Keep Calm and Love Our Earth

What are you doing to help our Mother Earth? That’s the question that we’ve been asking ourselves lately and been getting a lot of good ideas from one another. Here’s a compilation of what we are doing to make an impact.

As I’m sitting here typing this, the East Coast is preparing for a late-season snowstorm. A snowstorm in a winter that has been relatively void of snow. Or even cold weather for that matter. Now, weather and climate are not the same thing, as we know, but stronger, more unseasonable storms are certainly an indicator of a changing climate. It’s also hard to imagine that human activity, particularly since the Industrial revolution, hasn’t had an adverse effect on the planet. Between searching for and harvest natural resources, to filling landfills and urban sprawl, humanity has certainly made an impact on the environment that we share with a world’s worth of flora and fauna.
I have a minor in Environmental Studies, and during my time in school, I spent a lot of time studying the interplay between humanity and our planet. During one class, we were asked to keep a daily journal of the small ways in which we were changing our habits to be better stewards of the planet (I went to a Franciscan Catholic university). Some of the habits I developed then, I still practice now. Particularly, taking public transit when available – living near DC, this is pretty easy to accomplish, fortunately. While my commute is no longer on the metro system, any time we venture in to the city, we take the train. And while in the city, we walk everywhere.
An academic at heart, I also make a concerted effort to stay informed about environmental issues. Having grown up in Alaska, I’m very in tune to the important balance that exists to maintain resource sustainability over time. Whether I’m reading about current environmental projects, or engaging in environmental advocacy, I’m always doing my best to better understand the impact I have on the world around me, and how we, as a society, as a people, can practice stewardship over dominance and ensure that we have a healthy planet for generations to come.

Saving the planet is my day job. I spend a good portion of each work day looking for ways to operate our business in a more sustainable and socially responsible way. Today, I organized a latex paint recycling event for 1800 employees. Tomorrow, I’ll be booking speakers to educate my people on how to protect our local watershed. Later this week, I’m meeting with folks to see how we can reduce the amount of carbon emissions our businesses generates. You might say that I’ve leveled up when it comes to being green, and my job has taught me a few things along the way.

Afternoon at the Boulder Flatirons. This is why I’m a Sustainability Coordinator.

If you want to make a big impact and you’re concerned about changes to environmental policy, I strongly urge you to attend your local city council and county planning meetings. Most environmental policy is created at the local level; the EPA only dictates minimum requirements for regulations. Go and tell them you don’t want fracking in your community, or that you expect existing protections to remain in place. Get vocal locally!

Vote for your values with your dollars. If you make it clear that you only support sustainable companies, it teaches other not-so-sustainable companies that they’d better get on board if they want to stay competitive in the marketplace. Easy things like buying locally sourced food, getting your next pair of shoes from Toms, or your new pair of eyeglasses from Warby Parker. You have lots of power here, use it!

And lastly, one of my favorite easy things to do is pick up litter I see when I’m running. It’s easy to help keep the road and trails clean and maintained.

Recently while running a particularly race I couldn’t help but notice how many cups I slogged through at each water stop. There were some runners that had handheld personal water bottles or hydration packs but overall, many took cups and cups of water (me included). Fast forward a few weeks and while signing up for another race, the Shenandoah Half Marathon, I noticed that they have a cup free policy.

Looks cool but creates a lot of waste.

I’m looking to make changes within my home where I can. My kids bring their lunches to school most days and the amount of plastic sandwich bags we were using for snacks (one for the classroom, another for lunch) was ridiculous. It felt wasteful and unnecessary. Instead I picked up a set of Tupperware and I’m sending their snacks in those instead. It was just a small little change but we are reducing the amount of plastic we’re using, which feels great.

On the same train of thought I’ve been focusing on remembering to bring my reusable bags into the grocery store. I know in some states they don’t even have a plastic bag option or there is a charge if you need one. That’s not the case in New Jersey but just because the convenience is there doesn’t mean that I need to take advantage of it. If I buy something at a drug store, rather than getting a bag, I opt to just throw it in my purse. It might be small but imagine if we all do things like that – it can really add up!

We’d love to hear what little (or big!) things you are doing to help our environment! Have any ideas to share with us and Scoot a Doot readers? Please comment below. 

Are you a Kindrunner?

Last week we broke the news – the Scootadoot chicks have become Kindrunner brand ambassadors!

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What is Kindrunner, you ask? A brand-new New Jersey-based online business where all can purchase running shoes (at below-retail prices, according company officials), and running accessories such as watches, energy gels, recovery products and more.

But as we mentioned in our previous post, customers may donate old shoes, shipping them for FREE to the fine folks at Kindrunner. AND you get reward coupons for your used shoes. Sweet!

Here’s how it works:

Customers head to the Kindrunner website to shop. After purchasing footwear, your items will be shipped to you. You can then reuse the Kindrunner shipping box by placing one or more pairs of your retired running shoes inside. Seal the box, slap on the prepaid label and send it off.

The label will be scanned when the box is returned to Kindrunner headquarters. Each return label earns the customer $10 in Kindness Cash Rewards. Those points can then be used to purchase any item on the Kindrunner site.

(Please note: You only get $10 worth of cash rewards per pair of shoe ordered from Kindrunner. If you order one pair and return several old pairs, you get $10 in cash rewards. But, for example. if you order five new pairs from Kindrunner at once and return five retired pairs, you would get $50 in cash rewards for future purchases.)

Unsure what to buy? Kindrunner offers expert product review videos on each item sold on the site. To view reviews go to Kindrunner’s YouTube site.

Not happy with your purchase? Send it back. A customer has 365 days to return any product, as long as it’s in its original packaging and condition. If you are injured and unable to wear your new shoes or your doctor suggests you try a different pair, no problem. Return them, no questions asked.

And if that’s not enough, the company’s offered “Free Socks for Life” to their first 500 customers. Each time one of the first 500 customers returns and purchases a new pair of shoes, the order will ship with a free pair of socks of the runner’s choice.

I bought a pair of new shoes via Kindrunner on Saturday, launch day. I’ve been looking for a new brand and after listening to some expert videos on the site, decided to give Mizunos a whirl.

And, I already have a pile of discarded shoes ready to send back.

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Discarded shoes are then shipped to donation charity partners, including Soles 4 Souls, and the MORE Foundation Group, to assist people in need.  That’s right, your retired sneakers get a second life outside your closet or a landfill.

The Scootadoot chicks are Kindrunner brand ambassadors. Opinions are our own.

What’s on your running wish list? Do you shop online or in a store?