Happy Environmentally Friendly Holidays!

With the holiday season upon us, it’s time to break out the decorations, fill your favorite reusable mug with egg nog and spiked cider, and hang up the LED twinkle lights! That’s right, this year, consider taking an eco-friendly route to your holiday routine; make your gift-giving and personal wish lists, holiday decor and (new) traditions a little more environmentally friendly with these 5 tips. 

Organic Foods_Image by Ryan Michelle Scavo_1066x696

1) Make it from scratch and keep it organic

Hosting a holiday party? Joining in on the office potluck? Prepping for the annual family holiday dinner? Consider going organic and making (most of) your dishes from scratch with those tasty organic ingredients. 

I love food and I love to cook, but I didn’t always buy organic or make meals from the ground up. For years, as Thanksgiving and Christmas approached, I would make it a point to grab a few cans of that wiggly, cylinder-molded, gelatinous so-called cranberry sauce from the grocery store shelves because it was my family’s tradition; it’s what I knew to be “cranberry sauce”. It didn’t know what I was missing until riding the bus one day, a fellow commuter told me about her family’s “famous” cranberry sauce. Authenticity is hard to beat and a homemade dish is a testament to that fact. While that gelatinous sauce is tasty, a heaping spoonful of made-with-love, slightly-sweet-yet-deliciously-tart cranberry sauce hits the spot every time.

And while not all your ingredients and food choices need to be organic, transitioning to organically grown/raised foods is a sustainable, environmentally-friendly choice. Thanks to growing consumer interest, we have more organic options than ever before right at our fingertips. Vegetables, meats, wines, beers, breads…the list goes on. Organic foods are free of synthetic-based fertilizers/pesticides, so eating and drinking organic means fewer pollutants in your system and more nutrients remaining in the land/water, keeping you and the planet a little happier and healthier.

Christmas Tree Hunting 3_Image by Ryan Michelle Scavo_1066x696

Christmas Tree Hunting 2_Image by Ryan Michelle Scavo_1066x696

2) Skip the plastic; go natural with holiday decor

Plastics are a big part of our culture. We find them everywhere: plastic bottles, plastic utensils, plastic packaging, plastic this and plastic that. If you’ve already transitioned your everyday items (bottles, utensils, etc.) to reusable, why not do it with your holiday decor? No matter what holiday you and your friends and family celebrate, if you love to decorate, there are a plethora of natural options. 

For those of you celebrating Hanukkah, consider natural, beeswax candles for the menorah. Often, they’re handmade and they always smell lovely. If Christmas is your holiday of choice, picking a real one is your best choice for an eco friendly Christmas tree. “Friendly fur” trees are softer to the touch while spruce tree needles are a little less forgiving. Of course, whatever species of tree you find, keep it watered and indulge in the natural piney fragrance!

You can also decorate your space with pine bows, grapevine wreaths, pine cones and dried flowers. If you go the dried flower or pine cone route, make them especially festive by spraying them silver and gold with a non-toxic paint. 

3) Buy local, share sustainability-minded gifts and skip the wrapping paper

A lot of factors go into calculating our carbon, including where our food and goods come from. If you have the option, shop locally for gifts this year. Ride your bike, walk or take public transit to local stores – and don’t forget to bring your own bag!

If you can’t find what you want locally (and even if you do), choose to buy sustainably-made gifts. Meaning, look for natural materials and fibers (wood, wool) and ethically-sourced materials in the goodies you’re gifting. 

And finally, if you’ve checked out the shipping practices at Toad&Co, you might be surprised to read that “roughly 165 billion packages are shipped in the U.S. each year, which equals more than 1 billion trees and 140 billion gallons of water used”. There’s no denying it, that’s a lot of resources being used. So whether you order online or purchase gifts at stores, choose companies that offer recycled, no-plastic packaging and skip the wrapping paper altogether. To wrap smaller items, consider using a bonus gift, like a scarf or organic cotton tea towel to keep the surprise alive (here’s a step by step tutorial for wrapping gifts in cloth). For bigger items, larger colorful towels, paper bags, and even foldable maps are great repurposed resources!

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4) Gift experiences

If you want to take a different approach to gift-giving this year, consider gifting experiences, rather than stuff. How many pairs of socks does your partner really need? For the cocktail lover, gift a “mixologist 101” class. Wildlife enthusiast? Take them birding at the nearby refuge or city park! Lover of all things snow? Sounds like a backcountry hut trip would be a perfect option! 

Experiences create memories and make great eco friendly gifts, especially for the people on your list that are difficult to shop for or seem to already have everything.

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5) Celebrate outside

Just because it’s getting cooler outside, doesn’t mean you need to lock yourself up inside. ‘But how is getting outside eco-friendly’, you ask? Easy! 

First, let’s start with saving energy. Throwing a layer on and getting out of the house or apartment means you don’t have to turn the heat (i.e., your thermostat) up in your home. By keeping your energy use down, you’re saving resources and money. 

Second, staying connected to the outdoors by going for walks around town, longer hikes at parks and on trails or skiing (among other activities) reminds us how important outdoor spaces really are to ourselves and hopefully to others. If you care about a space, you tend to want to protect it! Making and maintaining a connection to the outdoors is a great way to live a more environmentally conscious life all year long.

It might be the end of the year, but the holidays are a great time to start new traditions to carry into the new year. These 5 eco friendly holiday tips are just the start – try them and then find your own ways to celebrate and live more sustainably!

Get Outside_Image by Sam Scavo_1066x696.jpg

A Pennsylvania native and Colorado transplant, Ryan is a proud mountain mama to two wild outdoors-loving kiddos and a couple of equally wild cattle dogs. She’s also a photographer, writer and outdoorswoman. When she and her husband aren’t wrangling the pack – and more often, when they are – you’ll find them fly fishing, skiing or biking somewhere around their home in southern Colorado.

Photography by Ryan Scavo and Sam Scavo.

The Story of a Renewed Shirt

Dear Toad&Co, 

I can’t thank you enough. When one of my seams ripped apart in a pogo-stick accident, I thought my days were numbered. I’d had a good life until then – I was born on an organic cotton farm, raised on rainwater and non-synthetic fertilizers, was spun and sewn in a responsible facility, got a fancy non-toxic certification from OEKO-TEX, met my best friend in a small outdoor shop, and spent many years exploring and traveling the world – but I was heart broken to think that I was doomed for the bottom of the landfill. 

But you saved me. 

Instead of being hauled off to the dump, I was sent to Oregon to make the acquaintances of the Renewal Workshop. WOW, what a place! Everywhere there were machines whizzing and buzzing and there were thousands of garments just like me – slightly damaged, excess and returned clothing that had no place in the landfills. Was this heaven? 

My first day there I took a dip in their Tersus washing machine, a state-of-the-art machine that uses CO2 to get deep into the fibers of a garment; there’s no water wasted and all byproducts are captured and reused. 

Next I was off to the seamstresses for new seams, reinforced buttons (just for good measure) and a fancy new label that says “Renewed Toad&Co.” Then I had my first photoshoot, became an internet sensation, and was shipped off to meet my NEW owner.  

Today, I’m the same great flannel I’ve always been but with a renewed sense of purpose: to help change the apparel industry from a linear one to a circular one. I’ve never felt better! 

In gratitude, 

The Renewed Flannel Shirt 

PS – Get your own Men’s Renewed Toad&Co and Women’s Renewed Toad&Co. Then give yourself a high five for leaving a lighter footprint on the planet! 

Leftover Turkey Soup

By: Lucinda, Sr. Product Development Manager and Queen of Waste-Free Living

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Lucinda knows how to enjoy the finer things in life, so we trust her when it comes to all things food, drink, travel, and sustainability. 

I must have been about four years old when I remember spending Thanksgiving with my grandparents, Nana and Dada. My Nana was an amazing cook and there were a ton of leftovers. We ate turkey sandwiches, turkey pot pie, and even turkey enchiladas. By Sunday evening, I was utterly tired of turkey.

When Nana served me a steaming bowl of soup, I surveyed it mutinously, with bits of what looked like turkey swirling around my spoon. “This had better not be turkey soup.”

“Oh no,” she replied. “It’s not turkey soup. It’s Kukuruku soup!”

Well, that was an entirely different matter altogether. We watched a TV show that featured astronauts time traveling back to the Stone Age, where the cavemen dined on some strange dinosaur soup called “Kukuruku.” I couldn’t believe that Nana had the recipe or the ingredients!

Since then, my family has always called the soup we make after Thanksgiving Kukuruku Soup. Because salvaging leftovers is one of my favorite ways to reduce waste in my everyday life, I’m passing along our Kukuruku tradition.

Kukuruku Soup Recipe

  1. 1. Roast the turkey carcass. I usually roast it at 375° for 45 minutes to 1 hour. But I recommend going off of how it looks—I take it out of the oven when it looks browned and you know, “roasty.”
  2. 2. Put the carcass into a stock pot and fill with water. Add salt, onion or garlic trimmings, dried herbs like oregano and thyme, and simmer for an hour.
  3. 3. Strain the solids from the stock pot and compost them. Let the stock cool and refrigerate overnight. The next day, skim off the fat that has congealed on the top.
  4. 4. Next, take the last little bits of turkey meat, and the carrots and celery left over from the crudité platter, and mix them with the stock you’ve made in a Dutch oven or stock pot over low medium heat.
  5. 5. I like to add a cup of barley and any leftover gravy to make it even heartier.
  6. 6. Cook for 30-40 minutes, adding in seasonings like dried oregano or chopped garlic (or whatever you’re feeling, really).
  7. 7. Freeze any leftovers and enjoy for a quick, but filling, meal during the busy holiday season.

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The inventor of Kukuruku soup herself, Nana.

Bring These Wines to Every Party

Come November 1st, “Pick up a bottle of wine” is a constant on our to-do lists and we’re always on the lookout for wineries with a commitment to sustainability (because a happy planet produces great wine). Here are our picks for best wines to drink for the holidays—all fellow members of 1% for the Planet, committed to donating 1% of sales to environmental causes. We’ll toast to that! 

Paradigm Winery – Cabernet Sauvignon 

This long standing partner of 1%FTP is based in the Napa Valley and makes some mighty good vino. This family-owned operation maintains a hands-on, eco-friendly approach to all winemaking—nothing is outsourced! Every bottle you uncork was grown, crushed, fermented, barrel aged, bottled and stored on site. WE LOVE: The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, a black raspberry colored Cabernet with aromatics of black cherry, berry, and plum layered with a perfect balance of new and used French Oak.

 Spottswoode Estate – Cabernet Sauvignon

Another long-standing 1%FTP member in Napa, Spottswoode was one of the first wineries in California to be certified organic. They enrich their soil with cover crops every fall, and re-establishing native California grasses in the vineyard, and use natural insect and weed management (no toxic synthetics). They also happen to made damn good wine. WE LOVE: The 2016 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – it’s big and rich without being overwrought.

Hobo Wine Co. –  Zinfandel 

Newer to the 1% network, Hobo Wines is churning out some delicious varietals from Sonoma County grapes. Fueled by a steady stream of Woody Guthrie and Bruce Springsteen jams, the folks at Hobo Wine infuse each bottle with good vibes and delicious notes. WE LOVE: The 2017 Rockpile Zinfandel, a co-fermentation of old vine Zin and newer Petite Syrah grapes. 

WINC – Pacificana Chardonnay 

Part of the Winc wine club powerhouse, the Pacificana label maybe be a new member of the 1%FTP family but this is some seriously seasoned Chard. WE LOVE: The 2018 Chardonnay with its tasting notes of buttered popcorn, butterscotch, candied lemon, and oak. You had us at butter. 

Bandit Wines – Pinot Grigio 

Another newbie to 1% FTP, this BOXED wine (yes yes yes) is great to bring when your holidays find you outside of the box (see what we did there?). Packaged in renewable paper packaging that is surprisingly more eco-friendly than glass (their website has a great breakdown), the brand is also committed to supporting the preservation of trails and rivers in our National Park. WE LOVE: The Pinot Grigio with its aromas of zesty citrus, pear and peach. Tart, sweet, crisp and best paired with sweeping views of Yosemite’s Half Dome. 

For more 1% for the Planet member products we love, check out our blog on 1% coffee roasters

7 Eco-Friendly Holiday Tips

We love the holidays (gathering, eating, appreciating) and Planet Earth (mountains, water, trees, life as we know it…). So this year we’re on a mission to make our favorite traditions a little more earth-friendly. Here are our 7 tips to help you have a waste-free holiday season and score some extra points on the Nice List.

 

Checkbox USE THE LEFTOVERS 

Leftovers are the ultimate holiday magic. Make turkey scrap soup, toss the last veggies in a quiche, turn old rolls into croutons… sky’s the limit.  

Checkbox LESS IS MORE 

The less stuff, the more sustainable your holidays. Forget individual presents and organize a White Elephant gift exchange or Secret Santas, or give experiences instead of things.  

Checkbox  GIFT SUSTAINABLY 

If you’re gonna gift, make it a sustainable gift. Look for brands that give back (check the 1% for the Planet directory), items that are durable and useful, and things made responsibly (ahem, we happen to do all three). 

Checkbox USE YOUR DISHWASHER 

Fill it up and run it. Most dishwashers use about 3 gallons of water, while washing the same amount by hand could use 10x that amount. Save water, drink whiskey… We mean, use a dishwasher. 

Checkbox DITCH THE WRAPPING PAPER 

Sad fact: Wrapping paper isn’t recyclable. So do whatever you have to do to avoid it. Here’s a nifty guide to Furoshiki, the Japanese art of fabric gift wrapping. 

Checkbox RE-GIFT IT

Yeah, we said it. We’re totally okay with re-gifting and you should be too. Think of it as a circular holiday economy. 

Checkbox SHOP LOCAL 

Buying local is a gift to all. It supports the community, cuts back on packaging, and keeps your carbon footprint low. Find a Toad&Co retailer in your neck of the woods and have a happy, environmentally friendly holiday!

Vintage Denim 101: How to Cut it and Make it Your Own

The 90s called, and they’re not getting their jeans back anytime soon. We’re thrilled to announce that we’re now offering vintage denim on our website. By rocking vintage, you’re doing your part to keep clothes out of the landfill, which keeps the circular economy in motion, and lets Mother Nature rest easy (most denim production also uses a ton of water, so shopping vintage is just as water-wise as it is a win for your closet).

Because each pair of vintage 501s has its own unique story, inseam lengths will vary and some pairs are more washed and worn than others. We think it’s awesome that no two pairs are the same, and love the idea of adding your chapter to your new (well….old) pair’s story.

Our in-house denim gurus (AKA Kyle, our Head of Product, Design, and Supply Chain, and Lindsay, our Web Merchant/Style Superstar) share their super simple, step-by-step guide on how to cut denim to make it your own. Give it a try and we can guarantee that your newly acquired jeans will thank you for keeping them from the landfill, and breathing some extra life into them too.

And a pro tip from the rest of the Toads: Make it to the end for a good laugh.

 

Shop Men’s Vintage Levi’s 501s and Women’s Vintage Levi’s 501s.

How to Save Water in Apparel Production

Our long term commitment to sustainability wouldn’t be what it is without our vow to save water. We’ve been reminded to turn off the sink while brushing our teeth from a young age, and we can all agree that protecting this valuable resource is more important now than ever.

We’re on a mission to cut our water usage by 100,000 liters per year by 2025. Here’s what we’re already doing, and will continue to do, to up our H2O-saving game.

Recycled Fibers

When it comes to sustainable fibers, recycled fibers are the gold standard. Virgin materials require a ton of land, energy, chemicals, and—you guessed it—water, to produce. Recycled fibers, on the other hand, rely on materials that have already gone through those resource-intensive production processes once. If you want to get in the eco-weeds, here’s how fabric is made from recycled plastic bottles.

From 2018 to 2019, we have almost doubled our use of recycled fibers. And each year, we’ll continue to raise the bar.

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Organic Cotton

A conventional cotton T-shirt takes 713 gallons of water to grow (enough to sustain one person for almost three years!). But organic agriculture uses water more responsibly. For something to be GOTS certified, it must use a certain amount of “green water” (a more sustainable kind of water, which uses rain water instead of irrigation) versus “blue water” (pumped in from lakes, streams, glaciers, and snow). Overall, organic cotton uses 88% less water than conventional cotton to grow.

100% of our cotton is certified organic or recycled, always and forever.

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Water-Wise Fibers

Fabrics that take less water to produce, such as hemp and TENCEL™, are a big win for Mother Earth. Hemp is more than the latest buzzword—it’s an epic wonder weed that relies primarily on rainwater to grow. And TENCEL™ is a plant-based fiber made from certified sustainable trees (often eucalyptus, which require far less acreage and water to grow than cotton). It’s made in a closed loop process, recycling process water and reusing the solvent at a recovery rate of more than 99%. Lenzing Modal® is another fave eco-friendly fiber of ours. The bulk of it comes from renewable beech trees which grow quickly, don’t rely on artificial irrigation, and propagate on their own.

From 2018 to 2019, we’ve more than doubled our use of hemp fibers, increased our use of TENCEL™ by over 30%, and increased our use of Lenzing Modal® by almost 40%. And our commitment to these low maintenance plants isn’t going anywhere.

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Closed-Loop Production 

In a closed loop system, products are designed and manufactured to circulate within society for as long as possible, with maximum usability, minimum waste generation, and the most efficient use of resources (ie: using our natural resources to their full potential before discarding them, and even then, discarding in a way that won’t harm the environment). In closed-loop factories, wastewater doesn’t leave the plants. Instead, it’s filtered and sent back to its own system to be reused. Fibers like TENCEL™ and Modal are processed in closed-loop systems which recover and reuse solvents.

Let’s do this, sustainability. ‘Til death do us part.

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Sustainable Coffee Just Tastes Better

We drink a lot of coffee at Toad HQ (changing the status quo takes energy!), so we’ve become somewhat of an expert on what to look for in a good cup of Joe. Sure, a great roast is essential, but coffee made from conscious companies just tastes better. Here are some of our favorite sustainable coffee companies and fellow 1% for the Planet members (ie: at least 1% of their revenue is donated to environmentally friendly non-profits). Start your day with a cupful of good.

Fair trade coffee farmers in Yemen are part of Bivouac’s transparent supply chain.

 

BIVOUAC

Bivouac coffee is all about letting nature take its course. Specializing in “natural coffee,” the method allows the sun and heat to dry the coffee beans versus the more water-intensive process of washing the coffee beans. All of their packaging is 100% compostable and their work benefits non-profits like the American Alpine Club and Big City Mountaineers. 

High Brew Coffee

A favorite of the Toad weekend warriors, High Brew’s canned coffee is about as packable a punch as they come. The real bonus is that they give a portion of sales to support the delosAndes Cooperativa in Columbia. The co-op has invested over $2 million dollars in education, sent 1,069 people to university, and constructed three Micro-Wet Central Mills to promote environmental sustainability in the community. Farmers only use 3 liters of water to produce each pound of coffee (vs. the traditional 30L) and save over 20 million liters annually. High Brew gets high quality coffee beans while farmers achieve greater profitability with less environmental impact. Win, win, win.

The Humblemaker team at an event aimed at enriching the lives of children with autism.

 

Humblemaker Coffee Co.

If this coffee doesn’t warm you from the inside out, then we don’t know what will: They give back 10% of annual profits to programs for children who are affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder. And 25% of sales from special blends go to local schools to help raise funds for student programs. And they source organic and fair trade ingredients for their coffees and cold brews. AND it happens to be delicious. We really can’t say enough about HMC’s awesome coffee. 

Kind Coffee

“It is the responsibility of life in the present to preserve for life in the future. That is why we choose Kind, because a business should share no less in that responsibility than the people who support it.” Can we get an Amen? Based in Estes Park, CO, Kind Coffee strikes the perfect balance between living well and doing good with their chemical free, fairly traded, and certified organic beans. And if you’re a decaf drinker, they use the Swiss Water decaffeination process, the ONLY decaf process achieved without the use of chemicals.

Kind Coffee is dedicated to environmental preservation in beautiful Estes Park, CO.

 

Freezeout Coffee

When CEO Jim Cole wanted to make a difference in local land preservation, he set out to make a company in which he could give away most of the profits. Started as a joint venture business partner of the Sonoma Land Trust, the sales of all Freezeout Coffee directly benefit the preservation of land and water in Northern California. Change starts on a local level – and is best served with cream and sugar.  

Grounds for Change

They’re a B-Corp, they’re carbon-free, they source organic and fair trade beans, they give back 1% to organizations like Rainforest Trust and Save Our Wild Salmon… the name “Grounds for Change” certainly seems fitting. With an awesome commitment to sustainability and a strong cup of brew (we like their Coffee of the Month to try new blends), we tend to stand a little taller after a cup of this stuff.  

For more tips on how to shop sustainably, check out our Sustainability Cheat Sheet

How to Have an Eco-Friendly BBQ

So you’ve got your organic cotton apron and your bamboo utensils and you stopped buying plastic-bottled beverages a decade ago. You’re off to a stellar start! Here are a few more ways to turn your BBQ/cookout/tailgate/meet-and-eat into a sustainable Iron Chef spectacular.

SUSTAINABLE GRILLING

Gas vs. Charcoal – We’ll stay out of the flavor debate, but we’ll pass on the facts about these fuel sources: Charcoal briquettes are typically made from a combination of lighter fluid, sawdust, and other chemical additives; when burned, charcoal briquettes can produce 105 times more carbon than propane and nasty little air pollutants called VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). Propane, on the other hand, does come from non-renewable fossil fuels but produces fewer and cleaner emissions. So propane is the way to go, BUT here’s the catch: if you can find true charcoal (generally called lump or chunk charcoal), this fuel is made from a non-additive hardwood material and burning it is carbon neutral.

Cookin’ With the Sun  – If you’re in the market for a zero emissions option, go for a solar grill or oven. Solar grills are a renewable take on the traditional “electric” grill, while solar ovens magnify and maximize sunlight to do the actual cooking. Science is so cool.

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FOOD & DRINK

Get Local – There are about a million and one reasons to buy local food. To name just a few, buying local: reduces your carbon footprint thanks to short-distance transportation, supports local farmers, stimulates biodiversity in your ecosystem, and generally sidesteps all that plastic packaging you find in chain grocery stores. Co-ops, farmer’s markets, farm carts, community gardens, local grocery stores… we’d bet there are tons of great options near you.

DIY Dips – Do you know how easy it is to make hummus? REALLY easy. Say buh-bye to single-use plastic tubs and hello to your new party trick. Google your favorite dip recipes (we like these for hummus, salsa, and green goddess dip) and put that food processor to work. Twice as much dip for half the cost and 0% the amount of plastic. Wins all around.

DIY Chips – Potato chips, pita chips, tortilla chips, bagel chips, kale chips…there is literally no end to what you can slice and bake. Pick your base, toss with olive oil and salt (or other spices if you’re feeling, well, spicy) and bake low n’ slow. (Addendum: If you’re like our copywriter, Daisy, and “just loooove Doritos,” just make sure to repurpose that empty Doritos bag and reuse it as a trash bag. But also, the internet even has a DIY Doritos recipe… so no excuses).

Chill Properly – This one is tricky, but we understand ice is useful (hello, margaritas). When buying ice, opt for one big bag instead of multiple smaller ones. Reuse the bag as a trash bag or dry out before recycling (BTW, here’s a quick rundown on what’s recyclable and what’s not). If you have a bucket or a cooler to keep cold, fill it with cold water and ice packs.

The Bottle and The Can – We know you know, but it’s a good reminder: Cans and bottles are the best materials to recycle, with clean plastic next, but avoid juice boxes or things that come in cartons – they’re coated with a thin film on the inside that renders them unrecyclable.

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SUPPLIES & MATERIALS

Plate & Wipe Responsibly – Skip single use plastic or styrofoam and look for paper plates and napkins that are made from recycled materials. When you’re done, toss in the compost or the fire. Don’t have a compost? Make one.

Get Real (With Real Utensils) ­– We challenge you to avoid single-use materials (even if they’re compostable and made out of corn oil…). Use the utensils you’ve got and ask a friend to bring all their utensils, too. If you host often, hit up a local thrift store and get a bunch of cheap utensils as a backup BBQ set.

Bees Have Your Back – Ditch plastic wrap if you know what’s good for ya! We’re big fans of reusable beeswax wraps that come in all different sizes and keep your leftovers just as fresh. You can find them in lots of stores now (even in Trader Joe’s), or you can make them yourself ­– just be sure to the get beeswax beads from a local store, not delivered via the interwebs!

Raise a Cup to Mother Nature –  Say it with us, “No more plastic cups!” Grab a 12-pack of mason jars (about $8 at the grocery store). Or just ask your friends to BYOC – tell them it’s just like camping.

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Spread the word with our No More Plastic Stainless Steel Pint

Happy BBQ-ing – save us some leftovers!

Save the Planet, Wear Sustainable Tour: Meet Our New Master Roadtrippers

When one eco-friendly trailer door closes, another opens. While Dr. Drew’s passion for sustainability and general stoke for life have been integral to launching our Save the Planet, Wear Sustainable mobile tour, his time on the road has come to an end. While Drew returns to the Toad mothership in Santa Barbara, CA, we’re kicking off a new chapter of the tour in Freeport, ME—with a new rad couple at the wheel.

Rob and Rachel
Don’t worry, Dr. Drew always has his place on the tour.

 

Meet Rob and Rachel. Originally from Atlanta (Rob) and Connecticut (Rachel), the pair met at Appalachian State University, tucked into the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. They most recently lived in Denver where Rob worked as a land use planner and Rachel was working with geographic information systems for the city. Now, they’re onto their next big adventure as they hit the road to spread the word about how we’re helping to clean up the apparel industry.

Toad HQ: What made you want to join the Save the Planet, Wear Sustainable tour?

Rachel: We had been tossing around the idea of a big road trip for a while now, so when we heard about the tour through my sister Sam (who works at the Toad&Co Freeport store), we knew we wanted in! I’ve been a big fan of Toad for a while now and love the word that this tour is spreading.

Rob: We’re already fans of the brand and really support Toad’s ecologically responsible practices. We really wanted to be a part of increasing awareness of the environmental impacts of the apparel industry (4th largest global polluter—real bummer) and offering an alternative (go nude, or wear sustainable clothing). It was a no brainer!

What are you most excited about in the months ahead as you lead the charge on the STP tour? 

Rob: I’m excited to see parts of the country that I’ve never been to, and engage the local communities as we raise awareness about sustainability.

Rachel: Aside from the two stops (Freeport and Chicago) on this next leg, every place will be new so I’m really stoked to see cities we haven’t been to and connect with the people in those communities.

What’s your favorite U.S. city to visit? 

Rachel: It’s always whatever’s next! Recently, we’ve spent a lot of time in Santa Fe and we love it. The sunsets, food, and hiking are killer.

What about your favorite national park?

Rachel: Rocky Mountain National Park, without a doubt.

Rob: Ditto! Living in Denver gave us the opportunity to spend plenty of time there. I’m stoked to visit new parks along the trip, especially Glacier NP and Northern Cascades NP. Who knows—maybe we’ll wrap up our time on the tour with a new favorite…

How about your favorite road trip songs?

Rob: Can’t go wrong with a long Phish or Dead jam to crush some miles!

Rachel: You’ll usually find me listening to some folk or bluegrass. There’s a lot of John Prine and Vampire Weekend in my current rotation.

Which one of you is most likely to get caught belting out your favorite tunes while driving?

Rachel: We have a few solid duets in our repertoire, but probably me!

At Toad, we stand by the idea that every day is an adventure. What are your best tips for living life this way? 

Rob: Go for it! If you’ve ever wanted to do something, you can find a way.

Rachel: And don’t wait. Just make it happen!

What outdoor activities get you most fired up?

Rob: Backpacking and fly fishing. But also into hiking, cycling, running, and climbing. I guess this is also how I live every day as an adventure!

Rachel: I love biking around to check out new spots, backpacking and hiking, and I’ve recently gotten into fly fishing with Rob.

Even the most adventurous of us need a little downtime. How do you like to spend yours?

Rachel: I love to bake (mostly pies) and garden.

Rob: Playing guitar, eating good food, and an occasional binge watch on a rainy day.

Can you share your best hacks for living life on the road sustainably?

Rob: Bring reusable cups and utensils, say “for here!” when ordering food and coffee, wear clothes a lot between washes (dirty is the new clean), and stop to make food on the road.

Rachel: We try to limit our waste as much as possible—make our own food, bring to-go containers, eat in if we don’t have them, and always say no to straws!

STP key handoff
The official passing of the torch (aka keys to the rig).

 

If we learned one thing from Drew, it’s that the search for the best cup of coffee and most tasty beer is critical on a long road trip (just kidding, Dr. Drew, you taught us a lot). What’s currently topping your list? 

Rachel: I’ll get a vanilla latte when I’m treating myself, and my old neighborhood coffee shop in Denver, Queen City Collective, makes the best cuppa Joe. When it comes to beer, I’m really into the Milkshake IPA right now. WeldWerks in Colorado does ’em best.

Rob: You can’t go wrong with a good IPA, clear or hazy. Right now we’re in Maine and I’m loving Lunch from Maine Beer Co. For coffee, I typically go for a local light roast in whichever city we’re in.

Have you ever gone nude in the name of sustainability (we have to ask…)?

Rachel: We haven’t yet, but anything’s possible on the tour, right?!

Rachel and Rob

What are your favorite Toad clothes to keep it comfy on the road? 

Rachel: Definitely the Hillrose Short Sleeve Shirt (in the Pink Sand Resort print) when I’m feeling fun! And the Tara Hemp Pant—the perfect summer pant. Dress ’em up, dress ’em down.

Rob: I love the Taj Hemp Short Sleeve Slim Shirt and the Rover Short!

Learn more about the Save the Planet, Wear Sustainable tour and find out if we’re coming to your neck of the woods.