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Tonya Kay

Tonya Kay photo courtesy Tonya KayTonya Kay is an actress, TV personality, professional dancer and danger artist living in Los Angeles. A vegetarian of 28 years, vegan for 18 of those and raw vegan for the last 11, Tonya Kay pioneers the green health movement with appearances, publications and green media (available at KayosMarket). Watch Tonya Kay's self-produced web series The Eco Tourist on EcoHearth's Eco Tube. You may have also seen her recently on TV's My Ride Rules, The Tonight Show, Criminal Minds, Glee, House MD, Secret Girlfriend and American Idol with Rhianna. She has performed live in STOMP, De La Guarda, with Panic At The Disco, Kenny Rogers and in countless music videos and commercials. Look for Tonya Kay in the new Muppets Movie, starring in MTV Network's Video Game Reunion, playing a lead in the scripted animal-activist feature film, Bold Native, performing the voice of Green Girl in the raw vegan superhero animated film Rawman and Green Girl and performing burlesque live in Hollywood, California, almost any weekend. In 2012, Tonya Kay will star in the films Off World and Within The Darkness. For more on Tonya Kay, visit her website.

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‘The Eco Tourist’ Web Series: Great Travel Tips for the Eco-Conscious Globe Trotter
Tuesday, 09 July 2013 00:00  |  Written by Tonya Kay | Blog Entry

Tonya Kay and Baby Twin Elephant at 'Journey to Freedom' Volunteer Project in Thailand photo courtesy of Tonya KayIt doesn't take a cast of thousands or a studio budget to produce media anymore. As soon as I switched to a Mac computer, I became a media mogul. I joke to myself sometimes that "I was born content"—in other words, I was born with an adventurous spirit, a desire to communicate and the talent to entertain. With such user-friendly creative tools on the computer nowadays, nothing holds me back from sharing the entertaining and hopefully thought-provoking content that is my life.

If you read my Clean and Green Everyday column, you are probably familiar with my lust for travel and passion for health, the environment and animal welfare. Nothing frustrates me more than when well-intentioned friends get to traveling and abandon their ideals while in other states or countries. These well-meaning men who are attending vegan rallies back home are dining on fish in Japan. These lovely ladies who reuse every scrap of paper at their offices are drinking water from plastic bottles and tossing them into garbage bins in Brazil.

Yet, I believe it is especially important to uphold your ideals when away from home. Conscious travel is a sign of respect for life; it's a method of restoring a positive perspective to the often-tarnished American reputation and it's personally my most devout form of spiritual gratitude.

Needless to say, I end up embarking on some wild adventures when I go on holiday! I volunteer with endangered species, I chant with village shamans, I forage for wild coconuts, I get lost on public buses—and I write about it. My writing can be found all over this website (I've linked to some of the most relevant travel-related pieces below).

But on January 1st, 2011, in Thailand at the boarder of Burma, after following the 80-year-old Buddhist village elder up, up, up the tallest peak of the mountains where his remote tribe resides to see the Thousand Year Old Rose Bush, I had a flash of new year's insight: I must to do more than write about this experience; I must edit my silly home videos into a series so others can be entertained by my adventures and learn a little bit about how a vegan, activist, multiculturalist, environmentalist stays true to his or her beliefs when away from home.

How can you beat jet lag naturally? How can you stay vegan on the road? How can you travel without vaccinations? How can you drink clean water without buying plastic bottles? And what programs can you support if you really want to make a difference for the wildlife, rather than attending the lame-o and abusive animal entertainment shows, safaris or tourist-trap parks. All this is incorporated into my silly home videos because that's what I'm really doing! So thanks to my FlipCam for recording, my Mac laptop for editing and EcoHearth.com for broadcasting, you can now watch my self-produced series, The Eco Tourist, right here online at EcoHearth!

Disclaimer: These are my home videos! I'm often the camera operator and host at once. I edited all this stuff myself in what was honestly an afterthought. With technology so user-friendly, there's no reason to wait for a studio budget (but I still imagine what a studio budget could do!).

The Eco Tourist web series was filmed during a three-week volunteer conservation trip to Thailand, where my travel partner and I worked with the endangered Asian elephant. Told from the perspective of two Hollywood-based “high raw” [a diet consisting of a high percentage of raw foods, generally 70-99% - Ed.] vegans working in the film/television industry, we take you everywhere from an international political rally for the street-begging elephants at the Chaing Mai Governor's Mansion to spinning and dyeing thread from homegrown cotton with the remote Karen Hill Tribe in the high-altitude rain forests of Thailand.

The Eco Tourist is currently comprised of six episodes and I am still producing more, so I encourage you to share them with your conscious traveling friends and check back for new episodes as 2011 continues. They can be found in EcoHearth’s Eco Tube section; here’s the first one to get you started—enjoy!



See more episodes of 'The Eco Tourist' web series

Travel-related writing by Tonya Kay:
How to Beat Jet Lag Naturally
Vegetarian Food: Bridge to Thai Culture
How to Be a Vaccine-Free Traveler
Eco-Adventure Travel: Seven Reasons Never to Ride an Elephant
Eco-Adventure Travel: Six Things to Do Instead of Riding an Elephant
Dirty Karma Plastic Bottles
Six Ways to Drop Tourism and REALLY Travel, Part 1: Ditch Resort Packages, Lodge Locally
Six Ways to Drop Tourism and REALLY Travel, Part 2: Avoid Rental Cars and Supermarkets
Six Ways to Drop Tourism and REALLY Travel, Part 3: Seek Out the Cultural and Natural
Six Ways to Drop Tourism and REALLY Travel, Part 4: Give Something Back
Natural Insect Repellent—Safe for You and the Earth

Help the Earth, Spread the Word: Share this article with family and friends by clicking on the "Email This" or "Share This" links below right. Then see TODAY'S TOP STORIES.

[Sign up to be notified each time Tonya publishes a new Clean and Green Everyday blog entry on EcoHearth.– Ed.]

[See a complete list of writing by Tonya Kay on EcoHearth.com or visit her Clean and Green Everyday blog. – Ed.]

Comments (4)add
Written by Tonya Kay , November 16, 2011
The baby elephant in the photo is a twin born on my birthday, October 8th! That baby lives with the Karen Hill Tribe and was born "wild" and lives in the wild. That baby is three months old!

Thank you for saying my DIY project is well produced. I really appreciate it! And Steve, you quoted my favorite author. Brilliant. I appreciate you thinking me authentic, too. I try. We all can always try.
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Written by Steve the Kaleidoscope Guy , November 16, 2011
Well done you documentarian you..as always inspiring in your authentic walking the talk style...your co-host has your savoir faire as well......your talent and art is multifaceted ...

“In the haunted house of life, art is the only stair that doesn’t squeak.”
― Tom Robbins,

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Written by Linda , November 16, 2011
How old is the adorable baby elephant in the picture?
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Written by James , November 16, 2011
The series looks very well produced for a DIY project. I like the advice in the articles you listed at the end of your blog, too. Thanks!
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Eco Tip

Take a “stay-cation” or vacation closer to home. Reduce your carbon footprint by staying home for vacation. If you do travel, stay as close to home as possible and use public transportation to reach your destination.  >More tips...

Eco Quote

The weight of our civilization has become so great, it now ranks as a global force and a significant wild card in the human future along with the Ice Ages and other vicissitudes of a volatile and changeable planetary system.- Dianne Dumanoski, Rethinking Environmentalism, December 13, 1998.  More quotes...