Running a 5 miler race (the ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot) in the morning and having turkey for lunch on Thanksgiving in Texas is such an enjoyable day. I flew from Houghton, Michigan to Austin, Texas to spend my Thanksgiving with my family. During my stay in Texas, I ran a race with one of our prototype backpacks — the first prototype, which I had not tested in awhile. Continue Reading →
Being a Michigan Tech student has many benefits. One of them is being able to access and coach workshops promote creating at the Alley Makerspace. The Alley Makerspace is a place run by Michigan Tech students to allow students, faculty, and staff to work on building things that inspire them or are part of their course work at the university. Continue Reading →
On July 13, 2016, I finished designing, sewing, and piecing the fabric together to create the second Pick’n Run prototype bag. Continue Reading →
With China no longer accept recyclable items from recycling programs and companies sometime soon, Japan “may be the first to seize the opportunity.” It is especially environmentally friendlier and cheaper when “mining” electronic wastes. Large amount of minerals are collected at a much cheaper labor cost than actually digging a mine. How much minerals is actually is actually extraordinary. You can read more about it and a solution to China’s blockage in imported recyclables in the link below.
Article: Why Japan Wants Your Junk
Actor and environmentalist Adrian Grenier created a campaign called Strawless in Seattle to eliminate the use of straws. Seattle participated in it, and in September alone, “over 2 million plastic straws were eliminated from the city.” Seattle citizens, 150+ Seattle business, restaurants, and venues participated in it to help reduce the amount of trash from plastic straws.
Since plastic straws are one of the smallest single-use items that we throw away (Americans use over 500 million plastic straws every day), it causes large amount of trash. By convincing people to limit their use of single-use plastics, it would decrease the rate of trash produced. So start going straw-less.
The power of volunteering (during an event or during free hours) can make a huge difference in a community, especially in picking up trash. Below are three articles that describe the positive effect of picking up trash on both a environmentally and community level.
A group of 140 individuals in Ardmore got together to pick up trash in a two-hour span. Towards the end, awards for different categories were given to teams who participate, like “most interesting piece of trash” and “most valuable piece of trash.” For their first annual trash pick-up, the teams managed to make their community cleaner, while still enjoy the experience.
The United volleyball, Keep Laredo Beautiful, and the Longhorns’ volleyball programs teamed up together to clean up the Bartlett Park Soccer Complex on a Sunday. They laid out gravel pathways, planted plants, and picked up trash under four hours. Committing time and effort to make Laredo beautiful for generations to come, while having volunteers learn to give back to the community and respect the environment.
Over 700 volunteers picked up more than 3,000 pounds of trash from the 261 miles of land they covered in under 3 hours. Seventeen sites across the Erie County were cleaned up under that time. The program that they volunteered for is called Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup, which has been going on for fifteen years.
After reading those articles, what can YOU do for your community to make it cleaner?
A few days before I left to Houghton, MI to continue my studies in mechanical engineering, I ran with a good friend of mine whom I made while in my high school cross country team. He and I ran about six miles, and during the run, I picked 34 pieces of trash (image below of the trash). The first few pieces of trash between miles 1 and 2.5 didn’t take up much space, but from there, I encountered many more pieces of trash to the point where I couldn’t pick up any more.
For only six miles, this is the most amount of trash that I have picked up so far in a run.
Have you ever seen an Instagram full of trashy photos? I mean, actual photos of trash that someone has picked up during their walk/hike/run? What started out as casually picking up pieces of trash during walks, turned into a mission of picking up trash for 365 days. Julie Sondecker uses her Instagram to post pictures of her trash finding to encourage people to take part in picking up trash when they go for a walk.
For more information about Julie’s action, visit this link: Austin Woman’s Trashy Instagram Captures Spriti of ‘Don’t Mess with Texas’
On August 12th, I got to run the Rocky Mountain Half-Marathon in Estes Park, Colorado while visiting my grandma and aunt. What makes this half marathon different from the other half marathon races I ran is that it is cup free; instead of using plastic cups of water or power drink to give to runners, each runner get to fill their own Hydropouch (that is provided with the registration) to fill up on water or a power drink, like in this image.
They want to promote on being green and not worry about trash being left in the park. I figured why not run with one of my prototype bags incase there is trash along the way. And sure enough, I found 4 pieces of trash and another Hydropouch between miles 5 and 9. I felt proud of picking them up and completing the race at 2:19:23 (which isn’t my personal record, but still felt proud). You can see the trash below, along with scenic photos I took during the race.
What do you do if your town is full of trash, was in the middle of a civil war, and has no support from the government? Do you quit or do you push on? Well for 81 year old Lebanese, Haji Im Nasser, she pushed on till changed happened. People began to volunteer cleaning up the trash, a warehouse was built to manage the trash and to store the sorted through trash, Nasser received a $29,000 grant from UN aid officials in Beirut for her project (a non-profit NGO called Nidaa al-Ard, or Call of the Earth), and the attitude of the people towards the environment changed. Click on the link below for the article:
Fun fact, my mom’s side of the family are born in Lebanon. So reading an article that mentions Lebanon makes me think about my mom’s side of the family.