Crippled Waters and Cherry Mocha Smoothie

We have finally nailed down details for our paddle, read about our epic upcoming 215 mile paddle here. With each days mileage, towns, campgrounds and such. Seeing it laid out makes it feel more real and the excitement feels child-like. Reading over our anniversary day sounds so awesome and can’t wait to experience a type of nature I haven’t had the opportunity to see.

Flowing through oxbows, cypress swamps on into an estuary there’s no telling what we will get to see. I’m hoping to see a clean river, but that’s something that we always wish. It breaks my heart to see the filth in our waters. But how can I continue to be surprised? It’s over and over again. When we went to Bryson City, read about our trip here, what pulled us there was Fontana Lake. On the edge of our seats to see this lake, we were in shock of all of the trash in the water. The worst I have ever seen.
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Seeing that had an impact on us and we decided at that point we would do better on reducing our waste and cracking down on our recycling. We are still trying to figure out how to become a zero waste home. If you have any tips on this please share them below.

Some people may not know, although it seems like a popular subject these days because the severity is real and the topic is becoming unavoidable, humanly trash its killing our rivers and oceans. Say you throw out trash going down the road. So does the next person and the next person. Now we have all of this trash on the side of the road. We get a hard rain pushing this trash where it shall go naturally, down. Down in a side ditch or maybe in a field. It may make its way into a small feeder creek at this point or sit stagnant waiting for rain. We may not get another hard rain for a while but eventually it will happen. Again pushing it closer and closer to water. It eventually makes its way into the river. Flowing with the current, inevitably into the ocean. As time goes on, plastic breaks apart, known as micro-plastic. Birds, fish and turtles see this as food and once they swallow it they have a 50% mortality rate. Trash will soon invade your beaches, creek banks and river banks. It has no mercy, filling up in areas claiming marine habitat. Moving fish out of their rightfully owned homes. It’s sad and also very real.

I hope at this point you may feel motivated to help your waters. You might be thinking… What can I do?

Here’s a few things:

1. Recycle. I leave a brown paper bag in my kitchen to put items in and once its finished I walk it to our recycling bin. Anymore (or at least at our dump), you no longer have to sort your recycling. It can all be put in one bin. It’s easy and has a huge impact.

2. Participate in river clean ups. These happen all the time. It’s a great thing to get involved it and normally they have a fun event held afterwards. Music, brew and eats. Check with your local river keeper if this is something you’d like to do.

3. Pick up trash during a walk. Maybe you take a daily walk somewhere. Carry a bag just incase you see trash. Clean up the pathways you enjoy walking on. Maybe someone sees you and you impact them to do the same.

4. Invest in reusable straws. If you like your cold brew just toss one in your bag or car and tell your Barista “no thank you” when they hand you a straw. From what I’ve read I believe Starbucks is already getting on board with omitting plastic straws from all stores.  America uses around 500 million plastic straws A DAY. Being too light to make it through the recycling sorter they fall through the sorter and land in the garbage. Per Strawless Ocean, by 2050 there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish. Ready to invest in your reusable straws? Here’s a few: here, here, I already have reusable straws but I will be ordering these– here, or here.

With these few things we can make a huge difference. Lets go out there and be a positive impact to others and our Mother Earth. Lets educate others and lead by example. Having said that I have a delicious smoothie recipe for you to enjoy while using your new straws!

This smoothie right here has blown my mind over and over again.

I’m not kidding you when I say this… it tastes like a chocolate shake. It’s SO good. It’s blended smooth and will go through your standard straw smoothie-ly. See what I did right there?! [wink] Enjoy!

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Cherry Mocha Smoothie

Makes 24 ounces

Ingredients:

1.5 cups frozen cherries (I get mine at Trader Joes)
1.5 cups vanilla almond milk
2 Tablespoons honey

1 Tablespoon ground chia seed
1 Tablespoon flax seed meal

1 Tablespoon cocoa

Instructions:

Put in blender (it’s on sale!) and blend until smooth.

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