8. May 2013 22:17
Most people would agree that making sustainable choices is the right thing to do. But most of us don’t know where to start and think that to make a difference we have to do something big. Doing small things to reduce waste and energy consumption can add up to big things, including savings. Not only is making sustainable choices good for the environment, it is good for the pocket book. [More]
15. January 2013 21:06
The final Leave No Trace principle, number seven, is “Be Considerate of Other Visitors.” This should be common sense for most people, but referring back to Planning Ahead and Prepare, we need to ensure our actions will not negatively impact others or the environment. [More]
29. November 2012 20:33
The fifth Leave No Trace (LNT) principle is Minimize Campfire Impacts. This principle is important when it comes to protecting the environment; many forest fires are started in the summer when campers don’t control fires appropriately and in many areas the appearance has been degraded because of the increasing demand for firewood. [More]
4. October 2012 20:50
The second Leave No Trace (LNT) principle is Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces. This principle is vital to the preservation of the environment you are planning to travel through during your next adventure. When roaming outdoors, damage occurs when vegetation or other communities of organisms are trampled. [More]
28. June 2012 19:14
Today I decided to take a look at my environmental impact, also known as my ‘ecological footprint.’ There are several sites that measure your ecological footprint. I used the site linked to the Wellbeing page, www.myfootprint.org. The questions were easy to answer and for the few I didn’t know off the top of my head I used the national average, which was provided by the site.
I learned that if every single person on Earth lived the same way that I do, we would use up 4.1 Earths! To be honest I was pretty shocked. I have become known to my friends as the eco-friendly fanatic and although I know that I am not perfect when it comes to being eco-conscious I do make a very strong effort. According to the website the average U.S. citizen leaves a footprint of 246.41 global acres. My consumption level was only 159.27 global acres. If my consumption was over 4 Earths this means that in reality U.S. citizens are living completely unsustainable lives that could consume over 6 Earths! [More]
25. June 2012 21:20
College students are well-known for their crazy, hectic schedules. This is one of the busiest times of our lives and we are finally at the age where we are making our own decisions and setting up a path that we could follow for the rest of our lives. This is an exciting time but it can also be very overwhelming as we undergo many personal changes. Sometimes we get caught up and forget to take care of ourselves. I have decided to take a step back and evaluate my own wellbeing through the ‘8 Dimensions of Wellbeing’: emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual. I will be blogging about my journey throughout the summer with posts until I have completed my personal adventure. Stay tuned for my first wellbeing blog post! [More]
29. May 2012 22:52
Eating with the Seasons is a practice that many people are turning to. As more people learn about the downfalls of conventional food production, they are naturally turning toward organic and local food options. One of the best ways to eat that is better for you and for the environment is to eat with the seasons. The term Eating with the Seasons means that you are purposefully purchasing and consuming produce that is ripe at that time of the year. For example, in the spring you would not be eating potatoes (a fall vegetable), but eating leafy greens (a spring crop) instead.
There are multiple benefits of Eating with the Seasons including environmental, health and economical.
Environment – Foods are not flown in from all over the globe so that we can have any fruit or veggie all year round. This means what you eat uses less energy and gasoline to get to you. Food that is out of season can be damaging because it has will need to have more chemicals applied to it to ensure freshness. There are significant effects from chemical runoff from agricultural land.
Health – The commitment to eat with the seasons is one that will benefit your health greatly. You will be getting the nutrients that your body wants at that time of the year. For example, in the winter when you naturally want heavier meals you will be eating heavier veggies such as carrots, squash and other roots. Another plus is that because eating with the seasons also implies eating locally, your food will be fresher and therefore have the highest nutritional content possible.
Economic – Produce that is in season will cost less at the grocery store because it does not have to be preserved or shipped in from a location where it might be in season. This is a nice break on your wallet.
I challenge you to explore what eating with the seasons looks like in the area where you live and then give it a go. You might just find that your body has been craving that food all along!
21. May 2012 23:27
After returning from 11 days of climbing, backpacking and kayaking, I needed a couple of down days to recharge the batteries. Now that I am fully recharged, and have a little down time, I can tell you all about this amazing Outdoor Recreation Center led adventure.
The first few days of the trip we did some water preparation and climbing. Since we were all starting from ground zero and building skills within a curriculum, the ORC staff had us learn some basic safety procedures and water rescue scenarios in the Gibb Pool on campus. Conducting this training in a pool setting allowed for us students to get comfortable with the skills in a safe environment. After we completed a number of ways to right and enter a kayak or canoe in open water, we made our way to the climbing wall to learn some basic climbing skills and how to set-up a climbing area properly when leading a trip. The instructors were great at explaining not only how to get an area ready for climbing and the proper way to wear equipment, but they gave us reasons why this way is important for safety and uniformity within ORC trips. Each of our trainers taught these tasks a little differently and in their own unique way, while maintaining the basic principles. This type of continuity and cohesion from the staff gave us students a vision of how we should be working in the future.
The following morning we gathered at the ORC, packed our gear and headed out to Granite Point for some outdoor rock climbing. While on the way, roughly a 40-min drive, the instructors didn’t waste time, they gave us information regarding what to do during emergencies at Granite Point and showed us a couple of different launch points for kayaking trips the ORC leads throughout the year. Once we arrived at Granite Point, we gathered the gear and made our way up to the climbing location. A helmet area was designated first to ensure safety while the top ropes wer... [More]
18. April 2012 21:49
What is a portable stove? – Portable stoves are small, compact, burner assemblies used during hiking or backpacking trips when normal cooking utilities are not available. While many different variations of portable stoves are available, this article will focus on non-self-pressurizing tanks and free-standing burners. This type of step-up allows for a minimal amount of items to carry in your pack and eliminates the need for pressurized bottles.
How do they work? – Typical portable stoves consist of a few different parts that, when combined, provide a powerful and easy to use stove in just about any environmental conditions. The main parts of the portable stove are the fuel bottle, pressurization pump, connection tube and burner. The fuel bottle contains a liquid fuel source in accordance with the burner, typically kerosene, gasoline, diesel or alcohol. Pressurization pumps allows for the user to pressurize the bottle for stove use. The connection tube provides a sealed connection between the pressurized fuel source and the burner assembly. Once these four parts are connected and properly primed, the stove is ready for use. Pressurized fuel is fed to the burner via the connection tube. Upon ignition, the assembly will burn the fuel, thus providing a gas stove for cooking. Many companies have unique fittings for the bottle, pump, tube and stove, so ensure you get matching equipment and test the equipment before taking it on a trip. Also, follow the instructions for the particular burner as steps may vary depending on individual burners.
When should you use them? – These portable units are great for camping, hiking and mountaineering. The set-up and tear-down for portable stoves is relatively quick and effortless. When hiking and mountaineering, size and weight are vital. These stoves allow for hours of use while minimizing the space used and weight added t... [More]
13. April 2012 18:01
Summer is swiftly approaching and after a cold winter I’m ready for sunshine. To take ample advantage of the warm weather I have decided to take a different approach to planning my summer activities, I’m making a summer wish list.
When summer comes around all I want to do is relax but I’d much rather be hiking, biking or swimming. Here’s my wish list:
Hike Multnomah Falls. According to Oregon’s website, the difficulty is tailored for two different levels a moderate or difficult hike. I’ll probably do this on my way to or from Portland because it’s a nice break in a road trip.
Camping on the Oregon Coast. Camping was a staple of my childhood and I want to reconnect. An article from The Oregonian listed the top 10 tent sites for camping in Oregon. All of them look beautiful!
Bike through Tri-Cities, WA. I’m from the Tri-Cities and want to explore the area on a bike rather than driving everywhere, the Tri-cities Guide shows different routes.
Fishing in North Idaho. My Grandma lives in Bonners Ferry, ID, when I visit I plan to hike up one of the mountains and fish, while picking huckleberries along the way.
At the very least I want to do these four activities and hopefully by the end of the summer I’ve at least doubled that number! What outdoor activities will you do this summer?
Check out the sunny weather in the video below where Megan and I talk about summertime activities.