Amanda Sheps, “GRETA: The Environmentalist Cookbook”

Art, no matter what format, no matter who created it, and no matter when it was created, is inherently political, and as I sat wondering one autumn day what concept to base my book around, I knew that I wanted to write about something important. To me, there is nothing more important than respecting nature and taking active steps to protect it. I have been a vegan since I was fifteen years old, and a vegetarian for years before. As I began to buy vegan cookbooks and started going to Vegan festivals and restaurants, I learned the importance of community, and how a community together can make an impact on the world. Art is one of the best ways to find that sense of community, a sense of community that can activate change in the world.

My project is titled GRETA, after Generation Z climate change activist Greta Thunberg. It is called GRETA not in an effort to idolize her or shift the focus toward the individual. Thunberg has been vocal about her opinion that “the climate movement does not need any more prizes.” Instead, it is named after her to honor the new generation of activists who are speaking for the planet as a whole as they call out adults and established politicians for not using their power and wealth to make a difference in the world. The modern climate change movement has been led by young people inspired to use their voices by the stories they have heard of other activists through social media taking part in strikes such as #FridaysForFuture.

GRETA is a vegan cookbook compiled in a book with one purpose: to further inspire change and celebrate this connectedness. It is broken down to share the story of seven young people inciting change, each from a different continent, and the effects that climate change will have on their country. There will be drawings based around some of the effects of climate change, such as textured blue paper cut outs of rising oceans, or ombre shaded fires. Following these descriptions of effects such as heat waves, earthquakes, and increased precipitation, and descriptions of their collaborative efforts, there will be a recipe inspired by each activist and specific aspects that are relevant to their own activism, and their home country. For example, for activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, who has emphasized the way that fracking in Colorado has destroyed vegetation in surrounding areas, a taco recipe calls for hibiscus flowers. At the end of the day, the message that my project is trying to get across is that any change that will happen will be the result of young people using the social platforms given to them to elevate their voices.

To view the digital content of “GRETA: The Environmentalist Cookbook,” click on this hyperlink.