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Small Changes Lead to Big Impacts- The Case for Reducing Meat Consumption

Photo credit: Aviv

This is a guest post by Katie Cantrell of Green Monday

“When we think about threats to the environment, we tend to picture cars and smokestacks, not dinner. But the truth is, our need for food poses one of the biggest dangers to the planet.” – National Geographic

It’s hard to believe that Old McDonald could pose as big a threat as Exxon-Mobile, but the food system is one of the leading drivers of climate change and other environmental devastation. 

The statistics are staggering:

  • Switching from a hamburger to a veggie burger just once saves as much water as not showering for an entire month.
  • The top 5 meat and dairy producers combined emit more GHG than Exxon Mobile, Shell, or BP
  • If cows had their own country, they would be the third largest emitter of GHG behind China and the US.

These facts are shocking, but they actually paint a positive picture. While we have little control over national energy infrastructure or cap and trade legislation, we do have direct control over what we put on our plates. Food is one of the most powerful and direct ways that we can help stop the environmental catastrophes currently unfolding. (more…)


New Portland Policy To Reduce Single-Use Plastic Waste

Climate change and what we can do to help stave off the worst effects is a hot topic that is taking the country, and world, by storm. Portland, which was recently polled as the 9th greenest city (can you believe we’re that low?) is working hard to be a leader in sustainability. This is evident in the most recent plastics policy that just went into effect. 

As of October 1, 2019, restaurants in the city of Portland cannot automatically include numerous single-use plastic items. This includes straws, stirrers, utensils (sporks, spoons, forks, and knives), and individually packaged condiments (ketchup, mayo, mustard, relish, jelly, jam, soy sauce, creamer, and hot sauce). It applies to all orders that are eaten on-premise, obtained in the drive-through, taken out, or delivered by a service. All of these items can still be obtained except that now they must be requested by the customer. 

PPP is committed to sustainability and we have a long-standing policy not to provide single-use plastics as a part of our delivery service unless requested. We’re excited to see that the city of Portland is taking this step to reduce the distribution of unneeded disposable plastics. They always end up in the landfill, often without being used. 

If you have any ideas about ways we can further reduce the use of plastics please leave a comment and let us know. We’re always looking for ways to be more sustainable.


Team Building- Have Fun and Boost Productivity

Team building sometimes gets a bad wrap, bringing to mind cheesy icebreakers and trust falls. However, research from the University of Florida shows that team building activities lead to positive outcomes in the workplace.

The benefits of effective team building activities include:

  • Increased productivity
  • Improved communication
  • Builds trust
  • Increases collaboration

Tips for effective team building activities:

  • Schedule the activity during work hours
  • Go offsite
  • Encourage collaboration
  • Solicit feedback

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The Benefits of Delivery by Bike

Portland Pedal Power is founded on the belief that bikes are a sustainable, efficient and effective way to connect local businesses. With 10 years of experience under our belts, we decided to take a look at the proof points for our founding principles. 

Bikes are sustainable:

This one is pretty easy to prove. Cars emit carbon and bikes do not. But the real impact is when more and more businesses choose to have their food delivered by bike instead of by car. In 2018, Portland Pedal Power riders pedaled nearly 29,000 miles or the equivalent of 10 bike trips from Portland to New York City. This effectively saved nearly 29 tons of carbon from being emitted enough to power five homes or six-passenger vehicles for an entire year. 

We’re on track to ride even more miles in 2019 and are excited to see how much we can offset this year!

Bikes are effective:

Reducing the carbon impact is valued by our customers but they also need their food to be delivered hot, fresh and on time. We’re very committed to delivering on this promise. And we succeed. In 2019, Portland Pedal Power has a 97% on-time delivery rate. We consider an order on time when it arrives to our customer in the “delivery window” of 15 minutes before to 5 minutes after the scheduled delivery time. 

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8 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Ecological Footprint

By: Delilah Farrell. She’s passionate about educating people, especially youth, on the importance of sustainable living. She is a proud advocate for the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

If you’re looking for an eye-opener, calculate how many planets we would need if everybody lives like you. For many, the number will be astonishing. It may also be saddening or disappointing.

Instead of continuing or planet-poisoning patterns, we can all take steps towards eliminating our hazardous behaviors. Lifestyle changes don’t have to be elaborate in order to start making a difference. Here are 8 simple ways to begin reducing your ecological footprint.

 

Start a Compost Pile

Compost piles are an excellent way to reduce waste. Instead of throwing parts of fruits, herbs, vegetables, etc.. in the garbage, throw them in a compost pile. Did you know that one-third of food produced, globally, is wasted? A simple –but incredibly impactful way– to reduce this number is to compost. Your pile will eventually yield fertile soil that can be put to use in your personal or community garden.

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A Day with Evening Land Vineyards

The Willamette Valley has been carving a spot for itself in the world of wine for more than fifty years. We wanted to go experience it at its best. Enter Evening Land Vineyards. The vineyard was planted in 1984 and they’re one of the finest wineries in the Willamette Valley. They consistently earn praise and accolades, while using sustainable farming practices. Since we partner with them, we wanted to see the vineyards for ourselves. We packed up one of our bikes, grabbed some friends and headed out to Hopewell.

Taking in the View

We couldn’t have picked a better day. The sun was out in force (We definitely needed more sunscreen) and the view of the distant snow-capped mountains over the tops of the grape vines was breathtaking. We could see five peaks- including Hood, Adams and St. Helens. It was so exciting to see that Oregon’s wine industry has come so far and is so strong — and this spot was perhaps its penultimate vantage point. 

Sipping and Swirling

After taking in the view, it was time to drink the wine! Greeted by Evening Land’s Hospitality Manager AJ, we were showered with some of the best wines we could’ve asked for. Rosé (which is sadly already sold out), chardonnay, gamay noir, and pinot noir all tasted amazing. It’s hard not to like tasty wine when you have a great view. As we sipped and swirled, AJ educated us. Evening Land has been dry farmed since its inception and since 2007 the biodynamic practices lead to becoming LIVE certified.  

In between the Rows

After a couple of tastes, we needed to start the bike photoshoot.  The bike moved all over the place. For instance, it teetered on the edge of the hill for a moment. Then it was in the shade. And then we got down on the ground in the grapes to get the perfect photo. We wrapped it up with a fun group shot. 

It’s great to partner with companies that align with our goals of sustainability and that partnership came together for a fun day. All in all, it was a glimpse into an industry that’s so close to Portland. On your next day off, just hop in the car and go visit some of the best that Oregon has to offer. Make sure you stop at Evening Land and tell ‘em we sent you!


What is Sustainable Catering?

Portland Pedal Power provides sustainable catering services to Portland businesses. The PPP bikes are a carbon neutral way to deliver food, but bicycle-based delivery is just one part of the model. Sustainable catering addresses the issues of carbon emissions, food and food packaging waste, and hunger.

 

Facts about food waste and hunger:

  • Over one-third of food produced is wasted globally, amounting to roughly 1.3 billion tons per year
  • Food and food packaging make up 45% of all materials in landfills
  • Food waste alone accounts for about 8% of global carbon emissions
  • Reducing food waste is the #3 way to reverse climate change
  • Hunger impacts about 15% of Oregonians.

Portland Pedal Power’s sustainable catering model:

  • Food is locally-sourced from Portland’s premiere restaurants, food carts, and bakeries.
  • Meals are delivered with zero emissions using a fleet of cargo bikes.
  • Family-style packaging is the default option reducing packaging and food waste
  • Reusable tableware use is encouraged
  • Leftover food can be donated to local nonprofits- Portland Rescue Mission or Urban Gleaners

In 2018, Portland Pedal Power saved nearly 29 tons of CO2 emissions using bikes to deliver food. We routed nearly 2,500 meals to people in need of food assistance. This year we’re hoping to have an even bigger impact and to create a method for calculating the amount of packaging waste that is kept from landfills through sustainable catering.

Thank you to all of our customers that entrust Portland Pedal Power with providing great food to the office in a more environmentally friendly manner. If you are interested in trying us out, you can order online or email us for more information.

If you have ideas, thoughts of feedback for us, we’d love to hear them in the comments section.


The 2019 Bike More Challenge is almost Here!

May is just around the corner and we here at Portland Pedal Power couldn’t be more excited! May’s one of our favorite months of the year.  Not only do some of the more interesting food events like BBQ Month and National Eat What You Want Day happen this month. Also, it’s National Bike Month! That means that the Bike More Challenge is about to begin, brought to us by our friends at the Street Trust.

THE BIKE MORE CHALLENGE

The Bike More Challenge has been around since 1995 and is celebrating its 24th year. They’ve been working to encourage people to get out of their cars and sitting on bicycles. Most of us here at PPP commute by bike and we can say that it’s certainly invigorating, though we aren’t sad to see winter go away. There are numerous statistics from all over the world stating the benefits of biking, from it’s lowered impact on the environment and positive health aspects. We’re convinced that biking also makes people more interesting and attractive but the results of those studies are yet to be published.

The Bike More Challenge is a friendly competition with the base goal of getting your friends, family, and colleagues to learn, enjoy, and experience the positive aspects of riding a bike. We’re pretty serious about the competition. We’ve won twice in the past. We want to win again, but we want it to be a challenge because that means more people are out there on bicycles out there!

PARTNERS

Since it is a competition, there are prizes that will be awarded to various participants throughout the state. Some of the partners providing prizes include Laughing Planet Cafe, Showers Pass, Nossa Famiglia, Moberi, Breadwinner Cafe, and more! Get rewarded for logging your rides and encouraging others to ride. Just in the state of Oregon alone, more than 1,400 organizations and 30,000 people (including 7,500+ new riders) have ridden more than 14 million miles during 1.8 million rides and saving over 5.2 million lbs of CO2.

Registration is free, so join a team at work, log all of your rides over the course of the month. This is a great way to participate in National Bike Month. It’s especially great during National Bike to Work Week (May 13-19) and on National Bike to Work Day (May 17). Join up and be a part of the community and growing movement for healthy, thriving communities.

Here at PPP, we’ve got a larger team than last year, and we’re prepared to make sure we log every single mile! We’re ready to win in our size category and encourage people to join the movement!

Maybe you’ll be inspired to join us? Click here to register for the ride and let us know in the comments below if we should keep an eye out for you!


PPP Prepares For Reach The Beach

On Saturday, May 18, Portland Pedal Power riders—along with three thousand Oregon cyclists—will take part in Reach The Beach, an annual bike ride to benefit the American Lung Association.

We’ll be riding to raise money to help those who suffer from lung disease today, and to stop the spread of lung disease tomorrow through education, community service, advocacy, and research. We want to ensure a future with clean air, healthy lungs and smoke-free workplaces for all.

It works like this: riders raise funds from their friends/family/colleagues/etc. to support the American Lung Association (every rider raises at least $150), and then we ride together from Portland or one of the other start locations all the way to The Pelican Brewery in Pacific City, where we’ll celebrate with a big beach party to mark the start of the 2019 summer cycling season.

(No pressure, but if you’d like to make a small tax-deductible donation to the cause you can do so here; just click the tab marked Search for a team and type in “Portland Pedal Power” and our team pop right up.)

It is 101 miles from the start of the ride to Pacific City. Of course, not every participant rides the whole way. Lots of folks form teams and complete the ride as a relay, while others begin from one of the three alternate starting points: Carlton (72 miles), Amity (55 miles), or Grand Ronde (26 miles).

The Portland Wheelmen Touring Club (PWTC) started conducting training rides starting on February 16, 2019, so if you’re interested in participating but want to get warmed up first you can jump onto those. You can get more info about that here.

Personally, we here at PPP will be training the same way we always do: by providing delicious catering by bicycle to our wonderful clients all over Portland.

We haven’t confirmed final numbers, but we are going to be putting at least 10 riders on the road this year. We’re super excited for the ride, and for the gourmet finish line dinner and beach party at the Pelican Pub.

Maybe we’ll see you there? Click here to register for the ride and let us know in the comments below if we should keep an eye out for you.

 

 


Fuel In The Tank To Get You Where You Need To Go

By: Daniel Atlas from his blog RYDOZE

Cycling is a seriously fun sport that can call for some serious fueling.  bike produce

While proper nourishment is essential for any successful athlete, cyclists especially require high amounts of energy to power their bodies through long rides. Fueling and refueling with the correct nutrition will help you bike harder, faster, stronger, and further!

How Much Fuel Will You Need?

How much fuel your body needs will differ depending on a few factors such as the length or difficulty of the ride.

Produce

As A General Rule, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30-60 grams of protein per hour of exercise. The needs and limitations of our bodies can fluctuate on a day-to-day basis.

Some Days, our bodies have seemingly boundless energy whereas, on other days, it’s apparent that they require more rest.  It’s always important to check in with the needs of your body before a ride.

Ultimately, everyone’s bodies work differently and some fuel sources will work better for some people than others. Some athletes prefer to train on a more of an empty stomach, while some prefer to have a little more fuel in the gut.

Experimenting with your fueling routine can help you discover what works best for you.  

But, make sure to keep your routine consistent before/on a long ride or race day!

While experimenting with your exercise and diet routines, you may find it helpful to keep a log of what you ate before/after a ride and how it made you feel.

It Starts Well Before Your Workout

Getting enough sleep is essential to any training plan–physical or mental. It is especially crucial before a long ride or race.

Eating too late at night can disrupt your digestion and the quality of your sleep so make sure to have dinner at an appropriate time.

Also, for ease of digestion, it is recommended to watch your fiber intake and to stay away from extremely spicy foods. (more…)