Flood Water Adventuring #SUP #throughthetrees #dubuque #mississippiriver #iowa #gopro #ig_iowa
Over the years, we have become increasingly aware of our relationship with our home planet, and the effect that we have on it. Unfortunately, so many things are ‘out of sight, out of mind’ and it’s just too easy to maintain the status quo - so while our actions aren’t malicious, the damage is still happening. It’s our duty to keep our house clean - and when we go for a walk/hike/camp in nature, the saying ‘take only memories, leave only footprints’ is easy to remember. So it’s time to apply that theory to the everyday real world, and today is the day to start!
But sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. We’re all at different levels of awareness and consumption, but here is a short list to help getting started on helping keep our Big Home clean for the future:
1. Refuse a Single-Use Plastic
Think about it - how lazy have we become, when it’s easier to…
…extract oil, ship it to a refinery, process it, ship it to a manufacturing facility, process it again to manufacture a spoon/bag/straw, package it, ship it, only to use it one time and throw it away…
…rather than wash a reusable spoon/carry a bag/drink straight from the cup.
And we’ve all been in the grocery store line where the person bagging throws 2-3 items in a plastic bag and back into our cart. A quick survey at home (if you save them, like we do) will remind just how many unnecessary plastic bags have been handed to you over the years.
And where does all of this Single-Use Plastic eventually end up? In a landfill or the ocean, where it lives for decades before finally breaking down (some). This small step, if undertaken by everyone, could have huge repercussions. So refuse a Single-Use Plastic today - you will be inconvenienced less than you think.
2. Visit a Farmer’s Market
Who doesn’t want to buy higher-quality foods, at a lower price, and use far less energy to receive it… all while supporting the local economy? The answer should be (is): NO ONE. In the Midwest, we are entering growing season and there will be a plethora of fruits, veggies and homemade goods flooding a local Farmer’s Market soon. Go visit yours - if you haven’t already, you may just be pleasantly surprised!
3. Hand-Me-Downs Are Cool, Too.
Gifts don’t always have to be ‘new’ to be recognized as such. With the purchase of every new item comes the costs of: transportation, manufacturing, packaging, marketing, storage, etc. Some of those costs can be found in the dollar signs, while many of those costs are harder to see in their impact on the environment… but they are there. And how badly did your friend need a new iPhone case, or did your kid’s friend really need a brand new version of ‘Cat in the Hat’ when your second copy has been gathering dust for 6 years?
(side note- I have a friend who’s daughter believes that Santa brings only 3 gifts each year; one of these gifts is a ‘new’ batch of used books, and Santa picks up her old books to give to other boys and girls around the world. Cool idea, right?!)
Some of the best gifts I’ve received were pre-loved by a friend, which made their significance that much more special. In fact, I’m proud to be part of the history of a longboard that has been owned by 4 people, and taught 3 of us how to ride safely (thanks, Schmitty!). When it was my time to pass it on to owner #4 (go Jordan!), all the nicks and dings and wear and tear told a story about the previous riders… and someday, it will teach rider #5.
Got a gift to give? Don’t go straight to your Big Box Retailer… put some thought into it, and maybe you read a great book that your friend would love. Maybe your little person has a toy that they’re not using anymore. Or maybe, the best gift you could give would be a lunch date with an hour of your undivided attention. I don’t know about you, but there is no thing that I own that is worth more than a memorable dinner with my wife. But if you have to give a gift… hand-me-downs gifts are cool, too, and you’re not less of a friend for giving one.
So, no matter where you are at in your conscientiousness with your relationship with our Home Planet, we can all do a little better. It’s our to cherish or destroy, so it’s about time for us all to take our responsibilities more seriously, because our own actions effect the world around us, whether it’s now or in 100 years when that straw you used last Thursday is still floating in the Pacific. The ‘Greatest Generation’ likes to remind us that they did so well because of their willingness to sacrifice for the greater good - why do we believe that instant gratification and the easiest route possible is going to leave us a better future (hint- it won’t).
Happy Earth Day friends, I hope you do your part to leave your corner of the planet a little better than you found it today!
Standup paddling whitewater on the Middle Fork Catfish Creek after heavy rains in Dubuque, Iowa - April 13, 2014
Middle Cat whitewater scouting mission turned 8 mile trail run. Bring on the rains! #dubuque #iowa #whitewater
Begin the Descent #xcski #offtrack #dubuque #swissvalley #skiing #trailskiing #crosscountryskiing #gottagetuptogetdown
On January 4th, I began a challenge: #100milesbymarch on cross country skis.
These weren’t ordinary, in-track, flat field miles; these were gnarly uphill, cliff climbing, deep powder trail breaking, flying down the forest trail staircases at speeds miles. The last 15 miles were some of the most demanding, with fully ice encrusted trails and temperatures hanging around 0 degrees at all times.
It took roughly 25 hours, over 38,000 feet of climbing and a completely destroyed pair of boots, but in that 100 miles I hit speeds over 30mph, shared 20 miles helping my buddy Miles the Dog rehab a hip injury, completed my first XC ski race, and uncovered countless new trails - all of which are my new favorite.
Thanks to my wife Laci for the idea and for all her support in hitting this goal - it was exactly the right challenge at exactly the right time.
With a 1 day to spare in February, it’s finally done - #100milesbymarchcomplete
#hittinggoals #xcski #crosscountryskiing #dubuque #iowa #gohardorgohome #makeyourself