Back in February we’ve announced our newest and most adventurous project: the first international Vegan Package Swap. In March the first edition took place and now, with around 400 subscribers, we’re preparing the 4th edition, to take place on the first week of June. It’s being so exciting and rewarding to see the pictures of the exchanged packages and to read the evaluations. We’re happy to see that we’re achieving our main goal: giving vegans around the world one more way to connect with other vegans and to have fun together.
For this edition (May 2013) we’ve asked swappers at our Facebook Page to share their experience with us in a blog piece to be published in the website and today we’re publishing the first one! Emma Tolond, from the UK, took part at this edition for the first time and was paired up with someone from the Netherlands. Here’s her words about the Vegan Package Swap (Thanks, Emma!):
I admit it. I’m a newly converted vegan, dairy is a now a dirty word and all things soya are serene. One of the best things I’ve noticed about being vegan is how friendly and welcoming other vegans are. Vegans all other the world want to help me in my quest. Then I found out about The Vegan Package Swap and my vegan adventure got even more interesting.
Vegan Package Swap (VPS to those in the know), what is this scheme? Is it some sort of eco cult? What sort of things are in these mysterious packages? I’d describe the Vegan Package Swap as a glimmer of hope in a world where technology and meat are kings. The basic idea is that every month you are paired up with someone else in the world. You aren’t under any obligation to participate every month. You then send your pair items (food or not), to the value of $20. All the items must be vegan friendly, hence the name!
My favourite thing about the VPS is that you can get a lovingly prepared package from a complete stranger who is from the other side of the world. I was so excited to put my first box together. Then couldn’t wait for my package to arrive from the Netherlands.
My package was delivered to my work place. All my work colleagues were intrigued to find out more about this alluring package that I had received and crowded round when I opened it up. In my package, amongst other things, I got loads of exciting different types of tea bags. I love tea so needed no excuse to put the kettle on.
Another brilliant thing about the VPS is that you’re encouraged to upload a photo of the package you receive. I did so, and was happy to see that a few days later my swap posted a photo of the package I sent her. My swap’s cat even made an appearance in the photo. The photos also make it possible for you to check out what other pairs sent each other. This is great as it can provide inspiration but also because it has helped realise that certain products (jelly tots to name one) are vegan friendly. Finding out I could still eat jelly tots encouraged a dance of happiness.
I’m already looking forward to next month’s swap. Deciding what to send, finding out where in the world my swap is from and then waiting for my package to arrive like it’s my birthday. As someone who is new to veganism the Vegan Package Swap has offered me a chance to find out more about vegan food and also be part of a worldwide vegan network.