Saturday, April 13, 2019

QDOBA - 5 items to Zero Waste eating

What does it take to eat Zero Waste at QDOBA? Five simple things can help you eat without creating any landfill.
1. Fork/utensil of your choice
2. Cloth napkin
3. Your own water bottle
4. To-Go container from home
5. Compost
I ordered the vegetarian bowl and asked for both black and pinto beans for additional protein. Following this, the kind worker put on my favorite fixings. A simple request to not have the bowl put on a metal pan with wax paper was obliged. Finally, I ordered a drink and informed the cashier that I had my own cup. She granted me some savings and only charged me for a refill.
As you can see below I enjoyed all of it. The to-go container wasn't needed. Upon my return home, a simple tearing up of the bowl and discard in the compost bin concluded a healthy, nutritious, and Zero Waste lunch.
My dog was able to help "prepare" the bowl for compost. This step isn't needed; however, she liked the sour cream.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Just How Much Can you Save Using Refillable Cups? Click and see

Using the interactive map below, put your cursor on the map then hover over the gas station, convenience store, or coffee shop to see the best deal on using a refillable cup. There are two maps: North Brownsburg & South Brownsburg



Totals for Coffee only.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

"Any fool can destroy tress..." John Muir

"Any fool can destroy trees. They cannot run away; and if they could, they would still be destroyed, — chased and hunted down as long as fun or a dollar could be got out of their bark hides, branching horns, or magnificent bole backbones.... Through all the wonderful, eventful centuries since Christ’s time — and long before that — God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand straining, leveling tempests and floods; but he cannot save them from fools, — only Uncle Sam can do that." ~John Muir, “The American Forests,” August 1897

Giant Sequoias

  • Are taller than 21 elephants stacked on top of each other. 
  • Weigh more than ten blue whales combined. 
  • Would take up over three lanes of traffic on a freeway with its base!

Loved this Post that was shared with me!

Are you one of the 'weirdos' who picks up litter?

I am, too — and I know we're not alone in this important mission.

people walking by a pile of litter on the beach
Some people can walk by trash, and others just have to stop and pick it up. (Photo: Maciej Bledowski/Shutterstock)

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Gas Station Guzzlers

I wish I were speaking about of the Chevy Z71 I just filled with gas.  No.  I am talking about the huge plastic and mostly Styrofoam cups that have names like, “Big Gulp”, “The Chill”, and “Mega Mouth” in which you can buy fountain drinks for $1.29 or less. Ok, I made up two of those names but you get the point.

In the article “Too Big to Gulp”, author Azeen Ghorayshi documents how the size of drinks have changed over the last few decades.  But that is not all that has changed.  As more and more people swing by their Speedway to grab their carbonated caffeine before work, those Styrofoam cups, plastic lids, and straws add up too!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Redwood National Park & Fern Canyon

“There is a love of wild nature in everybody, an ancient mother-love showing itself whether recognized or no, and however covered by cares and duties” 
― John Muir

Giants of the Earth

Monday, June 25, 2018

Crater Lake National Park - Day 13

Crater Lake National Park

We were so glad that we chose to take a different route and swing by Crater Lake.  We had a late lunch overlooking the blue waters. While watching chipmunks encircle the hillside below us, we contemplated the clarity of the water, the creation of a lake by an imploding volcano, and the 43 feet of snowfall that accumulates each winter.  Once in and around the visitor center we saw the many recycling bins available to visitors.  

Traveling from the Grand Tetons to Crater Lake - Day 12

Traveling and Trying to do it Zero Waste

Cell reception has been sketchy at best, and our drives have been longer since we have set out for the California coast. After a conversation with another retired teacher and her husband in Burns Oregon, we changed our plans and stopped by Crater Lake National Park while we were within a few hours. 

Along the way we went shopping using the zero waste strategies for which we have prepared. Next time we will bring some more bowls.  Lesson learned. 

Along the way most all people are appreciative of our zero waste measures, especially the workers who prepared and clean up breakfast at our hotel rooms. Still there are a couple who give us weird looks when we bring all of our "supplies" in to eat in the mornings. It is a great conversation starter...

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Our Last Hikes at Grand Teton National Park

Phelps Lake and Taggart Lake 

Zero Waste Habit #1

It is simple and easy. 

Bring your own cup and bring your own water bottle

Zero Waste Isn't as Hard as We Thought!

ZW is pretty easy!

Like Polly Banks states from her blog Green Indy, Zero Waste isn't Really Zero.  With today's society, we can't go ZERO waste.  But we can make a huge difference by changing some of our habits.  See below how we have changed a couple of habits for days 1 and 2 of our journey "Going Green".  We have only accumulated a few pieces of trash in two days eating six meals.  We are getting better!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Creative Kids!

Ok.  So getting up at 6:30 to go hiking in the rain, collecting trash and then avoiding it, driving thousands of miles, being gone from friends for 30 days isn't exactly what my kids wanted to do this summer.  

They are being troopers regardless.  

In the "down" time, their minds have wondered from elk and glaciers to a creative story of a young hero.  Then they produced this trailer.  I just had to share, and I can't wait to see the movie.

Join the 7 Day Earth Challenge

Join the "7 Day Earth Challenge"

My family challenges yours to a "7 Day Earth Challenge"
It is simple. For seven days do not create or use:

1. Plastic straws
2. Plastic bags or plastic water bottles
3. Coffee cups that are 'throw away'

To accomplish this you will only need to do three easy things!

A. Tell the waiter or waitress - "No straws please!"
B. Bring your own bag(s) and water bottle(s).
C. Bring your own coffee cup(s).

Simple! Thoughtful! But so very worth it!

Watch the quick videos below if you don't believe me!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Day 10 - Trash Inventory

There are two videos below of our trash inventory!  The first is a short synopsis (5 min).  The second is the full length video (10 minutes).  

Wow - This is a lot of waste!

Day 9 - Father's Day - Grand Teton NP & Hidden Falls

Europe is Leading America in Helping the Earth - Just Watch & Listen

We were so fortune to meet this gentleman and his family at Jackson Lodge in the Grand Teton National Park.  After a brief introduction, he started talking about how he and his family in Italy handle waste.  I asked him if I could video our conversation and he graciously approved.  His testimony is again evidence that it starts with LEADERSHIP.  America needs greater leadership at all levels to show the world that we care about our Earth. It was very evident that his government supports making positive changes for the Earth through initiatives and incentives to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. 

Zero-Waste may be Harder to Do than We Thought! Reality Sets In...

Can we do this? 

We just got back from the store.  Oh my...the overwhelming feeling that our quest to travel zero-waste for 20 more days on a small budget just came over us like a tsunami. This will be a very daunting task.  But we are up for the challenge!

We visited one grocery store which touted itself for its bulk items and found just how expensive buying bulk can be.  Since we couldn't stay under our budget there, we went to another store.  This supermarket was much cheaper, but the options to choose zero-waste were limited. 

Yes we can!

To subdue the anxiety of the doubt, Samantha and I planned out our next few meals (since we are in a "cabin" with no microwave), read labels to ensure we could recycle or reuse the containers, and purchased our items.

People's Reality and America's Leadership

Day 8 - Yellowstone NP to Grand Teton NP

Day 7 - Yellowstone & Mystic Falls

Saturday, June 16, 2018

National Park Junior Ranger Program - Outstanding

Thank you Wagner family!

The Wagner family talked to us about the National Park Junior Ranger Program.  We had not heard of it prior to our leaving on our trip; however, as soon as we arrived at Bad Lands National Park we investigated the program.

It was/is a hit!

Junior Ranger Program

The NP Junior Ranger Program is a terrific way to get children or young adults engaged in the outside world.  At some parks kids will pick up a colorful book that has activities related to the wildlife, history, and ecology of the park. Other parks, like Yellowstone National Park, also asks the young people to participate in a "program" that they offer at the visitor's center.  Below - my Princess Warrior is participating in the Yellowstone Olympics (against the animals of the park). Once the young person has completed all of the requirements, he or she brings his or her booklet back to the visitors' center and presents it to a Park Ranger.  The Ranger asks them questions, provides clarifications if needed, and then swears them in as a Junior Ranger and gives them a badge!  My ten year old daughter is loving it!

Thank you National Park Rangers!

Todd Whitaker, the well known educational guru (follow his twitter here), states that "It is the People, NOT the Programs" that make something successful. That has sure been true at the four parks that we have been to so far.

At Yellowstone NP, I waited in line for a whole EIGHT minutes while two National Park Rangers assisted other customers in front of me.  The Rangers were both talking with children too!  When my daughter and I were finally greeted, I thanked the Ranger for the amount of time it took before he talked with us.  He was 100% present with the previous person, and I knew he would be 100% present with my daughter and me!  The Park Rangers have been phenomenal! They are making my daughter's day and our trip wonderful!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Day 6 - 190 + 16 = 1

190 miles driven + 16 miles hiked = 1 remarkable day at Yellowstone Park

Day 5 - Trash Inventory

Well we were running out of room for our trash.  So we had to do a trash inventory.  This measure has been suggested by many people.  So he is half of our trash.

Watch until the end!

Leadership Knows No Age

Leadership Knows No Age

My former teammate at Wabash College and former assistant coach at Brownsburg High School, Antoine Carpenter, taught me that it didn't matter if a basketball player was a freshman, sophomore, junior, or a senior.  If he was good, if he could produce, if he worked hard, if he was coachable, if he was a leader - let him lead. Moreover, we should expect him to lead and produce!

This developed into the phrase: Leadership Knows No Age

It doesn't matter if you are 5 or 95, one can make a difference!

Kids Can and Should Make a Difference - Adults Should Teach and Expect Them to Give Back to the World!

Take a look at this article below from Andrea Cooper of Parenting Magazine.  She has highlighted kids around the ages of 12 that are changing the world! It made me feel a little unaccomplished but also inspired.
 "8 Amazing Kids Who Make a Difference"

We as adults have to train our kids to be leaders. The first step is to model this!  We also must keep in mind that our children shouldn't be mere compliant bodies that do what we adults say. They should be people that know no limits!

Byron Garrett of Huffpost writes in his article "Inspiring Leadership in Kids of all Ages" that we should teach kids about social emotional learning, decision making, consequences, and teamwork to help them become these limitless thinkers, leaders, and doers!

Another Difference Maker

Are you making a positive difference with your family, church, community? 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Day 5 - Yellowstone Green Team Meeting Notes - Amazing People!!!

Yellowstone National Park Green Team Meeting:

Today we were blessed enough to spend a short time with the Green Team at Yellowstone National Park!  They are an amazing group of people who are working tirelessly to protect our priceless land.  Keep in mind... 

The Obstacles

  • A transient population that stays on average 1.9 days
  • Language barriers with many visitors
  • An estimated 4.3 million visitors in 2018
    • That is like the entire state of Rhode Island visiting Yellowstone four times in 6 months
  • Immense distances of gathering waste

The Reasons Yellowstone National Parks is Succeeding in Diverting over 60% of Waste!!!

  • A Green Team passionate about sustainability
  • Park leadership 
  • Partnerships with many companies including Xanterra, who runs their food and lodging services, and the recycling and management services in, and surrounding, the park.
  • A culture that is growing from all employees' efforts to be environmentally responsible - We have talked with several employees who are tremendously kind and helpful, but ruthlessly dedicate to the cause of sustainability. 
  • Education and information that is going out to all visitors through social media, websites, signage, and face to face contacts and Ranger programs. 
  • And much, much, more!

Some of the Greatest Wisdom from the Green Team:

The question - If you could wave a magic wand and solve the issues at Yellowstone what would you ask for?

1. Changing the consumerism in our world.  To fix our situation we need to Reduce and Reuse - Recycling isn't the answer!
2. Capture the minds and attention of people while they are at Yellowstone.  What is here will not last if we don't change. 
3. Buy-in from our world - to clean up the mess that we have made as humans it will take us all!  Every footprint counts!
4. Recycling receptacles need to be present next to every trash can, everywhere. 

More to come on Friday...
Thursday will be a tech break for me and a time to be present with my family and nature!

Day 4 - 380 Billion

Today's blog is a short one.  It is awesome that the cell service isn't very good in Yellowstone NP!

In The United States

  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency, over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are consumed in the U.S. each year.
  • According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. (Estimated cost to retailers is $4 billion).
  • Four out of five grocery bags in the U.S. are now plastic.
  • The average family accumulates 60 plastic bags in only four trips to the grocery store.
Teenagers are making a difference.  You can too!


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Day 3 - Be a mountain mover, not a mountain creator.

I have been blessed to be around some people that dream big, push the limits, and exceed all expectations.  There are many mentors and people in my life that have stretched me, thankfully.  They were mountain movers, not mountain creators.  These people didn't put a mountain in front of me, they took the mountain away and said, "Let's do this! Why not now?  Why not you?" 

Teddy Roosevelt and Gutzon Borglum were mountain movers!  

President Roosevelt was a mountain mover.  He established over 230 million acres of public lands and of this 150 were national forests.  Keep in mind that California is about 104 million acres big!  Now that is being a mountain mover!

Gutzon Borglum was also a mountain mover...literally! I simply want to focus on his belief and audacious idea to build something as large and amazing as Mt. Rushmore.  He envisioned it, sold it, planned it, and built it!  

Be a positive mountain MOVER not a mountain creator!  Don't create obstacles, pessimistic thoughts, or limits.  See the possibilities. 

My family and I see the possibility of America becoming cleaner.  We see the possibility of America leading the world in recycling, trash reduction, and environmental responsibility.  "Let's do this! Why not now?  Why not us? Why not you?" 

Day three...

The trash keeps coming.  In the most beautiful of places I picked up two cigarette butts.  After a little research I learned how destructive they can be to not only your lungs but to the environment.  See below. 

Until tomorrow...Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Thanks to my cousin Galen for the following song. It is better than the duck song!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Day 2

Thankfully the hotel breakfast had recyclable paper products on which we ate.  For lunch at Subway we took in four water bottles which saved cups, lids, and straws.  Dinner was cheeseburgers and fries and all of the trash that goes along with it.  One entire trash can is packed. Our Jason's Deli sack is full of recyclables.  And our food waste container is starting to smell. 

One thinks about the world differently when you carry your own trash around with you.


Saturday, June 9, 2018

Day 1 - America 161 yrs. without / 81 years with…

In 1937, in the heart of California, the city of Fresno created the first “modern” landfill. America was 161 years old at this time. After 81 years and 13,090 additional landfills…here we are. For one’s curiosity, that is 161 landfills created every year since 1937. Yuck! Let me tell you, as a family carrying their landfill with them for only one day (and dreading nine more) – it's flat out disgusting.
The task of collecting our trash has become, even after just one day, both extremely disappointing and daunting. We are having a great time as a family; however, the amount of trash we have accumulated in the first day is sickening. This is the disappointing part. The daunting task is storing all of it for ten days. Something has got to change.
The idea that we, as Americans, just throw stuff “away” is a fallacy that all of us have bought into because of the consumerism in America. After you have something and you need to part with it, well, one throws it “away”. However, there is no “away”! It either goes into the land, air, or water. Let’s discuss the former.
Landfills are taking over our country. Just look at the growth of landfills since 1937. [You must see the animated graph attached.] When we say, “Throw that away!” what we are really meaning is, “Put that in the trash can, so it can be taken to the landfill to exist for 50-5,000 years.” We, the people of the last 81 years, are the only people who are absent-minded enough to do this. Now, I don’t want evidence of my lunch around in 500 years. It was good, but not that good.
We stopped at Jason’s Deli and got our lunch to go. This created a LARGE amount of waste, much of which cannot be composted or recycled. I briefly spoke with a manager, and he alluded to the fact that there wasn’t a place around to recycle what could be diverted from the landfill.
Dinner was different. We stopped in at little local establishment in Iowa, and learned that portion sizes are way too large, everywhere. Besides walking out of the restaurant with four straws, four straw wrappers, two salad dressing containers, two plastic cracker wrappers, two aluminum foil pieces from our baked potatoes, two cocktail sauce containers, seven napkins (the ketchup bottle spit on my daughter), three butter tubs, and a sour cream tube, we also walked out with almost a pound of food waste! I exited with an undone waist button and a loosened belt. I tried to eat everyone’s food, so we didn’t have to put it in the van – Fail! [See my wife’s video at the end of the slide show for our solution to our problem.] The three Tidy Cat litter tubs don’t look like they will be large enough for all of our trash. Already, eating like a “typical” traveling American family is taxing our space and pocketbook. So we might need to adapt a bit along our journey.
Still yet, our children have also commented about all of the waste that we are starting to pack into our van on the first day – they are losing space. As we look at different items (example = Jason’s Deli salad container) we are trying to think of different ways to reuse the items. Samantha made the great suggestion that we could use the salad container to put our lunch meat in when we go to the deli after day ten. That seems a long way away…
On a lighter note, we have already met some amazing people with which to share our story. Additionally, Samantha and I are already pretty exhausted of the “Duck Song” which, unfortunately, our kids enjoy. Mostly because it annoys us. Ha! Payback from our parents, I guess!
Speaking of payback, it is probably time that we go back to living like the generations before us. Those generations bought what they needed, did without, reused everything they could, and valued time, money, and resources, seemingly, more than we do today.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Almost There!

Princess Warrior here. Three more wake ups before the big exciting day. The day of the trip! I'm trying to spend a lot of time with my adorable dog and all my fantastic friends. Its so nerve racking to think about the 30 day trip! But I know that it will be one of the biggest, coolest, most extraordinary trips of my life. It probably is the biggest road trip of all! We are getting all the clothes and books and movies and other fidgets and gadgets we need. I have two new sundresses, new shoes, new shirts and more. I'm going to miss all my friends, my bed, my EE-EE friends(see EE-EEs), and my room, also the house in general. I hope I pack well!:)

Friday, June 1, 2018

National Parks' Annual Pass

Disney World's Annual Pass = $830 per person
Universal Studios' Annual Pass - $540 per person
Kings Island's Annual Pass - $218 per person
National Parks' Annual Pass = $80 per vehicle = PRICELESS!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Food Waste - Compost It!

When I was a kid, I used to make fun of my Aunt Jane for not wasting things. She never wasted an opportunity to give a huge bear hug to her loved ones. She never wasted a zip-lock bag. She never wasted a McDonald's cup. More specifically, she never even wasted the ice in a McDonald's cup. I vividly remember returning to her house after grabbing fast food. She had finished all of the liquid in her drink, and as the rest of us tossed our cups, ice, lids, and straws into the trash can, she placed her cup with ice in the freezer. She was going to use it again. My aunt didn't waste anything.
Toothpaste tubes were cut and squeezed a bit more to ensure all of the toothpaste was used. Small bars of soap were pressed together because, well, they still cleaned. No need to throw them away.
She didn't waste food either.
After my teenage years of poking fun at her frugality, I now admire her resourcefulness. I appreciate the money she saved by doing all of these conservative things, and our world needs to be more like her and her generation.
"The amount of waste generated has tripled since 1960."
My Aunt Jane hasn't contributed to this! I can state that proudly. (Love you Aunt Jane!)
Each week in our house I used to carry three or four heavy white trash bags to the curb for pick up. Some of them would stretch because of the weight. Most of this weight was due to our food waste because we didn't compost. Since we have started composting - OH MY! It has been amazing what we have diverted from the landfill.
First of all, we see all of the food that we waste because it goes into a large bowl in our kitchen. This visual alone influences our family to use less, eat what you take, and find other ways to consume the food we have purchased. Secondly, we eat less meat. Since you can't compost meat, we simply don't buy as much. Thirdly, our kitchen smells so much better. There are no longer chunks of celery, watermelon rinds, banana peels, green pepper tops, onion layers, carrot tops, or any other food waste rotting in the bottom of our trash can like there used to be. Finally, our family takes pride in knowing that we, like my Aunt Jane, are diverting four pounds of waste per day into compost.
4 X 365 = 1,460 lbs. per year.
Don't just take my word for it. Read all of the links below!
Subaru's factory in Indiana composts all of its food scraps from two cafeterias and 5,500 workers. "The Zero-Waste Factory" Scientific America
The New York Times"How Much Food Do We Waste? More Than You Think!"
"Most American Food Waste Comes From Consumers, Research Reveals" foodtank
"Americans Waste About A Pound Of Food A Day, USDA Study Finds" Forbs
Infographic by Avant Garden Decor.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Love our plan and with whom I get to plan!

As we prepare to head out west, I am so blessed to have my wife as my partner in this journey. She has been a tremendous trooper and teammate. It has been a joy to dream, plan, anticipate, and lock in places we are going to be. Thank you, honey!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Bring your own Coffee Cup!

Nine Alarming Facts about Single Use Cups
1. Disposable paper cups contain 5% polyurethane plastic, making composting and recycling of disposable cups extremely rare
2. Half a trillion disposable cups are manufactured annually around the world; that’s over 70 disposable cups for every person on the planet.
3. Most plastic used in the world today is for single-use items.
4. 4 billion trees, or 35% of the total trees chopped down, are used in paper industries
5. 1 tonne of paper consumes 98 tonnes of resources in manufacture.
6. Globally, we consume nearly 300 million tonnes of paper each year; most made from virgin pulp.
7. Very little recycled paper is used to make disposable cups due to health risk concerns.
8. 70% of the world’s paper comes from diminishing forests, not from plantations or recycling
9. Consumer waste has increased more than tenfold over the 20th century, from 40kg to 560kg of waste per person, per year.
Disposable coffee cups: How big a problem are they for the environment? New report from Environmental Audit Committee highlights environmental problems associated with consumption of takeaway hot drinks

Greetings from the Kendrick Family!