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Minimal waste, Maximum impact

Living low-waste and championing all things plant-based, this author and activist is inspiring thousands all over the world

Max La Manna is our kind of guy. Not only is he a vegan chef who wants to encourage people to eat more plants, he’s also known for his resourceful attitude towards food and is passionate about reducing waste. He’s an outspoken voice for sustainability and environmental conservation around the world. Ahead of the launch of his book, More Plants Less Waste, we caught up with him to discuss his ethical outlook on life.

Becoming a vegan has definitely been a journey. My path towards veganism started when I was visiting friends in Hawaii about seven and a half years ago and I was in the kitchen cooking for them. A lovely couple came over to me and asked if I was making anything vegan. Back then, I had no idea what a vegan was – I corrected them and said “Do you mean vegetarian?” They politely told me what a vegan was and how I could survive on a plant-based diet. In that moment I was so enamoured by this couple, who were glowing and had all this energy. They were so kind and thriving, just by eating plants, so in that moment I decided I was going to give it a shot. I have been vegan for three and a half years and I feel amazing.

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About Be Kind

Hello, Most women can remember their first period. Maybe you were lucky enough to have someone comfort and reassure you during yours, or maybe you worked things out for yourself. Either way, for a lot of women, from that first period onwards, it’s a monthly event that is shrouded in shame. A hush-hush secret between friends, a missed PE lesson, a surreptitious tampon passed underhand from a colleague, a sanitary pad shoved up a sleeve, a handbag conspicuously carried to the bathroom – for something perfectly natural, experienced by 50 per cent of the population, why the stigma? We spoke to the brilliant illustrator Hazel Mead (p20) about period shame and how, with her clever drawings, she is breaking taboos and opening up the conversation. Her pieces challenge misconceptions around real topics – like feminism, sex and periods – and she is a passionate campaigner against period poverty. Like Hazel, it’s about bloody time we put an end to the humiliation and mystique around our periods, and liberated ourselves by talking about them honestly and openly. Aside from the emotional impact of periods, they create some shocking environmental damage, too. While we’re all trying our best to use our keep cups and Tupperware, we need to consider the footprint of our sanitary products. Each pad used is the equivalent of four plastic carrier bags – a female uses on average 11,000 throwaway period products in a lifetime, so, if these are all pads, that’s equal to 44,000 carrier bags. Fortunately, there are some great alternatives which are better for the planet and your pocket, too – find out more on p80. Enjoy the issue, Phillipa Editor