Meatout: “Kick the Meat Habit” for the Environment

by Michele McKay

March 17 is World Meatout Day, an international observance aimed at raising awareness about the benefits of a plant-based diet and encouraging individuals to "kick the meat habit.” According to Meatout organizers, the event, now in its 25th year, draws support from a broad cross-section of groups and individuals who are “deeply concerned about the devastation to consumer and environmental health wrought by intensive meat production and consumption. Meatout not only promotes better food choices, but also supports a positive future for the planet.”1

AINA In Schools: Creating Lifelong Environmental Stewardship

by Michele McKay

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our kids could really connect with the earth in a meaningful and lasting way? If school programs could help them form a lifelong appreciation and caring for Hawaii’s environment? If planting, growing, harvesting, and eating fresh, local produce could teach them about good nutrition, healthy choices, and where food comes from? If school cafeterias could be a market for local farmers so that fresh, local crops could end up as wholesome school lunches?

A Simple Resolution

by Michele McKay

This New Year comes with a bonus: a new decade! Even if you aren’t the type that goes for resolutions, you can use the occasion to get behind something simple… like freeing the world of pollution, poverty, and environmental destruction. “What?” you might be thinking, “That’s not a simple resolution – it’s an impossibly colossal undertaking!” But consider this: Every time you make a purchase, you are influencing the design of our world; your choices are the equivalent of voting with your dollars for the global model you would like to help create.

Greening Your Holidays through Compassion

by Michele McKay

The holiday season is all about goodwill – expressing love with gifts, enjoying special time with family and community, demonstrating caring toward others. In a word, it’s about compassion. And what better way to turn compassion into practice than with the kindness of cruelty-free vegetarian holiday meals? Your goodwill in choosing vegetarian fare will bring you a ‘green’ bonus: the compassion you show for other living beings will extend directly into compassionate action and benefit to the Earth!

A Thanksgiving for the Earth

by Michele McKay

Go vegetarian – Eating vegetarian is the single most important thing you can do for the planet. In fact, in its 2006 report, the United Nations said raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined. The negative effects of the meat industry are far reaching. Forests are being bulldozed to make more room for factory farms and feed crops to feed farmed animals, and this destruction causes soil erosion and contributes to species extinction and habitat loss.

Swine Flu: Protect Your Health, Protect the Planet

by Michele McKay

Reminders about swine flu re-emerge with flu season: Be sure to wash hands, cover sneezes, avoid contact with others, and eat a healthy diet. These measures are important and effective in preventing the spread of flu viruses. But let’s step back and take a look at what’s behind swine flu… its source, its affect on the health of our planet, and what we can do in the “big picture” to prevent its social, environmental, and ethical consequences.

Is Your Sunscreen Killing Coral?

by Michele McKay

The hottest season of the year is arriving in the Islands, and although school is starting, it doesn’t mean that swimming and surfing have stopped! As you head to the beach for a refreshing after-school or after-work session in the water, remember to use sunscreen – but be aware that although sunscreen helps to protect our skin from cancer, some formulations are far from helpful to the marine environment. A recent study reports that many brands contain chemicals that can seriously harm the very reefs we are attracted to for their beauty and their surf breaks.

Strange Science in Our Island Farmlands

by Michele McKay

Corn modified with genes from jellyfish or hepatitis virus? Rice, corn, and sugarcane made with human genes? Does this sound like science fiction? Guess again! The State of Hawaii has actually granted permits for field trials of these genetically altered crops, according to Hawaii SEED, a statewide non-profit coalition that addresses the issues and risks of genetically engineered organisms (GMOs) in Hawaii. Disturbingly, our islands have more open-field, experimental GMO agriculture than any other state in the nation.

Healthy Living = Healthy Planet

by Michele McKay

If we really want our world to have a cleaner, safer environment the most effective action we can take involves a simple thing we do every day: choosing what products to eat and to use. A healthy vegetarian diet based on organic, natural foods and the use of non-toxic household products work together to promote sustainability and a clean environment in a host of ways. When we make eco-friendly choices we foster clean air, water, and land, which benefit us in return by supporting our good health as individuals and communities. Healthy living and a healthy planet go hand-in-hand.

Pages