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October 6 - October 27, 2021
Sam Tucker's avatar

Sam Tucker

PCC SOC 228 Intro to Environmental Sociology

"I began to think critically about the impact of my every-day choices starting 5 years ago and have gotten better at it every single day. I think that's what we all owe the Earth, a bit of hard work, because nothing worth having is ever easy to come by."

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 297 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    9
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    1
    energy audits
    conducted
  • up to
    310
    minutes
    spent exercising
  • up to
    2
    pounds
    food waste prevented
  • up to
    360
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    12
    locally sourced meals
    consumed
  • up to
    880
    minutes
    not spent in front of a screen
  • up to
    127
    gallons of water
    have been saved

Sam's Actions

Action Track: Healing and Renewal

Go for a Daily Walk Outside

Do at Home

I will take a walk outside for 20 minutes each day.

COMPLETED 6
DAILY ACTIONS

Energy

Donate to or Volunteer for Low-Income Solar Initiatives

Do at Home

Whether it's by donating or volunteering, I will research the benefits of low-income solar and find out how I can support low-income solar initiatives in my area.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Energy

Upgrade My Windows

Do at Home

I will upgrade the windows or weatherstripping in my home or office to reduce air leaks and save on energy costs.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Energy

Online Energy Audit

Do at Home

I will complete an online energy audit of my home, office, or dorm room and identify my next steps for saving energy.

Completed
One-Time Action

Energy

Switch to Cold Water

Do at Home

I will switch to washing my clothes in cold water, saving up to 1,600 lbs of CO2 over the course of the next year.

Completed
One-Time Action

Energy

Calculate the Carbon Footprint of my Household

Do at Home

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

Food

Try a New Way to Prep

Do at Home

I will try a new method of food preparation, such as canning, pickling, or baking bread.

Completed
One-Time Action

Transportation

Improve a Bus Stop

I will improve a bus stop in my neighborhood by posting the stop schedule, adding seating or shelter, adding art or flowers, picking up litter, or some other small improvement.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Transportation

Choose a Carbon Offset

If buying a plane ticket, I will also buy a carbon offset.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Waste

Find Local Recycling Depots

Do at Home

I will find out where to recycle the recyclable items that I can't put in recycling dumpsters or my curbside bin.

Completed
One-Time Action

Waste

Personal Waste Audit

Do at Home

I will collect all of my unrecyclable, non-compostable trash to raise my awareness of how much I send to the landfill.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Waste

Advocate For More Food Packaging Options

Do at Home

I will advocate for alternatives to single-use packaging at local grocery stores, markets, at work, or on campus to reduce pollution in the environment and in local communities.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Action Track: Healing and Renewal

Learn About Constructive Communication

Do at Home

I will spend 80 minute(s) learning about constructive communication.

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Healing and Renewal

Engage In Active Listening

Do at Home

I will practice actively listening to a friend, family member, co-worker, acquaintance, or someone who I may disagree with in at least 4 conversations.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Simplicity

Less Screen Time

Do at Home

I will replace 120 minute(s) of screen time each day with other activities.

COMPLETED 7
DAILY ACTIONS

Simplicity

Find / Join A Sharing Economy

Do at Home

I will research tool libraries and other sharing economy organizations in my area and rent instead of buy next time I need something they offer.

COMPLETED 1
DAILY ACTION

Food

Weekly Meal Planning

Do at Home

I will reduce food waste and save money by prepping for 1 meal(s) each day, only buying the ingredients I need.

COMPLETED 5
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Locally-Sourced Meals

Do at Home

I will source 1 meal(s) each day from local producers.

COMPLETED 8
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Meet My Local Farmers

I will visit my nearest farm to find out who produces my food, and will learn about the quality of life of those around the world who produce my food in order to make better choices when I shop.

Completed
One-Time Action

Feed

  • Reflection Question
    Waste Find Local Recycling Depots
    Our ability to recycle certain things ebbs and flows based upon many factors, including market demand for recyclables. Luckily there are places that accept uncommon things to recycle or dispose of in a less harmful way. What did you find when looking for places to recycle items that can't be recycled in your curbside bin?

    Sam Tucker's avatar
    Sam Tucker 10/27/2021 10:44 PM
    I created a list so I can reference these in the future, but I found a couple of places to recycle styrofoam and other soft plastics, electronics, tires, batteries, outdoor equipment, and oils. There are a bunch of other items, but I've been curbing my use of single use plastics over the last couple of years, so I've completely eliminated the need to find recycling for certain items.
  • Reflection Question
    Food Try a New Way to Prep
    Canning and pickling food is a great way to have delicious summer fruits and vegetables all year round. Just make sure to follow the canning and pickling guidelines from the USDA or another trusted source. What are some foods that you would like to preserve and enjoy later in the year?

    Sam Tucker's avatar
    Sam Tucker 10/27/2021 10:41 PM
    I had a great time canning / pickling this year, and I even got ahold of some of the last strawberries of the season courtesy of some berry farmers (Unger Farms) who have "all season" strawberries that allow for them this late in the year! I've canned before, but this challenge motivated me to do it this fall despite not having a terribly large amount of free time. I also tried a couple new cheese recipes and made mozarella! I'd only done yogurt and ricotta in the past, and it really makes you appreciate cheese when you go through the hours long processes to make it in your own kitchen!
  • Reflection Question
    Food Meet My Local Farmers
    When you know who produces your food, you are connecting personally to your complex regional food system. What are the advantages of knowing who produces your food and where it comes from? How can knowing their food producers enable someone to advocate for a better quality of life for those who produce their food, both near and far?

    Sam Tucker's avatar
    Sam Tucker 10/27/2021 10:38 PM
    This challenge was really neat because I committed to going to the farmers market 4 weeks in a row to see the same farmer and purchase whatever produce was exactly in season that week. It was so interesting to talk with him about the various varieties of potatoes, garlic, onions, peppers, tomatoes, squash, etc that he chose to grow. Farmer's markets can be expensive, but he sells his produce at such great prices and does so to make fresh, whole foods available to those who otherwise would not be able to afford them -- and isn't that what it's all about?
  • Reflection Question
    Energy Online Energy Audit
    What most interested or surprised you about your own energy footprint? What changes did you make or will you make?

    Sam Tucker's avatar
    Sam Tucker 10/27/2021 10:36 PM
    It's incredible to think of every little step that goes into a day that consumes energy. Doing the energy audit made me think a lot more about the little things that really add up over time -- and I'm glad to see that some of the small changes I've made even if that's just replacing bulbs with LEDs, keeping certain appliances unplugged, or foregoing heat/AC can really make a huge difference.
  • Reflection Question
    Energy Switch to Cold Water
    What do you plan to do with the money you save from making more energy efficient choices?

    Sam Tucker's avatar
    Sam Tucker 10/26/2021 5:24 PM
    I actually do my laundry at the local laundromat in order to cut down on my footprint -- they're shared machines that are repaired rather than replaced, made to commercial grade (which means better materials that withstand more wear), they're more efficient in terms of energy and water use, and because it is easier to see the cost with each load, it encourages me to reduce the amount of laundry that I do/the number of loads that I will do. I don't necessarily save money as I do not have the capability to have a washing machine in my home, but I suppose I do because my apartment rent is less without that in-unit washer add on. I hope that I can use that money to save up and buy a long-lasting pair of USA made jeans that I can own my whole life. They're more expensive, but I'm able to save that up over time.
  • Reflection Question
    Action Track: Healing and Renewal Learn About Constructive Communication
    How can you, your loved ones, the community, and environment all benefit from constructive communication?

    Sam Tucker's avatar
    Sam Tucker 10/26/2021 5:20 PM
    I think that it is too easy for people to dismiss those around them when there are much more interesting things occupying their time (like television, work, other life stresses), but it turns out that we generally do agree on making life a better experience. By communicating with each other, we can better understand how to construct a collaborative solution that is inclusive and can be championed by a greater number of stakeholders. A solution designed by a single person, or a single type of person, is not going to be one that will be upheld or relate to the majority of people. I have used October as an opportunity to reach out to neighbors in the same apartment building who would otherwise be strangers, connect with regulars at the dog park who I see often and have never spoken to, and connecting with people I've frequented for years but never really gotten to know (like my hair lady & doctor). It has made this month feel a lot more "human" and helps other people see the same--that we're all getting through this experience together and that no one truly intends to hurt someone else with their actions. When we communicate and share our values, we're able to expose certain biases of our own and address them in a way that isn't defensive. I've been working to build my community for years realizing I had never been able to practice that in my neighborhood growing up. I endeavor to be a good neighbor so that others know what that looks like and have the resource should they need it. It builds respect, and whenever I talk about why I compost, recycle diligently, or don't get food delivered, etc, they understand why I would choose that, and I dare say it has pushed them to make their own impactful & intentional choices which together make a huge difference.