Browsing Category | Earth

All things waste-free and eco-friendly.

Earthy Herbal Tea Recipe for Gnarly Allergies

Yup, it’s allergy season, and for some it means misery and sneezing fits. Unfortunately, I’m a part of that group and it sucks to the 150th degree, but in my luck/creativity I’ve concocted a tea that erases the irritating symptoms that Spring brings! With these five herbs (which I purchased from The Crystal Fox in Laurel, MD) I went from scratching my eyes to feelin’ fine in 30 mins flat, but get what you can or make substitutions to your liking. Now onto the tea!

What You’ll Need: 

  • Nettle leaves
  • Raspberry Leaf
  • Chamomile
  • Turmeric
  • Lavender buds (optional)
  • Teapot or mug
  • Strainer

 

Instructions: 

Add 1-2 tbsps of each herb to your strainer and steep in boiling hot water for up to 5 mins. Stir in a bit of sugar if drinking straight up herbs ain’t yo thang.

 

Have a less sneezy Spring!!

Herbal Craze: My Experience with Cannabis and Thoughts on Legalization

It’s 4:20 pm on my side of the world and it inspired me to not only pack a bowl, but to share my experiences with marijuana to my fellow stoners and cannabis-curious folk out there. Now that I have my lungs full, I think it’s time for my testimonial…

It wasn’t long ago that I started experimenting with the magical plant; beginning when my sister (being the saint that she is) bought me vegan special brownies for my birthday three years ago. For my first time ingesting edibles, I think I did well, but lawd were they strong and tasty!

I was surprisingly not frightened and loved the psychedelic yet relaxing effects. However, my face did feel like it was melting off and my thoughts were jumbled as all hell; but again, I had no fluffy expectations of how my first time would pan out. It was still super chill nonetheless!

Then I moved on to smoking. I’ve always been against smoking for health and environmental reasons, but how does one resist when bongs and pipes exist?? I absolutely love glass for my after-work toke sessions and doing that for a few years gave me lungs of steel 😉 And don’t get me started on how it alleviates symptoms of my anxiety and depressive moods, especially on incredibly busy or emotional days. In all honesty, I just fucking love weed and that’s how it is! Recreational, medicinal, you name it.

It’s not always fun and games, though. Being a social justice activist means that I have to recognize the downsides and possible oppression that goes into my actions, so I can’t smoke herb without also talking about the drug war and its devastating effects on Black and Brown communities. Over the past couple of decades, our leaders have decided that it was drugs, namely marijuana, that causes spikes in crime in inner-city neighborhoods rather than crippling poverty due to a fixed social hierarchy.

This drug war strengthened in the 1990s and has resulted in millions of petty incarcerations and broken lives. Did I mention that it mainly effects Black and Brown communities? Well yes, even though Whites, Blacks, Latinx, etc., do recreational drugs an equal amount, it is more common that the darker-skinned of the crowd will be busted for it; which then feeds into the mass incarceration of Black folk (see the movie 13th on Netflix for more details) for cheap labor and controlled domination.

Also, there are many contradicting studies (mostly positive) about cannabis and its effects yet many will still hold on to the belief that it’s dangerous because it’s criminalized. From a legal standpoint, I would agree, but there has been no true evidence stating that marijuana is lethal in itself, even though it is considered a Schedule 1 drug right next to heroin. Heroin. DAFUQ?

I think I know why weed is illegal, but I really could be over-speculating. This herb that induces so much pleasure indirectly causes pain because of fear of its mind-altering qualities. I feel like it helps us see things for what they really are, which I’m sure is a huge threat to our leaders. Cannabis has seriously aided me in questioning the world around me and to be proud of not conforming. Of course I didn’t need it for those purposes but that was a lovely perk from my high times. Then again, that’s probably not everyone’s experience though developing consciousness is a definite side effect of weed.

To close out, I heavily fuck with marijuana and encourage y’all to learn more about the drug war and mass incarceration. Yes, I’m a mega biased stoner with a knack for conspiracy theories but that’s all the more reason to research and experiment for yourself. Just remember that not everything is a coincidence!

What are your experiences with cannabis? Good? Bad? Let me hear it!

 

 

Trying to Go Zero-Waste? Then You’ve Come to the Right Place: Tips and Alternatives to Living Waste-Free

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I first started looking into zero waste living when a friend sent me a link of an article on Facebook about Trash Is For Tossers blogger Lauren Singer’s unconventional lifestyle, and needlessly to say it blew me the hell away. As someone who went vegan with the planet in mind, it was shocking to learn how much I didn’t know about my other actions that affect the Earth’s health, such as my sick addiction to plastic and nonchalance toward where my garbage ended up. This prompted a huge shift in me and I decided to work my way toward a reduced-trash lifestyle about 6 months ago! Believe me, I am definitely NO expert, especially since I’m still in the learning phases and have missed a couple steps to the process. It’s the journey that’s important too!

Another media source that pushed me over to the dark side was a movie I found on Netflix called Plastic Planet. Now that truly made me wake the fuck up! I won’t say much about it because I want you to view it yourself, but it was definitely an eye-opener that totally repulsed me from using plastic EVER again. Fast-forward to now: I haven’t collected my monthly trash in a cute mason jar like the other zero-wasters, but I can surely say that I’ve significantly reduced my garbage consumption. Though the terms “waste-free” and “zero-waste” describe my overall conscious goal with this lifestyle, I feel much more comfortable claiming myself as a “trash reducer” since I am not guaranteed that all my actions do not produce waste (recyclable products, the waste of manufacturers I support, accidental slip-ups). But since I personally don’t produce trash at home, school, or work, I will use all terms to make my intentions and most actions clear to you.

So how do I do it, you might ask? Well, it’s not as difficult as it seems yet it’s not as easy as you’d want it to be haha. Essentially, you do NOT put anything in your trash can. Our planet is literally one giant garbage disposal, so anymore waste (even the tissue you blew your nose into) sent to the landfill is the waste we absorb. Gross, ain’t it? Plus, most plastics are made out of mineral/industrial oils, extremely toxic chemicals, and are not biodegradable, meaning they don’t naturally or healthfully compost back into the Earth.  There’s luck though! We can frequently reuse plastic alternatives like stainless steel, glass, organic cotton, and wood so that we may lessen our impact and also save a few coins in the process.

At this point you must be wondering “how does this benefit me though??”. I can understand that; waste-free living does not sound like a walk in the park, but your conscious effort to do as little harm to your environment as possible will benefit you greatly in the long run! Just think about how many people are on this planet and how awesome it would be for someone (hopefully you) to not toss another plastic bottle into the trash; one less bottle a day will seriously add up, my friend. You will also yield the benefits of saving money from bringing your own reusable gear everywhere, practicing minimalism since excessive buying is wasteful, not having stank ass garbage rotting in your car or home, and many other upsides that you’ll have to see for yourself!

Now onto what I use that swapped out all of my disposables:

Mason Jar

No-no: Plastic bottles and the like

Hell yeah: Glass mason jars

Tote Bag

No-no: Common plastic shopping bags

Hell yeah: Cotton tote and bulk bags

Ecolunchbox

No-no: Tupperware or styrofoam containers

Hell yeah: Mason jars or stainless steel containers (like an Ecolunchbox)

Cloth Napkins

No-no: Paper towels or napkins

Hell yeah: Cloth napkins and towels

Bambu Utensils

No-no: Plastic utensils

Hell yeah: Reusable bamboo or silver utensils

divacup

No-no: Common tampons and pads

Hell yeah: DivaCup if you dare (I haven’t gotten to this stage yet due to my IUD, lameee…)

Compost bin

No-no: Leftover food scraps

Hell yeah: Either save it for later to add it to another meal or compost it if possible

Bulk Soap

No-no: Packaged or wrapped soaps

Hell yeah: Get loose vegan soap bars at health food stores

With that stuff out the way, here are some tips to utilize it all: 

  1. Buy in bulk at your local health-food store with your reusable cotton shopping/bulk bags! If you do not have access to one near you, see if you can make a day trip with your friends or family to said store and get as much of your chosen bulk item as you can. Rice, beans, pasta, oats, nuts, dried fruit, and so many other tasty plant foods can be found in the bulk section.
  2. Try your hardest to have your reusable items on your person. I know it’s hard to remember when you really want to buy a water bottle or don’t feel like wrapping your sandwich in cloth, but you’ll get the hang of it! As long as you keep a reminder or carry your items around in your car or purse (or murse?), then you won’t have an excuse to buy or use wasteful materials.
  3. For the love of the universe, please don’t buy animal products to substitute for other biodegradable items! Most, if not all, zero wasters still use materials like boar hair or silk, and even eat animals and their secretions despite their efforts at living consciously. There is absolutely nothing environmentally-friendly, sustainable, or compassionate about consuming animal products in any way; there is always an easy alternative.
  4. Think minimally or work with what you have! If you have some old jars lying around the house, wash ’em out and use ’em as a food storer. Or if you can’t find any reusable items in your home, get some at your local thrift shop for super cheap! Also, don’t go on any massive clothing hauls if you don’t have to haha. If need be, make a DIY project out of your old clothes or buy secondhand.
  5. If possible, make your own food and bring it with you to work or school. I LOVE cooking so this is a treat for me no matter where I go, but this is always a healthier and more sustainable option when stored in either a mason jar or stainless steel container.

I hope all this helps and don’t hesitate to leave me questions!