Photo Friday | The Plogging Trend

I almost hate even calling plogging a "trend", but it has a catchy name now, so I suppose it is officially a trend.

If you're unfamiliar, plogging is a Swedish term that describes picking up litter while jogging. Simple, right?

Plogging is an awesome way to:
  1. Get outside
  2. Get some exercise
  3. Clean up your community
  4. Share pictures with others and inspire them to do the same

Picking up litter while jogging or being out and about is not a new thing by any means, but it's awesome to see more attention called to the practice. One January morning last year, I went on a walk/jog around my neighborhood and came across a littered plastic bag. I decided to pick up the bag, then noticed more pieces of litter further along. I ended up jogging for about 40 minutes and filled the plastic bag full of trash.

So, I guess I could say that I've participated in plogging!

If you're not a jogger, you're still more than able to participate in the litter cleanup/exercise combination. With it being National Bike Month, why not go for a bike ride and pick up litter along your path? Not sure if the term "pliking" will become a thing, but the spirit is there!

I promise y'all that my neighborhood is not really a trash pit, but one day last summer, I came across another plastic bag while on a bike ride, and picked it up to bring home and dispose of properly. I've picked up soft drink and beer cans as well, although I'm not usually prepared with something to put them in.

If you're going to go pliking (...nope... can't make this one happen), be sure to have a bike basket or some kind of bag with you.

And of course, if you go plogging, it's completely acceptable to Instagram your litter finds and tag them with #plogging.

So, combine your outdoor exercise this weekend with a little litter cleanup and help the environment! (After you've taken a nap from getting up early to watch the Royal Wedding, OF COURSE.)

National Bike to Work Day

There are tons of events across the country as part of National Bike Month, and one of the most popular is Bike to Work Day, which is this Friday, May 18.

Depending on where you live, biking to work may be a common, every day practice. But in many places, especially smaller towns, the overwhelming majority of people drive themselves to work.

Biking to work is not always feasible, and that's understandable. Back in 2013, my husband (who was my boyfriend at the time!) and I celebrated Bike to Work Day, when we were both at different jobs. Our bike commutes were about 3 1/2 miles each, and we had simple alternative routes that allowed us to avoid main roads.

We were able to ride together for awhile, then split off to each head toward our offices. It was blessedly not too hot outside yet, so it was still a fairly comfortable ride, and I didn't have to tote anything large to work.

We had a great time that day, and even biked to a lunch spot between both of our offices, so we could enjoy a fun little lunch date.

Since then, my husband and I have both switched jobs (and upgraded our relationship status a few times!) and while he actually works much closer to home, I am much farther. He has ridden his bike to work a few times in the past year or so, depending on the weather and if he had any out-of-office meetings.

My commute now is almost three times as long as my previous one, and takes me through some very bike-unfriendly areas - areas with no sidewalks, no easy side-road alternatives, passing under an interstate and along a highway with just a shoulder and no bike lane. It's certainly not a ride I would be comfortable doing alone, and it would take me close to an hour to get to my office!

But, I'm still a big fan of Bike to Work Day! You'll build in your workout for the day, you'll save on gas and you'll get a different appreciation for your commute.

Are you considering biking to work on Friday, or at some point during National Bike Month? Here are a few pointers to help you get ready.

  • Get your bicycle is tuned up and ready to go.
  • Carry a pouch of bike repair tools, just in case something happens while you're riding.
  • Make sure you have a helmet, lights and a lock.
  • Either carry some personal toiletries with you or keep some in your office - deodorant, perfume/cologne/essential oil, a hairbrush, etc. You may find you want to freshen up for the day after your morning commute.
  • If you have gear to bring to and from the office, like a portfolio, notebook or laptop, make sure you have a safe way to transport everything. Many commuters use a backpack, and some use a front basket or rear panniers.
  • Plan your route in advance. Can you follow the same route that you would in your car, or do you need to find side streets and alternate ways? 
  • Use Google Maps or another resource to estimate how long it will take you to bike to work compared to driving. I'm not sure how lenient your boss might be, but I'm not advising that National Bike to Work Day is a free excuse to be late!

Always remember to follow your local and state bicycle laws.

So, maybe biking to work isn't feasible for you, but you're still interested in leaving your car at home sometimes. This Friday, take advantage of the Lafayette Transit System offering a No Pay Bus Day. That's right - fares are free all day! It's being held in conjunction with Bike to Work Day, and is another opportunity for riders to avoid congestion.

Lafayette's city buses are also equipped to carry bicycles, should you find that a combination bus/bike commute is something that would work for you.

Visit the Lafayette Transit System website for route information.

Wherever you live, I hope you consider taking your bicycle to work this Friday! And if you do, I want to hear how your commute goes!

Photo Friday | Mother's Day

It's been one of those weeks where, while you're glad it's Friday and the weekend is here, you're also wondering how in the world the week flew by so head-spinningly quickly.

But we are here, and it's Mother's Day weekend!

I hope your Mother's Day weekend is filled with joy and relaxation, and maybe flowers or a little nature for good measure! It doesn't matter what kind of mom you are, Mother's Day is yours to celebrate.

And don't forget to share a little love with everyone's mother...Mother Nature!

Photo Friday | National Bike Month

Happy Friday everyone! Are you just as relieved as me that the weekend is here?

In honor of National Bike Month, which kicked off on Tuesday, I've got a new article in this week's Times of Acadiana on a new bike rental option in the Lafayette area. The city does not have a large public bike share program, although the UL Lafayette campus has the Geaux Velo bike share.

However, BudBike, the new bike rental program, offers something different for riders - electric bicycles! These allow you to cruise a little more and enjoy the surrounding scenery, and can be rented by the day.

After I spoke to Mr. Sanford, the owner of BudBike, and wrote my article, I actually saw a few BudBikes parked downtown during Festival International last weekend. The rentals come with helmets and locks, so safety is a high priority.

My husband also noticed a BudBike renter during his commute one morning this week, and marveled at how well she was cruising using the electric assist. It looks like we might have to rent these bikes ourselves one day and go for a leisurely ride around town!

Check out BudBike's Facebook here.

If you're still doing some Mother's Day shopping, don't forget to check out my eco-friendly gift guide posted earlier this week.

Hope you all have a great weekend! I'm looking forward to treating myself a little bit with a mani-pedi, something I very rarely do.

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Happy May, everyone! Today kicks off the annual National Bike Month, and we're only 12 days away from Mother's Day!

If you're still (or about to start) shopping for the special mothers in your life, look for eco-friendly or sustainable gifts. Shop online in the next few days to get great deals and delivery before the holiday, or shop local and support an independent business.

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