I completed my first sprint triathlon today! The race consisted of 250 yard swim, 9 mile bike and a 5k run. I was really worried about the swim part (because I am not a strong swimmer). Surprisingly, the scariest part was the bike ride. I am not used to riding my bike in the open road (along cars and traffic) and although there was not a lot of traffic, the roads were not closed for the race so I found myself on my brakes quite a bit.
Overall, it was an exhilarating experience! I am already looking forward to completing another triathlon before the end of 2012. I am going to focus on improving my biking techniques and need to seriously consider taking a swim clinic to improve my strokes.
The most amazing part of the whole triathlon experience is having met new friends who have the same passion in sports and fitness.
I also scored a number of great gently used sale items at the pre-race yard sale. I strongly recommend that folks consider buying secondhand/gently used tri gear before they commit to the sport. In addition to being eco-friendly, it also helps you save money as you explore the sport.
Also, consider joining the US Triathlon Association, with an annual membership, you recent a number of tri gear discounts from major retailers. You are also linked to local communities of people who are interested and training as well.
For more information, please visit www.usatriathlon.org
Two of my greatest passions has been pursuing an eco-friendly lifestyle and achieving higher personal records in sports such as running. In fact, I am completing my first sprint triathlon tomorrow (am super excited and nervous about it). I recently tried the Ecos Women's Stylus performance jersey. This top is made of 70% recycled polyester and fits comfortably. I love wearing this top while running and riding my bike. There are nice deep back pockets for cellphones and a small water bottle. I am so excited that this converges my two passions together!
Ecos Performance also has a recycling program where you can return your worn out gear and they will recycle it.
So, I don't need to feel guilty buying new running and triathlon gear anymore because I can start looking for sports clothing that is made of recycled materials.
For more information about this product, please visit www.ecosperformance.com/womens.aspx
We built and painted a birdhouse. We placed the birdhouse in our backyard. There has been some birds visiting the house (because we usually leave some bird seeds inside the house), but no permanent residents yet.
Setting up a backyard garden is a never ending project. We enjoying sharing plant seeds with friends. Gardening is very rewarding because you can visually see and reap the fruits of your labor. During the hot summer heat, I usually do my gardening early in the morning.
It's been such a hot summer so far. We love going to the beach on weekends and hanging by the pool. To ensure maximum sun protection for my family, I am always on the look out for new sun blocks and sunscreen products. I have recently tried Supergoop! SPF 30 Sunscreen Swipes. These pre-moistened wipes offer UV protection with zinc oxide, Green Tea and vitamin E for sensitive skin. This is a great product for yourself and especially for kids who are reluctant to use sunblock creams and lotions. The wipes can be easily stored in glove compartments and purses.
The wipes are lightly scented. Kids enjoy wiping their body and face with the wipes. It cleans dirt away from your skin while providing UV protection. This two in one benefit saves you time when you are ready to start your relaxing day outdoors. I love using the wipes after a bike ride or a run, too.
Now if I can only convince them to develop a multi-wipe pack!
For more information about this and other Supergoop! products, please visit
The following are my top ten water conservation tips:
- Rinse your fruits and vegetables over a 25 gallon bucket (using the hose outdoors), so you can use the reclaimed water to water your garden
- Use the same cup or bottle for all of your beverages throughout the day so you don't need to rinse the cup over and over again.
- Take luke warm showers (hot showers dry up your skin and you wind up wasting a lot of water waiting for the water to warm up).
- Replace or repair all leaky faucets as soon as possible.
- Have a cup of water in the bathroom for rinsing your mouth after brushing your teeth. Never let the water run while you are brushing your teeth.
- Never buy bottled water. Use a water filter and bring your water bottle with you. I grab my water bottle with my keys on my way out the door, so I won't forget.
-Use smaller plates and cups. They take less water to clean and you won't overeat as well.
-After you cook your pasta and/or vegetables in boiling water, let the water cool down and use the water for your garden and plants.
-Use less laundry detergent than recommended by the manufacturer, pre-treat dirty spots (if needed) and you can avoid the second rinse option on your washer.
-Clean your stove and/or oven as soon as possible after you're finished cooking so food stains do not dry up and settle in. Therefore, you will use less detergents and water to remove. Dried up food stains take three times more water to remove than a simple wipe down after cooking.
In addition to outdoor gardening, I enjoy caring for household plants. However, like most people, I don't have time to care for high maintenance plants so I've completed some research and decided to purchase some Bromeliad plants. Bromeliad plants are low maintenance plants.
Scientific studies suggest bromeliads can help improve indoor air-quality as you sleep. In the photosynthetic process, most common indoor plants remove carbon dioxide while emitting oxygen and water vapors during the day. But research indicates that bromeliads behave differently during the day / night cycle, releasing oxygen and removing air pollutants at night. With modern insulation in most homes, studies have shown that the amount of pollutants indoors is greater than twice the amount of outdoor pollutants. Besides keeping some windows open (which is uncomfortable during the summer), the next best thing is to ensure that you have indoor plants that serve as natural air purifiers for your home.
My child has been participating in a Durham Life and Science Museum Eco-friendly Science Camp this week. In addition to learning about alternative energy sources, he has made a mini-greenhouse (out of a milk carton, straws and cellophane) and solar oven (out of a pizza box). Everyone attending the camp has been encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles. It's been a great experience for him.
We are looking forward to participating in other eco-friendly activities throughout the summer.
Please visit the following link for more information about the Museum of Life and Science.
In addition to serving as a store ambassador for local triathlons here in North Carolina, I have been asked to become a pacer for the running group. I dreaded the thought of leading a running group. Afterall, I just really started seriously running a little over a year ago. I found myself loving the experience. I usually pace a group that is slower than my usual time so I can run with ease. It reminds me of how far I've come in a short amount of time. I have even paced the group while pushing my four year old in a jogging stroller, chanting to the group, "if I can push 40-50 lbs and run, you can definitely do this!"
I still enjoy my solo runs in the morning (especially before sunrise at around 5am). Serving as a pacer gives me a new perspective and a surprising level of mutual support. I find myself taking less water breaks and enjoying the run (without any music).
Currently, 82% of McDonald’s consumer packaging is made from renewable materials, and a number of their stores offer recycling bins. However, as a huge corporation, McDonald's can do more. They can offer recycling bins at all of their stores as well as compost (food leftover bins). I spoke with a colleague who used to work in the food industry and he mentioned that a store like McDonalds should not even have trash bins since the packaging should be recyclable and the food leftovers should be compostable.
As part of our family summer routine, we usually go on vacations and inevitably visit McDonalds for a few meals. We do our part by refusing the takeout bag (it's easy to just grab the food items and place them in the car via the drive through. We also refuse the extra pancake syrups, butter and eat our chicken nuggets without the sauce (it's healthier and we don't wind up throwing out these extra condiments).
To encourage McDonalds to do more for the environment, visit their website at www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/our_story/values_in_action/recycle_renew.html and leave them a quick eco-friendly encouragement message on the contact us tab. If you are aware of other retail food chains that have similar eco-friendly programs, let me know.
Eco-friendly activist trying to make more healthy eco-friendly choices for my family.