Tag Archives: sustainability

Hi my name is Igor and I fight the good fight. You can too.

Now that I’ve announced my return from writing retirement, let’s address the elephant in the room. What the hell am I up to nowadays? Well, one thing in particular absorbs about 150% of my awake time. The beast of burden? The one and only Bootstrap Compost. I live it. I breathe it. It smells like compost. I figure I should to tell you a bit more about it, and how I got here, and some other personal tidbits to fill the gaps.

Boothead

Saving the world one Bootstrap bucket at a time. BIG thank you to all our subscribers!

[puts on corporate hat] Hi my name is Igor Kharitonenkov and I am co-founder and Vice President of Bootstrap Compost (BSC). BSC is a residential and commercial food scrap pickup service founded in Boston in January 2011. Our mission is to collect organic material and redistribute it to area farms for the sake of composting. Every day, we divert hundreds of pounds of food scraps from landfills, and in the process, help create a valuable resource for the local food community by creating a safe, nutrient rich, all natural soil amendment. All told, we serve to empower individuals and families by building a community around composting. To date, serving over 450 subscribers, we’ve diverted nearly 200,000 pounds of compostable material from landfills. As VP, I spearhead business development.

[takes off corporate hat] You’ll have to excuse me, but I can’t explain the trajectory, even to myself. I went from an unemployed, grad-school dropout. I was a depressed blogger, a guy whose alarm clock was set to double digits, only so I could get up to write in my pajamas. In many ways, I was a bleeding-heart liberal looking for a solution in a society that seemed apathetic to solutions. And here I am, co-founding a popular, market-proven and growing green startup company, making a real impact in our community. And we’re really doing it. Our clients, the press, fellow entrepreneurs, they love us. The plants love us. It’s really too fucking much to think about. I’ll psychoanalyze later.

MC2012 reception

Bootstrap Compost took part in MassChallenge 2012 as finalists! Pictured at the reception.

Just today, I found myself on a panel at Harvard speaking about social entrepreneurship. I know what you’re thinking, but c’mon I gotta name drop, it’s Harvard. And they gave me a sweet pen for participating. Which means I feel like a made man, Goodfellas style. Anyway, I was asked about the mentality of succeeding as an entrepreneur. My advice? Fake it until you make it. It’s what I said and it got a good laugh. But I’m not selling myself short, this is relevant. I told the story of my friend who cheated on every test in college. He got a degree without putting in half the work. He’s now a successful businessman. I don’t endorse this by any means. I believe in an honest day’s work. But my friend has serious charisma and can sell you fire in hell. As for me, I’m not as naturally gifted. But maybe I was in the right place at the right time. Maybe it was my hard work. I think it was a combination, but mostly, it was good attitude and a hope that just one day, maybe one day, I’d be able to prove that yes, I do in fact have some talents to offer this real world. It was a fight and I had my doubts. I got depressed. But I knew a better day would come. I faked that good day, until I got there. I’m still, in many ways, getting there.

Harvard pen

This pen? Gold. Totally worth sharing my opinions with undergrads at Harvard

To those who know me best, I’ve always been a believer in that cliche JFK quote, “to whom much is given, much is expected.” Living in the United States with a college degree in hand, I’m like in the top 5% of the global population. I pretty much have a golden ticket, no matter what happens, so I’m doing what I set out to do: fight the good fight in the name of mother nature. And I’m making a living doing it.

 

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Filed under My Personal Journey

No Impact Man: The Documentary. Abandoning Consumption, this NY Family Lives a Year Without Harming the Environment

“What if we called it the year I lost 20 pounds without going to the gym once?  Or the year we didn’t watch TV and became much better parents as a result?  Or the year we ate locally and seasonally and it ended up reversing my wife’s pre-diabetic condition?”  -Colin Beavan, the No Impact Man

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No Impact Man came out in 2009.  It’s a fascinating, multifaceted story.  Simply put, a man goes on a mission to see what it’s like to live a whole year without any negative impact on the environment.  In the middle of New York City, Colin Beavan experiments with a zero carbon footprint lifestyle, stringing along his wife and young daughter.  They give up driving, eating out, toilet paper, Pampers, coffee, plastic anything, etc.  As a family, they struggle and they fight, but they are ultimately brought closer together.  I finally got to watch No Impact Man last night (it streams on Netflix, fyi).

The root of No Impact Man is the journey of a family that tries to live a zero-impact lifestyle in our consumer world.  They give up air travel and driving, they compost and practice zero waste, they only eat local food grown within 250 miles, and they live without electricity for six months (minus one solar panel that power’s Beavan’s laptop).  But the conflicts behind No Impact Man run much deeper then a green lifestyle Continue reading

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Filed under Environmentalism, Video

5 Everyday Tips Video: Save Money and Go Green

IGORoamandreport’s debut for envisionGood.tv

I must be one lucky guy.  Then again, as the great Bret Michaels once uttered, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”  Make no mistake, Bret – yes, I am talking about Bret Michaels – is a winner.  He is a world famous musician, Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice, and conqueror of many personal battles.   The point is, no matter who or where you are in life, no matter what you do and what you inspire to do, stay focused and stay positive.  Remember to work hard and you will be rewarded.

I was recently appointed as media producer for an up-and-coming social media website, envisionGood.tv.  envisionGood strives to promote and inspire positive social innovation through journalism, media, and online networking.  I am very excited about this opportunity, and I am eager to further promote conservation, sustainability, and green technology through this new outlet.  Thank you and enjoy my first production!

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Filed under Greener Lifestyle - Hobbies, Video

Leaving a PhD program: Part 1 – Are you crazy???

On March 19th, 2010, I finally parted ways with the world of science and academia.  After 8 months of doubt, deliberation, and debilitation, the chains of an unpleasant and unhappy future were broken.  For the first time, I find myself in the great unknown, but my dreams are in sight.  I hope my story inspires lost souls to look up at the stars and believe it’s possible to pursue their passion.

Flash back to spring 2009.  I am 21 years old, about to graduate college, and I’m looking ahead at the fork in the road of my life.  Where to go?  What to do?  At the time, attending graduate school in neuroscience made perfect sense.  I was graduating from Indiana University with a degree in psychology and a certificate in neuroscience. I worked in a cocaine addiction lab at IU, and I also interned in the pharmaceutical industry at Eli Lilly.  I had the experience.  On top of that, graduate programs in medical sciences typically pay PhD candidates to go to school.  It’s a great deal; they pay full tuition, offer a healthy stipend, and provide free health insurance.  Lastly, and maybe most importantly, I needed financial stability because my girlfriend and I decided that we would remain together as we moved to a new place.

I never did much soul searching in college.  Maybe the social life of a Big 10 school kept me distracted from figuring myself out, maybe I wasn’t far enough away from home Continue reading

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Filed under Inspiration, My Personal Journey

My Video Application for the Best Internship on Earth!

I recently applied to be the youth ambassador for Sierra Club’s Best Internship on Earth.  600+ videos were submitted but there can only be one winner.  That lucky bloke will get outfitted by the Sierra Club and sent on a  mission to partake in and video document all kinds of awesome outdoor adventures out West.   Check out the video and wish me luck!

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Filed under My Personal Journey, Outdoor Adventure - Travel, Video