Tim bicycling up a hill in Death Valley with his full cross country touring rig
A dead baby albatross whose body has decayed leaving just the plastic that killed it along with a skeleton and feathers.

Our Kids Future? Or Present?

Humans are killing the life support system of  spaceship Earth that is needed for future generations to survive. This baby albatross is just one of billions of "canaries in the coal mine" that are dying and warning us of this disaster that is happening right now. This baby bird lived as far from human habitation as you can get yet it died from our plastic. By 2050 there will likely be more plastic in the ocean than fish.  Insect populations are down drastically worldwide. Climate change and ocean acidification (caused by excess C02) are killing coral reefs as well as many ocean food stocks (like diatoms and crustaceans) that the rest of the ocean food chain depends on. While the situation is dire, if we take action now, we can save our world.

Humans are exceeding the resource budget of planet earth (see Earth Overshoot Day). Either humans reduce their collective resource use by half, or we reduce the human population by half, or mother nature will do it for us and forcibly kill more than half of the human population through disease, famine, war, and other disasters. There is no free lunch. 

This emergency is well within our current capabilities and technologies to fix. We can save our kids from suffering the consequences before mother nature requires harsh payback. 

ZeroW.org is dedicated to solving this challenge. Read on to find out how.

Many thanks to Anne Reburn for her recent release of "Where Do We Go From Here (Bike Version)" which captures in song much of the essence of bicycling and bicycle touring that I enjoy as well as noting that it is up to us which path we take.

My Dream of How Our World Can Be

There is a relatively easy and economical method to get to a beautiful future that does not require a lot of complex engineering -- it returns more land to nature and restores much of our natural world to the way it was -- we simply reduce. We need not always expand. Humans can show restraint, we can budget, we can methodically reduce our population, and we can continue to become more efficient and less polluting as we are already doing. Imagine that -- just let nature restore itself as humans consume less (zero waste) and allow much of nature to be naturally wild again. That is my dream. Humanity at peace and in harmony with nature rather than trying to dominate it.


Alas a dystopian future has shown up sooner than some expected. 

COVID-19 is a direct natural consequence of human's over expansion and over exploitation of our earth. Humans as well as their food stocks have become huge monocultures that are vulnerable to disease. Scientists and others have been predicting for decades that something like COVID-19  was coming and that more pandemics are expected. To learn more about why and how please read the following:

COVID-19 is just one canary in the coal mine. While it killed millions it is small compared to what is still to come. If we do not change our ways, billions will die prematurely as nature forces a balance back on us. In nature, all equations must balance. Follow the science.

California & Canadian Fire Disasters

The disastrous 2020 California fires and the 2023 Canadian wild fires that both produced choking smoke and pollution over large parts of North America are also consequences of climate change (in addition to many years of blocking beneficial fires and building homes in dangerous areas).

All equations must balance. Follow the science.

Save Our Seas Ride Across America (2019)

Climate Ride Logo

From February 22 through May 29, 2019 Tim bicycled 5004 miles in 97 days from San Francisco to Boston via two dozen aquariums and many other speaking venues to meet people across the US and discuss Oceans, Plastic, Climate Change, and Kids. Tim surpassed his original mileage estimate of 4400 miles and blew past his speaking goal of 90 talks in 90 days as he did 254 talks!!!!  He did all of this while minimizing solid waste as well as fossil fuel use. Finally he raised $13,000 for five 501(c)3 charities fighting climate change -- Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, League of American Bicyclists, Adventure Cycling, Climate Ride, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Fossil fuels are causing climate change and polluting our oceans with billions of tons of plastic that kill wildlife and 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.  Tim did this ride to Save Our Seas, a critical part of our world's life support system, for all of our kids, grandkids, and future generations. 

Let's work together to save our world. Please do one or more of the following:

People are powerful. We have changed the world in many ways and we have the power to improve our world rather than destroy it. Connecting with each other is key to working together, which is on reason Tim did this ride. Together we can keep our world a beautiful place for all to live.


Why did Tim visit so many aquariums? The Monterey Bay Aquarium was instrumental in educating Tim about plastic in our oceans and the New England Aquarium in Boston was the first international-class aquarium Tim visited as a kid. Bill Patterson,  a friend of Tim's 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 Tim's 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 Tim spent a night. You can also see Tim's schedule in list form. Remarkably, Tim completed the ride as planned despite many adverse weather events so Tim could make all his speaking engagements. Following a strict schedule when bicycle touring is hard.

Trails away from motor vehicles are one of the most fun places to bicycle (and breathe). Tim rode on about 50 rail trails including many within 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.

If you are interested in bicycle touring, here are some good resources to start: adventurecycling.org, crazyguyonabike.com, bicycletouringpro.com, warmshowers.org, ridewithgps.com, and maps.google.com (use their bike routing option).  Packing correctly is critical. Tim's long distance touring packing list is a derivative of the one David Goodrich used as documented in his book A Hole in the Wind.

Warmshowers.org is highly recommended both for people who bike as well as those who do NOT bike as it is an excellent way for you to meet friendly eco tourist bicyclists from all over the world that come to your doorstep rather than you having to travel to theirs.

For day-by-day pictures and commentary from Tim's ride, see Tim's Save Our Seas ride blog at https://sosride.blogspot.com/

Media coverage: San Jose Mercury News (2/24/19), Paso Robles Daily News (2/25/19)San Diego CBS TV Interview (3/6/19), Roswell New Mexico Daily Record (3/26/19), St. Louis Missouri KDHX Radio Interview (4/9/19), North Country Public Radio (4/24/2019), Watertown Daily Times (5/6/2019), Malone Telegram (5/9/2019), Grand Center Arts Academy Today (5/13/19), The Silicon Valley Voice (5/15/19), Wicked Local Wareham (5/19/19)

Monterey Bay Logo
New England Aquarium Logo
California Academy of Sciences Logo

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, Disease, Drought, Floods, Wild Fires, Mass Extinctions, Famine, and War. Fossil fuels cause climate change -- best to leave them in the ground. Plastics (also from fossil fuels) are killing our oceans. This site takes a very broad view of zero waste to include all resources -- time, money, space, energy, water, and air in addition to solid waste.

Zero Waste is both a goal and a journey. Just take it one step at a time.

Skip the straw, save a sea turtle logo

Annie Leonard's The Story of Stuff is very worth watching. Inspired by Annie and Greenpeace, Tim often tweets pictures of each piece of trash he picks up along with an @ tag to the manufacturer and the hashtag #nomoretrash.

How To Go Zero Waste?

Read and learn from any or all of the following.

Zero Waste books (please borrow from your library or get electronic editions):

Zero Waste websites and blogs:

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.

Here are some pictures of what Tim hauls by bike. He often moves more by bike than can fit in most cars.

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 so it is easier for everyone. Here are the biggest current opportunities. Please talk to your elected officials about these:

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. 

Picture of earth showing north and south America from space taken by NASA

Tim's Speaking Schedule

Tim has given thousands of talks at companies, aquariums, museums, libraries, schools, churches, Boys and Girls Clubs, and other venues to audiences as large as 2000 as well as on TV and radio. If you are interested in having Tim talk please email him at Tim@ZeroW.org. Here are the places he spoke during his ride. He can give versions of the following talks to adults, kids, or both for ages from elementary school on up. The talks can be from 30-90 minutes depending on the audience. Tim is a certified Cycling Instructor with the League of American Bicyclists , former Coach Instructor with the American Youth Soccer Organization (taught thousands of coaches),  former 4-H leader, and on the cutting edge of going Zero Waste for businesses, households, and individuals.

Learn how to reduce climate change and waste while reliving an epic bicycle ride from San Francisco to Boston to save our world for our kids.

Learn how to save money and reduce waste at the same time to protect our planet and kids. All waste is money lost.

Specifications for talks:

Upcoming Talks

Selected Past Talks

A Passion for Zero Waste & Balance

Leading up  to Tim's 2019 ride he gave a TEDx talk in April 2018 that showed a passion for Zero Waste and what individuals can do. After his 2019 bicycle ride across the US, Sunday Assembly had Tim speak about the balance we need to maintain for our species to survive on Earth. 

About Tim Oey

Tim runs ZeroW.org to help people learn how to save spaceship Earth's life support system by pursuing Zero Waste  -- saving our environment, oceans, climate, money, and lives. Zero Waste means working to eliminate trash and pollution and doing our best to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. All waste is money lost. His household of 3 humans and 2 dogs is down to about a quart of trash a month. His solar powered electric home generates more electricity than it consumes and his transportation is almost fossil fuel free as well -- mainly bicycles and an electric car. In 2019 he did a 5000 mile business trip by bicycle from San Francisco to Boston to deliver 254 talks across the US about Oceans, Plastic, Climate Change, and Kids.

Bicycling is one of the most impactful ways to go Zero Waste and it's fun!  Riding a bike instead of driving a car in the US can save you $1,000,000 over a lifetime. That's a lot of money! 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 Tim serves on the Sunnyvale Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission and the VTA Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee. On the education side Tim is a certified League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructor who loves to teach people how to bicycle safely.  He teaches private and group lessons through Bicycle Solutions, middle school kids and parents through Wheel Kids, and everyone else through his full time work at Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition.

While Tim has a degree in Chemistry from Harvard and worked in the Harvard Bio Labs, the core of his career was 30+ years doing new product development at Harvard, Bank of Boston, Fidelity Investments, Apple, Sun, Adobe, and Silver Spring Networks.  At the end of 2016 he left high tech to bring his systems analysis and program management expertise to public service and nonprofit environmental projects.

Headshot of Tim wearing suit and tie
Tim in bike clothing posing with bicycle at Bad Water Basin (282 feet below sea level) in Death Valley

You can also check out periodic posts and videos at https://www.facebook.com/ZeroW.org

We must take immediate, extensive, and substantive action to solve the serious issues we face -- plastic pollution, resource over consumption, and climate change.  Otherwise we will face the consequences -- pandemics, poverty, drought, famine, and war. It really is not that hard. Simple things like bicycling and choosing what we buy (or not) can make a big difference. We can do it!

Thanks for reading and taking care of each other, our kids, and our planet! Where we go from here is up to all of you!