If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you likely know that I went to Tulsa earlier this week. My mom and I went to see my friend/fellow blogger, Beth Terry speak at an event, I spoke with her as well. The group Book Smart Tulsa along with the University of Tulsa asked Beth to come speak and have a book signing. If you haven’t read her book “Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too“, you need to, it’s great.
My mom and I had been talking about the Keystone XL on the way up and saw a sign for the Sac and Fox tribe, a tribe fighting the pipeline which goes on their land. We decided since we were making good time that we would try and find the Keystone XL. Hunting down an oil pipeline on a road trip is totally normal, right?
We found an address where they had an action and tried to find it. We didn’t find it as we decided getting stuck on a gravel road would have not been good. However, we did find something else pretty amazing, a winery/RV park. I’m so not even kidding. And turns out this town calls itself the “Oklahoma Winery Grape Capitol.”
After our little mini adventure we got back on the road. When we got to Tulsa we headed to Whole Foods and got some lunch, then headed to the hotel to change for the event. Soon after we headed to the University of Tulsa. When we walked in the room and Beth saw us she rushed over and gave me a huge hug. It was so good to finally see her in person after being friends online since 2008.
The talk was wonderful, everyone seemed to really enjoy it. One thing Beth shared that really hit people hard, was the fact that even though Tulsa accepts plastics #1-7 in the recycling bins, #3-7 are incinerated not recycled. This shocked and clearly upset a lot of people. It always sucks to know when you thought you were doing something right, only to find out it wasn’t so great. Though most of Beth’s talk focused on more positive things.
During the talk she asked me questions and had me share some different things, like how I became interested in the environment, about Glass Dharma (we “meet” because I introduced her to Glass Dharma), about helping get curbside recycling in my town (this is why I’m featured in her book), some of the things I do to reduce plastic waste, and my current project, cement plants.
Public speaking is not my favorite thing in the world but Beth was great and made it much easier. I couldn’t think of someone better to share a stage with and it was amazing for her to ask me to be apart of it. Back in 2008 when I started reading her blog I never would have dreamt I would be speaking with her.
It was great meeting other Oklahomans that are concerned about the environment, including a few I had talked to via email. I met one sweet lady that may even start writing for Green Oklahoma. Everyone seemed thrilled with the event. A few said when I talked about what the cement plant was doing in my town, I made them cry. I don’t like making people sad of course but I’m glad my message is reaching people.
After the event some of the people that hosted the event took us to dinner. It was a great dinner and we had a very enjoyable discussion about plastic, films, education, and other interesting topics. After that my mom, Beth and I headed to Beth’s hotel and sat in her room chatting until after 1 a.m. We chatted so much we forgot to ask someone to take a picture of us so we had to figure out how to take it ourselves with the timer on my camera. It took a few tries and I’m sure it would have been funny to watch but we got one that was pretty good, remember this was at 1 a.m. after a long day for all of us. 😉
My mom and I are not really morning people so we slept in and didn’t leave the hotel until after 12. It was nice to not rush. We had lunch at a nice locally owned place in Tulsa, Polo Grill. And next door was a yarn store so we HAD to stop there. I’m proud of both of us for being able to have the willpower not to buy more yarn. It was hard to pass up some beautiful organic cotton/bamboo yarn.
We did our grocery shopping after that. First we stopped at Reasor’s, a regional chain. Beth had found out they carried milk from Missouri that came in returnable glass. We decided to check it out and see what the store was like. They had a good selection of organic food and we even found some locally roasted, organic coffee.
Whole Foods was next and our last stop in Tulsa. On the way home we didn’t go looking for any pipelines or anything terribly exciting. We did see another winery in the same town as the winery/RV park but it wasn’t as humorous so we didn’t get a picture. We did end up looking up the history of the town of Stroud (where we found the wineries), we learned that Stroud provided some inspiration for Pixar’s Cars, which was pretty cool. And that lead to looking up other towns on Wikipedia the whole way home. We decided we need to take several little “field trips” around the state to see some interesting things.
It was nice trip and so amazing to get to see Beth. We all agreed it must happen again soon. Be sure to read my mom’s blog about the trip as well. And if anyone reading this was at the event be sure to say hi!
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