Zero Waste Bike Tour with the Traveling Trash Fairy
San Luis Obispo, CA – Portland, OR along hwy 1/101
Days: Feb 2- March 22 (50 days)
Distance: 1,192 miles
I just completed a bike tour traveling zero waste and producing zero emissions on my crocheted 70’s Schwinn bicycle! I took my time interviewing activists, trash artists, landfill workers, repair people, etc during my tour and am currently working on compiling a video to share with you all!
Preparing for my tour
I minimized my things down to the essentials, received used gear from the local community and made gear myself out of trash!
In October I took an empowering course at SLO’s Bike Kitchen on taking my bike apart and put it back together. I will be taking longer rides as the date approaches my journey north.
Interviewing activists and trash artists along the way my goal is to learn more about the many solutions to plastic pollution.
Plastics and our dinosaur economy
We have been brainwashed into consuming single-use disposable plastics even though they pollute our Ocean, wildlife and us. The trash creators tell us recycling and resource recovery are the best options to save our planet from these deadly materials. Yet as I dug deeper and realized that recycling is a public relations campaign to get us to overlook the simple root solution of source reduction.
The root of this pervasive and destructive material is petroleum and the toxic fossil fuels that have seeped into almost every crevasse of our lives.
It’s good friend the automobile, litters the landscape and dis-associates us from the places and communities we travel through. Socially excluding us from the great theater that is life.
A gleaming symbol of freedom and happiness the bicycle is the largest immediate threat to the polluting car culture. Immersive and fun traveling by bicycle tunes me into the landscape, the place and the people around me. Moving slowly through my environment gifts me the opportunity to witness the plastic junk that hugs the bushes on the side of roads.
Car companies know all too well of this threat to their industry and are quick to promote bicycle “safety” and helmets as a way of scaring people out of this wonderful mode of transport. Using fear as a way to get people to stay in their mobile boxes of isolation and out of city council meetings proposing better bicycle infrastructure.
Traveling Zero Waste
For the past 3 years I have been studying our cultural relationship with trash and running the Rise Above Plastics program for my local chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. Inspired to live my values I have adopted a zero waste lifestyle. Practicing zero waste, I either have to buy something in bulk with no packaging or make it myself. This gifts me the opportunity to build relationships with local, community members who have developed skills I have yet to learn. Building relationships with farmers, healers, bakers, etc. I have also developed new skills, from making my own toothpaste to learning how to repair my bicycle.
Zero waste living is empowering and simple. An unbranded life letting go of labels and embracing the beauty in bulk jars and cloth bags. No more labels screaming at from the fridge or bathroom cabinet. Zero waste living prepares me for the future when we rise above the plastic age and live simple, happy lives with less stuff and more fun!
While I deeply appreciate the simple mindset zero waste has brought me I realize that I have to go beyond my own personal lifestyle if I want to create large scale change. Activism is of the highest importance for creating a more peaceful and fair world. By standing up as united citizens we can make leaps and bounds towards a peaceful revolution.
I had a lovely time on my tour traveling slowly through places and communities, immersing myself in nature, meeting positive activists, learning about solutions, exploring new experiences, and having FUN.
Pedaling with a purpose.
xoxo Sarah Bellum