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Braiding Sweetgrass

Green Being's Book Club

I’ve noticed Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass peeking around the corners of bookstores and local coffee shop shelves for years, the textured pale cover made obvious through the contrast provided by a pale green rope of, well, braided sweetgrass. The book is advertised in the byline as “Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants,” but I don’t think that quite encapsulates all that you’ll find here.

Kimmerer writes with an unmatched lyricism that can only be fostered through the kind of reciprocal nature of living she describes attempting. I would describe the book’s structure as a series of creative nonfiction essays written around anecdotes of Kimmerer’s experience with nature and family, all compiling into a pensive statement about the teachings we could embrace for a more equitable environment within and without human structures.

Kimmerer’s discussion of the gift economy is particularly thought-provoking. In her view, a gift economy is not necessarily giving away things for nothing, but with an expectation of reciprocity rather than an attachment of monetary value for the object itself. She describes this as cultivating a relationship of respect with our environment and a sense of justice amongst people.

It’s harder to imagine the world being full of gifts when we’ve embraced a market economy, yes, but Kimmerer also makes the specific point that the disconnection from the land our food comes from makes it even harder.

“When the food does not come from a flock in the sky, when you don’t feel the warm feathers cool in your hand and know that a life has been given for yours, when there is no gratitude in return—that food may not satisfy. Something is broken when the food comes on a Styrofoam tray wrapped in slippery plastic, a carcass of a being whose only chance at life was a cramped cage. That is not a gift of life; it is a theft” (31).

This passage spoke to me in part because it summarizes the principles by which I decided to become a vegetarian years ago. I can recognize that death is an expected part of life, but it feels less righteous to die without living much, first. I wouldn’t say that most modern livestock manages much living, first.

Most of us aren’t able to go out and forage all of our own food nowadays, of course, but Kimmerer urges us to consider that our current ways of living aren’t the only ones that exist. We can act on the principles of a gift economy through expressing gratitude, as well as refusing to participate in damaging practices whenever possible, like boycotting exploitative companies.

“A great longing is upon us, to live again in a world made of gifts” (32).

Part of the idea of that gift economy is evoking a practice of care for others, even when there is no benefit to yourself. Kimmerer speaks specifically about the old practice of planting twin trees to celebrate a marriage and a home, pointing to the large maples leaning over her New York farmhouse.

“I realize that those first homesteaders were not the beneficiaries of that shade, at least not as a young couple. They must have meant for their people to stay here” (70).

I think following the message of “leave it better than how you found it” is more important now than ever, with the threat of climate change becoming more disastrous by the day. Short-sighted selfishness is precisely what has led to our problems.

“I have no way to pay them back. Their gift to me is far greater than I have ability to reciprocate… Perhaps all I can do is love them [the trees]” (70).

I found her chapter on the Three Sisters to be a great one in demonstrating how vying for your own success can still better the common good.

If you’ve grown up in Arizona like I have, it’s likely that you’ve heard of the life-sustaining crops cultivated by Indigenous peoples for centuries referred to as the Three Sisters: beans, squash, and corn. The method used here is to plant the three seeds close together for maximum benefit: the corn acts as a protective pole for the beans to grow up, the squash leaves crawl low to the ground deter weeds and shade beans from excessive light, while the beans themselves host special bacteria that convert air-born nitrogen into usable minerals that all three plants can access.

This method of agriculture yields more crops in a smaller space without needing insecticides. It also means that these fields are less susceptible to being ravaged by disease or pests because polycultures provide diverse habitats for insects—leaving room for both the crop-eaters and the crop-eater-eaters, if you will. Most commercially grown food is grown as a monoculture, meaning that there are great physical dangers to be had from forgoing Indigenous knowledge.

“The most important thing each of us can know is our unique gift and how to use it in the world. Individuality is cherished and nurtured, because, in order for the whole to flourish, each of us has to be strong in who we are and carry our gifts with conviction, so they can be shared with others … In reciprocity, we fill our spirits as well as our bellies” (134).

I really liked the quote above because I feel that when discussing different ideologies, there is often an assumption that there can either be betterment for the individual or the community, not both simultaneously. The truth of the matter is that we all have different strengths, and our independent selves do not have to be diminished to be part of a community. If we were all the same, we would all fail in the face of the same challenges and perish as a group, like a monoculture crop suffering from the same affliction all at once. There is no rugged individualist in the face of such threats as corn worms or climate change.

Love is an unexpectedly central part of this collection, and I don’t think we consider the impact of holding love for our surroundings enough.

I have been trying to have a better cognizance of my environment by doing things like learning the names of plants in my neighborhood or recognizing bird song. But really, I think that the affections we have for our earth are deep and old within us. The tendency to say “sorry!” to a tree branch I’ve bumped into, the relief I’m filled with at the scent of rain, the joy of seeing prickly pear fruit ripen into deep red-purple over the course of late summer—none of that joy requires a guide book or an ecology degree to take in. Just an attitude of respect, and the permission to wonder.

All in all, Braiding Sweetgrass is a collection of loving, introspective reflections on the relationships we could all be cultivating with the environment we live in.

If you’d like to read Braiding Sweetgrass, you’ll likely find it at your local library.

If you’d like to purchase a copy, here are a few Indigenous-owned bookstores to peruse online:

Birchbark Books

Bird Cage Book Store

Books & Burrow

And others!


Grace Kennedy

Thanks for reading It's Not Easy Being Green! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.

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For clarity, none of the brands featured in this blog were sponsored.

Is It Cheaper To Clean Green? The Real Cost Breakdown

Cleaning Green I: All-Purpose Sprays

Over the last ten years, the variety of sustainable products available to purchase from both smaller companies and big box stores alike has seen an incredible increase. From shampoo bars to aluminum solo cups, there are a lot more readily available ways to reduce your waste these days.

But one of the biggest categories of low-waste, low-tox, eco-whatever labeled products I have noticed is cleaning supplies. There are many different cleaning products and methods out there, but due to greenwashing (intentional packaging/branding misinformation spread through buzzwords and unsupported claims), it can be difficult to figure out which ones are actually a sustainable option – or an affordable one.

So to develop an accurate assessment of how affordable and sustainable these “green” products are, I will be comparing the costs & several sustainability factors of popular eco-brands, traditional brands (including off-brands), and DIY alternatives.


All-Purpose Cleaners

Option #1: Blueland

$56.00/$39.00 (sale) Starter Kit
3 pack cleaning refills for $6.00, 6 for $12.00, 12 pack for $19.00
5 pack hand soap refills for $10.00, 10 for $20.00, 30 for $48.00
Cost Breakdown:
$2.00 per bottle of 24 oz all-purpose cleaner, or about $0.08 per oz
Ethical Commitments (Source)
"In addition to our product level certifications, we’re proud to be Climate Neutral Certified and a Certified B Corp!"
Blueland does not test on animals
Leaping Bunny (cruelty free) certified

“Our products have helped to eliminate over 1 billion single-use plastic bottles from landfills and oceans since 2019”

“We’re proud to support organizations outside of our community like DigDeep, ACLU, Lonely Whale, NRDC and more!

Materials (Source)

“We accept ingredients derived from palm oil when the suppliers are able to produce documentation or evidence that the palm oil is RSPO certified but if they cannot, we will change to suppliers who can.”

Palm oil has been a hot topic in environmental issues for the last several years because it leads to the destruction of forests in southeast Asia, threatening endangered species such as the orangutan, elephant, and tiger. However, the legitimacy of RSPO certification seems to be up in the air. This article is framed around the results of this 2020 study which concluded that RSPO certified palm oil plantations do not actually have any benefit for reducing deforestation. “While most fragrance facilities do not disclose their specific ingredients list for proprietary reasons, Cradle to Cradle evaluated our fragrances and their manufacturers, and our formulation received the Platinum Material Health Certificate. Additionally, they are safe synthetic fragrances and by going synthetic, we’re able to exclude Prop 65 banned ingredients that are sometimes found in natural fragrances... You can read more about Prop 65 here.”

I find the information regarding “safe” fragrances to be pretty vague and uncompelling. In general, “fragrance” is a highly unregulated ingredient term in the U.S., so I personally like to avoid it when I’m able to.

“Currently, our fragrance-free products include our Glass + Mirror cleaner, Powder Dish Soap, Dishwasher Tablets, and Laundry Tablets. However, our Multi-Surface cleaner, Bathroom cleaner, and Hand Soap do contain fragrance.”

“We use SLS that is derived from renewable carbon plant-derived materials.”

SLS refers to sodium lauryl sulfate, which is a surfactant used to create a foaming consistency in products like shampoo, soap, and cleaning products, to name a few. There have been many claims that SLS ingredients are toxic, but there has not been conclusive evidence that it is inherently carcinogenic or otherwise toxic. It can be a skin irritant for some people, but that’s not as relevant here.

Packaging (Source)

Many of Blueland products ship lighter (such as these refill tabs) because they do not contain the water weight that other cleaners would. Cargo vehicles create fewer emissions when their load weighs less; they don’t have to work as hard. Though, Blueland does sell glass hand soap bottles as well, which is one of the heaviest commonly used materials.

Blueland’s spray bottles are made of Tritan, a type of BPA-free plastic. Though I have seen several articles touting Tritan as “the safest plastic”, I have yet to find a reputable source that supports that assumption in my (admittedly brief) research on the substance. What I will say is that just because a product contains BPA-free plastic doesn’t mean it’s not able to leech disruptive substances. Though, as this is a container for cleaning spray, I have fewer qualms about the material choice than say, a water bottle made of Tritan.

All packaging & boxes are curbside recyclable

All tablet wrappers & powder pouches are home compostable

Damaged bottles can be sent back to Blueland for recycling.

Option #2 Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner & Comparable Off-Brands


Target: $4.49 for 16 oz of Mrs. Meyer’s; $2.29 for 32 oz of Smartly

Walmart: $4.88 for 16 oz of Mrs. Meyer’s; $2.24 for 32 oz of Great Value

Cost Breakdown:

Target’s Mrs. Meyers is $0.28 per oz; Smartly, is $0.07 per oz.

Walmart’s Mrs. Meyers is about $0.31 per oz; Great Value is $0.07 per oz.

Ethical Commitments

Mrs. Meyer’s does not test on animals or use animal-derived ingredients (Leaping Bunny certified)

“To celebrate the return of our Compassion Flower Hand Soap, we’re partnering with KidsGardening to help launch their new Kids Garden Community, providing $100K towards garden-based educational resources for communities across the country with a goal of reaching 500k more kids by 2025.” (Source)

It’s not exactly related to the ethics of Mrs. Meyer’s production, but I think KidsGardening seems to have some good resources for teaching kids about interacting with their environment.


“We make intelligent, responsible raw material choices, and whenever possible, we obtain materials from renewable plant resources such as coconut, corn, soy and olive.” (Source)

This is some pretty typically vague, nice-sounding language that companies use in advertising for “green” products. It doesn’t actually give us much information about the product, yet aims to equate buying Mrs. Meyer’s products with assuming moral responsibility.

Mrs. Meyer’s provides a full list of their ingredients here, which I found to be uncharacteristically helpful. A quick glance can tell you that their simplistic branding touting plant-derived ingredients does not tell you the whole story.

“All suppliers of Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day ingredients derived from palm oil are members of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).” (Source)

We’ve discussed above that the validity of RSPO certification is definitely debatable, so I am not confident this means much.


Mrs. Meyer’s website does not provide specific information beyond saying that their packaging is recyclable. All of their products that I have seen online or in stores are packaged in plastic.


Option #3 DIY Citrus Vinegar Spray

I personally use this method because it’s easy, fragrance-free, and costs almost nothing. I use this spray with a microfiber towel or swedish dish cloth to clean my kitchen counters, sinks, stovetop, bathroom surfaces, and much more. I haven’t had any issues using this spray on finished wood (I always dry it immediately), but I would advise caution when cleaning unfinished wood or granite, antique furniture, etc. Patch testing is always an option if you’re not sure.

To make it, all you need to do is combine citrus peels and white vinegar in a jar and place somewhere out of the sunlight, like a pantry, for about 2 weeks. This will infuse the vinegar so that it no longer smells like, well, vinegar, and makes it slightly more viscous from the citrus oils. Any citrus peels or blend of multiple work; you can even add herbs like rosemary or thyme to your infusions for a pleasant scent. Mix your infused vinegar 50/50 with water in a spray bottle and you’re done!

Walmart: $1.92 for one gallon of white vinegar, $3.00 for two gallons

Target: $2.29 for one gallon of white vinegar, $3.79 for two gallons

Cost Breakdown:
In this instance, white vinegar is really the only thing you’re paying for. I am going to consider citrus peels to be free as I am assuming you’re not buying extra citrus just for the peels most people would discard anyways.

Walmart is about $0.03 per oz (1 gallon) or $0.02 per oz (2 gallons)

Target is about $0.04 per oz (1 gallon) or $0.03 per oz (2 gallons)

And remember, making a bottle of vinegar solution is 50% water, so in essence, it costs even less than those numbers per ounce to make.

Potential Waste:

These gallons of vinegar usually come in a recyclable plastic jug, which means that this isn’t a zero-waste solution, but is definitely a low-waste one.

You could make eight 16 oz bottles of infused vinegar from one gallon (128 oz) of white vinegar. When diluted with water, that would make 16 whole 16 oz bottles of cleaner!


The biggest conclusion I have drawn from compiling this blog is that you really do need to do your research in order to find genuine answers about sustainability. Though the growth of environmentalism has fostered positive changes in what’s available to consumers, it’s also encouraged corporations to up the deceptive greenwashing tactics in their advertisements, making it more difficult for consumers to truly know if they’re buying something sustainable or not.

Luckily for you, dear reader, I am happy to do some of that research for you!
From the above numbers, I can confidently say that DIYing is the cheapest way to go. It’s also easy to find vinegar at any grocery store and is much less wasteful than buying individual plastic bottles of cleaner.

Blueland refills also seem like a fairly affordable alternative if you aren’t interested in making cleaners, but I’d say you should skip buying the fancy bottle package and just reuse the cleaning spray bottles you already have at home.
What other cleaning products would you like to see the breakdown for?
Comment below!

Grace Kennedy

Thanks for reading It's Not Easy Being Green! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.

Want more content? You can find me on Instagram

For clarity, none of the brands featured in this blog were sponsored.


The Secret Weapon Against Climate Change

A Closer Look at Saving Us

When we think of ways to fight climate change, we might come up with things like renewable energy initiatives, carbon taxes, and limited deforestation. All notable ideas, but there’s another weapon against climate change you may not have considered: conversations. 

Katherine Hayhoe is a world-renowned Canadian climate scientist based out of Texas whose new book, Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope And Healing in a Divided World, has recently graced the top of my TBR pile. In my quest for further exposure to climate science resources, I noticed this book was being buzzed about online with raving reviews. Not knowing the exact premise, (I like to read dangerously) I picked up a copy from my local library and got to work. 

A subject that Katherine Hayhoe frequently brings up is her faith. This surprised me somewhat; not because I believe science and religion are mutually exclusive, but because of the way she frames her extensive work on climate change solutions as a Christian issue. Hayhoe recounts in Saving Us the many occasions she’s had to speak to diverse groups of people about climate change, including many religious, rural, and/or conservative communities. Despite the fact that her audience members are sometimes fairly opposed to the notion that climate solutions are worth pursuing, she manages to reach a lot of people. Though Saving Us also touches on several scientific concepts answering common climate change questions, I primarily view this book as a how-to guide on engaging others with the realities of our situation. So, how do you reach those skeptical about participating in climate action? Katherine Hayhoe provides simple advice: find out what you have in common with your audience. 

In the first chapter, Hayhoe managed to make me take a step back and look at the way I’ve framed the divide on climate change. She does away with a believers/deniers dichotomy to say

“I object to ‘believers’ because climate change is not, at its core, a matter of faith. I don’t ‘believe’ in science: I make up my mind based on facts and data” (7).

This sentiment struck me because of how I think the practice of a personal American identity has become increasingly divided into many sets of black and white categories. You are a climate change believer or a denier. You are a conservative or a liberal. You are the scum of the earth or you’re one of us. I am also guilty of not wishing to empathize with people who directly oppose me on the issues I consider central to my belief system, like climate change. But I still think it’s important to consider why people believe what they do in order to see if you can find common ground and explore the issue further. The American mindset has become increasingly antithetical to the practice of nuance, despite the fact that the world is far too complicated for only polarized options to support it. 

Hayhoe then describes a more detailed system of analyzing people’s feelings about climate change coined Global Warming’s Six Americas, a mile marker of human behavior created by researchers Tony Leiserowitz and Ed Maibach. It’s a spectrum grouping people into one of six categories: The Alarmed, The Concerned, The Cautious, The Disengaged, The Doubtful, and The Dismissive. If you’re reading this blog you are likely one of the Alarmed. The people sending climate scientists death threats on Twitter or posting climate change conspiracies on Facebook would be categorized as some of the Dismissive. Hayhoe goes on to talk about the psychology of Dismissives and how the presentation of facts won’t necessarily end up helping anyone. Rather, when presented with factual information threatening to their worldview, climate Dismissives will strengthen their convictions. She describes everyone’s individual worldview in the context of “frames”, structures in our minds that determine the way we see our world. And some people, Hayhoe admits, just aren’t able to be reached on the matter of climate change. She cites 7% of Americans as falling into this hardcore Dismissive category; “but the good news is that 93% of us aren’t Dismissive. They’re the ones we can have a constructive conversation with”(10).

Making a personal connection is key to convincing someone that climate change is a real threat, Katherine Hayhoe reiterates often in Saving Us. Katherine uses her faith as a common ground to discuss science with Disengaged or Doubtful audience members at some of the events she’s spoken at. Including discussing the concept of the Christian duty to be stewards of Earth, which is the very idea Hayhoe cites as her first reason for becoming a climate scientist. This is a wonderful example of being a genuine reflection of oft-preached Christian values, however I’m not religious in the slightest. You might not be either. So what else can we relate to? Hayhoe gives us a few examples. Perhaps connect to someone over a mutual coffee or chocolate connoisseurship, as both of these crops are being threatened by warmer temperatures and differing rainfall patterns. Can you connect over skiing or snowboarding? Because warmer and warmer winters are closing the windows in which winter sports are possible. Whatever you talk about, it’s important to highlight how the issue is local, current, and affecting the individual. Distant danger won’t seem dangerous until it’s too late. And skeptics cannot justify the limitations they believe climate solutions will place on them (like state-mandated veganism or a swift end to gas-powered cars) if they are not convinced that the threats of climate change are worse than the solutions. So comment on the changes that your audience will notice, like threats to specific important plants, hobbies, or their own values. Or perhaps for my fellow Arizonans, a comment about how our familiar dry heat is only getting hotter. 

A discussion of the spectrum of human emotion is also central to Saving Us. Hayhoe covers anger, fear, shame and guilt among other feelings. I find eco-guilt to be a particularly fascinating topic as it can be both limiting and accelerating, both a catalyst to improve individual responsibility and a painful misinterpretation of the blame. Hayhoe discusses a passage from Mary Annaïse Heglar’s 2019 Vox article “I Work in the Environmental Movement. I Don’t Care If You Recycle”, which covers the phenomenon of everyday people approaching her to confess their “sins”. But Heglar disagrees with the notion that we are all to blame, writing:

“the belief that this enormous, existential problem could have been fixed if all of us had just tweaked our consumptive habits is not only preposterous; it’s dangerous ... [climate-concerned individuals] are carrying the guilt of the oil and gas industry’s crimes. The weight of our sickly planet is too much for any one person to shoulder” (79).

Hayhoe follows up this reference with an anecdote of a talk she gave to the leadership team of a large oil and gas company. She describes the difficulty of finding something to relate to, but eventually started her talk with a statement she believed:

“I am truly grateful for fossil fuels” (80).

And she does have a point. Fossil fuel production is one of the biggest threats to the planet, it’s not something we can sustain indefinitely, and the corruption from these massive corporations runs as deep and dirty as oil wells themselves. But fossil fuels have done a service to humanity even I can’t deny. The oil execs that Hayhoe spoke to were happy to hear that yes! She gets it! They provide the energy we all need. But she doesn’t hesitate to display the problem at hand:

“We need energy in the future, too. The question is, how are we going to get it?” (81). 

Katherine Hayhoe walks readers through a thorough list of climate change misconceptions and the pros and cons of popular solutions. I have found her way of explaining things to be informative and easy to absorb. One misconception I was especially happy to find in Saving Us is the thing I’ve heard many, many, times: overpopulation is the real problem. I’ve always had a problem with this idea because it is usually discussed with some amount of patronizing, colonialist undertones. Wealthier industrialized nations like the U.S. have far lower birth rates than many developing countries, which in many ways is a good thing (despite what current American politics might have to say about women not fulfilling their duties as unthinking incubators, but I digress). High birth rates are usually a sign that women are suffering. Poverty, patriarchy, a lack of education and resources – those are the things which contribute to the number of children women end up having. To ever suggest that population control of certain communities (and not others) is a necessary step to combat climate change is not only factually incorrect, but ethically immoral. Katherine Hayhoe puts it quite succinctly:

“So while it’s tempting for male theorists in rich countries with low birth rates to lean back in the armchair of life and opine on such issues, the reality of a woman’s life, particularly in low income countries with the highest population growth, is very different. It’s not about giving women fewer choices; it’s giving them more” (147). 

And if we’re going to cast aside any morals for a moment here, population control still wouldn’t do what we need it to. Betsy Hartman, author of Reproductive Rights and Wrongs: The Global Politics of Population Control, illustrates the point that

“overconsumption by the rich has far more to do with climate change than the population growth of the poor” (147).

BBC’s excellent podcast, The Climate Question, elaborates on this issue in an episode titled “The Secret Solution to Climate Change”. They cover how the education and empowerment of young women has a notably positive effect on the climate. We know that the wealthiest nations contribute vastly more to global emissions than poorer ones, despite differing birth rates. When will we hold the wealthiest and most wasteful people on Earth to the same standard we are holding impoverished mothers? 

But despite the doom and gloom climate news brings us, or the anger and resentment we may feel knowing that consumer changes alone are not enough to solve the climate crisis, Katherine Hayhoe maintains the notion that what we all do as individuals matters immensely. Having meaningful, genuine, and strategic conversations about climate change is the most important thing we can all do. I have often thought I was not doing enough or that I didn’t know enough to talk about climate change. After all, the last thing anyone wants to be is a hypocrite and I am a person who drives a gas-powered car and uses plastic products daily, among other eco “sins”. But doing something is always better than nothing. And to do something as immense as ensuring our world stays inhabitable for the future of the human race? It’s going to take all of us. 

If you couldn’t tell my feelings already, Saving Us is an encouraging and eye-opening read that I highly recommend you find at your local indie bookstore or library.

Happy Reading!

Grace Kennedy

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For clarity, none of the brands featured in this blog were sponsored.


My Favorite Tucson Plant-Based Eats

Sustainable Swap Sundays

Though I love the beautiful desert landscape, the rich local art culture, and plentiful weekend activities . . . I have to admit that the food is probably the best thing Tucson has to offer. A short trip from the Mexican border, Tucson boasts some spectacular Mexican food among other delights. Tucson also offers a wide variety of plant-based food that I can’t get enough of.

Though I’ve been a vegetarian for nearly 10 years, veganism has still maintained a sort of mysticism for me. Making a great dish without a lot of the pantry staples relied on in most cooking is a daunting task. But I’ve come to find that there are some amazing vegan chefs out there who need only a little creativity to make something special.

Eating more meatless meals is a better choice for our health, but it’s also a great one for the planet too. You don’t need to commit to veganism or vegetarianism, but reducing our meat and dairy consumption is still a great way to make an impact on reducing carbon emissions, water usage, and even the horrifying loss of rainforest habitat.

And luckily in 2022, the options for plant-based eating in restaurants has expanded immensely! Below I will include some of my favorite options at Tucson restaurants, though this is by far not an all-inclusive list. For a more expansive map of vegan options in Tucson, I’d suggest following Hannah of @deathfreefoodie on Instagram. There are also some great suggestions in this article here.

  1. Beaut Burger - 267 South Avenida del Convento

    This little restaurant is located in the MSA Annex alongside several other restaurants and shops. Their entire menu of burgers, fries and more is vegan and it’s one of my favorite restaurants for comfort food, vegan or not. Their patties are a combination of legumes and grains that pack a flavorful bite.

    If you go, make sure you get their star side dish: the beer battered cauli bites.

  2. Lovin’ Spoonfuls - 2990 N Campbell Ave #120

    Lovin Spoonfuls has a pretty varied menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, from sandwiches and burgers to pasta dishes and burritos. It’s all vegan so don’t worry about what to get, though their fried chicken dinner and amazing milkshakes are two of my favorite items. Even better, Lovin Spoonfuls encourages to-go patrons to bring their own containers!

  3. Tumerico - 2526 E 6th St, Tucson & 402 E 4th St

    Tumerico feels like an icon in Tucson gastronomy and I’ve never heard a bad thing about it. They serve all vegetarian and vegan optional Mexican plates that come loaded with a generous quantity of beans, rice, greens and guacamole. Their menu changes daily so make sure to call ahead if you’re ordering pick up. I get something different almost every time I go, but I particularly love their tamales and anything with jackfruit!

  4. Guilins Chinese Restaurant - 4445 E Broadway Blvd

    Finding plant-based Chinese food has not been something I’ve been successful in, but Guilins has thankfully ended my search. They have an expansive vegetarian/vegan menu of a lot of classic Chinese American dishes like General Tso’s chicken and broccoli & beef, and many other noodle, tofu, and vegetable dishes. I usually order from their vegetarian chicken options, but the one thing that’s non-negotiable to get at Guilins is their vegetarian drumsticks appetizer.

  5. Sauce - Multiple Tucson and Phoenix locations

    Though it’s not typically a plant-based restaurant, the local pizza and wine chain is now offering vegan cheese to be used on any of their pizzas! They also offer a wide variety of vibrant salads if you want something a little different.

  6. Zemam’s and Zemam’s Too! - 2731 E Broadway Blvd & 119 E Speedway Blvd

    Zemam’s is an Ethiopian family restaurant that boasts an incredible variety of dishes, many of them plant-based. I’ve heard wonderful things about this restaurant from a former roommate for years, yet somehow haven’t managed to try it for myself yet. The original Zemam’s has been temporarily closed for some time, but their Speedway location is still open.

Happy dining!

Grace Kennedy

Thanks for reading It's Not Easy Being Green! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.

Want more content? You can find me on Instagram

For clarity, none of the brands featured in this blog were sponsored.