Is Alicia Silverstone just another Hollywood pretty face? As if! This adorable, animal rights “Betty” is anything but Clueless. Ever since the release of her best-selling book, The Kind Diet, the vegetarian celebrity’s become a leading voice for the green foodie movement, advocating the benefits of a plant-based diet to the mainstream.
Covering everything from the benefits of buying second-hand, to cruelty-free fashion and garden composting tips, her blog now boasts 15,000 subscribers. Supporting sustainable businesses and experimenting with earth-friendly practices, she doesn’t just talk the talk, but also walks the walk!
So what can we learn from Alicia’s Kind Life movement for Earth Day?
1. Transitioning to a veg-friendly diet is one of the best things we can do for the planet.
“Despite all of our recycling, energy saving, and water conservation,” explains Alicia, “most people still don’t know they can have the greatest impact on Earth adopting a plant-based diet.”
We hear so much about carbon and global warming, and yet methane emitted by livestock accounts for 19 percent of total global emissions. If everyone in the U.S. gave up meat, we would reduce U.S. emissions by six percent overnight. We’re supporting billions of livestock in factory farms that take up precious resources like water, grains, and land. It takes 11 times the energy to create animal protein than grain protein.
Finally, you might have heard: just reducing our meat intake by 20 percent creates the same energy savings as switching a standard car for a Prius.
Doesn’t have to be hard, just check out Meatless Monday for inspiration and make the start of the week meat-free.
2. Buy less material goods
We waste so much energy on materialistic goods, when much of what we buy travels thousands of miles from where it’s made to only end up collecting dust on our shelves. I love that instead of promoting ecologically-void brands, Alicia shops on Craigslist, uses freecycle.org and helps spread the anti-consumerist Story of Stuff. She’s big on giving handmade gifts from Etsy too. Consider all these great sources before buying your next toy.
3. Consume less water
Having started a Take Back the Tap Facebook Campaign, I was impressed how much great information Alicia provided during this year’s World Water Week – including how to make your own low-flush toilet. Flushing less water can save hundreds of gallons of water a month as well as taking shorter showers. So Alicia says, “Don’t flush unless you have to!” She also goes as far as recommending waterless car washes in auto-obsessed L.A., how awesome is that?
I respect that Alicia raves about the movie “Flow” to grasp the world water crisis, and unlike other female stars, she’s savvy enough to stay clear of bottled water marketing.
But like many vegetarians, for Alicia “eating kindly” is the ultimate water conservation method. She explains that one 16 ounce steak uses the amount of water needed for six months worth of showers!
4. Get your hands dirty and know thy food
So you’re already shopping at the farmer’s market. Why not take the leap and start to grow your own veggies? Learn the principles of organic gardening in permaculture. If necessary, start with herbs like basil and mint in individual pots or a simple raised bed for lettuces. Alternatively, support your local CSA and get some beautiful produce delivered to your door. Check out what’s in season and eat accordingly.
Then get a worm-friendly compost bin to save food waste from going in landfills.
5. Buy eco-friendly products
Now more than ever, we get to vote with our dollars. We can rant or rave about products through social networking tools and word-of-mouth marketing. So Alicia says choose wisely! Her blog provides lots of links to “living well” resources like earth-friendly make-up and home design.
Ultimately, Alicia’s Kind Diet celebrates Earth Day everyday. But whether you become a flirt or Superhero, these tips for Earth Day will contribute towards a greener planet.
Editor’s note: This is a guest post courtesy of Vera Churilov. Vera is a health educator and writer on sustainable food and plant-based living. You can read more of Vera’s work at Nourish the Spirit.