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Natalie Abrams's avatar

Natalie Abrams

Sheridan's Sustainability Crusaders


  • 0 TODAY
  • 78 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    gallons of water
    have been saved

Natalie's actions


Connect with a Nonprofit

I will connect with a local nonprofit, environmental or otherwise, and find out how I can get involved or become a member.


Visions of Sustainability

Launch a Recycling Program

I will start a recycling program at my workplace or school. If a recycling program exists, I will advocate for ways to improve and expand it.


Visions of Sustainability

Online Energy Audit

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



Join my Neighborhood Association

I will join my neighborhood association or another local group.



Fix Leaky Faucets

I will fix faucets or report leaky faucets to facilities that have been wasting up to 9 gallons (34 L) of water per faucet every day.


Consumption and Economy

Support a Sharing Economy

I will create or support a sharing economy with family, friends, and neighbors.


Participant Feed

Reflection, encouragement, and relationship building are all important aspects of getting a new habit to stick.
Share thoughts, encourage others, and reinforce positive new habits on the Feed.

To get started, share “your why.” Why did you join the challenge and choose the actions you did?

  • Natalie Abrams's avatar
    Natalie Abrams 10/01/2023 9:43 AM
    1. Are you progressing at the expected rate? Why or why not?
    There are two challenges I was able to address this week; one being to connect more deeply with community groups/ community members I have used resources from in the past, and secondly two address our leaky faucet problems. I did hope to achieve more beyond those goals this week but the inevitable balance of work/ parenting small children/ dealing with climate crises (NYC flash floods) did use more of my energy than I had hoped.
    2. Have any unforeseen challenges arisen or has it been easier than expected?
    The largest unforseen challenge was what seems to becoming more and more the norm; dealing with problems caused by dramatic weather events. In a way, our response was less stressed than maybe it would have been a few years ago since we have had crazy climate situations happen a few times now. Connecting within my community was easier than I thought it would be, as long as I had the time and space, which I decided to prioritize in the spirit of this challenge.
    3. What have you learned?
    I have learned that impactful action has more of a reverb effect than I had imagined, which is quite a positive takeaway. I had done some impactful work professionally related to finding ways to improve job quality for our team, and it's been effective; but beyond that it has been shared more and more frequently and I've had opportunities to discuss with larger organizations to show examples of how we were able to raise wages/ support our workers. I hadn't expected it to travel at all past our organization, but it's been a happy example of the value of a positive case study. I leaned into that this week and prioritized making time to connect with others about that work, hopefully inspring some change. As for the faucets, I had thought it was a complicated fix but it turns out more straightforward than I thought.
    4. How could you leverage / amplify your efforts to make greater change?
    I could suggest to our building management that they ask tenants to inspect and repair their water sources, in an efforts to reduce water waste. I could also connect with my professional community and suggest they do the same, as well as advertising the links for energy audits so individuals businesses have a reminder. I could also reach out to a writer who just published an article about climate change and food business in NY, and suggest they edit to include a few actions in the piece about some immediate/easier steps businesses could take to minimize their footprint.
    How might the folks at EcoChallenge improve this challenge?
    I think there is an opportunity for EcoChallenge to offer paid inspections/ collaborations with business, though that is a resource heavy idea. But I do believe that while EcoChallenge targets individuals, there is a much greater ability for impact if they are able to audit commercial environmental footprints for individual business and then collaborate on ways to improve/ certify that the business is on a more sustainable path.

  • Natalie Abrams's avatar
    Natalie Abrams 9/24/2023 2:45 PM
    Hello all, I chose five actions that I hope will help me connect to community and environment. I will push to advocate for better recycling (and composting) options at my workplace; find a way to connect more deeply/ give back to the various groups that are within my life ( a religious center we use for daycare, a parents group for our neighborhood, a professional networking group); support a sharing economy (and help declutter our house in the process); and do an online energy audit of our home and my workplace. Over the next week I will also prioritize fixing two faucets at work we have that have small leaks when running. I appreciate the various resources we have used (time, other people's energy, or consumerist choices) in moments when my own capacity was low. However, now I am at a point in my life where I have capacity to put my own energy out into the world to do more to help others, and to try and "repay" some of the resources that we have consumed.

  • Natalie Abrams's avatar
    Natalie Abrams 9/17/2023 1:39 PM
    Hello all!
    I have a few areas of life that could be impacted by sustainability choices: most glaringly as a leader of a large commercial food service/ manufacturing operation, secondly as a mother who has a lot of decisions daily about how to make my children's consumption a little less impactful, and last as an individual existing in the chaotic space where ease is often prioritized over long term effect.
    There is a lot I hope to accomplish by being more accountable, However, there is also a lot that I wish we could push for more within the commercial space, since we are all able to make an impact, but business has the ability to change the operational standard in a way that would be easier to monitor, enforce, and ultimately be 10s, 100s, or thousands of times more effective than what we do as individuals.
    First and foremost, we try as a family to support our local ecosystem every week by making a big chunk of our weekly grocery run from the farmers market. While it is more expensive, we use EBT funds that the schools have continued to allocate NYC children, and purchase bulk items that are often offered at a discount (several bunches of greens, etc). At the same time, we bring the compost we stash up all week in our freezer; not the most delicious of activities but one that helps us reinforce to our kids thinking about our impact on the world, which can feel sometimes otherwise removed when living in the city.
    As the leader of a commercial kitchen, I am frankly more concerned about trying to keep my different line items within budget; which means that rate hikes recently have kept energy costs much more at the forefront of my attention. When we purchased our bread oven, we did chose an electric model that is on the higher end of efficiency; important to us as that decreases our energy costs. However, it feel deeply ironic to me that while there is such a push for individual composting, businesses are almost unaware, and largely not practicing, any commercial composting laws as they are poorly communicated and not currently enforced. As our business falls under the square foot regulation, it is not something that the owners have budgeted for as the programs are slightly expensive, and its not mandatory for business under a certain size. That is an argument I hope to revisit in the near future.
    As a mom, it is the area where I know there is a lot of easy(ish) room to improve. However, it's a battle against the nonstop nature of toddler-hood, along with the fact that the lunches I pack need to be kosher/vegetarian/nut free/ sesame free per the daycare we use.... ahhhhh! Individual snacks feel easier sometimes, but it is something I hope to change once the routine becomes a little less crazy.

    There is a lot of room, and so I hope to make a dent in my many goals before the semester is over.

    Natalie Abrams