Thursday, March 5, 2009

Meet Becky Striepe

The people that I write with on various blogs and the people who I connect with through social networking sites are always so friendly and passionate about what they are doing. Even though I sit in my office alone most days, I have people out there that I chat with in various ways throughout the day that help me feel a little less lonely. And, no surprise, the vast majority of them are working on making this world a little greener.

I thought it would be fun to interview some of my fellow writers and environmentalists. My first interview is with Becky Striepe, a writer and an eco-friendly crafter. She's very talented with a needle and thread and makes fabulous reusable Lunch Kits (see picture below), pillows, cup gloves and other useful stuff.

Everyone, meet Becky.

What got you started on you green journey?
When I was in middle school, my folks bought me the book 50 Simple Things You Can do to Save the Earth. It's a really quick read, really empowering. I went through our cabinets pulling out spray cans that used CFCs, pestered mom and pop into recycling, and got them to aerate the showerheads and faucets in our house. It basically changed how I thought about the world around me.

What's one thing that anyone can do to make a difference for the environment?
Eat less meat and dairy. Even if you just replace a few meals a week with vegan ones, it can make a huge difference, and you don't have to feel deprived. It's just a matter of finding veggie meals that you dig.

Tell us some GOOD, green news.
I've been reading about and watching videos from
Power Shift 2009, and it makes me all misty eyed in a good way. Seeing throngs of citizens and even politicians just - getting it, caring, standing up to make a difference - it's inspiring. It makes me feel hopeful in a way that I haven't in a long time. Maybe ever.

You're a vegan, right? Why? Would you be so kind as to point us carnivores to a vegan recipe you think we could enjoy? (no tofu, please)
I am! My eating habits have sort of evolved over the past decade or so. I went totally vegetarian at 16 and that's when I discovered the amazing Molly Katzen, author of the
Moosewood Cookbook. That book really taught me how to think about cooking. Her recipes are all so fun and whimsical! They're full of substitutions and ideas for mixing things up. She was my first cooking hero, after my pops.

I gave up eggs and dairy only four years ago. At first it was for health reasons. I had insanely high cholesterol, despite exercising a lot. They wanted me to go on meds! At 25! There was just no way I was doing that. I cut eggs and dairy products out completely and three months later my cholesterol was normal. In learning about how to eat in this new way, though, I read. A lot. And the more I learned about how eggs and milk products get from farm to table, the less I wanted any part in it. Along the way, I picked up some more cooking heroes, like Isa Chandra Moskowitz from the
Post Punk Kitchen and Jennifer McCann from Vegan Lunchbox.

It's so hard to choose one vegan recipe. How about a lovely
Southwest White Bean Stew?

My go to for converting non-believers, though, is the noble cupcake. I can't recommend Isa Chandra's book
Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World enough. Even if you have no interest in veganism, these cupcakes will rock your socks. I promise!

Do you have a favorite quote?
When I went shopping for my wedding dress, my friend Liz gave me a little piece of paper to carry with me. It said, "DON'T PANIC." That just feels like all around good advice. Panicking never helped anyone.

Where can we find you on the web?

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