Thursday, June 21, 2007

Eco Tripping across the USA!!

Hey all!!!!

Marshana Ritchie (NYC), Leslie Gant (LA), Mike Hedge (LA), and myself (Mike McGuire) have been traveling for three weeks now. Our adventure, the Windows Live Spaces Eco Trip, has taken us from Seattle to our current location (Chicago) by (primarily) train and bike as we get involved in environmental activities across the country.

We have been so busy on our trip I haven't been able to get out those weekly updates I hoped to do, but since it's now mid-voyage, it's a perfect time to fill you in the Eco Trip team's adventures getting involved with eco-activities, meeting people, and getting covered by the press!

If you have been following our/my blogs at all ( and, you have been able to see some of our activities through the pictures, stories, and videos we've been putting up.

If not, here's a quick rundown:
Seattle: volunteered with Earthcorps removing invasive species and hung out with friends Jim and Kelly Gall;

San Francisco: worked with Save the Bay on a wetland restoration project, visited the only LEED certified hotel in the country. Also met 'complete stranger' Amanda Boe who showed me SF's recycling program, and her green-building architectural firm (my favorite video so far is here). I also interviewed a US Green Building Council member and attended a USGBC mtg with a global warming expert. Had beer and food with Susie Ochs and Sander. Many videos from my SF visit.

Salt Lake City: we helped TreeUtah plant willows in their community garden and assisted Bend in the River by pulling invasive weeds in their riverside environmental park. Met with SLC mayor's environmental adviser and visited the Red Butte Botanical Gardens (some great pics on my blog). Met many cool people.

Denver: Picked organic strawberries at Berry Patch Farms and brought them to the public downtown. Made a pilgrimage to the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) which was cool. Saw the Tuck Family (my aunt, uncle, and cousins).

Denver to Omaha: We drove a car for this leg of the trip, courtesy of Chevy (drove their new Aveo which gets 30+mpg on hwy). Our bike rack and bikes fell off the car at 70 mph on the freeway! I was also interviewed by Nebraska's NPR station and the story was aired on Friday, June 15 - you can read about/listen to it with real player on this website.

Omaha: Handed out eco "tip" cards and organic cotton t-shirts at the college world series and planted an oak tree with the city park dept. Fox News 42 from Omaha covered our visit and aired a short story on Monday, June 18. The TV broadcast is here: Also, Melissa flew out to visit and we spent quality time with her cousins, aunt Jeannie and uncle Lanny.

Janesville: We went to Janesville, WI where we visited the GM plant and learned about their E85 (ethanol) vehicles as well as the stringent (and award-winning) environmental measures that govern their assembly plant. They have done a lot of work reducing emissions, energy consumption, and recycling materials at the Janesville facility.

Later this week: The Eco Trippers will hang out in Chicago, distribute reusable (and biodegradable) corn-resin plastic containers and visit some green businesses and other friends. Catch us LIVE on SUNDAY, JUNE 24 on Chicago's NBC station at 6:30am. That is, if you're an early bird!

You: Should check out our massive amount of photos, videos, and blogging action on our site and click "add as a friend" to enter to win tix to the Live Earth Concert in NYC on 7/7/07. They are giving away a $7K prize package and so far only like 70 people are entered so your chances are pretty good!

Thanks for reading all this. Hope you're doing great.