Category: Sustainability

How to Have an Eco-Friendly BBQ

By dweb247 on June 27th 2019

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.

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.

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.

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

By cwiesendanger on June 6th 2019

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.

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 nationalpark?

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!

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?!

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.

 

Save the Planet, Wear Sustainable Tour: On the Road with Dr. Drew

By cwiesendanger on May 6th 2019

The apparel industry is a dirty one (the 4th largest global polluter of air and water), and the way we see it, you have two options: Go nude or wear sustainable. So we’ve set out on a cross-country tour to spread the word – with our sustainably-retrofitted 1959 Shasta Trailer Buffy leading the charge and Toad Drew (aka Dr. Drew) at the wheel. We’re rolling into towns to host events with local retailers, organizations, artists, and makers to spread the gospel of sustainability. And yes, for those wondering, those are Drew’s legs on the driver’s side of the truck.

Drew and Buffy have been on the road for 92 days (that’s around 8 thousand miles, 23 tunnel breath holds, and 98 honks), so we decided it was time for a check in with our main man to see how life on the road is treating him.

Toad HQ: Where are you now?

Drew: Somewhere in Delaware, near the Pennsylvania border. This morning I got stuck behind a horse and buggy carrying a cart of hay during rush hour. First time for everything!

What has been the most unexpected part of your trip?

How big Texas actually is! You don’t really feel the 268,597 square miles until you’re driving it with a trailer in tow.

What’s the most beautiful place you’ve seen so far?

Great Smokey Mountains, Tennessee. The Smokeys were covered with snow-capped trees and untouched wilderness as far as the eye could see. It’s the most visited national park in the nation (pro tip: free admission!). I rolled through the park at first light and as I came through the hills, the clouds settled right at the treeline, staying true to its namesake. A must see for all wilderness fans.

Can you tell us a little bit about your sidekick Buffy?

She’s a 1959 Shasta trailer – and we’ve retrofitted her interior using 100% sustainable materials like upcycled cardboard and sawdust, recycled cork, upcycled steel, and beetle kill pine for the floorboards. We keep her well lit with a rechargeable battery and solar panels. She might be sick of my personal carpool karaoke moments, but she’ll never admit it (If you want to know what I’m belting out, check out my road trip playlist).

Who’s the most interesting person you’ve met along the way?

I met a great guy named Art in Raleigh, NC. He’s originally from Kauai and is making plans to sail from Maine down to Florida. We’ve been supporting local retailers and nonprofits in every city we stop in, and I’ve met a ton of cool people through those partnerships. Everyone’s been super welcoming and it’s been great to be part of each of these communities for a few days.

With “Go Nude” written all over your ride, we have to ask…how many times have you been flashed?

Surprisingly, zero! Though one gal did tell me, “You wish you could see me naked.” Ask me how many traffic violations have been committed after seeing the rig, though. Probably thousands.

We believe it. What else have you been keeping track of?

I’ve enjoyed 111 beers (discovering lots of rad local breweries), stayed in 19 2-star hotels, saw 85 dog sweaters in Austin, TX, and coffee intake has been too high to calculate.

Have you learned anything new about sustainability on your trip?

In Pennsylvania, we’re partnering with Stroud Water Research Center to put on events around the state. They’re an awesome non-profit that taught me a lot about organic farming. They advise on seasonal cover crop rotations (planned sequences of crops over time on the same field, which helps improve soil stability) rather than tillage (turning the soil to prepare for seeding). Soil tillage can increase the likelihood of nutrient runoff into streams and rivers and the release of greenhouse gases. Crop rotation also means fewer problems with insects and pests, preventing the need for pesticides.

How do you keep things eco-friendly while you’re on the road?

I dine in for most of my meals (relying on Airbnbs with kitchens so I can whip something up each night). I also always cruise around with a spork, a coffee/beer mug (what’s in it just depends on the time of day), and a water bottle. I shop with reusable bags (produce bags too) and bring reusable containers, like mason jars, for bulk bins at co-ops and local grocery stores.

Have you learned anything surprising about yourself along the way?

I never would have guessed I loved being on the radio! There might even be a podcast interview going live soon…

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten?

Brisket in Austin. Hands down.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve eaten?

Okra. That’s some slimy stuff!

You’ll be saying goodbye to Buffy and passing the torch to a new tour lead soon. What are you looking most forward to during the final leg of your trip?

Scoring some waves in Maine and seeing our store in Freeport (also Maine).

What’s the first thing you’re going to do when you get back to Santa Barbara?

I’m going to see Father John Misty at The SB Bowl with my lady.

Which spring items have you seen flying off the shelves?

The Barrel House Hoodie (100% recycled!) and the Tara Hemp Jumpsuit.

Check out our Save the Planet tour page to see if we’re coming to your neck of the woods.

And if you want more on sustainability from Drew, see him drop all kinds of eco-knowledge about one of our favorite fibers (hemp).

Scenes from the road…

 

Hemp vs. Marijuana: What’s the Difference?

By dweb247 on April 19th 2019

Weed, reefer, ganga, Mary-Jane, skunkweed, chronic, hash, hemp, herb, Devil’s grass… call it what you will, it’s all just Cannabis. And we’ll cut to the chase: We’re big fans of Cannabis. It’s got some insane super-hero properties (it’s phytoremediative, so it absorbs bad pollutants from the soil and replenishes the good stuff), it’s natural (no pesticides or GMO seed), and it’s a really sustainable crop (low-water, low-maintenance and thrives when left in the sunshine). It also helps a lot of people feel less stressed, less pain, and generally more happy. Who doesn’t like that? There’s a lot to like about this epic weed.

WHAT IS CANNABIS?

Like all plant families, Cannabis has many different sub-species and each has their own unique features. You’ve probably heard of the two main classifications: Sativa and Indica. Marijuana can be made from both plants, but Hemp is ONLY made from Sativa. The Sativa plant is tall, stalky and generally associated with a “mental high” while the Indica plant is bushier, has bigger leaves and is associated with the body high. All Cannabis plants produce cannabinoids, but not all cannabinoids are the same…

WHAT ARE CANNABINOIDS?

This is the secret sauce of all Cannabis plants. And by “secret sauce” we mean complex chemical compounds found in resin. The most common cannabinoids are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD).

WHAT IS THC?

THC is the cannabinoid that produces “psychoactive effects” (ie: gets you high) and is the main difference between Hemp and Marijuana: Hemp has trace amounts of THC (about .3%) while Marijuana has anywhere between 15%-40% depending on the strain (Maui Wowie, Pineapple Express, Purple Urkle… we could be here all day). THC can be extracted on its own and used in everything from vaporizers to brownies.

WHAT IS CBD?

If THC is the stuff that gets you high, CBD is the stuff that heals. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory and when it reacts with the body’s Endocannnibinoid System it mitigates stress by getting the body back to it’s optimal state of homeostasis. And it won’t get you high. To make a very long, scientific story short, CBD has become a popular form of homeopathic healthcare and we’re not mad about it. Though the FDA has declared it legal, each state has its own laws so check before buying oils or tinctures.

WHAT IS MARIJUANA?

Marijuana is all about the THC. Marijuana is grown from both Indica and Sativa plants and is recognizable by dense buds full of crystals (that’s where the THC is). With high (heh, get it?) THC concentrations and smaller stalks, Marijuana is grown for recreational and medicinal purposes only. It’s also what distinguishes marijuana from being illegal in many places. For now… #LEGALIZEIT

WHAT IS HEMP?

Grown strictly from the Sativa plant, Hemp’s super-low THC concentrations and tall stalks make it an ideal crop for industrial purposes. This sturdy fiber is used in a range of products from paper to rope to food to textiles (that’s where we come in). Fun fact: George Washington grew hemp at Mount Vernon and Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag from hemp!

WHAT IS HEMP CLOTHING?

Our bread and butter! Hemp textiles pack a lot of natural performance: strong, resilient, anti-microbial, and virtually indestructible in water. Hemp’s a porous fiber (like all natural fibers), allowing it to wick-moisture and respond to your body temperature. Its also got great drape, can be super soft, and wears well over time. We blend hemp with other fibers like organic cotton and recycled polyester to achieve different performance benefits.

From hemp fabric to CBD oil to Maui Wowie, we’re big fans of the Cannabis family! Check our latest crop of Men’s hemp clothing and Women’s hemp clothing and see for yourself why it’s so great.

Earth Day Tips: 10 Ways to Fight Climate Change Today (and Every Day)

By cwiesendanger on April 18th 2019

When you live on Earth (which 99.9% of us do…), every day is Earth Day. Since every action we take affects our Mothership (hello Butterfly Effect), a little positive change can go a long way. Here are 10 easy ways you can help fight climate change, because we’re all earthlings and we’d like to keep it that way.

1. No more single-use plastic ever.

You’ve heard it before but we’ll say it again for the kids in the back: single-use plastic is a REAL bummer. Bad news: Humans buy about 1,000,000 plastic bottles per minute and only 23% of plastic bottles are recycled within the U.S. Good news: There are SO many great reusable options for water bottles, sandwich bags, grocery and produce bags, metal straws, silverware, alternatives to Saran Wrap like Bee’s Wrap – the possibilities are endless, and they’ve gotten really easy to find.

2. Shop brands that give back.

When everyone’s selling something, it can be tough to know who’s doing it in a responsible way. A few tips: Look for brands that are part of 1% for the Planet (that’s us), Conservation Alliance (us too), or are B-Corp Certified (workin’ on it). These are all signs that brands are doing their part to help save the planet.

3. Look for energycredits.

Lots of U.S. states offer tax credits for things like installing solar panels, making energy-efficient improvements to your home, or driving energy-efficient cars. Check out all the incentives your state offers here.

4. Reduce and Reuse.

Obviously recycling is important (fun fact: recycled fibers are the gold standard for conscious clothing), but Reducing and Reusing resources will have the biggest positive impact. Reuse the basics (pst: here’s our guide to 20 Reusable Everyday Items), and for goodness sakes attempt to FIX things before you replace them (here’s the 101 on how to sew a button). If you must, donate unwanted clothes to a program like The Renewal Workshop.

5. Support your local farmers.

Most food in the US travels an average of 1,500 miles to get from “field to plate.” It takes 435 fossil-fuel calories to fly a 5-calorie strawberry from California to New York. Shopping locally-grown food cuts that down to basically ZERO. More bonuses to buying from local farmers: It’s generally organic (ie: doesn’t rely on synthetic or petroleum-based chemicals), it fosters a healthy ecosystem in your own backyard, and small farms help keep the natural balance between humans and wildlife (and many farms even act as Certified Wildlife Habitats).

6. Bike, walk, run, skate….

Get that heart pumping and get moving the Flinstone way! Across the world, the longest-living people are the ones who have incorporated movement into their life daily. Walk to visit friend, ride your bike to the grocery store, get outside for a hike. Do things the old fashioned way (ie: without gasoline) and you’ll do right by the earth and the body.

7. Volunteer.

What’s better than getting your hands a little dirty in the name of Planet Earth? Plant a tree. Pick up trash on the beach. Maintain trails. Do it with a friend and it’ll have twice the impact. Get your kids involved and you’ll have a Steward of the Earth for life. Here’s a great site called VolunteerMatch that will hook you up with local orgs doing cool things in your community.

8. Make it official.

Take your dedication one step further and become a member of 1% for the Planet, a network of brands, organizations and individuals that are committed to giving back to the earth by supporting key issues related to climate, land, food, pollution, water and wildlife. Businesses commit to giving 1% of sales each year, and individuals (that’s you) can commit 1% of their salary or volunteer hours to approved nonprofits. If the karma points aren’t incentive enough, you’ll get exclusive discounts and prizes from the 1% network of brands (like Toad&Co!) who are committed to being better.

9. Vote.

Flex those democratic muscles and vote for candidates and policies that care, especially local politicians who are making decisions about your own backyard. Look for measures and representatives who are bike and pedestrian-friendly, protect natural areas, focus on waste management, and advocate for clean water.

10. Wear sustainable.

The apparel industry is the 4th largest polluter of air and water on Earth. The way we see it, you can either go nude or wear sustainable. (Shameless plug: we’re traversing the country in our sustainably-built “Go Nude” trailer to spread the word). Nudity isn’t always an option, but sustainable clothing is! 100% of our clothing is made with sustainable fibers and fabrics that are 3rd party certified for responsible manufacturing.

Shop Men’s and Women’s sustainable spring styles. Your Mother will approve.