P.E.D.A.L. Across the Americas

A 16,000 km bicycle journey

Few, realize that sustainable livelihoods have become remarkably widespread. In focusing on the actions of government, industry, international organizations, and other “major players” with broad influence over global environmental and social welfare, media outlets have often neglected the exemplary successes of everyday people.

In fact, countless individuals, families, communities, and grassroots organizations throughout the world have already developed, and are now demonstrating, the skills, technologies, and strategies necessary to live sustainably. These “sustainability models” are often closer to home than realized, and they are showing, every day, that the answers are already out there – and that these answers are accessible, practical, rudimentary, and most importantly, effective.

Inspired by Dúrika, a Costa Rican sustainable community, the P.E.D.A.L. Project aims to spread awareness of sustainable living across the Americas. They will emphasize that no matter what situation a person is in, sustainable living is possible. Sustainability is as diverse as the people who live it.

P.E.D.A.L. Across the Americas will undertake a 16,000 km bicycle journey departing Guelph on July 3rd, 2010 and ending in Costa Rica in August 2011. The group will cycle across Canada, down the west coast of the United States, through Mexico and most of Central America.

http://www.greenlivingonline.com/sites/default/files/K and j on bikes_hed.jpg

The tour combines five closely related goals:

1. Promote oil-free transportation
They aim to embrace the sustainable practices that they advocate, despite the transience that cross-continental journalism brings. In order to carry out the project in as environmentally benign a manner as possible, they have committed to using oil-free transportation.

2. To learn skills for sustainable living
They will offer our volunteer services to each sustainability model they visit, involving themselves first-hand in sustainable living. Models have been chosen to complement each other and cover a wide range of themes: natural-materials construction, renewable energy sources, appropriate technologies, sustainable agriculture, food security, waste management, water management, and natural medicines and holistic health care. Their intention is to include a complete spectrum of skills for sustainable living.

3. To promote the successes of sustainability models
Individuals throughout the world are presently living legitimately sustainable and rewarding lives, and many more continue to work towards this goal, yet public confusion and skepticism regarding the feasibility of a sustainable society remain common.

4. To share practical strategies for sustainable living with a wide public audience
In addition to simply advocating for sustainable living, they will be detailing all initiatives that are practical, effective, accessible, and reproducible. The resources they produce will range from technical and financial information about simple technologies such as solar water heaters and household biogas digesters, to creative energy- and resource-saving measures, to home gardening tips, to interviews.

5. To connect sustainability models to each other in a meaningful way
They think this tour will also become a useful tool to connect each of the projects with which they are involved. As they meet new people and interact with a variety of communities, they will share stories of the places we’ve visited and the things they’ve learned. They will compile a list of each organization, their past and current projects, the costs and materials associated with those projects, their areas of expertise, and their contact information in order to build a database that will augment the informational and communication resources of all those organizations that have partnered with their tour.

If you are interested in following the P.E.D.A.L. team on its journey, please check out the website at www.pedalacrosstheamericas.com. There you will find a route map, blog and sustainable skills toolkit. The P.E.D.A.L. blog will be updated regularly with interesting happenings, gorgeous photos and inspiring learning opportunities.