In November 2011, I made the decision to progress towards a plant-based diet and lifestyle. Since then, I have learnt so much about where our food comes from, and what it does to our bodies and the environment. Along the way, I have encountered many obstacles and challenges. I have also been asked lots of questions, most of them valid and a few off them more than a little odd. One of the aims of my blog is to chronicle my experiences as a plant-based traveller. So, hopefully these Plant-Based Pauses will provide a little more explanation and maybe answer some questions that my readers may still have.
‘In the hopes of reaching the moon, men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet.’ – Albert Schweitzer
As we already know by now, living plant-based is about much more than personal nutrition and health. The food that we choose to put in our mouths affects every other being on the planet. Since I chose to stop eating animal protein, so many other parts of my life have been affected as a result. I am constantly finding more ways that I can live more ethically and environmentally friendly. Which has led me to my very own doorstep.
Nowadays, not only do I shop local but I try to get involved with local activities as much as possible. The more we can look after ourselves from within our own communities, the less we have to rely on the Earth’s resources and the less of an impact we have on the planet.
I’m very lucky in the neighbourhood where I live. We have great local farmers’ markets, craft fairs, skills swaps workshops, groups and initiatives to improve the local area and opportunities to learn new skills from pottery to plumbing. We even have our own arts festival every year where the whole neighbourhood gets involved to showcase our local talent and share a fun-filled week of exhibitions, film showings and workshops.
My favourite local activity is the community garden where I volunteer. We have a few community gardens in the area, each with their own goals and visions, and ours is a great place to work alongside other volunteers, meet new people and learn about growing flowers and vegetables. As an added bonus, I get free fresh vegetables that I picked from the ground with my own hands (all the vegetables in the above photo came from the garden).
I know that I am fortunate. There are many more neighbourhoods out there that do not have these opportunities. That doesn’t mean you can’t start your own community activities and groups, though. Even something as small as a monthly book club can make a huge difference. I’d love to hear what activities you all have in your local communities. You might even give me some new ideas for my neighbourhood.