GOING VEGAN : The Single Most Powerful Way We Could Save the Planet

photo:  @thesashadiaries

photo:  @thesashadiaries

As conscious as some of us are becoming, humans continue to generate all the pollution and cause all the damage on the precious planet.  From deforestation for Palm Oil and development, overfishing, climate change,  industrial chemical waste, ocean pollution, air pollution to our growing trash filling and closinglandfills around the world....we must start to make collaborative efforts to tread more lightly on our home.  People often ask me: what can we do as Individuals to help the planet?  There are many daily things we can do to reduce waste and energy use. 

But the single most powerful thing we can do daily is to adopt a plant-based diet.

Ethics and not wanting to hurt animals is my #1 motivator for this lifestyle. From an environmental perspective, however, each person can REDUCE their impact on the Earth in a significant way by going Veg. 

Just ONE PERSON can annually REDUCE :

400,000 gallons of water 💦
15,000 lbs of grain (fed to livestock instead of hungry people) 🐷
7,000 lbs of CO2 Emissions
11,000 sq ft of Forest from being clearcut for cattle - destroying the habitat to millions of animals 🌳🌳🌳
365 Animals from being consumed (not counting fish.) . 🔪🐮🐔🐥🐷

The days of eating salad as a Vegetarian are over.  There internet is overflowing with an influx of resources (instagram, pintrest, google) and recipe E-books with everything from the most bad-ass veggies burgers, the most delicious breakfast, lunch and dinners, acai bowls, and gorgeous nutrition-filled smoothies and raw meals. 

You can do it gradually, (or watch movies such a Earthings, Unity, Cowspiracy, and What the Health) and do it overnight. I am happy to help guide as well.  


UPCYCLING - the new Trend Saving the Planet

UPCYCLING ::  Almost all of us has heard of the term "Recycling."  But what about the term "Upcycling?"  With this innovative eco-friendly concept, we turn someone trash into another person's treasure.  Upcycling - also known as creative reuse -  is the process of transforming waste materials, useless and/or unwanted products into fresh, new materials or products of better quality and/or better  value.  In the photos above by Recman Brasil, for example, old inner tubes (of tires) or fire hoses are upcycled into stylish and durable (vegan) handbags, wallets or belts.

Upcycling is incredibly sustainable for the Environment as it:

  • reduces the consumption of new raw materials when creating new products.  Reducing the use of new raw materials reduces: energy usage, air pollution, water pollution and even greenhouse gas emissions.
  • reduces the accumulation of waste and pollution in overcrowded landfills, which is a great environmental consideration.

Since many landfills around the United States are filling up rapidly with our discarded waste, upcycling creates a truly sustainable economic model where waste products are seen as a valuable resources to be used again and not trashed in landfills where they sit for thousands of years. 

It is a true act of living Green and REDUCE, REUSE + RECYCLE!

Go Leather-Free: for the Animals, Human Health + the Environment

I used to buy leather shoes, belts and purses and didn't give it a second thought.  It was the "normal thing to do."  And I used to think buying leather and suede jackets were cool in my late 20's.  Although I never ate a lot of meat, I used to think that leather was a by-product of the meat industry.  But as I evolved and educated myself on the subject, I changed.  Now I strive to lead a leather-free life.  Here is why:


Despite popular belief, leather is not a byproduct of the meat industry.   It’s produced because it is a highly profitable and a very lucrative billion dollar business.  In fact, much of the leather sold, especially the growing demand for exotic leather, comes from animals killed primarily for their skins.


Cows provide the bulk of leather used, while goats, pigs, sheep, ostriches and dogs and cats (in China) supplement the high demand for leather products. 

Every year, the global leather industry slaughters more than a billion animals.  (source: Peta)

Most of the leather in the U.S. and Europe comes from India, China, and other countries that either have no animal welfare laws or have laws that are totally unenforced.  Frightened and innocent animals are often forced to cram into a train to endure long, brutal and grueling journeys without food or water, where they are confronted with an unimaginable end.  Slaughterhouses often process up to 400 animals per hour.  So it’s not uncommon for an animal to be stunned incorrectly and therefore skinned alive.  In fact, in some countries,  this is the actual method for obtaining the skin of animals such as lizards and snakes, because of their belief that it keeps the skin supple.

Furthermore, in China – the world’s leading exporter of leather – an estimated two million cats and dogs are killed for their skins.  Consumers cannot detect who is in their leather products due to a complete lack of labeling.  Moreover, in China, India and several other developing countries, wild animals are poached (often illegally) for their skins. These include (but are not limited to) alligators, elephants, lizards, ostriches, snakes, and zebras. 


Animal hides must undergo a three-step process to become leather, which includes tanning and usually dying. Harsh chemicals including ammonia, cyanide-based dyes, and formaldehyde are just a few of the toxins released into the environment during these processes. Since the majority of leather comes from India and China, countries with poor environmental and workplace standards, leather workers often have virtually no protection against toxins that result in cancer, blindness, respiratory problems, skin diseases and birth defects in their children.  Furthermore, these toxic pollutants are also released into the air, soil and water supplies in communities surrounding tanneries, poisoning nearby people who have nothing to do with the leather industry.


A growing number of people are becoming aware that the leather industry is no less cruel to sentient animals than the fur industry.  So an array of innovative manufacturers are designing a wide variety of cruelty-free, leather-free (vegan) fashion for men and women.  Take top designed Stella McCartney, for example.  Her shoes and purses are made from innovative soft, leather-like materials that are made with vegetable coatings and materials that are free of animals.  Ms. McCartney says, "Half of the women here probably don’t even know the bags aren’t leather, and I find that very exciting."

A range of other brands from around the world offer us a range of choice to be fashionable while sustainable and kind. Brands like

A range of other brands from around the world now offer us a range of choice to be fashionable while sustainable and kind.

Check out the photos featured above.  Brands like Recman Brasil and Matt and Nat "upcycle" recycled hoses, inner tubes or plastic bottles to make their products lead the way for waste reduction, pollution prevention and designing beautiful eco-conscious products. OlsenHaus, Labante London, Mooshoo, and Beyond Skin also produce non-leather handbags and/or and integrate recycled materials and environmentally-conscious production methods.  Shoppers can also find “unintentionally vegan” products from major brands like Steve Madden, Nine West Outlet, BCBGeneration and hundreds more.  The quality of faux leather from these brands is often so high that it is difficult to tell the difference from genuine leather, and their durability is testament to the fact that synthetic leather can last just as long as the real thing. 

Remember also when purchasing couches or car seats for new cars, choose the leather-free options such as ultra suede, canvas, or velvet (for couches) and leatherette or cloth seats (for cars.)   Buying alternatives to leather has never been easier.  You just have to search for it.   We do not need to compromise Style or Fashion for Cruelty-Free, Eco-Friendly choices. 

Reducing the demand for leather products will minimize the unthinkable cruelty and detrimental impacts to billions of innocent animals, human health and the environment. 





:: Welcome to GOLI LIFESTYLE :: 

Goli Lifestyle is conscious living made simple.  It is a Blog + Resource Guide for:  inspiring yoga stories;  healthful plant-based nutrition; new ways of thinking;  and innovative + thoughtful eco/cruelty-free products that enhance our Health + Wellness, Personal Style + Fashion without compromising the planet or animal welfare.  

It is also a movement about growing + bringing community of like-minded people together through events + gatherings. 

With each simple step we take, we can better improve our health, the health of our planet and the well-being of the billions of animals we share the planet with.  

Much love, XOXO - G.

9 Gifts of Stillness.

Pause from the fast-paced, busy day. Close your eyes. Breathe. Relax. Create space. 
Be curious....listen. 

In stillness, we can break away from the inundation of information entering our mind, and make space for our own unique creativity to spark.  

In stillness, we create the space to access our inner Calm.

In stillness, we can listen to our inner guidance system.

In stillness, we experience those "aha" moments of full presence and connection to all people and all life.

In stillness, we can feel how deeply our souls are connected to Nature.

In stillness, we can listen to our Truths.
In stillness, we can be attuned to which areas in our life require tenderness, healing and courage.  

In stillness, we can hear that little voice that whispers what our next steps are for growth and expansion.  

In stillness, we can tap into the power of our Soul.