By Rita Savage

Recycled Larabar wrappers (photo by Rita Savage)
Recycled Larabar wrappers (photo by Rita Savage)

On July 2nd 2009, day 39 of Roz’s row across the Pacific, she wrote a blog about her food, and made particular mention of Larabars. She is a big fan of these healthy rawfood snack bars – as well as tasting great, the minimal processing involved in their manufacture means they have a low carbon footprint. She knew she would munch her way through about 300 bars during her 100 or so days at sea, and was keeping all the Larabar wrappers with a view to making something out of them – but wasn’t sure what, so she asked for suggestions. Richard Cort in Austin, Texas, came up with this excellent idea:

“Each one could be easily laminated, and turned into an excellent bookmark. Then enclose one with special copies of the Atlantic book, as a souvenir from the Pacific trip. I would think that it would be a treat for readers to have a (Larabar) bookmark that had actually been on one of the journeys. I know that I’d want one.”

Work on the bookmarks could’t start until a) Roz had finished her row and brought the wrappers to land, and then b) the bookmarks had been signed and shipped from Hawaii to England, so it was not possible to have the bookmarks ready in time to go out with the copies of Rowing The Atlantic which people had ordered from Amazon. But work is now underway in Leeds, West Yorkshire, where Roz’s mother, Rita, is busy as a bee assembling and laminating them, and will be sent out shortly.

Each bookmark has a personally signed card on one side, and  a Larabar wrapper on the reverse. It has not been easy to remove all the wrinkles from the wrappers, so Rita has been carefully ironing each wrapper to get it as flat as possible. Some of the wrappers have been a bit sticky – especially the Jocolat ones – but don’t worry, once they’re laminated you won’t have the bookmark getting stuck to the pages of your copy of Rowing The Atlantic!

May these bookmarks be a reminder, as the years go by, of what Roz was doing to draw attention to the plight of our planet and its oceans – and how recycling our rubbish is a great way to reduce the amount of stuff that ends up in landfill.


  • Rita you are amazing! I have the most wonderful mental picture of you ironing all those Larabar wrappers …

    Are Larabars available in the UK? (Mental note to self, must find out.)

  • “May these bookmarks be a reminder, as the years go by, of what Roz was doing to draw attention to the plight of our planet ….”

    What has always impressed me about Roz, is that she is serving as a trailblazer, or a leader, of a number of different movements simultaneously, some of which she speaks about often, and others of which she just demonstrates by her example. This Larabar recycling project is very important from an environmental viewpoint, and it is also a gentle nudge for people to get into more “real food” instead of the junk food which pollutes our planet and bodies. Roz has even gotten me eating Larabars (love the Cinnamon Roll and Jocalat Chocolate ones).

    Rita: The photograph is wonderful, and you’re obviously proving the adage that “a mother’s work is never done.” 🙂 Washing and ironing. 🙂 What you are doing with the Larabar wrappers is going to mean a lot to people, because it gives a feeling of connection with Roz’s row, and with the whole scope of her environmental undertakings. Thank you very much for the work you’re doing on this!

    Caroline Haines: An internet search seems to indicate that Larabar products are available in the UK, and you may be able to contact them at the following address or phone to find out where the products are sold (this information seems to be about eight months old, and I hope it is still valid):

    PO Box 363
    Middlesex UB8 1YT
    Customer service phone number: 0800 0232951

  • Roz,

    Having recently finished your book, I was sad that I read it so fast I wasn’t able to use my magnificent, signed, South Pacific, Larabar, bookmark while reading it! That said, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the arrival of my bookmark, so I was especially happy to read this update.

    Why don’t you take your mum and yourself out to dinner, include the receipt along with my bookmark, and I’ll PayPal you for it? She deserves a little reward for her efforts in all this, too!

    Aaron Sakovich

  • Rita – you are amazing! And of course – I want a Larabar Bookmark! Are they all spoken for already or can we order 1? I’m already proud owner of a signed hardback copy of “Rowing”. It was abso-tively posi-lutely excellent – btw!

  • Aaron – thank you for your lovely offer! Thank you. Maybe Mum and I will go out for dinner to mark my birthday on Dec 23 – after all, we were both undergoing something of a life transformation on that date 42 years ago, so it would be nice to commemmorate it by doing something special!

  • Hi Guys – thanks for all the kind and encouraging words. I enjoy doing things to help Roz, but this has been a bit of a challenge. It takes quite a few minutes to do each bookmark, so it is a labour of love for Roz and for you. There will probably be some spares after I have done the 150 already ordered, so watch this space for further word about them.
    Grateful for your support (especially Aaron!) Rita.

  • Richard in Austin – you are right on all counts and a total star for the Larabar information. I’ll check it out. Many thanks!

  • What a great mom =). They look really great. It is a reminder of the work and commitment that we all need to make the world a better place. In listening to Roz throughout her Pacific Ocean rows, I don’t think that I have made a lot of large changes in how I treat the Earth but I have made a lot of little changes. One of those is increasing my efforts to recycle. I’ve long recycled at home but since listening to Roz I’ve begun to make the small change of hauling my recyclables back home with me after a picnic or a trip rather than just being lazy and trowing them out at the picnic grounds or at a service station. I know that I will continue to make small changes as do the many others who are inspired by Roz’s positive message of hope, love for the Earth, and love for each other as inhabitants and interiors of the Earth.

  • Those turned out GREAT!! I’m a total Larabar power user now, ‘cuz I love them AND ‘cuz they support you, Roz. And Rita: you’re just the best. I love all of the support, love, and extra touches you bring to the whole Roz story. What a team you two are. Thanks for sharing the pic!! Admiringly, Ellen

  • Rita, you’re a gem. I can’t believe you’re ironing those. I know I will cherish mine when it comes. My PayPal account was a little lean when you asked for an assist with the postage, but it’s more plump now, so I sent in something to help with that.

  • Rita, I confided in Roz that I jumped from page 2 to the Epilogue and Acknowledgements, and I am very pleased to have read early on that the book has a happy ending. I especially enjoyed the very last sentence. Thank YOU ;-D

  • Oh my! I had actually forgotten about the bookmarks and of course, finished the book weeks ago (loved it!) Roz, however, I don’t forget about, because I stop by the website just about every night to see what you are thinking and doing, and follow you on Twitter. Thank you for keeping me conscious about what I can do to make a small difference, and for posting about your adventures and ongoing efforts to raise awareness (biking, walking–perhaps on water from BB to Brussels?!!) Oh, and I have been taking Larabars to work for a p.m. snack every day–they are the best bars ever and I had never tasted one before finding your blog! (thank you, Laureen!) As they helped sustain you on your row, you are helping Larabars to find new customers, too! Thank you so much, Rita, for being such an awesome mum and person–not all of us had a mom as supportive of her daughter’s efforts to make a difference in the world and I am enjoying some of that vicariously! What a dedicated and patient woman you are, ironing all those wrappers! I may need to frame my wrapper (in Lucite so you can see both sides) instead of using it as a bookmark–it looks like it will be a work of art!

  • Well, I think this was where I became more “known” to you, asking for Larabar credit even though I got my book at Malaprops, our local, independent bookstore.

    Ironically, I did order my book at Malaprops, convinced you (I trust) to send me a Larabar bookmark, and waited with increasing impatience, for the book release date.

    In New York I met Roz, which made me want to read Rowing the Atlantic even more.

    I came home to Asheville, and watched as the publication date came and went, with no book in sight. Malaprops kept saying their distributor was waiting. ARGH!!!! I finally gave up, ordered the book on Amazon (feeling very guilty about not honoring my value system which says buy local) and devoured the book as soon as it arrived. About two weeks later I got my OTHER copy from Malaprops. Sigh. I’ll keep that one for my autograph, which I will get when I finally manage to get you here.

    Anyway, Rita, I thank you for IRONING the wrappers. Amazing.

    And Roz, you are an inspiration. Keep up the fine, fine work.

    Laurey in Asheville

  • Rita … what a wonderful woman (and mum par excellence!) Can’t wait for my Larabar — a piece of history it is, really — and I LOVE history! Also, it will be yet another ‘talking point’ that enables me to tell someone else about Roz’s eco-adventures — hopefully to the end that they, too, catch the ‘wave’ so to speak, the “wave” of how doing even one small thing at a time, repeatedly, helps clean up the place we all live. If I’ve gotten one resounding theme at the heart of Roz’s eco-adventures — at least for me, anyway — it is stated best in one powerful line I heard her say — first in an interview in Hawaii, and then again on a couple of her videos — and I think for me, personally, it is the most powerful thing I’ve heard in a very long time, as it applies not only to eco issues, but one’s very individual life, itself: “One oar stroke isn’t going to get me anywhere, but if you take a load of tiny actions and you string them all together, you really can achieve almost anything.” I’ve adopted it as a running theme for myself (well, not the oar stroke part, certainly), but, you know what I mean.

    I like Aaron’s idea above as well … cheers to you, Aaron!

    Warmest wishes to you, Rita and Roz — what a team!

  • ALOHA MUM! and ROZ! we are excited to receive our LARABAR bookmarks!
    we sent you a photo of the book signing in Portland with ROZ and us!
    was fun to see ROZ, hear her words in person! be inspired in person!have her sign our books and I am waiting to read ROWING THE ATLANTIC when I receive my bookmark from you! Have the mental picture of you
    ironing and laminating them! would love to see a photo of that!
    MAHALO for your energy for that! and to keep up with ROZ!!!!
    ALOHA! Carol and Cyndie in Oregon…

  • I had not heard of Larabars until you mentioned them, Roz. Totally love them! And I so want a bookmark if they are still available. (Although the ironies of giving attention to climate change by getting a bar where all the ingredients are shipped more than 200 miles AND the wrappers have gone at least halfway around the planet twice are not lost on me…)

  • The silver lining of not having the bookmark is that I get to reread a few pages again to find the precise spot where I left off.

    Ah, I feel a haiku coming on …

    where did I leave Roz
    was it cookies or boobies
    the silver lining

    Don’t rush mine, Rita. I’ve a few more pages to reread and rerelish …
    Sorta like Roz’s “negative progress” but thoroughly enjoyabe …

  • Just curious… what’s the progress on the bookmarks? No rush, but I haven’t received mine and I’d like to know if I should have.

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