8 Festive Vegan Drinks to Keep You Cozy This Winter
By Zachary Toliver
Looking for warm vegan holiday drinks to help you deal with the short days and cold weather? This time of year, we could all use a steamy cup of cheer during the holiday chaos. Have a festive, cozy winter with these delicious options. (Note that you must be 21 to enjoy some of the recipes.)
1. Oh So Fragrant Mulled Wine
The list wouldn't be complete without mulled wine. Warming chilly folks for more than 2,000 years, it's a winter staple that's easy to make. Try this delicious Traditional German Hot Mulled Wine by The Edgy Veg for some coziness from the old country. And check out our guide to vegan wine so you can avoid "products" made with animal parts. Do I need to remind you to drink responsibly? Because, you know, drink responsibly.
2. Mulled Apple Cider (With or Without the Ingredients for Adulting)
Speaking of "mulling," add some heat and spices to apple cider to fill your home with the scent of the holidays. Vegan writer Becky Striepe of Glue & Glitter offers a delicious mulled cider recipe that can be made with or without alcohol.
3. Top o' the Mornin' to Ya Irish Coffee
We're not above throwing a little Baileys Almande Almondmilk Liqueur and Jameson Irish Whiskey into our coffee. But if you're looking to make your own rich (and strong) vegan Irish cream from scratch, try this recipe from Oh She Glows. It certainly pours all the bite of House of Pain into your morning Joe.
4. Mitten-Warming Hot Chocolate
Nothing beats the sweet joy of warm hot cocoa (seriously, it's liquid chocolate!). Some hot cocoas are premixed with cow's milk, but who needs that? Stop supporting the cruelty inherent in the dairy industry, and check out PETA's favorite delightful vegan hot chocolate options.
5. Vegan Hot Toddy
I wait all year for an excuse to sip on a hot toddy. But it's aggravating when some barkeep wants to pour bee vomit into my winter holiday escape. Thankfully, Minimalist Baker concocted a spicy, enchanting vegan version of this cold weather classic. No more groaning at the bar for me.
6. Vegan Peppermint Chocolate That You Can Drink!
Peppermint may as well be the official flavor of the holiday season. The kind culinary artists at Minimalist Baker outdid themselves once again with their simple yet tasty hot peppermint chocolate beverage. Best of all, no cows were separated from their calves in order to make this festive drink.
7. Masala Chai
Want to impress friends and family with your well-traveled wisdom? Spice up your winter with flavors from the East. Originating in India, masala chai has gained popularity around the world for its bold aroma and flavor. Try this recipe from Vegan Richa, which was kind enough to include directions for mixing your own chai spice-masala blend from scratch.
8. Champurrado (Mexican Hot Chocolate)
Mexican chocolate and piloncillo? Check. Creamy soy milk simmered with masa harina for a delicious taste and texture? Check. Cinnamon and anise for spiced perfection? Check. With all these tasty ingredients, it's no wonder that champurrado is a beloved holiday favorite. Try the delicious recipe from PETA Latino today.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Jean-Marc Neveu and Olivier Civil never expected to find themselves battling against disposable mask pollution.
When they founded their recycling start-up Plaxtil in 2017, it was textile waste they set their sights on. The project developed a process that turned fabrics into a new recyclable material they describe as "ecological plastic."
Mounting Piles of Waste<p>It is not only the streets of Chatellerault where pandemic pollution is piling-up, but also the world's beaches and oceans. Once there, they can take up to 450 years to degrade and disappear.</p><p>Esther Röling, co-organizer of the annual Adventure Clean Up Challenge held on Hong Kong Island, has seen this waste firsthand. In October the sports challenge pitted teams against one another in a competition to remove trash from 13 hard-to-reach coastal areas around the city.</p><p>They find tons of both disposable and reusable masks, said Röling. "You wonder how it ended up there. Was it just thrown on the ground? Or was it in a garbage bag that broke open?"</p><p>Almost 10,000 kilometers away in Antibes on the sunny French Riviera, it's a similar picture. For the past few months, divers and clean-up volunteers working with an ocean clean-up non-profit called Operation Mer Propre have been collecting an increasing number of masks found on land and in the sea.</p><p>"Since the beginning of the lockdown when we started to count, we've reached 800, 900, [and now in total] 1000 masks," said co-founder Joko Peltier. </p><p>According to <a href="https://unctad.org/news/growing-plastic-pollution-wake-covid-19-how-trade-policy-can-help" target="_blank">UN estimates</a>, up to 75% of all coronavirus-related plastic could end up as waste in oceans and landfills.</p>
The Limits of Recycling<p>Yet not all are convinced the recycling of this waste is possible on a global scale. </p><p>"What those citizen groups are doing is really beneficial but once they collect it, it should just go to a landfill or an incinerator. They shouldn't necessarily expect it to get recycled," said Jonathan Krones, an industrial ecologist and visiting assistant professor of environmental studies at Boston College.</p><p>That's because mask recycling programs like Plaxtil are few and far between and most don't have the benefit of a readily adaptable production process. </p><p>Even in countries with solid recycling infrastructure, he says, the system is designed to separate out specific types of waste like bottles or cardboard.</p><p>"I imagine that it would be technically feasible to develop a separation process to filter out masks, but there simply aren't enough of them to make that economical," he said.</p><p>Collection is a big hurdle, he adds. Since each mask only weighs a fraction of a gram and they're scattered on roads or mixed with other trash, it is difficult and costly. </p><p>"You need a lot of raw material of the right quality to make investing in the recycling technology and the recycling system worthwhile," he said.<span></span><br></p>
Hemp, Sugar Cane and Sustainable Alternatives<p>Some projects are instead addressing the material used to make masks.</p><p>French company Geochanvre have created a mask made primarily from hemp, while in Australia, researchers at the Queensland University of Technology are experimenting with a disposable product made from agricultural waste. </p><p>Biodegradable options are exciting alternatives to reduce the fossil fuels needed for the creation of plastic-based masks, said Krones, but they don't absolve the wearer from the responsibility of what happens afterwards. </p><p>Bio-based masks often need their own composing solutions, he explains, because in landfill they can produce high amounts of the greenhouse gas methane when anaerobic bacteria feeds on the organic material. Methane is known to be significantly more potent than carbon dioxide.</p><p>"I think as long as we have in our mind that we want to have disposability, we're going to have to wrestle with a variety of different sorts of environmental tradeoffs," he said, adding that reusable, fabric masks are the best option available to most people.</p><p>Precimask is developing a clear face covering with an optional visor made from hard plastic, designed to be long-lasting.<br></p><p>Air enters either side of the cheeks through a technology normally found in pool filters and car exhaust systems, said company spokeswoman Juliette Chambet.</p><p>"We wanted to make ceramic-based filters that would be washable and cleanable, which would allow them to be reused as many times as desired without having to buy a new consumable or produce waste," she said. </p><p>Ultimately, encouraging mask wearers to think about the entire lifecycle of a mask is key, explains Neveu. </p><p>"We want people who put on the masks to realize that they are also responsible for the waste, he said. "It's not inevitable that this [pandemic] will become an environmental catastrophe.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/covid-19-recycling-pollution-trash-pandemic/a-55707817" target="_blank">Deutsche Welle</a>.</em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649032193#/" target="_self"></a></p>
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