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Tom Travels Day 1 – Beetles, Pollution, and Unique Haircuts

December 12, 2011

Tom Travels on Sunday December 11, 2011

The World Population today is 7,008,982,590

The Beginning

The Beginning: 99,021 miles on the odometer. Tom started his 2011 journey with a Happy t-shirt courtesy of @Threadless. Inject color into your life:


He prepared for the 5-hour drive through Illinois with an audio book called Ecological Intelligence: how knowing the hidden impacts of what we buy can change everything, by Daniel Goleman (former Science writer for the New York Times, and twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize). After a few chapters, I’m hooked, especially with this quote:

Ecological intelligence combined with marketplace transparency can create a mechanism for positive change.

Change will arrive once awareness of these issues reaches a tipping point. This is one reason why Tom travels—to raise awareness of ecological issues that WILL affect your future.

Protecting your future

In the book Daniel Goleman points out that the U.S. uses about 88 billion plastic shopping bags each year. Did you know it takes roughly 500-1000 years for them to decompose? Please recycle your plastic bags and find a reusable bag for trips to the grocery store. Tom was happy that Illinois encourages recycling at its Rest Areas:

Recycle your plastic bags

During the same Rest Area stops Tom came across the biggest Emerald Ash Borer beetle he’s ever seen (don’t worry, it’s only a model beetle). If you are unaware of the EAB, they are murdering tress throughout Illinois & beyond. Since its accidental introduction into the United States and Canada in the 1990s, and its subsequent detection in 2002, it has spread to 14 states. Find out more about these beetles at

There was also a very interesting game on the children’s playground. How does go about winning Rock-Paper-Scissors in this format?

How do you win?

The most interesting haircut of the day came from the woman working at the gas station near St. Louis. I didn’t ask your name, apologies, but thank you for your kindness. Keep expressing yourself in fun ways:

let you be you

Later today Tom will drive through Joplin, MS and see how they are recovering from the tornado that took the lives of 159 people and destoryed an entire city. All pictures are taken by Tom. Thank you for reading, smile, and letUbeU!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. geneless permalink
    December 12, 2011 12:03 PM

    Sweet ‘hawk! Love the happiness shirt!

  2. val permalink
    December 12, 2011 12:08 PM

    Loss like a good start! 🙂

  3. Andrew R. permalink
    December 12, 2011 12:14 PM

    Rock on. End-of-day odometer shots would be interesting too, to round out the photo sets.

  4. Zoe H. permalink
    December 12, 2011 12:19 PM

    Hey apl, you can’t see the Joplin devastation from I-44, just so you know. And also be sure to buy some mocassins at any of the little shops on the highway. And you should go to the drive through safari as well.

  5. Rachel permalink
    December 12, 2011 2:34 PM

    AMAZING! I would love to play rock, paper scissors at the park!

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