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November 19 2011

My Trucker Boyfriend

My Trucker Boyfriend is a regular advice column in our newsletter. Catch up with MTBF here.
My Trucker Boyfriend

Nice tarp job.


My boyfriend is a long-haul trucker. I work at Groundwire (online tools and strategies for a healthy planet). This column is for those of you working to bring the masses into the environmental movement.

November, 2010

Subject: Our Thanksgiving Turkey

Approach #1
Me: Do you know how most turkeys are treated in this country? That they cut off their beaks and crowd them in tiny little places and pump them full of growth hormones? That they never get to see their mommies or feel the warmth of the nest? Do you know how miserable those birds' short lives are until they reach their inhumane death? DO YOU? DO YOU?

MTBF: You're scaring me.

Approach #2
Me: Do you know the carbon impact from the way we are growing corn feed in this country? Do you know that turkeys don't even eat this kind of corn? Did you know they are feeding carbon-heavy corn to salmon? Corn! To Fish! Do you? DO YOU?

MTBF: Why are you talking about salmon right now. I thought we were talking about turkey.

Approach #3
Me: Do you want to enjoy the best bird you've ever had in your life, raised by our neighbors, that tastes like the old-timey turkeys our ancestors ate?

MTBF: I have no idea what you're talking about. But it sounds great babe.

Check out Local Harvest, an awesome website for finding local food and farms near you. (MTBF enjoys interacting with the map on this site.)

February 2011

Subject: Transportation

Me: I really, really want an electric car.

MTBF: Look. I want you to be safe. I want you to get a car made out of actual steel. The kind of car you can jump up and down without the slightest dent. I was actually thinking this would be the perfect car for you.  All class, baby.

Me: Yeah... umm.

MTBF: Look at the lines on it! And it's recycled, right?

He had a point. So I started thinking about pretty lines, real craftsmanship, with a lot of class.

Me: I'm thinking about going with this.

MTBF:  I, have no words. Hmmm. What's the engine like on that thing? How far can that go on one charge? What kind of battery pack is that?

To be continued. For awhile. But I really want that bike.

April 2011

Subject: Lower Impact Trucking

Me: Hey! Truck drivers are featured in Carbon Nation the movie. You can be part of the climate solution babe!

MTBF: I turn my truck off at night.

Me: They said..

MTBF: Our trucks are certified clean idle.

Me: Did you know...

MTBF: We are EPA partners and have late model "green" trucks.

Me: But what about...

MTBF: If this country consumed less, we wouldn't need so many trucks.

Me: Shutting up now.

May 2011

We went hiking.

July 2011

Subject: Farmers' Market

MTBF: Don't make me go to another Farmers' Market.

Me: Really? I love them so much! All that organic produce and honey from much-loved bees and handmade soaps and free-range meat and cage-free eggs and homespun mulled wine...

MTBF: Exactly.

Me: Okay, well on your way to the auto-parts store / shop / hardware store / it's an episode of Tool Time, will you please pick up some fruit using this awesome guide from EWG to know when its esp. important to go organic (peaches berries!).

MTBF: Pie!

September 2011

Subject: Food Waste

MTBF: If we're going to have a slop bucket under the sink, we're going to have to empty it every once in awhile.

Me: (Peering inside) OMG! Look at what happens to peaches, tomatoes and noodles when you leave them in a bucket for (more than) a week!

MTBF: Okay. Here we go.

Me: All waste is food! All energy is from the sun! All life is diverse!

MTBF: So cool! And it smells like waste, too! And no magic environmental elves are going to take it out!

Me: Magic environmental elves! Yay!

MTBF: dear lord.

October 2011

Subject: Smog

Me: I failed the emissions test! Expletive! I need a new catalytic converter.

MTBF: Smog tests are stupid.

Me: How can say that?! Do you remember the '70s? Do you remember acid rain in L.A.? Yeah, well, me neither but I heard it was bad.

MTBF: We can just remove the catalytic converter, put in a piece of pipe and get the gizmo that will trick the computer and let you pass the test.

Me: I can't believe you are saying these things out loud to me.

MTBF: Pretty involved being an outlaw.

Me: Absolutely not.


November 2011

Subject: Holidays

MTBF: Okay, I have some ideas on going green this year for the holidays.

Me: Is it get a jug instead of a case of Rainier?

MTBF: Well, that's one of them. Also, organic cranberries from Long Beach, WA. Also, if we buy any rings or jewelry, they should be from an antique store. Also, we can only wrap our gifts with old stuff found in my shop.

Me: I like it. Wait, wait, wait. Hold on. Go back to that middle part about rings.

MTBF: Just hypothetically speaking, of course.

Me: Of course. (!)*

(*PS: It's official. MTBF is soon to be MTH. As in ball and chain.)

January 2012

Subject: How MTBF is actually more enviro than me.

He fixes things with duct tape and uses them over and over again.

He uses a 64 ounce cup to drink his White Russians in. No paper cups for MTBF.

He also uses a big water jug. No plastic water bottles for MTBF.

He wears three things: Carhartts, Ben Davis pants, and a fleece. Not a lot of carbon-heavy shopping going on with MTBF.

He lives 1 mile from work.

He drives an old pickup that he can fix if it ever breaks down, no new "throw away" cars for this guy.

He goes to the local butcher for bacon.

May, 2012

Subject: We Got Hitched

MTBF became My Trucker Husband in April. We had a great celebration in the woods of our home state of Oregon.

Our wedding sustainability report:

No paper products used.

We rented just about everything -- including table decor like candlesticks and vases.

Our groomsmen wore suits from the last guy's wedding.

Food was locally-sourced.

Band was locally-sourced.

Instead of the usual Central Oregon tradition of throwing bottles into the fire, we made sure they all got to recycle center.

Finally, we did get orange foam beer cozies for party favors. You just can't completely take the trucker boyfriend out of MTBF. And these do last forever.

beer cozie

This was such a fun read, well-written and informative. While I don't have a trucker boyfriend, I think these types of conversations are pretty universal :)
thanks so much abby!

Congratulations Sarah! I had to read about the wedding when I saw
it was no longer MTBF. Highly entertaining. thank you

Sara Freedman + her TBF = true love. Me = sucker for happy endings!

What does it say below your names on the beer koozie?

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