though they are pregnant and more.
So, when you give your money to the company, they’ll use this money to pay the contractor companies who then pay the people who actually made the clothes.

2. What happens if you stop giving money to fast fashion companies?

The reason why you are not contributing to unemployment + fair fashion explained

Now, let’s imagine that we all stop buying from that High Street brand such as H&M. What would happen? You don’t give them money anymore so H&M won’t use YOUR money anymore to pay their contractors who won’t be able to pay their garment workers anymore. This is the point where a lot of people say: “But this is not good! It’s better that the garment workers have a job than get no money at all! If I don’t buy at H&M the workers will be unemployed!”

Let me address this. Yes, it is true that if you don’t give your money to the fashion company anymore, they factory owners won’t be able to give your money to their garment factories. BUT! What would YOU, as a consumer, do instead? Would you never buy clothing again? No, of course not. You will give the money that you decided NOT to spend on fast fashion, to another fashion company. Or else you would have to run around naked 😉 And this is the point where you can decide to give your money to a company that doesn’t exploit garment workers. Instead of supporting slave labour, you can support a smaller fashion company that treats their workers humanely. In this case, that would be a fair/ethical fashion company. These companies manufacture in different countries: the USA, European countries AND countries like China, Bangladesh, India, etc. So when a fair fashion company manufacture in e.g Bangladesh, they give the people their a job and therefore money just like e.g H&M but there’s a difference: they give them MORE money, don’t put them under pressure, give them enough breaks, protect their health and even support them by e.g paying for their children’s schools, school books, food and more. This means the more and the bigger successful fair fashion companies are out there in the world, the more garment workers work under fair conditions.
One of the reasons why a lot of people don’t shop fair fashion is because the clothing is a bit more expensive than the fast fashion counterpart since the fair fashion company pays their workers more money and because the companies don’t sell as much as e.g H&M. This means, the more people buy fair, the less expensive the fashion will get!

3. Are you giving money to fast fashion when buying second hand?

The reason why thrifting is the most sustainable way of shopping

Besides shopping from fair fashion companies, there’s another way to stop supporting fast fashion without running around naked: Second hand fashion.
Think about it: When you own a piece of clothing and don’t like it anymore (because it doesn’t fit, you don’t like the style, etc) there are two options: throw it away or give it away. What happens when you throw it away? It ends up in a landfill and either degrades (which releases CO2 and combats to climate change) or, when it is made from synthetic materials, it eventually ends up in the ocean (with lots of other trash) and gets smaller and smaller until it’s micro plastic in the sea. Micro plastic pollutes the ocean and gets eaten by fish which – unless you’re vegan – you eat.
On the other hand, when you give it away e.g to a second hand shop, it gets a new chance. Someone else can buy it and wear it. Let’s say you buy a t-shirt from a thrift shop. Where does your money go to? It goes to the owner of the shop who will use it for shop rent, their own profit and to give money to the people who give their old clothes to the thrift shop. Does it go to a fast fashion company? NO! Therefore, you are NOT supporting slave labour and unsustainable fashion. Quite the contrary! Second hand fashion is the most sustainable way of buying fashion because you are saving that piece of clothing from being thrown away! What if you thrift a clothing piece of the brand H&M? Does the money go to H&M? The answer is no. That clothing piece was bought by someone else who you have no control over, and given away. You can’t control where other people give their money to. At the end of the day, it is about that YOU yourself don’t support fast fashion and slave labour. It is about YOUR clean slate. You can’t control what other people do. You can only set an example and influence others to do their best too.

 

What do you think about all this? Do you shop fair or second hand or consider it after reading this? Are there any questions I haven’t answered? Tell me in the comments if there is anything unclear to you!

Find out more in the links below:

The true cost movie

Kristen Leo’s Youtube Channel – including lots of ethical fashion & thrifting videos!

Marta Canga’s Youtube Channel – including vegan & fair fashion videos!

Mia from Heylilahey’s Youtube Channel – including vegan & fair fashion videos! *German*

Kristen Leo’s blog – including fair fashion posts!

Great blog post about thrifting

My favourite fair fashion bloggers

My fair fashion guide

What is ethical fashion by the ethical fashion forum

Ethical fashion explained by Mochni

Fast fashion article by Forbes

Fast fashion explained by Wikipedia

Quick history of fast fashion explained 

30 FACTS ABOUT ME

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

Last week I’ve asked you on my Instagram story what blog post you want to see on my blog and the poll concluded that lots of people want to know some facts about me! Plus, I’ve been nominated to do the 5 facts about me tag which you can find when you scroll through my Instagram. I’ve revealed further 5 facts about me 😉
I’m always surprised that people would want to read about me but hey, why not! Some of the facts are answers to questions people asked me. So let’s get right into it – 30 random facts about me:

  1. I’ve been vegan since January 2014.
  2. I have an older brother called Justin (which is short for his birth name Justinian).
  3. No one in my family is vegan.
  4. My boyfriend Max and I went to the same school and were in the same class from age 15-19.
  5. I’ve been in a relationship with Max since 2012.
  6. I’ve done pole dancing once a week for over one year.
  7. I love to eat healthy but I do eat vegan junk food occasionally.
  8. I’ve had long hair my whole teenage years and cut them chin length when I was 20.
  9. I’ve donated over 50cm of my hair to the Little Princess Trust.
  10. I’m 170 cm tall.
  11. I don’t own a scale and only weigh myself once or twice a year.
  12. I’ve struggled with eating disorders during my whole teenage years.
  13. I had 2 hamsters “Phoebe” and “Remi” during my childhood years.
  14. I don’t want to own pets now or in the future.
  15. I’m studying Environmental Science at the Queen Mary University of London (which is the same uni where my boyfriend studies Business Management)
  16. I was never athletic and now that I’m going to the gym regularly, I’m the most athletic I’ve ever been.
  17. I’d rather stay at home and watch Netflix with Max than go on a night out.
  18. I’m a huge procrastinator when it comes to tasks I don’t like/ want to do.
  19. I love Musicals, vintage movies (Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Barbara Streisand and Co) and my favourite motivational song is “Don’t Rain On My Parade” by the queen Barbara Streisand.
  20. I’ve always loved fashion but my passion for it has never been stronger than now.
  21. I’ve been struggling with anxiety, depression, social anxiety and mental health issues my whole life.
  22. I’m an introvert and quiet when you meet me and more chatty, loud and passionate once we’re friends.
  23. It takes ages for me to get warm with people and accept them as friends
  24. I love eating vegan food and I never restrict myself. When I’m hungry, I eat and I don’t count calories.
  25. My best friend is Sarah and we’ve been in the same class from 2011 – 2016 as well.
  26. Sarah and I decided to try eating vegan together and are both vegan since then.
  27. I cry easily and often and I love it. 😉
  28. I am vegan because there are too many reasons that animal products harm your health, the environment and the animals. So I don’t see a reason not to be vegan. But I originally became vegan for my health.
  29. For the future I’d like to continue blogging/ Instagram as a part time job on the weekend and during the week I’d like to work for a sustainability consultancy or an NGO.
  30. When I’m done with university, I’d like to move to Germany, Switzerland or Austria with my boyfriend.

How to eat vegan – my starter guide for a healthier, more environmentally-friendly and cruelty-free diet + FAQs answered!

vpqf6002.jpg

I’ve been getting lots of message on Instagram since I’ve shared my vegan food pics on the social media platform. The most questions I get are “how can I eat vegan?”, “can you give me advice on what to eat as a vegan” or “can you give me recipes for vegan food”. I love seeing people being interested in veganism and I love when people message me to connect with me on my favourite topics! However, I always find it hard to answer their questions. I’ve been vegan for over 4 years now which is basically all my adult life. I’ve been cooking for me, my boyfriend and my mum since I was 16. Mainly because I knew that veganism was a new concept to my mother and I didn’t want to be burden on her but I also wanted to take the control and cook the food that I researched myself. My mother and boyfriend liked the food that I prepared and we started to cook vegan food together – one of my favourite teenage memories!
After 4 years of vegan cooking, I have my go-to meals that I now prepare for my boyfriend and me and I rarely experiment with new dishes anymore because it makes everyday life just a little bit too complicated. Because eating vegan is actually not different to eating animal products. Yes, you reduce cruelty, environmental impact and negative impact on your health but it is just a diet which means people still have different preferences when it comes to taste, people still enjoy certain national cuisines better than others and people still want their food to be quick and simple.

Therefore, when someone asks me what they can eat as a vegan, I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed. I want to explain that everyone likes different food and veganism is not an exception and that I can tell them what I cook for myself but if they don’t like that, doesn’t mean that they don’t like vegan food – they just don’t like my vegan food. I think people that are new to the concept of eating vegan don’t know yet that there’s actually
A LOT of vegan food in the world:

LIST OF VEGAN FOOD:

all fruits (apple, banana, orange, pomegranate, mango, grape, …)
all vegetables (cucumber, zucchini, aubergine, asparagus, corn, mushrooms, lettuce, carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, paprika…)
lots of types of pasta (spaghetti, penne, farfalle, …)
all types of rice and grains (couscous, quinoa, polenta, bulgur, …)
all beans (kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas,
all types of lentils (red, green, brown, …)
all nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, cashews …)
all seeds (sesame, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, …)
lots of types of bread (baguette, pita breads, naan breads, flat breads, sourdough breads, ciabatta breads, pizza breads, …)
basic staples (like sugar, all types of flours, coffee, cacao, herbs, spices, oats, teas, …)
plant milk (soy, almond, cashew, rice, oat, hemp, coconut)
plant-based non-dairy products (yoghurt, desserts, cheeses, ice creams, creamers, …)
plant-based mock meats
other foods (like corn for popcorn, tofu, seitan, maple syrup, dried fruit …)
sauces and condiments (ketchup, curry pastes, tomato sauces, sweet chili sauces, soy sauces, chutneys, mustards, nut butters (tahini, peanut butter,…), …)
junk food (like oreo cookies, other types of cookies, cakes, chips/crisps, already-made popcorn, pringles, …)
beverages (juices, ice tea, coffee, soft drinks like cola, sprite, …., alcoholic drinks like wines, beers, vodka, whiskey, …)

AND THE LIST GOES ON AND ON… These are just the foods I could think of right now but there’s so much more!

So now, can you believe me that it’s difficult for me to tell someone what to eat as a vegan? The possibilities are endless! It is simply not possible to tell you 5 recipes that you can cook so that you become vegan because you probably like completely different foods than I do and there’s too much vegan food out there that you won’t be eating then. It is better to learn what foods are vegan and which ones are not and then figuring out recipes on your own!

Vegan versions

I always recommend people to google vegan recipes versions of their favourite foods:
Do you love hamburgers and fries? –Vegan burger with fries
Do you love Nasi Goreng? –Vegan Nasi Goreng
Do you love indian curries? –Vegan indian curries
Do you love risotto? –vegan vegetable risotto


I think you get the idea. And even if you want to make a vegan risotto, there are hundreds of different vegan risotto recipes out there!
People also get quite surprised when I tell them that most cultures around the world already have their own traditionally vegan dishes :
Middle eastern countries: Falafel pita
Greece: fava, courgette balls, stuffed vine leaves, giant beans, …
India: vegetable curries, Samosa, …
Europe/ USA: french fries/ chips
China: Tofu & vegetable dishes
Japan: avocado/ cucumber/ vegetable maki, vegetable noodle dishes like zaru soba
Thailand: mango sticky rice, coconut ice cream,
Italy: sorbets, the traditional & original Marinara pizza (pizza base+ tomato sauce with herbs), the traditional Napolitana tomato sauce pasta
Morocco: vegetable tajine
…and more!

So here are my tips for getting started with a vegan diet:

  1. research what foods are vegan and which ones are not (by reading ingredient lists on the foods, by using google (or even better Ecosia) to research if a food is vegan) to have an understand of what you can eat and what not!
  2. research what vegan “processed foods” are available in your area (foods like vegan ice creams, vegan milks, vegan meats, vegan sweets, …) so that you can treat yourself with them or even make the transition easier
  3. research vegan versions of your favourite recipes and try them out! Have fun in the kitchen! Starting a vegan diet means that you unlearn what you know about food and relearn your eating behaviour!
  4. get in your new vegan routine: when you know what foods are vegan and when you know what your favourite vegan dishes are, you can now write your grocery lists with all the food that you need for breakfast, lunch and dinner, buy only these foods and get in the habit of cooking your vegan dishes
  5. BONUS: now that you’re in your every-day life routine, you can explore how to eat vegan in restaurants and how to eat vegan when you travel. Researching online definitely helps for finding out the traditional vegan food in foreign countries, the vegan restaurants in foreign countries and the vegan options at your local restaurants. I always love exploring vegan food when I’m traveling (here’s my favourite website to find vegan restaurants all around the world)! And I have a vegan guide to Paris and Cyprus and even a review to a restaurant in Ubud and Vienna.
DSCF6194

I think I’m going to share my favourite vegan recipes with you too so stay tuned for that! But as I said, you can get inspiration for vegan recipes everywhere on the internet!