My name is Tim. I run ZeroW.org to help people learn how to tread more lightly on our earth and pursue Zero Waste -- saving our environment, oceans, climate, money, and lives. Zero Waste means stretching to eliminate trash and pollution and doing our best to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. My household of 2-4 adults and 3 dogs is down to about a quart of trash a month. Zero Waste is both a goal and a journey. Speaking of journeys, please see below for the transcontinental Save Our Seas bike ride I am undertaking from Feb to May of 2019.
Bicycling is one of the most impactful ways to go Zero Waste and it's fun! And it can save you about $6000/year or more vs. owning a car. Also along the "Zero" theme, Vision Zero is an international effort to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries. This involves re-engineering transportation facilities and better educating everyone. On the facilities side I serve on the Sunnyvale Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission and Caltrans District 4 Bicycle Committee. On the education side I am a certified League Cycling Instructor who loves to teach people how to bicycle and do so safely. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, Bicycle Solutions, one of the companies I work with, has private and group lessons for those who want to learn to ride or ride better. I also work with the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, Santa Clara County Public Health Department and others.
While I have a degree in Chemistry from Harvard and worked in the Harvard Bio Labs, the core of my career was 30+ years of experience building new products and information systems at Harvard, Fidelity, Apple, Adobe, Sun, and Silver Spring Networks. At the end of 2016 I left high tech to bring my systems analysis and program management expertise to public service and nonprofit environmental projects.
2019 Save Our Seas Ride Across America
From February 22 through May 27, 2019 I am bicycling 4500 miles over 90 days from San Francisco to Boston via more than two dozen aquariums to connect with people across the US; discuss Oceans, Plastic, Climate, and Kids; give talks and presentations; and raise money to protect our Environment. Fossil fuels are not only polluting our air and causing climate change, they are also dirtying our oceans with millions of tons of plastic that kill wildlife and even end up in our own food! What goes around comes around, so what we throw away (even what goes into landfills) eventually will come back to haunt us. I'm doing this for all of our kids and future generations.
If you can, please support me at Save Our Seas 2019 with comments and/or a donation large or small. 100% of the funds I raise are going to 501(c)3 nonprofits that are reducing climate change and waste. I'm covering my own costs myself for doing this ride.
In your comments, please let me know why oceans are important to you. If I can get 1000 people to support me with comments, that means more to me than reaching my fund raising goal of $44,000. It is also fine to donate directly to your local aquarium, bicycle, climate, trail, or environmental organization and mention that my ride inspired you.
People are powerful. We have changed the world in many ways already and we have the power to improve our world. Connecting with each other is key to working together, which is why I'm doing this ride. Together we can do it.
Why am I visiting so many aquariums? The Monterey Bay Aquarium was instrumental in educating me about plastic in our oceans and the New England Aquarium in Boston was the first international-class aquarium I visited as a kid. Bill Patterson, a friend of mine from Harvard, rejuvenated the California Academy of Sciences. Oceans are difficult for people to explore and understand but aquariums bring oceans to people so they can learn about their wonders and how critical they are for life on earth.
You can view my route map with dates at https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28953999 (be patient the map may take a while to load). The bed icons mark the towns where I plan to spend the night. You can also see my schedule in list form to see where I have confirmed lodging and where I am still looking for a kind soul who can provide a floor and warm shower for 2 cyclists. While we will do our best to stay on this schedule our human powered bikes may run into weather or other delays. From Los Angeles onward, I am bicycling with a new friend I met through Adventure Cycling - Ken Boyd. He is new to extended bike touring and cycling across the country was on his bucket list.
If you are interested in having me talk at a school, library, museum, church, 4-H club, or elsewhere along my route (I'd love to do 90 talks in 90 days) please email me at Tim@ZeroW.org. Here is my current speaking schedule . I can give many different 30-90 minute talks to adults:
- Solving the Climate Challenge
- A Passion for Zero Waste
- Adventure Cycling - How to Bike Across a Continent and Save A World
- How Biking Helps Oceans & Animals
- Soccer & Climate Change
A computer projection system that can handle HDMI is best but I can also talk without slides. I am a certified Cycling Instructor with the League of American Bicyclists , Coach Instructor with the American Youth Soccer Organization, former 4-H leader, and on the cutting edge of getting to Zero Waste for businesses, households, and individuals.
Trails away from motor vehicles are one of the most fun places to bicycle (and breath) and I'll be riding on trails of 5 of the 8 TrailNation projects - Bay Area Trails Collaborative, Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition, Capital Trails Coalition, Baltimore Greenway Trails Network, and The Circuit Trails (Philadelphia). Kudos to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy for fostering trail development across the US so we can get more people having fun bicycling or walking instead of driving. Trails are good for your health and good for the environment.
For more about the nonprofits I'm supporting as well as pictures of me biking, please see my fundraising page Save Our Seas 2019.
For day-to-day updates on my progress, daily thoughts, and more please see my Save Our Seas ride blog at https://sosride.blogspot.com/
Why Zero Waste?
Save money, improve health, reduce pollution, protect our environment. Waste is a waste.
For the sake of our children, species, and world, we should all pursue Zero Waste. It is the ethical thing to do. We have been given a beautiful world and it is up to us to take care of it. Otherwise mother nature will have her revenge eventually and our kids will suffer: Climate Change, Pollution, Disease, Famine, and War. Fossil fuels cause climate change -- best to leave them in the ground. Plastics (also from fossil fuels) are killing our oceans...
A Passion for Zero Waste
Please watch my TEDx talk from April 2018. In it I talk about why I am passionate about Zero Waste and a few simple things I do that you can do too.
How To Go Zero Waste?
Read and learn from any or all of the following.
The best Zero Waste books I've read (please borrow from your library or get electronic editions):
- No Impact Man by Colin Beavan
- Plastic Free by Beth Terry
- Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson
- The Zero-Waste Lifestyle: Live Well by Throwing Away Less by Amy Korst
- Detrash Your Life in 90 Days: Your Complete Guide to the Art of Zero Waste Living by Katie Patrick
- Big Chicken by Maryn McKenna
My favorite Zero Waste websites and blogs:
- http://www.zerowastehome.com/ - Bea Johnson - SF Bay Area
- http://www.goingzerowaste.com/ - Kathryn Kellogg - SF Bay Area
- https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/ - Peter Adeney, Mr Money Mustache - Longmont, Colorado
- http://trashisfortossers.com/ - Lauren Singer - New York City & Los Angeles
- http://myplasticfreelife.com/ - Beth Terry - SF Bay Area
- https://zerowastechef.com/ - Anne Marie - SF Bay Area
- http://zerogarbagechallenge.info/ - Rose - Charlottesville, Virginia
- https://colinbeavan.com/ - "No Impact Man" Colin Beavan - New York, New York
- http://robgreenfield.tv/ - Rob Greenfield - San Diego and all over
- https://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/ - Love Food, Hate Waste, a UK site to help reduce food waste
- City of Sunnyvale's "How to Get Rid of Anything" page
- http://FreecycleForever.org - Learn how to freecycle worldwide turning trash into treasure
- https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/FreecycleSunnyvale/info - Sunnyvale California's local freecycling group in my home town
You can read about my own journey and discoveries on the way to Zero Waste at http://ecopractice.blogspot.com. I don't post that often because most everything is so well covered by the above sources :-) . For more about me in general, see http://timoey.com.
Remember, Zero Waste is a goal and a journey. Don't worry about perfection, just do the best that you can and keep working at it.
So What About Our Governments?
While each of us can individually make a difference, we can make a much, much bigger difference if our governments support Zero Waste too. Here are the biggest current opportunities to pursue this:
- Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act - a bipartisan, market-based, revenue neutral bill in the US Congress to reduce pollution AND reward citizens financially AND improve our economy without expanding government. It is a win-win-win and currently seems to be the best option to control CO2. Please also check out the Citizens' Climate Lobby.
- Laws and development that encourage and protect bicycling and walking
- Laws that encourage solar power and electric cars
- Laws that reduce single use plastic
Getting our governments to make these changes takes a lot of hard work but they also have the biggest impact because they get the general populace engaged and moving in the right direction. Good governments by and for the people are key to a sustainably peaceful and healthy world.