Our “Blue Planet” is not so “Green”.  Only two countries appear green from outer space — Ireland and New Zealand. But you can make your friends green with envy with Green Gear.

Bike Green

PBS - 300x250 Generic BannerChina’s brief experience with the "American experience", that is, driving everywhere, produced clogged cities and smoggy skies.  Now the Chinese are reverting back to the joys of cycling to reduce their carbon footprint and to stay healthier. (Click images.) 

Other major cities are encouraging citizens to cycle to reduce congestion and dirty skies.  The London Cycle Hire scheme alleviates crowding on the Tube and buses in London.  The scheme launched with 6,000 hire bicycles based in the nine London boroughs and several Royal Parks that make up London’s zone one travel area, and are expected to generate around 40,000 extra cycle trips a day in central London. Bicycles will be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Visit www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/12444.aspx

Even small towns are implementing programs such as Bike to Work ideas, including my hometown which began the Spearfish Bike Co-op http://spearfishbikecoop.blogspot.com

Walk Green With MBT Shoes

Until we discover anti-gravity and no longer need propulsion discover the anti-shoe:  MBT’s Spring/Summer 2010 collection offers its most expansive assortment to date with styles that are 20% lighter in the line-up. With their new additions, the pro-body horizon looks and feels slimmer, lighter, and sharper than ever — now making it easier for everyone to get in shape during everyday activities  MBT’s wide array of new Athletic, Casual, Dress and Work styles gives you the tools you need to get in shape. MBT relieves back and joint pain, trains your body, burns extra calories or make a long day on their feet easier. 

Inspired by the way the Masai of Kenya walk, MBT stands for Masai Barefoot Technology, the revolutionary technology used in the shoes that enables the body to stand and walk in the way intended by nature. MBT offers proven stress relief to the knee and hip joints, and strengthens and tones leg, abdominal and buttocks muscles using proprietary technology that mimics the effect of walking barefoot on uneven terrain. MBT is the first physiological footwear and is patented worldwide.

Arabian Sands: Revised EditionThe great adventure walker, Sir Wilfred Thesiger, was the first Westerner to walk through the Empty Quarter of Saudi Arabia during a locust research project. Thesiger lamented the over indulgence we place on the convenience of the automobile.  He thought we should all walk or cycle more to make an immediate impact on oil consumption.  Ironically, the oil companies used Thesiger’s maps to find routes to the oil in the sands.  Read his exceptional account “Arabian Sands” and walk with MBT, shedding those pounds as easy as a walk in the park before crossing the Empty Quarter.  MBT women’s styles are available in sizes 5½ to 11; men’s styles are available in sizes 8 to 14.  Prices range from $240 to $390.

Source Naturals Yaeyama Chorella 200 mgWith the recent BP oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico it is plainly and painfully clear that the world has to get off the oil spigot — and convert to algae.  Algae comes in many colors, blue, red, and green, and now it is grown as an oil substitute.  No other plant is so efficient in converting sunlight to protein.  One of the great walkers of the ancient world was Moses.  It is said that when the Tribes of Israel were wandering in the wilderness they lived on “manna”, now thought to be Chorella algae, which is high in Vitamin C; the body can live on it indefinitely.  I wanted to lose some pounds from my winter hibernation so I went on a Chorella diet and found it cleansed and detoxed my system and I lost weight without my body crashing.  Chorella has been proven to also alleviate high blood pressure, Diabetes, Cronh’s disease, and heals stomach ailments.  Because of Chorella and my new MBTs I am ready for summer.

Travel Green

At just two per cent, the aviation industry’s contribution to carbon emissions is lower than perceived. The top five eco-loving airlines includes:

Magellan's Travel • Qatar Airways: the first airline to run a commercial passenger flight powered by natural gas derived fuel.

• Virgin Atlantic: first to operate a commercial flight partially powered by bio-fuel as well as publicly disclosing its CO2 emissions on its website.

• British Airways: industry leader in the development of bio-fuels and set to produce 16 million gallons by 2014.

• Continental Airlines: youngest fleet of airplanes in the industry with an average age of barely ten years.

• Southwest Airlines: £110 million investment in Required Navigational Performance, the avionics technology that allows planes to reduce fuel usage by optimizing flight paths.

Green travel can be very affordable. Simple decisions save the environment, but save money too.  Aside from the airlines creating a new generation of fuel and fancy avionics technology, there are simple things travelers can do too, including:

Pack Smart With PakSmarte

468x60 BrandedThe new, ultra-stylish, durable packing organizer PakSmarte keeps clothes neat, fresh, and wrinkle free in an appealing 3-pocket clear vinyl, 20"x14"x1" bag — the perfect size for carry-on luggage. The product's zip-lock package is a TSA-approved airport security bag for toiletries and cosmetics. PakSmarte allows travelers to layer their clothes in this unique, see-through organizer, so that at airport security everything is visible, nothing falls out, and everyone with PakSmarte looks neat and organized.

When travelers arrive at their destination, their clothes have that just-hung-up look. PakSmarte is low cost, attractive, useful and chic.  Visit www.paksmarte.com where everyone will quickly become a smarter, better traveler, and learn how to PakSmarte.

The Supersmile Travel Pack combines everything you need to ensure whiter teeth, fresher breath, and comprehensive oral care while away from home.  Neatly packaged in a nifty, self-contained zippered bag are the following take-it-with-you smile essentials, about five days’ supply:

Supersmile Professional Whitening System
Supersmile Professional Whitening System — a powerful approach to at-home whitening and the ONLY clinically-proven system that restores the vibrancy of bonded teeth, veneers, caps, crowns, dentures, and braces.

• Supersmile 45˚ Ergonomic Toothbrush — high design meets superior performance and clever utility with 5 tufted rows of soft, rounded nylon bristles, precisely shaped to ADA brushing specifications (at a 45˚angle), assuring bristles reach beneath the gum line (sulcus) where plaque accumulates.  Ergonomically-shaped Lucite handle stands upright for hygienic drying.

Supersmile New Generation Toothbrush• Supersmile Single Dose Powdered Mouthrinse — a quick and convenient way to freshen breath and whiten teeth when there’s no time to brush. Sugar- and alcohol-free formula contains CALPROX - Supersmile’s proprietary form of calcium peroxide, which attacks plaque and stains — without abrasives or causing sensitivity. Just peel off the top of individual foil pack, add water and rinse. 3 packets included.

• Supersmile Quikee — an anywhere, anytime portable, pocket-sized no brush/ no rinse whitening tooth polish that fights plaque and freshens breath with one swoop of the tongue, providing complete oral care on-the-go.

• Supersmile All Natural Whitening Gum — an all-natural, sugar-free way to effectively fight cavities, freshen breath and remove superficial stains in between brushing. Formulated with xylitol, a sugar substitute with proven cavity-fighting properties and whitening CALPROX. Just chew it.  12 pieces included. Price: $22.50.

Philip Kingsley Jet Sets — allow you to pack light and maintain your favorite hair routine, even through airport security.  Each set contains a generous but airplane friendly 75 ml shampoo and conditioner duo and three resealable, award winning Elasticizer sachets (20 ml) to keep your locks looking fabulous no matter your destination.

Philip Kingsley Smooth & Shiny Jet Set: Shamoo + Conditioner + Elasticizer 5pcsJet Sets are available for $34 in four combinations to cater to all hair textures and needs:

Body and Volume Jet Set — for fine hair that needs lift and body, the set features Body Building Shampoo, Body Building Conditioner, and three Elasticizer sachets.

Body and Shine Jet Set — for hair that is chemically processed and in need of extra body and shine, the set features Body Building Shampoo, Moisture Balancing Conditioner, and three Elasticizer sachets.

Soft and Shiny Jet Set — for medium textured hair, the set includes Moisture Balancing Shampoo, Moisture Balancing Conditioner, and three Elasticizer sachets.

Take Comfort Jet Set — a soothing set that features Flaky Itchy Shampoo, Moisture Balancing Conditioner and Flaky Itchy Scalp Tonic.

Slow Foods

When you eat at local restaurants when traveling you reduce transportation costs. For many years the Kona Village Resort on the Big Island led the green trend.  The resort’s commitment to the ancients brought a deep respect for the `aina (land) and Ka`upulehu (the area). The spirituality of Kona Village is derived from the mana (spirit) that comes from the land. By respecting the land, the resort shared that respect with each other and with guests. The staff cares for the ancient Hawaiian fish ponds and 3.2 acre petroglyph field at Kona Village.

In the kitchens of Kona Village, Mark Tsuchiyama is Director of Culinary and Restaurant Operations for Kona Village Resort and Hualalai Resort. Tsuchiyama’s daily mantra is “Farm to Table” — identifying the daily menu for guests based upon the freshest produce and product from on-island farmers. Locally grown fruits and greens, hearts of palm, goat cheese, fresh island fish, locally raised beef and lamb — even wild island boar — as well as the famous Kona Coffee — all to support the island’s “Slow Food Movement.”

While Hawaii is well-known for its mouthwatering deep sea fish, those supplies of fish are dwindling. To supplement and still offer the freshest possible seafood, KVR supports aquaculture or farm raised fish that range from Kampachi, a delicious sushi-grade fish with amazing versatility, Abalone, Black Cod as well as local purchases from Honolulu from its auction block.  Kampachi, the Hawaiian yellowtail fish, is receiving significant attention from chefs who are impressed with its richness in Omega-3 fish oil without detectable levels of mercury. Every day is a new day of food experiences at Kona Village, all based upon the Chef’s selection of the best locally grown and raised produce and product available.

Kona Village Resort www.konavillage.com

Green Horns Survive With Zippo

Many years ago I was a wilderness ranger in the Wind River Range in Wyoming.  I encountered many green horns in the backcountry that had no business being there because they were not prepared with the correct equipment or food.  I have often had to start a fire in wet conditions at high altitude. 

I no longer strike matches to ignite tender. 
Zippo's time-tested performers now meets the fire and heat needs of today’s outdoors enthusiasts with a combination of new products. I wish I had the new Zippo Emergency Fire Starter in the Wind Rivers.  Designed for the most rugged of outdoor situations, the new Emergency Fire Starter features a reliable flint-wheel ignition and rayon-made waxed, water-resistant tinder sticks for quick and easy fire starting.  With a rugged metal exterior, the Emergency Fire Starter’s lid has a water-resistant o-ring seal to protect the tinder sticks.  The suggested retail price is $19.95 with replacement waxed tinder sticks available in eight-unit packets at $4.95.

Titan Outdoor Lighter
I am amazed with the new Zippo Flexible Neck Utility Lighter that is ideal for getting flame to hard-to-reach places. The new lighter is perfect in the great outdoors or around the house.  Equipped with an advanced ignition system, wind-resistant dual flame technology, adjustable flame and fuel level-indicator, the Flexible Neck Utility Lighter is ergonomically designed.  The flexible extended neck is topped by a slim, powerful nozzle that easily fits all openings such as lanterns, grills, and campfires.  Available in Satin Silver or a rubberized flat black finish; the suggested retail price is $19.95. Pictured is the Zippo Titan Outdoor Lighter.

Outdoor Utility LighterZippo also makes the Outdoor Utility Lighter which has an advanced ignition system, adjustable flame, and fuel level indicator.  With an ergonomically designed rubber grip, it offers a water-resistant cap, metal construction, and carabineer clip and strap.  There’s even a built-in LED light bright enough to help you find your way. It is fueled with Zippo premium butane fuel and sells for about $25.

Zippo 275 Windproof Lossproof Brushed Chrome with Lanyard LighterI pan a little gold in the high country and I wouldn’t be caught without the Zippo Windproof Lighter because of its design of its windscreen and rate of fuel delivery;  it is ideal for lighting fires even in the windiest of conditions.   Available in a variety of finishes, it sells for about $16 for brushed chrome to $27 for the Remington Lossproof version.

Many companies are creating new low tech green options for not just backpackers but for third world countries.

Solar ovens and camp stoves that burn renewable fuels are great for backpacking, cabins without electricity, road trips, and other outdoor pursuits. They can also be used in your backyard, at picnics, or in the event of a power failure  However, multi-fuel stoves that burn automobile diesel should be able to burn biodiesel, but they may require a separate primer. Options include MSR’s XGK-EX (www.msrcorp.com), the Optimus Nova (www.optimus.se), and the Primus OmniFuel (www.primus.se).  ZZ Manufacturing (www.zzstove.com) offers an alternative. Their lightweight, dependable Sierra stoves utilize a battery and a fan to produce 18,000 BTUs to burn pine cones, wood chips, tree bark, charcoal or any other solid fuel.

It’s Beach Weather With RumbaTime

RUMBATIME Medium Silicon WatchHow do I know it’s beach time?  With my new RumbaTime watch, a digital timepiece that is comprised of silicone.  It is like wearing a rubber band but featuring a streamlined, waterproof, light weight watch that comes in 32 colors; I particularly liked my electric blue, but how about neon, tie dye or sunburst?  It only weighs ten grams and comes in small, medium, or large bands. The RumbaTime is $20 at www.rumbatime.com  I know I will be one of the most stylish beachcombers this winter, but it is great for surfers, skateboarders, bicyclists, or anyone that enjoys the outdoor lifestyle.  The retro ‘70s watches are über cool.

Dive Green

Get Your Dive Gear Here
Two Cayman Islands dive operators have gained Green Globe Certification. Compass Point (www.compasspoint.ky) is located in the tranquil, sleepy East End of Grand Cayman close to the island’s legendary wrecks; and Cobalt Coast (www.cobaltcoast.com) in West Bay, a 15 minute drive from Seven Mile Beach.  In gaining Green Globe Certification, the resorts join the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, also on Grand Cayman, which at 65 acres is one of the Caribbean’s leading horticultural attractions as well as a Gold Medal winner at the 2009 Chelsea Flower Show, and the first botanic park in the Caribbean to secure Green Globe Certification.

Green Globe is a highly regarded certification scheme for the travel and tourism industry that demonstrates a commitment to improving environmental performance and efficient operations.  There is no doubt that being able to display the Green Globe on their websites and demonstrate a high level of environmental awareness counts for a great deal among the dive community and the green traveler.

Body Glove is well known for high quality and functional wetsuits, PFDs, boardshorts, swimwear, snorkeling equipment, and mobile phone and technology accessories. The Body Glove ECO fullsuit is the most environmentally friendly wetsuit on the market. Traditional wetsuits are made from neoprene, a petroleum based material. The Body Glove fullsuit is made with Body Glove BIO-Stretch rubber and ECOflex.

The combination of these two materials is the purest form of non-toxic stretch material. BIO-Stretch provides maximum elasticity without sacrificing the earth’s natural resources. ECO-Flex is the non-petroleum based exterior. One of the most exciting things about the Body Glove ECO wetsuit is that the consumer can help protect the environment without sacrificing stretch or warmth while participating in their favorite water sport. The Body Glove ECO BIO-Stretch interior will keep you just as warm and can wear up to 4 times longer than a traditional neoprene wetsuit, but the BIO-Stretch and ECO-Flex are completely biodegradable.

The making of the Body Glove ECO wetsuit takes 1/10th the energy to produce than a traditional neoprene suit. The ECO is the smarter, greener, cleaner choice for the environment. This sustainable wetsuit allows you to enjoy the earth and its oceans while preserving them at the same time.

Green Gifts

Go green with your gift giving this holiday season by visiting Sustainable Travel International at www.sustainabletravelinternational.org and check out The Green Gear & Gift Guide.  Also visit Outdoor Retailer’s Green Steps Program (www.outdoorretailer.com).  The goal of the Green Steps is to encourage, step by step, the spread of ecologically sound best practices throughout the outdoor equipment and apparel manufacturing industry. Green Steps promotes businesses that adopt sustainable business practices, policies, and business tactics.

Consumption matters!

— Feature by Kriss Hammond, Editor, Jetsetters Magazine.