As we noted on Twitter at the end of our journey - THANK YOU for following us! We had no idea that anyone besides our moms would read this :-)

Honestly, the reason we didn't really update the pictures at the end was because there wasn't all that much to see through Nebraska and Iowa - corn, flat land, and more corn! We did, however, stop at an awesome all-organic cafe in Omaha that was such a surprise to randomly find in that city. Then, the last days of driving became a push to get home - we were tired!

Reflections on our "green" road trip - some things went swimmingly, and others could have been improved upon! Were we able to avoid fast food at all costs? For the most part, but we still had a few meals that involved a styrofoam cup  and more waste than we would have cared for. Then there were simple things like recycling that became so difficult on the road. Gas stations throughout the country may have wi-fi, but most do not have recycling! And if they do, it's only for bottles, not for paper. If we wanted to recycle we would have had to have multiple garbage bags in the car with us to separate all our waste - which we did for plastics, but not for paper. That is an easy improvement that anyone can implement for a "greener" road trip. I was so disappointed in an Ohio rest stop where we had a meal on environmentally-friendly paper plates and #1 PET recyclable cups - but then there was nowhere to recycle them!!

As you also know, camping did not work out for us because of the weather. The summer is a much better time to road trip - you don't have to heat the car (at least for me, I always drive with the windows down in the summer) and you can camp and avoid using hotels - economically as well as environmentally more sustainable.

Overall, it was a great experience though. There is something natural and organic about getting places a bit slower - no jet lag, meeting people across the country, seeing the sights of America - I mean, if people used to get places by horse and carriage, we can certainly handle going 65MPH in a car! In a low-carbon society, these are the kinds of little changes we'll have to make!

Thanks again to C&S for supporting the "shipping costs" of our exhibit - and exhibitors!

-Carissa
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Sorry for the late post! I thought I wrote one last night and it seems that it didn't save. Hopefully you've at least seen the Twitter updates.

It's been a fantastic trip so far - we decided to "take the high road" and travel north to visit a few new places. After seeing Sedona, AZ and visiting the Grand Canyon (unbelievable!), we drove to Utah and stopped in Bluff for the night at this really nice place in the middle of nowhere called the Desert Inn - it was totally charming. (Again, it was too cold out to camp).

The next morning, we woke up and saw how pretty Utah was - it was so dark when we arrived we had no idea we were surrounded by really awesome landscape. Throughout the day's drive we saw amazing rock formations in pretty sunny weather, drove through huge snowflakes and big mountains in Colorado, stopped in Denver and had a great time at the British Bulldog Pub (of course, thinking about our boss Martin the whole time!), and then made it to Nebraska to stop in a Super 8 - not nearly as nice as our Desert Inn stop, but just as expensive.

The best part about Ogallala, Nebraska is that down the road, there is a water tower that is decorated as a flying saucer, with flashing lights and alien faces painted on the side and everything. A-mazing.

Check out the photos section for more pictures! Again, sorry for the lack of video, we don't have a strong internet connection, nor the time to edit video! But I'll make Kelly create a cool montage when we return :-)

Thanks for following us!

-Carissa

P.S. Hanah - next years' Greenbuild will be in Chicago! And Sarina - Kelly owes you a blog post soon!
 
 
Last night was a BLAST. Besides getting to hear VP Al Gore speak and rocking out to Sheryl Crow, the road trip crew got a personal shoutout from Rick Fedrizzi in front of 25,000+ people!

Who would have thought that our simple mission of reducing some CO2 would get so much attention? Hopefully it will encourage more people to take small steps towards big change.

Carissa
 
 
We're here!! We're at Greenbuild!!

We've been having a blast at Booth #1309, telling people about the SyracuseCoE, the Creative Core, our sustainable exhibit, and our road trip! USGBC's Rick Fedrizzi also just stopped by to say hello - we're a little starstruck, to say the least.

Check out the photo gallery to see some more pictures posted!

And if you're at Greenbuild, come to Booth 1309 and give Kelly a high-five - she's the one in the yellow jumpsuit.

-Carissa
 
 
Sorry for keeping you hanging! Once we got here, we took a dip in the pool, and I fell asleep at 7PM, haha.

But yes, we're here in Phoenix, safe and sound! We had a pretty drive down some windy highways throughout Arizona, joked around with Bruce at the front desk when we arrived, and then took a well-deserved break and nap!

We're going to go set up the exhibit now, but when I get back to my computer I'll post some more pictures!

-Carissa
 
 
So, we missed our campsite in Santa Rosa somehow...and figured we'd just camp the next place we pass. 2 hours later, it's 32 degrees out and we decide for our health and safety to check into the next motel we see...crazy how it's so warm in the desert and then gets so cold! We are all very happy to shower, though...

Today's drive was really different for all of us...we drove a solid 6 hours in very, very flat land with nothing around for miles and miles and miles throughout Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico. We were really excited to see a ton of wind turbines in OK, though - see our video page for a new post!

Phoenix in the A.M.! Now it's time for bed!!

-Carissa
 
 
First time we've gotten fast internet access on the road! We stopped in Claremore, OK for a fuel fill-up, and across the road saw a little coffee shop called "Cappuccino Corner" and decided to see if they had lunch. Needless to say, we're all having delicious sandwiches at a local business! Success!

We have been having the most amazing luck - our entire drive has been clear blue skies, and last night we camped in 60/65 degree weather with a clear starry sky in Lebanon, MO. Oh, and seeing the St. Louis arch was SO awesome.

Check out the photo gallery for pictures from the road, and we're trying to see if we can get some video as well...

Thanks for following our journey!

-Carissa, Aimee and Kelly
 
 
Who would have thought?

Thanks to the Post-Standard for the write-up in the Post-Standard blog!

http://blog.syracuse.com/green/2009/11/road_trip_syracuse_center_of_e.html

Almost in Missouri, our first camping stop!
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Indianapolis!
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Greenbuild or Bust!!!
-Carissa
 
 
So, we left at 3AM. It's now 11. We're at a Panera for the internet :-)

Internet is too slow to upload videos or a bunch of pictures, but here's one!

We'll get you more as soon as we can!

-Carissa, Aimee, and Kelbear.

EDIT: The thumbs up is for The Columbus Dispatch, NOT the headline! :-/
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We just picked up the van, and later today we're going to head to the Syracuse Co-op to pick up some nourishment for the road!

In brainstorming ways to cut our carbon footprint during the trip, we consulted our resident expert on local foods, Melissa Young. Melissa is a Program Manager at the Environmental Finance Center, a SyracuseCoE Affiliated Center, and has worked on NYFoodTrader.org, a Craigslist for local foods. Our strategies for eating "green" on the road include avoiding fast food restaurants and "to-go" in order to reduce packaging waste, cutting down on meat consumption, and trying to support local mom-and-pop shops when possible.

It's definitely an experiment to see how we can do a road-trip without fast food! Check back here to see how we make out!

-Carissa

P.S. Check out the press release at Inside-SU!
 

    SyracuseCoE

    SyracuseCoE is a federation of firms, organizations, and institutions that creates innovations to improve health, productivity, security, and sustainability in built and urban environments. 

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