From this point on Litter Lady will no longer be updated or posted to. To see what I am currently up to, please follow me at my new site Wasteless Witherspoon. Thank you! :)
It's getting closer to the end of the school year (only two days left! Both half-days! WOOHOO!) and as a preschool teacher I am exhausted and ready for a break. My garden has also exploded with plant life, which is so amazing but has brought with it mounds of work like weeding, watering, and basic tending. Gardening, while I fully enjoy it, is much more physically demanding than I imagined. That, plus my active job and other obligations, has made these past weeks a downward spiral of all of that work catching up to me, with each day bringing more fatigue, more aches, and finally, a stopped up nose and sore throat. I had to take a break; I could barely get out of bed or do anything without being exhausted. I called out today from work to recoup before my last two days with the kiddos was through.
As a kid, I have always been sickly. I have had severe allergies, asthma, and in general upper respiratory issues my whole life. I have experienced colds, ear infections (and ruptured eardrums), pneumonia, bronchitis and more. Once I made more of a switch to natural living and health I have noticed a huge decrease in these issues and find that while I still get sick, I can handle it so much more easily and I am not so "put out of commission" as I once was. Even today, despite not feeling well, I cleaned the house, did laundry, and watered the garden. These tasks definitely exhausted me and I had to take breaks in between them, but they still got done.
Below are my tips for getting fewer/easier to manage colds. I believe health is firstly prevention and secondly treatment as necessary. Most of these are no-brainers, but I think worth mentioning.
Now, for when you do get sick - what do you do?
I'm far from the first or last person to talk about this in terms of zero-waste, so please check out more resources below:
Paris To Go
Zero Waste Home
I apologize for my recent disappearance...I have tried to update this blog every week but so much is forcing my attention right now it has been difficult to set aside time for it. I hope to be back on track this summer with weekly, perhaps biweekly updates. I will also only be doing so after getting better, so no worries! I hope to talk more about my life a zero-waster and in particular celebrate my one year-anniversary and recent projects, so stay tuned! Ciao litterbugs~
As a somewhat recent art school graduate, I have been rethinking my own personal art practice. I realized after becoming zero-waste last year how toxic and wasteful some of my personal art practices were, from using dangerous chemicals to wasting valuable and expensive resources for projects. I am shocked by how many chemicals I was exposed to in the five years at school and while I loved my university experience I wonder how my health will be affected as I age (for those curious, I did many types of media, but have a degree in fiber, metalsmithing, and ceramics, all with different health risks attached).
I also never thought about where my projects would end up when I was making them. That would become a thought when they were done, and most of them ended up as gifts or in the trash as I didn't know what to do with them after grades were issued (some were just too large to store, but had to be made that way to satisfy the project at hand). I soon realized that in order to maintain my happiness and a successful zero-waste lifestyle as a post-grad, I would have to give up most of these art practices and habits. No longer would I make something "just because" or start a project without thinking it through from beginning to end, or use wasteful or toxic materials in the studio.
I first realized I needed to limit my media choices to be successful. I am trained in and love many different art mediums, and realized quickly which ones had to go. I turned my focus to drawing, painting (with some exceptions), fiber/textiles, recycled and/or natural materials (a la Andy Goldsworthy), collage, and digital photography. I love these mediums and find I can achieve a happy balance where my work is aesthetically satisfying while eco-friendly and zero-waste.
I plan on blogging more about a zero waste art practice in the future to help other zero waste artists, and to share current zero-waste art projects to show others how art can be made this way. The biggest project I've been planning has been what to do with the garbage I have made in the past year as a zero-waster. While small compared to most Americans, I know that realistically I cannot hold onto all of my trash at this time. I make about a Ziploc bag a month, and am quickly running out of space underneath my cupboard. I plan on using what I can from the refuse to make into an art project, the rest will either be relocated into one bag/bags or tossed to landfill for the first time in a year.
Now, some tips for other zero-waste artists. I will say this list may be limited as I am coming from only my personal perspective, additional thoughts from artists of other media would be greatly appreciated:
Eco-Friendly Paint Kits - plan on buying some when my paint supplies run out or if I sell them
How to Become an Eco-Friendly Artist
Tips for the Eco-Friendly Artist
Eco-Friendly Art Supplies for Kids (slightly misleading due to the heavier focus on non-toxic supplies vs, eco-friendly, but they somewhat coexist in this case)
Recycle old art supplies through Terracycle
Eco-artists to consider (though there are many, many more):
Tim Noble and Sue Webster
Fellow Zero-Wasters who talk about their art practices:
A Dream Lived Greener
If you have any more info or interesting links to share, please do so! I'm trying to build up a bunch of eco-friendly art resources and find online searching to be a bit overwhelming at times.
A simple garden update. We finally planted the rest of our crops and from memory we have:
And I'm sure a type of bean...can't remember.
It should be a very fruitful harvest. We already have so much growing from weekly rain and sun. I have barely had to touch the garden and yet it all blooms. I have been eyeing these strawberries though, waiting to see when they would turn red...finally they have started to!
This gardening season has taught me a lot about a variety of plants and how to care for them. I also began keeping a journal of monthly notes based on things I noticed outside or in the garden specifically. Things like, "strawberries began growing" or "birds appeared in larger numbers" to help keep tabs on changes I see and experience outside. It has been really fun and another way to connect me with nature (as if I needed any more connecting, ha!)
Some of the plants that are thriving are below:
Citronella (just repotted it - it is growing like CRAZY)
Tomato (hard to kill - love me tomato plants. Tomato plants also LOVE wood ashes, I've learned)
Rosemary (also hard to kill)
Thyme (easy to grow)
Parsley (easy to grow)
Sage (first time growing it - very hardy)
Others...not so much. I'd like to think I have a greeny green thumb but I have had quite the black one this season:
Lavender (I've had lavender die only to regenerate...not sure what's happening with this one. Perhaps the soil)
Basil (getting too leggy and leaves just dropping off - should be bushier. Confused because I've been told basil thrives on neglect...)
Mint (DOES NOT LIKE WOOD ASH - growing back though)
Lemon balm (DOES NOT LIKE WOOD ASH - growing back like mint is)
Daisy (too much water? Too much sun? Not sure)
All in all, I am really excited for summer and I can't wait to taste what we grow.
Beginner Gardening Tips
I've lived in an apartment most of my adult life. Only recently have I had access to the amazing garden and yard I have now. I have had everything from deck gardens, porch gardens, and even had successful window gardens. If you have sun, water, and a place to put your plant, you can grow practically anywhere. You don't need any fancy tools, just dirt, plant, water, and sun. And a container.
For those without raised beds, container gardening is your main choice. Containers are easy to move in and out through the seasons, making it easy to keep plants alive through winter, and give you the ability to plant anywhere. You can also grow out of any container as long as there are drain holes. Some have different properties (terracotta vs. glazed ceramics, for example) which you can geek out on but basically, if it has a hole, you are good to go. I have used styrofoam, plastic, and other reused containers before with good success. If the pot you are considering is without a hole, think about how easy it would be to put one at the bottom and if it seems like too much work, find something else.
Next, you need to consider soil. Some plants (like lavender and rosemary) do really well in rocky, almost clay-like soil I've found, as that is the natural soil where I live. You might have something different. Do check your plant and research online to see what soil type is best, especially if the plant is not native to your area. You run the risk of killing the plant if it isn't in the type of soil it needs to grow properly. Run-of-the-mill potting soil is a pretty good option for most plants, aside from the not so zero-waste plastic bag it comes in. I find it a necessary evil, as I would rather have living plants rather than no waste. One great zero-waste way to supplement lackluster soil is COMPOST. I plan on making a detailed post about my composting set-up in the future, but mainly all you need is a large bin, shovel, and organic material. As it decomposes, it creates compost, a rich, almost black, nutrient dense fertilizer for plants you shovel into pots before planting on spread on beds. I guarantee with compost your plants will grow and be very, very happy. Simply mix it with what you scavenge and you should be good.
Next, is plant placement and depth. Each plant is different. If you get yours from a nursery or store there should be a "care card" attached detailing how deep the plant should be planted, how far it should be from others (for invasive species). This is important as some plants literally take over (like tomato...rosemary...lots more) and if you want your plants to equally thrive, plant that baby farrr away or in a container. Next is depth to protect your plants roots. Simple.
THEN, is sun. So simple yet so misunderstood. Not all plants need the same kind of sun, or even the same amount. Some plants like strictly shade, others part shade, part sun, and others still full on 6+ hours of sun per day MINIMUM. Of course, if you stick your plant outside in the sun it will grow. But it will grow better if you put it in a place where it can get its sun requirements met. For example, I have my houseplants indoors near bright windows as those plants need that. I have herbs that only need part sun indoors near the same window or outside in an area that gets some sun but mostly shade. Then, I have my sun worshipers out in the open where they get full sun, all day. If you have a porch or kitchen window garden system, you'll learn quick what your plants need. And with containers, you can move those puppies around until you find the perfect layout.
Lastly, is water (and food, kinda). Watering is muy importante. Otherwise your time spent weeding, caring for your plants, and money spent buying them are all for naught. You need to water your plants - period. Your plants also benefit from being "fed" (fertilized) every month, which you can do with compost. On most days, I water all my plants once. On hot days, sometimes twice. This is where your gardener's instinct will need to be developed, and you need to learn what your plants need and what they are saying to you. For example, if my houseplant is sitting in water I will of course not water it. It has enough for the roots to be happy in the saucer below. Usually, if the first inch is still moist you won't need to water. Of course, also check the "care card" to be sure you're watering properly. Some plants easily drown, others prefer LOADS of water, and others still prefer to NOT be regularly watered. Pay attention to your plants. If they seem sad and wilty, water. If they constantly sit in water, water less. If it rained that day, don't water them. Simple. You'll learn in time how to listen to your plants and in the mean time there are a wealth of resources online to help you.
And then...you wait. Especially for crops. You wait, and wait. And finally, your payoff comes in beautiful flowers or bountiful strawberries. Simple. I am oversimplifying the process of gardening some, but think about it in terms of human history - we haven't been gardeners very long, but it is an ancient human "thing" to do. If almost cave people can do it, you sure can. If you struggle one year or kill a plant, try to figure out why and learn from it. Keep a journal detailing your process and progress. You will learn.
Hope this helps. :)
I first began with a "rolling" technique. I found this linen table runner at a local antique store. I recommend natural fibers (cotton, linen, wool, silk, hemp, etc.) to anyone starting natural dyeing. Natural fibers accept dye the best, natural or synthetic. I then scavenged the backyard meadow for newly bloomed spring flowers. I wanted to see what these plants would do, so I grabbed what looked interesting. My backyard meadow is filled to the brim with these flowers, so I didn't feel bad plucking so many - so many grew back in the meantime that I haven't worried about it. I plucked grass, dandelion, buttercup, grape hyacinth, and random flowers here and there.
Then, I rolled the fabric up onto a found stick, and created a shibori bundle pictured below. Shibori is a Japanese fiber practice, where artists bind and fold fabric in many ways to create interesting dye effects. I hate to use this example, but it's like elegant tie-dye. It's really quite beautiful and a very easy way to get lovely and unusual marks on your fabric.
I added alum, a mordant (basically makes the dye permanent in the fabric) and then boiled the bundle for 30 minutes. The end result is pictured above. It's very subtle, but I think very interesting.
I also wanted to try out sun-dyeing, a technique similar to sun-tea where you basically steep the fiber in with the dye materials and mordant for a number of days in full sun, usually 10, and see what happens. Above are pictures on the day I began steeping the fabric. I again used all plant materials.
I waited maybe around 10 or so days, really until I noticed a big change in the fabric (and really once I got too impatient to wait any longer).
The first picture below is what it looked like after some time passed. I then boiled the fabric again with the contents of the jar in a secondhand enamel stockpot. I boiled it for 30 to 60 minutes this time, basically until it seemed "done".
The results from the sun dye and boiling were not too exciting, hence no final pictures of what the fabric looked like dry. I aim to try again with more dye techniques and plant materials and to keep experimenting with processes until I find one that works and turns out how I want. All in all though, it was interesting to see what happened and to try these first eco-dye experiments. I'll make sure to update the blog as I do more experiments, and especially once I have a successful print.
For a few years now I have been on birth control pills. Sprintec, to be exact. I love them and the way they made me feel. Once I became zero-waste in May, I began realizing just how wasteful the pills were. I got the pills in a cardboard blister pack inside of a plastic envelope. The pills also came in a paper bag, paper instructions, a plastic sticker sheet, a receipt, and other papers from the pharmacy every month. I grew weary of having to take the pill each day and found it difficult to remind myself sometimes. I hated having to get the prescription every month, and sometimes forgot. I ended up having to focus on the pills more than I ever wanted, and that in addition to the wastefulness pushed me towards change.
My friend recently got Nexplanon, the birth control implant inserted into your arm. It lasts for three years, is free under insurance (as most birth control is now) and you don't have the waste and nuisance of pills. You can use it condom-free, depending on your circumstances, and aside from the pain of injection is virtually non-existent in your every-day living. You can also remove it whenever you want before the three year time span is up. It seemed like the perfect option for me. There is also the vaginal implant, Implanon, but it personally made me uncomfortable procedure-wise and I thought three years was a good trial run for me.
I went to my local Planned Parenthood after work one day. All I paid was a $25 co-pay. I would recommend setting up an appointment as my PP is very busy and I doubt I would have been seen otherwise. I had to wait a while (about an hour) and then was taken into an exam room for the procedure.
All in all, it took maybe 15 minutes. You should get a numbing agent first, which is the most painful part. It doesn't hurt much at first but the pain is a slow climb to a sharp sting. After that it's very numb very quickly. Then, the doctor inserted the implant which felt just like someone pushing my arm. So far, so good. Unfortunately, didn't watch the procedure as I don't handle shots well otherwise, so I don't have any details concerning that.
The only part I did NOT like about my procedure was the TIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT black bandage wrapped around my arm after the implant was in my arm. When I say tight, I mean TIGHT. It was so painful. It was arguably worse than the implant itself. Some places give you the bandage; my friend's gyno did not. I'm not sure if you can request to not have it put on or not, but it might be worth a shot because it sucked. I had to keep it on for two days, and only did one because it was so painful and irritating. I noticed no ill effects of doing this. I would say go with your gut on the bandage, if it feels right for you then keep it on, I just knew I had to get it off or claw my arm off.
In an effort to be thorough, I took pictures of the removal of my bandages to show you the whole process step-by-step and the leftover wound. While not overly bloody, if blood, wounds, or bandages freak you out I would recommend reading no further.
The beginnings of the garden are starting. I went out recently and purchased a ton of herbs for cooking, salves, and teas. My neighbor and I are working together on the raised beds and so far the plan is to plant and grow a TON of vegetables. We are going to grow cucumber, okra, squash, tomato, green beans, peas, strawberries, eggplant, corn, and more. I may start a potato plant soon too in a potted container. I can't wait for the garden to burst more with life; right now it is just over teeming with insects and growth. Each day our plants grow a bit bigger and it's so rewarding to see that growth each day.
I must also say just how grateful I am to have this much land. While I do not own it, it is within my backyard of the house I am renting and I have agreed with my landlady I can share the land with her as I would be helping her farm it. I would say we have just over an acre, and a good portion of that is dedicated to the garden. I have a large chunk as well for my own porch. To even have a porch is a blessing, let alone land to farm with. I'm used to living in tiny apartments where we had maybe a foot outside of space and our kitchen windowsill to grow what we could. To have this space is a dream come true!
I'll keep this one short and sweet. Ciao, litterbugs!
Recently one morning, as I was getting dressed, I stumbled in the bathroom and all my jewelry for the day tumbled onto the floor, one into the toilet. I was of course irritated about this but soon became devastated when I collected the jewelry pieces only to find my engagement ring missing. My wedding band was accounted for, as well as the other pieces, just not the second ring.
Normally, as a minimalist, I wouldn't be so upset over such a trivial item. I often pride my ability to almost be cutthroat with items others struggle to remove from their lives, such as photographs, scrapbooks, and certain heirlooms. Losing this ring upset me greatly however, and I'm still learning how to deal with the loss.
To be fair, it WAS my engagement ring, the ring I've worn daily since getting married in 2013. It was also a family heirloom, dating from 1918 (belonging to my great-grandmother, Susie, and grandmother Flossie. Flossie would call me Susie as a pet name) and was something I cherished. It was beautiful, styled with a sapphire and white gold accents (as seen in above photo) and as an "almost antique" it was just my style. It was also found in my grandmother's house after her traumatic and hard-to-get-over death. She was keeping them to pass down to us, and wasn't able to before she died.
As you can see, it's a complicated, emotional issue. On one hand, it is just a ring. On the other, it symbolizes so much family history good and bad, including the sentimental value it had as my wedding set. I'm still very appreciative I at LEAST have the wedding band, but the two together were stunning. I've always felt "off" when I don't have my rings on when I should, and still feel strange missing the one. At least now my ring is much more practical (aka flat) and not getting banged up as much. To be honest, with as much hands on work I do I'm amazed the sapphire hadn't popped off by now.
So, how am I dealing with the loss? Firstly by easing my mind by searching everywhere it could be. I have a small bathroom, and the ring traveled only a foot or so from my bedroom to the bathroom before falling and getting lost. I am not going to waste my time searching in my living room, kitchen, or other areas. It's not there.
I also had a sinking (no pun intended) feeling it fell in the toilet with the other bracelet. It was not in the basin, nor in the siphon hole, and there is no way I can de-install my toilet at this time. I am going to need my toilet, I am going to need my toilet flushed. Not much I can do about it. I could have called a plumber, but didn't see the point as I hadn't flushed at that point nor did I actually see it fall in. Later in the day I had to flush the toilet, and as anyone knows who has lost something in the toilet, once it is flushed there is a nearly zero chance of recovery.
I am also dealing by seeking solace in the fact I still have my wedding band, as well as my marriage. I would take my husband over a ring any day, no matter how special the ring was. While I still would of course want my ring back, there's not much I can do. I just gotta deal.
Lastly, I am trying to not beat myself up too much. I am a good steward of my objects, and rarely lose things. When I do, it's purely accidental or from dropping them, and I do all I can to retrieve them. I am human. I am going to lose things. Unfortunately, this time I lost something of more importance than what I usually lose track of. I can't cry over it, or make myself feel worse for losing the item. There's nothing I did to cause it to fall (on purpose anyway) and not much I can do after the fact but see if it turns up at some point.
There is a bit of a happy ending though, in some ways,. My mom had my grandmother Flossie's ring as well as my great-aunt Bea's, She said she would pass them down to me as a way to ease the blow of losing my great-grandmother's ring. Both are beautiful and I'm glad to have them. I would have pictures but they are currently being re-sized and will hopefully soon be on my finger.
March was a very wasteful month. I'm not sure what exactly caused so many wasteful events but I had a lot of moments where I was stuck without my kit, chose a wasteful option and then saw a wasteless option, or just forgot to ask/be preemptive in my zero-waste endeavors. All in all, while most of my garbage fits into my monthly jar, I still have some unpictured wasteful options as they had to be sent to landfll. Additionally, I am upset as many, MANY of these options could have easily been avoided.
I still try to keep perspective in these wasteful months though, and am trying to remind myself of all of the other virtually trash-less months that have come before. I am also trying to use March's failures as ways to make the coming months less wasteful. Despite all the failures, I definitely learned some things and new tactics to be more zero-waste at my favorite hang-outs, and will use this knowledge in the future to make much better, zero-waste decisions.
First, I will start with my unpictured or "straight to landfill" items:
4 margarita straws (...)
1 straw from Chuy's
1 disposable plate (unexpected bday event for coworker)
1 disposable fork (unexpected bday event for coworker)
1 Styrofoam plate
1 red cup
1 plastic zebra bag (stupid party favor)
1 paper plate
1 plastic sheath
2 beer cans (couldn't take them home for fear of getting DUI charge, despite being empty)
1 ziploc bag
1 plastic wrapper for brownie that I shouldn't have even eaten
1 plastic wrapper for pumpkin bread that I again, shouldn't have eaten
Next, we discuss the trash within the jar, spread upon the floor, from top left to bottom right:
Misc. plastic (wrappers, foil, etc.
3 spice tops (the majority of the container was metal, need to switch to the glass/metal spices from Target)
1 shipping tape covered paper parcel (I bought the item from Etsy and requested paper only packaging, no styrofoam or plastic. The seller happily obliged but I had no idea that meant they would cover the entire parcel in plastic tape. Sigh...need to be much more clear next time)
1 styrofoam takeout container (the easiest thing for me to avoid, yet somehow I ended up with one. Don't remember how, other than being unprepared...)
1 styrofoam Sweet Frog container (one of my weaknesses as a zero-waster and vegan. Sweet-Frog not only has vegan options but you can make it zero-waste by getting a cone instead of a cup. Unfortunately the cone is not vegan, so you will have to compromise on one of your values. I got this cup because I saw the cones AFTER I was in the middle of eating my sorbet...)
Vinyl/plastic shelf liner scraps
2 Elastic bands
Pile of junk mail "screens" (I recycle everything but the screens as my local recycling center won't accept them. I've signed up for DMAchoice, Catalog Choice and all the other "stop junk mail now" things...it only seems to have increased my junk mail. SIGH)
1 plastic bottle cap, unrecyclable
Pile of old packing tape, command tape, and other tapes (from recycling shipping boxes)
2 plastic spoons
4 mailing boogers (the nasty stuff they use to seal down cards and the like, hate them)
1 rubber candle gasket
1 rubber blender gasket (gave out)
Stickers from fruit, bulk purchases, general purchases, etc.
4 plastic straws
1 old fountain pen case
1 old empty pencil lead container
2 plastic hangers from shoe purchases (seeing if Target accepts them. Had to buy indoor slippers to prevent stepping in crumblies all day on my floors and tracking it everywhere. Bought outdoor shoes because I do lots of outside work and needed a good, solid shoe that I didn't care for that was comfortable)
Old photogram scraps
14 bottle caps (once I realized they were not recyclable - planning on using them for an art project)
Small pile command strip tape (I'm renting and trying to avoid holes in the wall as much as possible)
1 old glue covered magnet
Small plastic olive oil piece (using it for an art project)
4 or so Olive Garden chocolate/mint foil wrappers (have both paper and foil, unrecyclable)
2 plastic wine corks
1 plastic box for wine stoppers
Tom's toothpaste (had a struggle at first with diy toothpaste, bought this when I was tired of how my teeth looked/felt. I am familiar with Terracycle's program for recycling Tom's of Maine products, but unsure if I have enough to qualify. Also I have since switched to water and bicarb tooth powder, no issues)
Pile of old gift cards and loyalty cards
Stupid band-aid promotion I was sent - completely useless and unrecyclable
Wrappers for vinyl/plastic shelf liners
Misc. remnants of shipping tape
4 polyester clothing tags
1 candle wick (leftover from melting remaining wax out of jar for recycling)
1 blanket tag (weird plasticy material, kind of like a mattress tag)
1 glowstick (treasure day at school and I broke it and it lit up on accident. Instead of giving it to another child like a smart person I wore it home)
2 visitor tags from the school I work for (I HAVE to get one of these every day I work, and have had to do so since January. It's stupid. I might just stop taking them at some point. I usually toss them at the school since I see it as the school's responsibility since they force me to do it instead of coming up with a smarter solution. Sometimes they come home with me though. I may also turn these into an art project)
4 non-dairy creamer packets from Olive Garden
Misc. plastic bits and old push pins of mixed materials
1 ticket to art museum (didn't realize they would print the ticket, especially not on some strange plastic/paper hybrid)
While everything fit into my gallon Ziploc bag, I really hope to do better in April. I've had a good start and don't foresee any big issues. This month was definitely a learning experience and will do nothing but help me reduce my waste in the future. Being zero-waste, it's hard to foresee everything (like EXACTLY how something will be packaged) until you purchase it, experience it, etc. Live and learn.
My only big concern is my birthday, which is this month. I am unsure of what to expect since it will be my first since going zero-waste. Most of my friends and family are aware of my lifestyle so we will see what happens. I'm definitely crossing my fingers.
I challenged myself to go one month being vegan, see what happens, and go from there. This was midway through February, so at this point it's been about a month and a half. My idea was to only change my diet and try to keep my life mostly the same and see what would happen from there. Here are my reasons why I went vegan, an account of my experience, and if I will continue being vegan.
First, let's define what being vegan meant to me. I did not consume animals or animal byproducts. This meant no eggs, meat, traditional sugar, dairy products, honey, gelatin, and fish. I also avoided hidden non-vegan ingredients such as bone char, isinglass, rennet, casein, whey, and more (the list is huge).
While I did not consume animal products, I did buy clothing made from animal byproducts such as wool, horsehair, and some leather. I did this because they were secondhand or if made from hair, did not cause the animal to necessarily give their life for the product. I also made sure if it wasn't secondhand that I bought from a reputable source, even if it meant spending more money, to ensure ethical practices. I consider this vegan because I already owned animal clothing items, I buy them secondhand which doesn't increase the demand for more animals to give their lives for clothing, and agree that unarguably, there are qualities animal clothing items have that make them a worthwhile investment secondhand like longevity, easy maintenance, high performance, and more. I am a minimalist too so my clothing has to stand up to a lot of wear and tear, and I find clothing made with animal byproducts such as hair are a great investment for my small wardrobe. This may not be "vegan" to some, but I also want to be zero-waste, and you can't compost pleather.
Why do this, you might ask? Why not just be vegetarian? Well, a few reasons. Most of these are personal ones, but some I think most people can relate to:
So far as a vegan I have experienced great success. The benefits far outweighed the cons; I loved being vegan and the month challenge almost flew by. Here is my personal account relating to the three reasons listed above:
Here were some of my challenges:
So, will I continue being vegan? ABSOLUTELY! It's been nothing but positive and I have no issues staying vegan for the long-term, despite some struggles. I have never felt or eaten better in my life!
That's all for now~ Ciao litterbugs!