Bali, Beautiful but damaged

Dear Readers,

During my travels I spent 3 weeks volunteering in bali, a beautiful island in Indonesia. I had a wonderful time there exploring the natural beauty the island has to offer, meeting another like-minded vegan girl who joined me in teaching Indonesian children about caring for the environment.

 

 

Discovering secret waterfalls, watching monkey’s in their natural habitat and climbing barefoot through a hidden canyon were just a few of my favourite moments. Its safe to say Bali was my favourite country I visited in the 3 months I was away.

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Bali, although beautiful, is undergoing an environmental crisis. Little do most people know that this small island contains the 2nd highest amount of plastic waste in the world after china. With respiratory illness being listed as the number one killer. The pollution has been a result of the growing tourism, lack of education to the local people and the amount of rubbish that washes up during the rainy season.

Originally banana leaves were used as packaging by the local people, but as times developed and through tourist influence of their culture, the use of plastic bags took over from the previously used leaves. Local people would originally throw their banana leaves to the ground once used, as these would biodegrade and therefore would not be a problem. Unfortunately Local people still keep up this habit, but this time it’s plastic bags being tossed away. This has resulted in rubbish everywhere on the streets.

Bali is overflowing with rubbish, particularly in the built up touristic area Kuta, which I had the unfortunate experiencing of visiting for a night when there was a mix up with our hotels. Needless to say it wasn’t a highlight. 

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Just teaching the children highlighted the huge issue with lack of awareness amongst the locals. When presented with these photographs (we found online) of the devastation in Bali (see below the photos I showed to the children) the children immediately denied it, claiming we were wrong, it could not be Bali.

There is no awareness of recycling or the damage plastic does to the environment. Such as releasing dangerous toxins into the air or killing sea life. Nobody understands that it won’t just disappear, its there for the long run.

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The time spent with the children was trying and difficult, having to start from square on. We had to start by teaching them simply why we need the environment, before we could even touch upon how rubbish damages it or what we can do to solve the crisis. Unfortunately, the children did not seem to appreciate the seriousness of the situation; continuing to throw their plastic trash around the school and damaging the surrounding area. It was an eye-opening experience. I now understand just how bad the situation has become in this beautiful island.

Nevertheless I throughouly enjoyed my stay ❤

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I will be writing soon about the restaurants I discovered whilst there so stay tuned!

Here’s to a better future, until next time, Charlotte xxxx

 

Palm Oil- the reality

Dear Readers,82cceca7fe1606dabe20bbcfdcdbbae4

As a vegan almost by default you become much more aware of the mistreatment our planet suffers from as the saying goes… ‘you can’t be any environmentalist if your not a vegan’ but the point is that many people are unaware of the huge consequences of consuming unsustainably produced palm oil.

Palm oil is not only hugely detrimental to the environment since its is produced mainly through destroying the rainforests particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia to make room to cultivate the plants to produce palm oil. But also this huge deforestation has  implications for the people and wildlife, specifically the orangoutangs, 50,000 orangoutangs have already died as a result of deforestation. In terms of people, the use of child labour to produce cheap palm oil is common practice as well as forcing indigenous people from their land.


So whats palm oil found in…?

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“By 2020, the use of palm oil is expected to double, as the world’s population increases and as people – especially in countries like China and India – become more affluent and consume more manufactured goods containing palm oil.” -WWF

Many vegans have already become aware and cut down or removed palm oil completely from their diet, but many have not. Unless we act this situation is only going to get worse. It is crucial for people to start to become aware of the truth behind palm oil and act upon this by limiting your consumption of this product is so easy and the benefits so great…surely its worth a go…? Look out for products that contain sustainably produced palm oil as this is always an alternative.

Around 18 per cent of the world’s palm oil production was certified sustainable in 2014, up from 10 per cent in 2011.”-WWF

Further reading on palm oil….. http://www.palmoilresearch.org/why-sustainable-palm-oil-is-so-important.html 

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Heres to a better future, until next time, Charlotte xxxx

10 Quick Facts about Veganism

1- The term vegan was coined in 1944 by Donald Watson DW1

2- There is an estimated figure of  16million vegetarians of which around 7.5million are vegans in the US alone!

3-80% of antibiotics sold in the US are for livestock.

4- One vegan saves 1.3 million gallons of water every year

5-Humans are biologically herbivores, we were not designed to eat meat.humans-are-biologically-herbivores

6- A study done by Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn found that a vegan diet caused more than 500 genes to change in three months, turning on genes that prevent disease and turning off genes that cause cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses

7- If we stopped eating meat the grain grown for meat production could be used to feed 1.3 billion people.Unbenannt

8-Since vegans eat no animals, each vegan saves nearly 200 animals per year.

9-Animal agriculture accounts for 51% of greenhouse gases

10-Every HOUR in the United States 500,000 animals are killed for their meat.

Heres to a better future, until next time, Charlotte xxxx

The People’s March

Dear Readers,

On Sunday 29th November this year the Peoples march for the climatejustice and jobs took place in London. Within the congregations of different groups coming together on the is day, a vegan group also made up the numbers after having recognised this thumb_IMG_2443_1024march as the perfect opportunity for a chance to spread awareness of the obscene amounts of damage a meat based diet has on our planet, and by doing so raise awareness of a vegan diet to the public. I attended this march accompanied by a close friend, joining in the vegan bloc, which once we arrived was already full of other vegan protestors with their banners. It was wonderful to meet so many other people who shared the same mindset as , who all put the planet and animals first, above and beyond themselves.

Unfortunately there was plenty of snickers from not only the public but other protestors at the march who were part of other blocs marching against the use of fossil fuels etc who seemed to be amused at our vegan bloc….. and a couple of heated arguments between us and other blocs did occur as they tried to argue against our facts such as ‘51% of greenhouse gases being caused by animal agriculture’.  Which as it happens was sourced from documentaries such as ‘Cowspiracy’  which you can watch as well as books such as ‘Eating Animals’ and organisations such as World Watch shown in this article- http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6294 therefore showing this statistic is widely used and accepted.thumb_IMG_2457_1024

In fact we couldn’t help but find it ironic to see these people marching against the use of fossil fuels but no doubt having used some form of fossil fuelled transport to reach the protest today and not just that but most likely they consume it in all aspects of their everyday life….. It would be like me protesting against eating animals for the good of the planet yet having eaten a bacon sandwich for breakfast…..

But not only that, worst of all, we tried to offer them leaflets explaining the impacts of animal agriculture on the climate only for them to turn their noses up!!! Surely of all people  they should not being doing that, these people who have come together with the same intention -TO SAVE THE PLANET- yet when told about the biggest impact they could have (taking up a vegan diet, as shown by the facts)  most were dismissive and rude. I found this incredibly disheartening and confusing. Surely they would want to know of every single way they can help save the planet, big or small, easy or hard. To have an impact on the world, the easiest place to start is YOURSELF. Marching against the use of fossil fuels etc of course is important and of course the fact these people care enough to be there I respect them for BUT you have to question how much there heart is really in it if they can’t even open their mind wide enough to even consider the facts we were presenting them. But as usual, as is in our nature, blaming others before ourselves is always easier, blaming the government for not doing more is easier than changing what you’re doing to have an impact.

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Despite this the whole day was inspirational and strengthened us all not only as individuals on our own journeys with veganism but as a community, giving us a fresh sense of hope for the future.

Heres to a better future, until next time, Charlotte xxxx