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 →
This past week I spent several days in Fresno, California. And when I go to Fresno, I also tend to go up to the mountains. This usually includes visits to the national parks, including Yosemite National Park, and Kings Canyon / Sequoia National Parks. This trip was not different. 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 →
This is fun to see happening at a young age: a 5-year-old designs a birthday party where her and her friends pick up trash. 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?
When explaining the Pick’n Run concept, one of the first comments we get is that there is too much trash to pick up. When they say this, they are envisioning what you see in the picture below, which they think they have to pick up.
However, we are not focusing on finding a solution to pick up large piles of trash that you see in the picture above. There are other companies and solutions that will be able to focus on doing that. Rather, we are initially focusing on helping runners pick up the odd trash pieces that you see on your runs, as you see in the picture below (which is trash we have picked up on one of our runs). The plastic cup. The beer bottle.
In addition, we aren’t focusing on the “nasty” trash that is gooey and yucky. For the most part, the cups, the bottles, the candy wrappers are dry (we are developing gloves that people can use to pick up the trash, and put it in a Pick’n run backpack).
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.