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Case Study > Ted's Travels

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Ted's Travels

Ted Houser is an active, determined, passionate individual who also runs an environmentally friendly consulting firm. He has “literally” and “figuratively” climbed mountains in his efforts to help Lancaster County go green.

- Introducing Ted Houser

- Hiking the Appalachian Trail

- Ninja Fast Consulting

- Working in a Sustainable Environment

- The Future for Ted Houser


Introducing Ted Houser

Some people may think living a sustainable lifestyle means cutting certain items out of your life and stuffing your face with vegetables. I'm here to tell you that isn't the case! Thousands of people across the United States are taking little steps to help improve our planet and save our resources everyday. They all don't live in one area like San Francisco either. People are scattered throughout the United States and you don't have to go to far to meet them. Take for instance the case of Ted Houser.

Ted is a Lancaster County native who grew up in South Lancaster. He attended Penn Manor Middle School and eventually received his High School Diploma from Lancaster Mennonite High School. He attended Goshen College in Indiana and got his bachelors degree in Communications and Art.

After graduating from college, Ted landed a job at the Mennonite Disaster Service and worked as the Communications Coordinator. After 5 years, he decided to move on and he ended up at Glick Audio and Video in Lancaster. He was a manager at Glick for over 3 years and worked with various Non-Profit Organizations throughout his stay there. He then decided he needed a break.

Ted wanted to do something epic that would help clear his mind. He thought about doing a motorcycle trip, but decided against that because that involved using a whole lot of fuel. Then a thought crossed his mind. A thought that wouldn't leave him alone. He decided that a hike is the simplest form of human transportation and you would end up seeing so much. Plus, he had the Appalachian Mountain literally in his back yard staring him in the face for the challenge. Being the warrior that Ted is, he decided to do just that! He launched his journey with a train ticket in hand and backpack filled with some essentials.


Hiking the Appalachian Trail

Ted decided to set foot on the trail on May 2, 2008 at the base of Springer Mountain in Georgia with his cousin. He had no idea what to expect. It was a journey that would end up taking him all the way to the end of the trail on top of Mount Katahdin in Maine on September 2, 2008. Throughout the 4 months it took Ted to finish the trail, he had tons to think about and see.

He met various people along the way and would often run into them again on the different trail rest spots. Everyone had their own unique journey and that was one thing that Ted really liked. No one journey was the same. The thing about the trail was, you could set your own pace, your own goals, and do what you wanted to do. No one was there holding your hand or holding you back. It had a very informal community that had one thing on there mind, just simply get away and hike.

The best part of being on the trail for Ted was that it was very social and you meet a bunch of people. The scenery and experience was breathtaking and he wouldn't change it for the world. The only thing Ted wished was that he could get a nice clean shower from time-to-time. He really missed being comfortable and clean half way through the trip, but he fought it out til the end. Ted told himself that he was going to finish it, and that was his inspiration. It was not so much a physical task, but more of a mental one. He pushed himself until the very last step.

After walking over 2,000 miles and going through five pairs of shoes, he finished the trail and just wanted to go back home. His next goal was to start working full time with a Non-Profit Organization in Lancaster. By the time he got home, the economy was being hit harder than usual and their were no jobs available. So, he figured he would venture out and start his own business. This is how Ninja Fast Consulting came about.


Ninja Fast Consulting

The name, Ninja Fast, came from the first couple weeks on the trail. When Ted first started his journey through the mountain, he linked up with some other hikers and people began to notice them. Within the first month of the hike, they were known on the trail as being the trail ninjas. This was due to the fact that Ted and his hiking crew were extremely fast hikers and helped other backpackers along the way when they were in need. That is just the way Ninja Fast likes to do their business, quickly and proficiently.

It was a tough start for Ted, but like any other good business person, he adapted and learned more. Ninja Fast Consulting delivers internet marketing strategies for individuals, organizations, and/or businesses small and large. His business is open to everyone and it's main goal is to help people set up websites and introduce them to the world of social networking.

One of the spectacular things about Ted's business is that 60% of his clientele deals with Non-Profit Organizations. He likes to give back to the community and also offers a 25% discount to all Non-Profit Organizations. Also, it deals with both international and local participants.

At the start, Ted didn't know entirely too much about computers. He never really had experience with them when he attended college. There weren't many people who had computers, so he never really got hands on training. Within four years of Ted graduating from college, the web-world exploded.

When he decided to run with this idea after hiking the trail, he sharpened his skills by reading many books and taking many classes on editing. This is why Ninja Fast is so convenient for businesses. Ninja Fast caters to your needs and goes at a pace that you will understand. Ninja Fast will not leave you behind.

Working in Sustainable Environments

Ted runs his entire business from his home. He made this decision for various reasons. A lot of them deal with his cause for saving a lot of human resources. Some of the things Ted has done to his home include:

Turning his garage into an office

Installing motion lights

Switching out high wattage light bulbs

Installing power strips

Individual room heating

Running his business through a computer

Utilizing all his base load energy

Office Space

Ted thought it would be a good idea if he turned his garage into an office for Ninja Fast Consulting. The space was there so he figured, why not utilize it? He also sold away his vehicle. Ted did this because he didn't have to worry about using gasoline to travel to work. He won't be wasting precious oil and he is saving so much money in the process. Plus, since his office is just a couple steps away, he can sleep in and not have to worry about being late. That was a joke, but anyone can do their part in living a sustainable life just by utilizing the space that they have.

Motion Lights

Once again, Ted is saving more money by not burning up electricity and constantly running the lights. He is also saving light bulbs by not having to change them often and he uses less power than he has too. If Ted is not in a room, the motionlight will sense that and eventually turn off. He doesn't have to keep the lights on all day and if by chance he forgets to turn them off at night, they automatically shut off. Ted conserves so much more electricity that way.

Also, his house is a lot safer now. If someone is trying to sneak in the house when he is away, his neighbors will see that and can notify the right people. Even if he is home, he will always know if someone else is in the house because of the motion detector.

Light Bulbs

Ted uses lower wattage light bulbs. Instead of the normal 65-watt light bulb, Ted uses the low lighting 35-watt light bulb. This helps save the atmosphere and electricity costs. Not as much energy is being sucked out of the 35-watt bulb compared to the other bulbs.

Also, a lot of his motion lights contain Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs. These type of lights are long-lasting, efficient, and help reduce air and water pollution. CFL's use anywhere from 50 – 80% less energy than your normal incandescent light bulb and they also give off the same amount of light.

Some scientist believe that incandescent light bulbs are melting are solar caps and are a huge impact on global warming. That is one reason why the government passed the 2012 Clean Air Act. This Act prohibits stores to sell any incandescent lights during the start of the 2012 year. These Compact Fluorescent Lights may be a little more expensive than your everyday light bulb, but you will save money on your power bill and help reduce global warming.

Power Strips

All of Ted's appliances are wired to various power strips throughout his house. When he is not using the outlet with the power strip, he simply flips off the switch and all the appliances turn off. Once again, he is saving a lot of money and freeing up more resources. It's something anyone can do to help with the cause.

Outlets in your house are always consuming some type of power. With all your appliances on a separate power strip, you can control it. A lot of office buildings are on 24 hours a day and are constantly sucking energy. If the appliances were on power strips and controlled, it would help free up a lot more energy.


Ted has individual thermostat meters in each of his rooms. He treats these just like he treats his power strips. If he is walking from one room to the other and is going to be there for a while, he will turn off the heat in the room that he is not in. It may sound like a lot of work to some, but it's just a simple turn of a switch. This also prevents wasting any unused energy that is not serving a purpose in his house. He is conserving energy without any effort and is saving more money as well.


Ted runs his entire Ninja Fast business from his office on a computer. With having done this, he is saving a lot of trees in the long run. All his documents are on file and just a click away. He only uses the printer if he absolutely has to use it. If he does use the printer and has to throw away a document, he recycles it so that the recycling center can produce another product out of it.

Base Load Energy

Every single unit in your home that uses energy can be defined as Base Load Energy. Ted utilizes his base load energy to the max. If he is not using something that eats up power like his computer, he turns off a power switch and consumes the energy. Anyone can do this! It really does add up and you will save tons of money while helping reduce your resource intake. This may seem like common sense to some, but not enough people do this. Help save our planet as well as our resources by reducing your energy consumption!

General Living

Since Ted sold his vehicle, all his transportation is by bicycle, train, or by foot. He created a rack that fits onto the back of his bike for whenever he has to go to the local super market to buy groceries. If he has to go some place out of state, he walks or rides his bike to the train station to get there.

He wants to continue to live in Lancaster County because he believes that this place is taking small steps into the right direction. Plus, he grew up here and his family is close. If he moves away, he might have to use resources to visit them. They are close to him now so why change?


The Future for Ted Houser

Ted Houser has been doing a lot around the community recently. Since he doesn't own a vehicle because he wants to help save our fuel resources, Ted is planning on joining the League of Lancaster Bicyclist. The LLB is an advocacy group that is trying to make Lancaster County a more bike friendly place.

Ted is also looking into joining the Susquehanna Sustainable Business Network. He plans on registering Ninja Fast Consulting as a business parter of the SSBN. Before he does, he just wants to make sure that the organization is taking positive steps and moving forward for the environmental cause.

Lastly, he is still educating himself on how he can continue to live a more sustainable life. He has been reading tons of material and actually just finished a course on green building technology at Steven's Tech.

What can you do?

You can take a page out of Ted's book, and try to start conserving your energy in your home. Reduce your Base Load Energy and you will save. If you don't, your bills are probably going to start to go through the roof. Why pay more when you can just change some things in your life and pay less?

Our government just passed a bill lifting the regulation caps on all the electricity companies. This basically means by the start of the 2010 year, the electricity companies can charge you whatever they want for you to use there power. Not only will you be spending more on bills, you will also be using up all of the resources for future generations. You may not leave any for your great grandchildren or any future family members to come. Start changing your ways and get a jump start on consuming energy to help save our planet's resources.




This site was created by (Chris Malenich) ( who is a student at Millersville University of Pennsylvania

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