Two bike-cart family

Forget your two-car garage and get hip

Tim, Collin and Stephanie Elliott: The two-bike-cart family

Tim, Collin and Stephanie Elliott: The two-bike-cart family

Photo By Christine G.K. LaPado

The two-car family is so passé
Become a two-bike-cart family, like GRUB’s Stephanie and Tim Elliott, and their 16-month-old son, Collin. The Elliott family has been biking and bike-carting it—rain or shine—since Collin was 4 months old, said Stephanie recently. (The GRUB cooperative on Dayton Road, where they live with 15 housemates, has a “community car,” but it is used primarily for out-of-town trips.)

Stephanie and Tim shop once a week at the Saturday downtown farmers’ market for themselves and all of their housemates using their two bike trailers—one that Collin rides in and one specially modified to carry lots of stuff.

If Stephanie is on her own with Collin and has to bring home a cart full of supplies, she puts him in a kid-seat on the front of her bike, though she says he prefers the trailer.

“He loves it,” said Stephanie. “It actually gives him such a better view of the world than being in a car. He can actually hear and smell things. When you get inside a car, you’re cut off from the outside world.”

“It’s my form of exercise,” offered Stephanie, before adding, “Something I wish people would learn is that anything’s possible on a bike.”

Trash talk
On April 5, Eli Goodsell, coordinator of A.S. Recycling at Chico State, and a group of interns collected all the waste generated in a 24-hour period from all the buildings on the university campus. They spent the next several days sorting and weighing it all—a total of 300 bags filled with everything from soggy paper towels and food scraps to reusable items such as the perfectly intact Tasmanian Devil coffee mug I saw one intern pull out of a bag of garbage.

Michaela Cicero (right) pulls discarded lunch leftovers out of the garbage at Chico State’s recent Waste Audit, while fellow A.S. sustainability intern Whitney Grayhorse looks on.

Photo By christine g.k. lapado

First and foremost, said Goodsell, the purpose of the Chico State Waste Audit was to determine “what’s the next step to minimize waste on our campus. We needed to go into the garbage and get dirty, and figure out what’s in our garbage.”

Most surprising, he said, was the amount of compostable paper—mainly paper towels and sandwich wrappers—thrown in the trash. Almost one-fourth of the nearly 2,000 pounds of garbage collected could have been composted.

Chico State currently has compost bins in all food-serving areas on campus, including residential halls, but Goodsell is now seeing a need for “more publicly accessible compost bins throughout the campus.”

Goodsell said the audit also turned up 25 small batteries, such as those used for electronic devices.

“All of those, actually, by law, can’t go in the waste stream,” Goodsell said, “because of the toxins in them.” Go to for a list of locations that recycle batteries. On the Chico State campus, batteries can be recycled at the Environmental Health & Safety Office (898-5126).

Saving seeds Kalan Redwood, of Redwood Organic Farm in Manton, will be teaching a Seed Saving 101 class on May 1 at the Chico Grange Hall from 1:30-3:30 p.m. A $5 donation is asked for the class. Redwood Organic Farms’ heirloom, organic, non-GMO seeds (including for delicious, easy-to-grow arugula, which I planted in my backyard garden from ROF seeds) will also be for sale.