Cycling is obviously one of the most environmentally friendly modes of transportation possible, after all it uses nothing more than human power to propel us to our destination. But one cyclist has taken this Earth-friendly method of travel to a new level as he hits the road for an epic long distance ride that aims to have as minimal an impact on the environment as possible. On April 20th, Rob Greenfield launched what he calls the Off the Grid Across America project. Setting out from San Francisco just two days before Earth Day, Greenfield began a 4500-mile odyssey that he expects will take more than three months to complete. His ride will take him through 19 different states before he reaches his intended finish line in Vermont. Along the way, he intends to visit places like Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, New York and Boston. His route has already taken him to Salt Lake City and beyond.
Greenfield chose to ride his bike across the U.S. because that particular mode of transportation has almost no impact on the environment. But Rob has gone to great lengths to ensure his ride takes an even more active approach to sustainable living. For instance, he is using only power that is generated from alternate energy sources while on this journey. He is also creating nearly no trash along the way as he uses water that comes from only natural sources, eats locally sourced organic foods and composts all waste created. Through these efforts, he’ll demonstrate that it is possible to travel great distances while having a minimal impact on the world around us.
But that isn’t the only goal that Greenfield has in mind. He is also hoping to raise $10,000 for a variety of charities, including 1% for the Planet, a non-proft organization that generates funds for environmental causes through the donations of member companies who vow to share 1% of their profits. Rob hopes to recruit at least 20 new businesses to join that cause while on his ride as well and when he arrives in Vermont this summer, he’ll actually complete his journey at the headquarters of the organization, which is located in the town of Waitsfield.
Rob is now more than three weeks into his ride and he has been posting regular updates to his blog. Those dispatches from the road give us a sense of what he is experiencing as he travels across the U.S. His ride is equal parts adventure and environmental advocacy, which seems like a great mix for the approach to any journey.