-Creating near zero trash abd carrying any created for the entire journey
Cycling 4,700 miles across the USA, that's the easy part. So what's the hard part? How about doing it off the grid? That means:
When and Where
Starting Point: Earth Day Celebration, San Francisco (www.earthdaysf.org) April 20th, 2013
Ending Point: 1% for the Planet headquarters in Waitsfield, Vermont
August 1st 2013
Through 19 states California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
Funds were raised for 8 environmental non-profits that are making the earth a better place to live. The non-profits are all 1% for the Planet recipients and focus on different aspects of sustainability including food, water, waste, transportation, and energy.
Rob will cross the country with the usage of zero fossil fuels. He will not get in a car, bus, or any other vehicle that uses fuel for the entire journey, even on his off days in the cities.
Rob will create and use his own electricity generated by portable alternative energy devices. He has equipped his bike trailer with solar panels from his sponsor Goal Zero and will also be using the PowerPot to charge electronics from excess heat while cooking. He is powering his laptop, cellphone, and bike lights, and headlamp from these devices. For the entire journey he will not turn on a light switch, plug into an outlet, turn on anything in a house, take a hot shower, use a stove, eat at a restaurant that uses electricity, or use any electronic device that was not powered by electricity he created.
Electricity that he will be using indirectly includes walking through automatic doors, accidentally triggering automatic lights, buying food when cash registers will be used, and getting money at the bank. Wifi is another small electricity draw but again his laptop is completely powered by solar. Even automatic doors and light switches will be avoided as well as stores that use a cash register when possible.
3. Near Zero waste
Rob is aiming to create almost no garbage as he crosses America. Any waste that is created will be recycled, up cycled, or composted. Anything that can not be repurposed via one of these manners will be carried until he reaches his destination. He will be weighing and keeping track of the garbage that he creates.
All food waste will be composted and the of use bokashi, an effective microorganism, will help to speed up the break down process. Human waste will be composted as well.
Rob will eat locally sourced, organic, natural, and minimally or unpackaged foods. For this trip local is considered food from within the state he is in or within 250 miles. Food will mostly come from local farmers markets, eating at farms, eco conscious grocery stores, hunting, fishing, grazing, and bulk groceries at markets. When that is not available he will eat food that would have otherwise gone to waste. The idea behind this is to have the smallest environmental impact possible from food comsumption. Eating food that would have gone to waste has a positive carbon footprint because it is being diverted from the landfill and it eliminates the need for virgin resources. He will cook using fires made with wood found in the area. This also means much lesses choices and eating what is in season and what is from the area.
Imagine this. It takes you five minutes to eat a bag of potato chips and it takes 500-1,000 years for that bag to decompose. Was it really worth it?
Water will come from natural sources like rivers, lakes, and rain as well as from wells. He will purify water using the Katadyn Pocket filter from his Sponsor Drips Water. Rob will not turn on a faucet, buy a bottle of water, take a shower, use a flush toilet, or wash clothes in a washing machine yet he will remain very clean and presentable and smell good. He is recording his water usage for the entire journey. If water from natural sources is not available he will find wasted water in water bottles on the road side, puddles,and from broken sprinklers. He will bath and wash clothes in lakes and rivers.
Rob's gaol is to shop at businesses that are committed to creating a healthy planet and practice corporate social responsibility. He has prepared for the trip and thus will not be purchasing much besides food but when he does he will aim to purchase products that are sustainable from sustainable businesses. Rather than purchase new he will attempt to purchase used items or repurpose items from the garbage. He will also be representing eco friendly products from his sponsors. All transactions will be with cash.
Rob is aiming to leave each state better then it was when he entered it. He will be planting native wild flowers in every state and is connected to a permaculture network from expert permaculturist, Rebekah Uccilini. He will be hosting trash cleanups and aims to clean up at least 1,000 pounds of trash on the journey. He will be inspiring thousands of people to live a more sustainable healthy life and teaching simple easy to implement ways to create a healthier cleaner planet.
Rob will be living 100% alcohol and drug free for the entire summer. Although he does enjoy beer and wine in moderation in his normal life, he will not have a drop for the entire summer to promote healthy and clean living.
He will avoid all chemicals as well and will not use body care products such as shampoo, deodorant, colognes, soaps, and toothpastes that have chemicals and petroleum based ingredients in them. He will be using biodegradable organic soap from Dr. Bronner's to keep himself squeaky clean.
Rob will not be swearing on this journey. Every time he swears he will do 10 pushups and donate $1 to Below the Surface, a non-profit he works with. He also aims to have a positive state of mind as much as possible and not complain.