Low Carbon Zero Waste Challenges

Overview

My job for the next 2 months will be to go as low carbon as possible with little waste generated and attend 2 running events on the 27th April 2019 at Trieste, Italy (Mujalonga Sul Mar) and 12th May 2019 at Geneva (Geneva Marathon) to be their sustainability development ambassador as well as to encourage participants to be part of the solution to reducing waste and now also to think about their carbon emissions.

This is not a sponsored trip as it is important for me to be able to say what I want, share what I want without having to interject how marvelous xyz company is. Am also in this for the long haul and with COP24 warnings, climate change happening before our eyes, am committed to be bolder in shouting out about what we can do to help our own environment. I am hoping that although you might think it is extreme to cycle 2600 miles from the UK to Trieste, Geneva and back to the UK, you will become aware that the human spirit can do soooo much more than what we give ourselves credit for and somewhere some of you will be inspired to change your norm and give up a convenience for your health and for the planet’s health. After all it used to be normal for people to smoke on an airplane and everyone including children to breathe in that toxic crap. By the way, I am normal – I bleed, need to eat, and go to toilet like I assume we all do!

A number of people keep telling me it is dangerous for me to go on this trip by myself! I have pointed out to them that living is dangerous, crossing the road is dangerous and when it is my time to go, God will take me. Many ask me why I want to do such a crazy thing.

“It’s for the planet. We cannot keep looking away at the natural disasters that are happening, the whales that have been sacrificing themselves to clean up the plastic by swallowing large amounts…… We need to be bolder in our actions and if I can inspire some people to use more carbon neutral methods of travelling, reduce the temperature in their house, wash their clothes only when it smells, learn to hang up clothes to reduce ironing and more……then it is worth it”

This trip will have its challenges but we need to be bold if we want to turn our planet’s environment around and redirect it to the road of health which is beneficial to us all.

My Itch

I will not be able to go absolutely zero waste. Right now am suffering from dermatitis (atopic eczema) which is ravaging my arms, torso, neck and face and can push my well being down. Last week on Monday it looked like someone punched me in the eye with one side of my face inflamed & might have been the washing powder of the accommodation I was staying in. Am not looking for sympathy as it is a condition I’ve struggled with for a good while and do know what I need to do, like drink more water and sleep. With the month flying by, my focus has been to find a bicycle, and prepare for this trip so I guess had forgotten the basics!

When I went to the Arctic, the eczema was a one month disaster and my skin an itchy mess and not one I want to repeat. I had later found my GPs prescription of emollients were one of the issue causing me to itch perhaps an hour after application.

I will be taking moisturising cream that is in a plastic bottle that does soothe the dry skin and anti-histamines with me, as trying to dig out my skin from my body is painful…..but as an eczema sufferer feels so much better to be bleeding and sore rather than the hellish itch. Right now I continue to provide my own visualisation – to see my skin healing as the journey continues especially on the face and neck.

Cycling Shorts

Having now tried them, am not keen. Feels like wearing a thick menstrual pad. It definitely ain’t allowing much to breathe and is causing a little eczema problem on the groin area. Unfortunately my own sweat can cause my skin to erupt in rashes! So it is gonna be a balancing act between breath-ability and saddle soreness.

Purchases

I did want to find as much preloved/second hand stuff but have had to purchase some items new:

New seat. Having injured my crotch earlier on when I had started cycling earlier this month, Fetcheveryone told me about changing seat & cycling shorts. Have to say the seat does make a big difference and certainly will reduce potential down time.

Dynamo Wheel + Current Converter + Respective Wires As it is unknown whether if I will have a suitable place to stay over, I want to ensure I have power when I need it. This will slow down my pace but will have devices (a 2nd hand iPhone and 2nd hand Android phone + USB lights) to keep powered to let folk know am okay + to help me navigate the route.

USB lights. This will reduce the need to purchase throw away batteries. Will also be bringing along rechargeable batteries for some battery operated lights.

Mobile Phone on Handle bar. Found navigating by phone needs to be in front of you rather than trying to hold it and look at directions.

Elbow extension bars. Because I got carried away when I was purchasing stuff and was talked into purchasing them to reduce the strain on the wrists.

Puncture resistant tyres. It was strongly suggested that I change over my tyres and had a discussion on the Cycling UK forum before going with a Schwalbe Durano Plus tyre as recommended by Adrian who gave me a one-one tutorial to help me understand about my bicycle and safety.

Spare inner tubes if I do get a puncture and the weather is poor.

So although I would like to show you pictures of the bicycle, the Dynamo Wheel had to be sent back to be “trued” as it was a little wobbly so am waiting for it to be sorted. Thank goodness Brexit has been extended as this means am leaving on the 30th March instead of 27th March!

Finally…

Work has got in my way and in a moment I will be saying no more as it is jeopardizing planning….although if the route ain’t sufficiently planned, I’ll just go where ever my GPS takes me!!! The Mujalonga Sul Mar folk are expecting me on the 25th April. Sooooo well what ever happens after happens and it is just a matter of keeping everything positive.

I will be Twitter at @TyreLady and will be using Instagram @TyreLady2016 (you don’t have to join to see my posts). Do think about what you can do this month to reduce your carbon emissions such as reduce the energy you use with heating or cooling, your personal transportation – see if you can walk or cycle rather than take the car.

Happy Adventuring

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