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October 6 - October 27, 2021

PCC SOC 228 Intro to Environmental Sociology Feed

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  • 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
    Health More Fruits and Veggies
    How does eating more fruits and vegetables and less meat positively affect yourself, other people, and our planet?

    Ashley Schultz's avatar
    Ashley Schultz 10/27/2021 8:44 PM
    Personally, I have seen a lot of health benefits from adding more fruits and veggies and reducing the amount of meat I consume! I found that it has helped my gut health tremendously, allowing me to feel less bloated and more healthy throughout the week! 

  • Wynona Henderson's avatar
    Wynona Henderson 10/27/2021 3:51 PM
    It's going well! I was recently sick so I haven't been actively thinking about sustainability, however, I haven't been using straws, and I've been trying to cut back on screentime. 

  • Camille Williams's avatar
    Camille Williams 10/27/2021 9:34 AM
    Overall, I learned quite a bit from this challenge. Some of the actions that I took were a bit more of a challenge then I thought they would be compared to others. There were times I found to be a challenge to complete my daily actions, such as spending a longer period of time outside or reducing screen time. Sometimes it was hard to avoid the screen if I needed to do schoolwork. There were also times it was hard to spend a longer period of time outside doing nature based activities because of the weather. But I was happy that I was at least able to complete these actions multiple times a week versus not doing them at all. I was also very happy to involve my daughter with this challenge as well. She has a better understanding that we need to help take care of our planet by saving energy with things like turning off the lights when not in use and adjusting the thermostat so it isn't being used as much. She also preferred taking more time out in nature versus sitting in front of a screen. She is becoming the one to remind me to turn off a light when I leave a room and to go outside for a walk. Because of this challenge I was able to learn more of what I could do to be more sustainable. I plan on continuing this journey and even expanding on it. 
  • 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.
  • Reflection Question
    Health Healthy Sleep
    Consider how many hours of sleep you get now. How would you like to shift your sleep patterns? What are you finding works for you to be successful in this action?

    Kelly Schwenk's avatar
    Kelly Schwenk 10/26/2021 4:24 PM
    I like this challenge because I love to sleep in, but sometimes can't so it makes me go to bed earlier. I think it makes me focus and be more productive during the day if I know I have a sleep schedule that I need to stick to. I recently started a new job and have had to wake up several hours earlier. As I adjust to the new schedule, my body is not used to changes but I'm sure it'll make the rest of my day more productive to be waking up sooner.