green crush: meet klara of just easy nice

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meet klara | just nice easy

location | germany

eco voyage's green crush series showcases green living advocates who are committed to mindful lifestyles and dedicated to protecting both the environment + all those who inhabit planet earth.  today, we meet the creative + daring blogger with the jane birkin locks + a passion for animal activism. this is klara from just easy nice, an animal rights activist + sustainable fashion maven who shows us that vegan style is limitless.

live

ev: what is one small action you might encourage others to take to live a more compassionate, cruelty-free lifestyle?

klara: Love and respect yourself so that you can love and respect others. And let every single choice you make come from a place of deep respect for the lives of all living beings. You lose nothing in the process––meanwhile they gain everything.

love

ev: tell us one-three personal qualities about yourself that you would never change?

klara: I’m glad I’ve always loved myself, which is why I’m deeply empathetic and protective of others’ lives, justice, and freedom. I’m lucky I’ve always been an independent thinker, and one who’s had clarity, consciousness, and self-awareness from a young age––because of that, my beliefs and values have remained consistent from the time I was very young. I’m also glad that I’m silly, and love to have fun. Simply put, I wouldn’t change that I’m empathetic, clear-minded, and fun-loving.

learn

ev: how and why did you decide to go vegan and to pursue a green lifestyle? are there books/movies which you might recommend to others who are interested in learning more about the issues of animal rights and sustainability?

As a fashion-conscious person, I realized how easy it was for me to maintain all of my style preferences while being vegan, and I decided that might be something worth sharing with others.

klara: Being vegetarian at an early age wasn’t a decision I made, it was more like a realization. After that, I instinctively went food-vegan, without outside influence or prompting. It was logical, and I didn’t think ingesting another animal’s milk meant for her babies made any sense at all. The first animal rights organization I supported financially was the American Society for the Prevention of the Cruelty to Animals, because I adored pit bulls so much (still do) after spending time with one, and I was horrified at the way they were often being abused. After that, I didn’t feel like it was enough for me to simply not support animal cruelty through my consumer choices; with the amount of suffering that was going on in factory farms and in all forms of animal agriculture [widely disseminated videos show the inner workings of factory farms today**warning: graphic content], I realized I had to speak for all the sweet animals trapped inside cruel human-derived systems. That’s when I really became an activist. After that, I went full ‘fashion-vegan’, in 2012.

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I started blogging about vegan fashion to show how easy it was for me, and hopefully to inspire others.

The sight and smell of animal leather and idea of wool was making me feel ill; I couldn’t support that cruel industry anymore. At that point, I had canceled all of my fashion magazine subscriptions because the sight of fur on their pages literally sent chills up and down my spine. I started blogging about vegan fashion to show how easy it was for me, and hopefully to inspire others. Then I created Just Easy Nice. My passion for vegan fashion and style is why I continue to talk about it. For those who want to go vegan, I’ve always recommended Cowspiracy. I supported Cowspiracy as a Kickstarter project, and by now, it has had an enormous global impact on people, businesses––even policy. It should be required viewing for anyone living on this planet, and it’s been an incredibly effective and crucial part of the vegan movement.

work it 

ev: you create weekly content for your website and for social media; it takes a lot of time + dedication to sustain your own blog. what motivates you to do so? 

klara: Sometimes, I feel like there’s too much content everywhere. This is an era of content overload, and it starts to feel like a lot of noise. I don’t want to add more noise to our day-to-day world. But I always go back to wanting to be one more voice for the animals, and I hope what I add to the conversation can feel like music instead of noise.

wear it

ev: describe your favorite outfit from head to toe including any favorite vegan fashion brands.

klara: My favorite outfit is a button-down blouse I’ve had for years worn with my off-white flared jean trousers, and my ‘Beatle-esque’ Ana EcoStone heel boots by Bourgoise Boheme. That outfit captures my style. Whatever the season, I love wearing flared jeans/trousers with a button down or a T-shirt.

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into the calm

ev: what do you do to decompress when you're feeling a little stressed?

klara: I love listening to feel-good music––i.e., soft rock and easy listening songs from the 1970s. Listening to Steely Dan always makes me smile. More than anything, I love hanging out with my tabby twin kitty girls and my husband, my three best friends. We have a lot of fun hanging out together. Watching silly movies, or soaps (like the Dynasty reboot:)) is also a favorite way to relax and unwind.

get happy

We should each take the very best care of our own vessels that we possibly can. We are stewards of these vessels––just as we are here to care for our loved ones, all other living beings, the planet. Taking good care of our selves is an ideal start.

ev: share four things that make you really happy.

klara: My husband and the twin kitty girls, coffee, blue skies, and karaoke.

it's a bird, it's a plane, it's a superhero

ev: if you could invite three people to a private dinner party, who would they be?

klara: I’d love to invite [French film director] Eric Rohmer, [American musician, photographer + animal rights activist] Linda McCartney, and [English actor, Sir Bond] Roger Moore. **Side note from editor: I would really like to be at this dinner. 

ev: if you had one superpower, what would it be?

klara: My one superpower would be to make every single person in the world nice. That’s the most impressive power I can imagine.

a beautiful mind

ev: how do you define beauty? 

klara: Beauty comes from taking care of ourselves––our bodies, our minds, our spirits. We should each take the very best care of our own vessels that we possibly can. We are stewards of these vessels––just as we are here to care for our loved ones, all other living beings, the planet. Taking good care of our selves is an ideal start. We have to do what we can, whatever the situation. Stephen Hawking took the best care of his mind and spirit, and look how long his body was maintained because of that self-care. And that’s beautiful. The more one takes care of oneself, the more one can have a positive and beautiful impact on others. The cruelest people are those who do not take care of their own inner needs. True beauty comes from deep, inner self-care. Some people do that instinctively. I wish others could learn to do that.

say anything

ev: do you have a favorite quote or motto that inspires you?

klara: My motto for the past several years has been Animals are not fabric and Please have respect for all species. My lifelong motto is have fun and enjoy yourself without hurting anyone else in the process.

images c/o just easy nice

find klara here: website | instagram | facebook | twitter

simple pleasures: le refuge

In books I have traveled, not only to other worlds, but into my own. I learned who I was and who I wanted to be, what I might aspire to, and what I might dare to dream about my world and myself.
— Anna Quindlen

this week's simple pleasures takes us to this beautiful courtyard outside of paris. i sat here + did what i love to do: meditated on my many blessings, listened to the wind in the trees + watched the world go by: children on scooters, elderly couples holding hands, young lovers. this is the perfect place to read, to revel in solitude + refine one's soul. may you all travel to destinations that light a fire within your heart +bring you boundless peace. 

eco beauty: 6 natural products for pearly whites

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i love to brush my teeth. judge me not. i'm a simple girl with simple pleasures. i just love the idea of a mini before and after, the way you feel after you've organized your closet or cleaned your room, you know, that post-laundry, fresh-sheets high. only this is a petite detox party happening in your mouth. less visual, more oral of course.

so why choose green oral care? the epa has added fluoride to their list of developmental neurotoxins and identified fluoride as an endocrine disruptor; it has an adverse affect on normal function of the thyroid. this means thyroid function is reduced: the thyroid regulates our weight, fertility, optimal brain development + energy levels. that is not the before and after we want, my friends. 97% of western european countries do not fluoridate their water. here is a  brief history of fluoride and how the u.s.a. came to fluoridate their h2o - it follows the same projectory as lead and asbestos - and a recap of some facts about the hazards of fluoride. another ingredient we definitely don't want to meet in a dark alley or in our bathroom medicine cabinet either is triclosan. read why - and it's not just because it sounds ominous. 

i set out to find a natural + effective toothpaste that would taste great, too. plant-based products contain known adaptogens + healthy ingredients like dead sea salt that are rich in mineral content + can actually restore minerals to your teeth. here today, 6 ways to keep your pearly whites + your gums clean, healthy and strong.

toothpaste

i've tried a lot of toothpastes over the last five years, and i admit that there are a number of flouride-free options today with flavors for miles. dr. brite offers a toothpaste with certified organic ingredients including coconut oil + aloe vera juice. they have a traditional mint flavor for from-the-meadows fresh breath or a soothing coco chai flavor that really makes me happy. i like my toothpastes like i like my teas, not too sweet, and the familiar taste of chai is truly relaxing + calming. is it weird that i look forward to brushing my teeth now? methinks not!

mouthwash

it took me a long time to find a mouthwash that was natural - made sans alcohol, chlorine dioxide, chlorhexidine, cocamidopropyl betaine, parabens, formaldehyde + saccharin, all ingredients that can change the pH of the mouth + throat and are associated with increased risk of mouth and throat cancers. dr. brite provides an organic, plant-based option: a fluoride-free, alcohol-free mouth rinse free of gmo ingredients. conventional mouthwashes - the ones that make your eyes tear as if you were chopping a field of onions - kill bacteria in your mouth without distinguishing between harmful bacteria and the the helpful flora which we need to fight bath breath. this is a gentle alternative; do a little swishing with natural ingredients like aloe vera juice for a squeaky clean mouth. now you can say "happy healthy hippo" within an inch of the nearest bystander + experience only positive repercussions.

dental floss

eco dent provides a vegan waxed floss using vegetable waxes. rice bran for the win. this floss really works and it comes in a paper box so we have a plastic-free option here. i've been using this floss for some time, and if you're a flosser like me, who revels in healthy gums, then you've found a product that works just as well if not better than conventional flosses. unflavored, mint, cinammon + cranberry flavors on the menu.

teeth whitener

smart ash is an all natural + organic teeth whitener that safely lifts stains using activated coconut shell charcoal. it's a very black powdery product that does work, however it's a highly messy process though. you've been warned! my sink looked a little jackson pollock-esque post cleansing, but does it work? it really, truly does! another fantastic option that produced super fast results is dr. brite's teeth cleaning pen. it's a compact product, and i'm hoping they'll introduce refills, because i would absolutely love to continue using these little miracle workers. look no further for polishing teeth and lifting stains.

bamboo toothbrush

choose a biodegradable bkind bamboo toothbrush over plastic toothbrushes. 4.7 plastic toothbrushes end up in landfills and oceans every year. that's per year, boys + girls. bamboo toothbrushes are widely available at local markets and easily available online. they keep hazardous waste out of our oceans and landfills - and away from animals who mistake them for food and digesti them. smile squared is another favorite of mine with a social mission as well. this is an easy and inexpensive switch for a greener + kinder smile!

diy

i admit, i am not a diy-er, as soon as i hear the words tablespoon or teaspoon, i fall into a deep coma. however, this is the first time i decided to try and the ingredient list had only, well, about 3 ingredients listed. use 2-4 tablespoons of baking soda with sea salt + 4 tablespoons of coconut oil. mix it up, brush it up! it's inexpensive, and if you go easy on the sea salt, it's completely palatable! 

this post was not sponsored; i did receive product for review. all views are honest + my own.  

simple pleasures: en plein air

Dreams and determination are a powerful combination.
— Maya Angelou

there was a woman doing calisthenics in the exact spot i took this pic. i was determined to take in the view from this little bridge + to capture a shot from this angle. as i waited restlessly on a wooden bench nearby, under a large, robust tree, i realized that i was now seeing the park from a different perspective, and instead of waiting to be where exercise erin was, i settled in happily onto my little bench, perfectly present in this moment, in this space. and when i came out of my thoughts of gratitude, she had vanished! and i merrily snapped this wee photo.