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October 5 - October 26, 2022
Kyra Sciabica's avatar

Kyra Sciabica

Cleveland Clinic Sustainability

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 1,256 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    7.6
    pounds
    food waste prevented
  • up to
    16
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    825
    minutes
    not spent in front of a screen
  • up to
    1.0
    pounds
    waste avoided
  • up to
    822
    gallons of water
    have been saved
  • up to
    1.0
    water footprints
    calculated
  • up to
    22
    donations
    made
  • up to
    20
    minutes
    spent learning

Kyra's Actions

Cultivating Communities

Pull Together Items to Donate

Each day, I will find one or more items I can donate to a local thrift or resale shop.

COMPLETED 22
DAILY ACTIONS

Balancing Consumption

Know My Waste & Recycling Services

I will spend 10 minutes finding out how to recycle in my region, where landfills and/or waste sites are situated in my region, and which communities are most impacted by these sites.

Completed
One-Time Action

Balancing Consumption

Repair a Broken Item

I will repair at least one item that is broken, but is repairable. This might be items like garden tools, sewing machine, small appliances, electronics, clothing, and more.

Completed
One-Time Action

Balancing Consumption

Calculate My Carbon Footprint

I will calculate the carbon emissions associated with my household and consider how different lifestyle choices could reduce our carbon footprint and our impact on the environment.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Regenerating Nature

Complete an Energy Audit

I will complete an online energy audit of my home, work, or other shared space to identify the next steps for saving energy.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Regenerating Nature

Take Shorter Showers

I will save up to 20 gallons (75 L) of water each day by taking 5-minute or less showers. Tip: Use a timer to practice or count to 60 a few times.

COMPLETED 22
DAILY ACTIONS

Regenerating Nature

Calculate My Water Footprint

I will calculate my water footprint and look for a few ways I can reduce consumption or waste.

Completed
One-Time Action

Balancing Consumption

Reduce Social Media Use

I will use my social media only once per day.

COMPLETED 22
DAILY ACTIONS

Balancing Consumption

Less Screen Time

I will replace 10 minute(s) of screen time each day with other activities.

COMPLETED 22
DAILY ACTIONS

Nourishing Food

Forest-Friendly Foods

I will spend 10 minutes learning about palm oil, coffee, cocoa, and other products known to contribute to deforestation, and replace or remove them.

Completed
One-Time Action

Nourishing Food

Weekly Meal Planning

I will reduce food waste, excess carbon and save money by planning my daily and weekly menus so that I only purchase the ingredients needed.

COMPLETED 22
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed

  • Reflection Question
    Nourishing Food Forest-Friendly Foods
    How did you figure out ways to remove foods that are not forest-friendly?

    Kyra Sciabica's avatar
    Kyra Sciabica 10/25/2022 10:12 AM
    I'll cut out palm oil by carefully examining the ingredients list on any products I buy, and choosing non-palm oil products whenever there is an alternative available. I will reduce the amount of coffee I buy (and only buy the kind that comes in a recyclable package so as to reduce plastic waste), and the amount of chocolate I buy. I have been meaning to reduce my intake of both, so this is a great motivator to really reduce it down to the minimal amount possible, and to only buy from companies that source it ethically. 
         I've already cut out microwave popcorn (which very often has palm oil) and switched to popping it on my own in a silicone microwave popper, and that's something I'll continue, as I've found it to also taste better. Something I found interesting is that while bar soap has less packaging waste, several brands seem to have palm oil in them, so I will have to hunt for a palm-oil free bar soap if I want to work on reducing my plastic waste. Worth it in the end I think, I'll just have to do some extra research!
  • Reflection Question
    Regenerating Nature Calculate My Water Footprint
    What is one way you will reduce your water use? What is a practice you already have that helps you reduce your water use?

    Kyra Sciabica's avatar
    Kyra Sciabica 10/19/2022 7:58 AM
         I did pretty well on the physical use of water, and now that I'm really sticking to the five minute shower rule, I think I can reduce that even more. Like most people have said, my main use is in virtual water. I was really surprised that even though I eat fish/shellfish rarely, it jumped my footprint up so dramatically, compared to if I was solely vegetarian or vegan. I currently have a few non-vegan items in my diet, but I'll have to find ways to cut those down even further to reduce my water use.
         My current water conservation practices of never running a faucet not actively in use and such are very much so shaped by living in desert environment--we're very painfully aware of how we shouldn't waste water. At least our city is pretty good about water conservation and reuse. That said, I can certainly do better! 
         Another one of my main culprits is driving, as I have to do a lot of driving since this is a very car-centered town and our public transportation is somewhat limited, particularly in my area of town. As much as I would love to hop on a train or even just walk, that's not a practical option, especially in summer when we hit over 90.
          I miss being able to walk everywhere like we did in college, where we also had the supreme advantage of a rail system and several bus systems that covered quite a lot of ground. I loved the public transportation from that town and I miss it every day.
          I will continue to keep my product and actual water consumption low, and try to find bar versions of the soap products I use to further reduce water use. And I'll keep washing my car as infrequently as I do, no matter what anyone says, as it clearly saves water! :)
  • Reflection Question
    Balancing Consumption Repair a Broken Item
    What did you fix and how did it go? Share a few pics if you can!

    Kyra Sciabica's avatar
    Kyra Sciabica 10/17/2022 3:59 PM
    I sewed up a shirt seam on some scrubs that was pulling apart. I don't think I did a very good job (it's harder to thread a needle by hand than I recall!), but it should help them last a little longer. Next is to see if I can patch a hole that has appeared on a pillowcase. My mom taught me how to sew when I was younger, I just have to get back into the swing of it! I remember really liking sewing buttons on, but alas, that particular mending isn't needed right now!

    • Crystal Tyree's avatar
      Crystal Tyree 10/18/2022 5:49 AM
      I am NOT good at sewing on buttons. I am alright at typical sewing. Maybe we should join forces and you do the buttons and I'll do the other! 
  • Reflection Question
    Cultivating Communities Pull Together Items to Donate
    How can you prevent yourself from accumulating more things in the future?

    Kyra Sciabica's avatar
    Kyra Sciabica 10/17/2022 3:52 PM
         Something I've noticed while trying to pull together things to donate, is that about half of them are things that other people have given me that I no longer need/want, and the other half are things that my tastes have shifted on, or I've outgrown (figuratively and literally!). Sometimes I buy a book, and it doesn't end up being something I really like, so as much as I love hanging on to books in case I get the re-reading bug, I know my local library takes book donations and resells them for less than $5 (usually close to $1 or less!), and I like to support my library. 
          I am a very reticent buyer, as in...I will sit on gift cards for years because I can't decide if I want something enough to buy it. So I personally prevent myself from accumulating a lot of stuff. I nearly always borrow from the library before I decide to buy a book these days, and I really only buy things if an old version needs to be replaced, or if it's something I know I'll love and use for a really long time. I could do a better job of going through my items regularly and assessing what should be sent to others instead of once every six years or so!
        I've stopped taking free handouts like water bottles and t-shirts now if they're optional, simply because I already have so many of them! I don't need more, and it seems a waste to take it and then never use it. Doing this prevents me from consuming anything, and keeps it for those who actually need the items. 

  • Kyra Sciabica's avatar
    Kyra Sciabica 10/17/2022 8:55 AM
         I began watching the PBS Frontline documentary about the oil industry's research on and subsequent lobbying against climate change. It's a three part series (maybe call Big Oil? I can't recall) and I only got through the first one and a half, but it was incredibly frustrating to hear that companies like Exxon and Shell were doing peer reviewed research back in the 80s that was predicting "catastrophic" impacts. That was the actual quote from the Exxon report, which was disquieting to hear, because they knew how bad it could get and attempted to discredit the scientific consensus anyways.
          I had read a New York Times article about this before, but the documentary would cut from these documents to video of the 2018 California wildfires and multiple hurricanes, which really just...knocks you out. It's frustrating knowing that everyone, even in the industry, knew, and that denial was deliberately manufactured to preserve profits, especially when Exxon has once been looking at solar and wind power in the 80s. Looking at how industry lobbying knocked a proposed carbon tax in the 90s and the Kyoto negotiations off track is like a sucker punch to the gut when you think about how we could have started earlier action and avoided more pain, and compare it to the magnitude of how we need to make cuts and transitions now. I'll have to finish the series this week and see how it brings it up to present day.
  • Reflection Question
    Regenerating Nature Take Shorter Showers
    With 5-minute or less showers reducing your water footprint, what do you plan to add next to your water conservation habits?

    Kyra Sciabica's avatar
    Kyra Sciabica 10/14/2022 9:09 AM
         I've been saving water at work because people don't turn the sinks all the way off (the handles we have are a little stiff) and the sink keeps dripping until you really push it all the way back. I've been doing this on our floor because I hate to see water wasted! 
         At home, I will try to stop cranking the sink handles to their full 'flood' capacity, when all I need is a little bit of water anyways. I can't believe how silly it is now that I think about it. I will constantly check my own water faucets at home for dripping and make sure to prevent leaks. Based on what other people are saying, being vegetarian means less water use, so I've already been doing that. I only run my washing machine for full loads, I have fairly desert friendly landscaping, and have low-water houseplants. 
        My next step would be to start purchasing products, like shampoos and conditioners that are made with less or no water, like shampoo bars. While it might not help conserve water locally, it will conserve water for other communities, and help reduce packaging too!

  • Kyra Sciabica's avatar
    Kyra Sciabica 10/10/2022 2:03 PM
    I went for a hike this weekend, which is something I never do (I'm mildly allergic to half of the outdoors), and I really enjoyed it. I always forget this particular state park is near enough by to make something of a day trip, and it really so beautiful. I enjoyed seeing all the trees (we don't have a lot in the city/suburbs area), and for the most part it was so quiet. There were actually quite a lot of people out there for a Saturday morning, and we met one of the volunteer park rangers who told us a little bit about the trails. We saw some people feeding the chipmunks, which you are not supposed to do, and an astonishingly blue bird. We made it all the way to the waterfall at the end of the trail, and since it was such steep trail, got an excellent workout in! I'll have to find more ways to fit hikes like this in! 
  • Reflection Question
    Balancing Consumption Reduce Social Media Use
    Social media can keep us connected with loved ones, make us laugh, and help us to learn new things. It can also create echo chambers and take more time than we realize or intend to give. After completing this action for a few days, how do you feel? What do you notice?

    Kyra Sciabica's avatar
    Kyra Sciabica 10/07/2022 1:09 PM
    My parents significantly limited the social media I could have growing up, so I don't really have a lot of the main social media accounts. The few sites I have, I try to limit, and I've been doing even better since this challenge started; I didn't realize how much time I was wasting on scrolling through things that don't really interest me. It's given me more reading time, which I've always enjoyed. I always feel so much better after I've finished a book than scrolling to the bottom of a social feed, so I'm hoping this becomes a self-reinforcing habit. 

    • Crystal Tyree's avatar
      Crystal Tyree 10/10/2022 6:29 AM
      I too, have reduced the amount of time that I spend on social media since starting this challenge. I've taken more walks with family which makes me realize all the pretty sights out!
  • Reflection Question
    Balancing Consumption Less Screen Time
    What are the implications for a culture that spends most of its time inside and on screens?

    Kyra Sciabica's avatar
    Kyra Sciabica 10/06/2022 8:51 AM
    I actually read a very interesting BBC article yesterday that was discussing the possible link between increased indoor time and screen time with increasing rates of childhood myopia. While we may think of it as relatively benign in countries with good access to vision corrections, myopia can lead to more eye problems as it progresses over the life span. The article mentioned that exposure to natural light can help delay the progression of myopia, though the researchers did stress that though there's a correlation, these links aren't fully understood yet. I'd be very interested to see this further research, but it's certainly a strong case for spending more time in natural light, particularly outdoors if it's safe to do so. I'll try to spend more time outside this weekend (with sunglasses) in the name of eye health!

  • Kyra Sciabica's avatar
    Kyra Sciabica 10/05/2022 1:20 PM
         I see lots of people commenting about meatless meals, and I've been vegetarian for close to ten years now (and have had to cut out most dairy for a while now too--so almost vegan), so if anyone wants tips/ideas, please feel free to reply and I'll respond when I can! Off the top of my head, lentils are your best friend--they're cheap and so easy to make. There are loads of lentil soup recipes out there, so don't be afraid to dig and find one that sounds good to you. 
         If you think you hate tofu, try the 'fake meats' first and work your way up to traditional tofu (if you think it's too mushy, make sure you're using firm or extra firm). Another essential for cooking tofu is to press it! You don't need a fancy tool, just wrap it in a towel of some sort, and then press it between a stack of plates or whatever other heavy items you can make balance. Then pour the water off, chop it up, coat in an oil and seasoning and bake until golden brown.
         Feel free to reply if you're curious about tips/ideas or want to share ideas! I love hearing new vegetarian/vegan recipes. 

    • Kyra Sciabica's avatar
      Kyra Sciabica 10/07/2022 7:34 AM
           Emily that recipe sounds amazing, I will have to try it! I don't think traditional block tofu has many ingredients beyond soybeans and water, but I don't have any in the fridge right now so I can't check. I do have some chickpea tofu I'm trying out, which is just chickpeas and water, though I can't report on the taste yet.
           Another option is tempeh, which is similar to tofu, but is fermented I believe. It's much firmer and denser, made of soybeans, brown rice, and lactic acid according to the brand I have on hand. It can be a little bitter, but if you steam it before you cook it in whatever recipe you use, it takes the bitterness off. It's also more flavorful than tofu, with a savory taste, rather than the total blank canvas that tofu is. Also very good in stir-fry and worth a shot since it's a little less processed than tofu if that's of interest. You can actually see the whole soybeans in tempeh condensed into the block, whereas with tofu they've been blended up.
           The most processed meat substitutes are the ones that are made to taste and look like meat, and they have a lot more ingredients and coloring. Plain tofu, tempeh, and seitan (which I think is made from wheat protein, though I haven't had it in a while so don't quote me!), are a lot simpler. Plain tofu, particularly the silken kind, blends up well for smoothies, so that's a good way to still get the benefits or introduce it slowly. Silken tofu is so soft it will fall apart in your hands, and makes for a really thick smoothie. Firm tofu doesn't liquefy quite as well and has a little bit stronger of a taste, but I've still done it in a pinch and I personally don't mind it, but others might, so go for the silken tofu in smoothies for best results.
           There are tons of recipes for making tofu at home with lentils, beans (any beans evidently, though the flavor may vary by type), chickpeas, and soy beans and I've always wanted to give it a try, so I'll let you know if I do this month! It looked like you didn't need anything too special in the recipe I saw, just the lentils/beans and water, but I can hunt the recipe down and post it if anyone is interested. I think I've been able to get organic tofu at my regular grocery store chain, but I'm sure anything like Whole Foods, Sprouts, or a health food store would have a verified organic option. This got really long, but as more and more people go vegetarian, there's more and more tofu options, so if there isn't something you like now, there probably will be someday!

    • Emily K's avatar
      Emily K 10/06/2022 7:28 AM
      One vegetarian meal we've been enjoying lately is: baking Cascadian Farms' mixed root vegetable hash browns (comes with organic yukon potato, carrots, and sweet potato) at 400-430 degrees so they get a bit browned/crispy (lay on baking sheet and toss in avocado and sprinkle with oak or hickory smoked salt) and then cut up cherry tomato and soft boil eggs to go on top. 

      I haven't tried tofu, but one barrier I have is finding ideally organic tofu or tofu with minimal ingredients/preservatives. Do you have recommendations on where to get it, or do you make it yourself?