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Stacey Alcott's avatar

Stacey Alcott

Capstone winter 23


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participant impact

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Stacey'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.



Watch The Story of Bottled Water

I will watch The Story of Bottled Water to learn more about bottled water's impacts on the environment.



Use Reusable Bottles

I will use a reusable bottle and stop purchasing bottled water, saving 6 disposable plastic bottle(s) each day this week.



Weekly Meal Planning

I will reduce food waste and save money by planning a weekly menu, only buying the ingredients I need.


Ecological Principles

Recycle Everything I Can

I will recycle all materials that are accepted by local haulers or drop stations in my community this week.


A Call to Sustainability

Start a Sustainability Journal

I will start a sustainability journal, capturing my thoughts, concerns and learning about sustainability issues.


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?

  • Stacey Alcott's avatar
    Stacey Alcott 3/04/2023 4:32 PM
    Week 6: Transportation -- I normally use public transportation to go to campus. I haven't been able to find a way to use it for my job in Vancouver, though. Living in Oregon City, that's a long time to be on the bus and there would be too many transfers. What I've decided to do is, rather than using my car to pick up the kids from their bus stop, we have been walking. It isn't a far distance, but we take their backpacks to their house from their bus stop and then we walk back to my house from their house. This, 4 times a week, is way better than using the car for the short distances. I live 1 block from their bus, they live 2 blocks from their bus, then it's three blocks to my house. We have been doing this, even when it's raining. We then use the car to pick their sister up from preschool, but I usually plan a grocery pickup or some fun activity so it's not just one reason to use the car that day.

    • Sean Reyes's avatar
      Sean Reyes 3/05/2023 11:39 AM
      I think this is rad! It's a good reminder that we can replace using our cars with walking in little ways we might not necessarily expect. There's a Burgerville near where I live, and occasionally my wife and I get the hankering for a milkshake, instead of driving the mile and half or so, we started walking and found that even when it's raining we always enjoy our walk. Plus we feel better about having a milkshake when there's a little exercise involved. haha

  • Stacey Alcott's avatar
    Stacey Alcott 3/04/2023 4:23 PM
    Week Five: Community -- I have a friend that has been coming out and helping me with my plans for planting. We went through her seeds and I have been drawing out my plan. We have spent the last 2 Tuesdays with the kids I watch outside, clearing out last years crop of tomatoes, and putting them in the compost bin. She takes the time to teach me, and the kids, about what the ground needs. I wouldn't be able to do this without her. I do not like to get my hands dirty. I do not like to get sweaty. So, having a friend to help me helps make me go outside and do the things I wouldn't normally do. I feel guilty that she's doing the work in my yard, lol.

  • Stacey Alcott's avatar
    Stacey Alcott 3/04/2023 4:18 PM

    I went ahead and signed the survey Osvaldo posted in the first week, we'll call this week 1, 2, or 3 (I have been behind and want to make sure I am on track).

  • Stacey Alcott's avatar
    Stacey Alcott 2/05/2023 5:16 PM
    I watched "The Story of Bottled Water," for this weeks challenge and learned that bottled water tests more polluted than tap water in most cases. Tap water also passes the taste test more often than not when compared to bottled water. I have always been okay with tap water. California we had filters on our tap, but it was still tap. Here in Oregon, where I've been most of my life, there hasn't been much of a need for filters. I used to drink bottled water a lot, but then I realized I could just refill them and be just as happy. I like the bottled water for laziness purposes, so now I found a bottle that makes it so I only have to drink 2 bottles a day. This makes me drink more water, keeps my water cold (or warm if I want it that way) for the entire day. I work in places that offer refill stations so it's awesome. The only thing I can say is that Vancouver water isn't the greatest for taste, it tastes like Arrowhead water to me. I actually can tell the difference on some of the bottled water and refuse to drink Arrowhead, lol. Just a preference, it seems kind of salty to me. I have watched many videos about water and this one touched base on the fact that a good chunk of the bottles go to other countries for disposal. It drives me crazy that they can't make it into more bottles, or sanitize the recycled ones to reuse. In any case, if I do buy a bottle for water I try to use it through the day or longer.

    • Osvaldo Rios-Sabalza's avatar
      Osvaldo Rios-Sabalza 2/08/2023 2:17 PM
      Isn't arrowhead water worst tasting because it has more minerals? I also use a filter, even though I live in Oregon, and also try to reuse water bottles. I've always heard that Portlands water quality is very good, but it's ironic that there was huge E.Coli outbreak a while back in 2014. So many people relied on water bottles at the time. Similarly, there a pleantly of homeless people in Portland now, if we were to get rid of water bottles comepletely, I would wonder how it would impact them. I understand there are fountains but it's not the most convenient.

    • Stacey Alcott's avatar
      Stacey Alcott 2/06/2023 8:23 AM
      We have a Britta pitcher in the fridge and another Britta on the counter. I filter the water more often than I drink straight from the tap. But, it is drinkable and tastes better than Vancouver, WA and California water. We live in an older house (1920s) so the pipes definitely play a part, like you said 😀.

    • David Santillanes's avatar
      David Santillanes 2/05/2023 8:55 PM
      From what I understand, the water in Portland is passable to drink by federal standards but not too safe to drink in the long run. I was told it was because of the old plumbing pipes that have never been replaced and after all these years have been slowly leaching metals/minerals into the water. If I had to drink tap water then to drink it cold because hot tap water just increased the rate of metal leaching. I have not looked into what I was told much but I can see the logic, I personally drink filtered water just in case and carry refillable metal water bottles from Ikea.

  • Stacey Alcott's avatar
    Stacey Alcott 1/30/2023 7:14 PM
    Week one I didn't understand what we were doing and I put something down about meal planning. I never actually did anything with it so I'm going to use that for this time. While I wasn't successful at eliminating my wastefulness, there was a decline in fresh products being tossed. I made it easy on myself for this time and just wrote down the protein (meat), carb (potato, rice, or noodle), and vegetable. I also mainly focused on dinner for this time around. Maybe I can upgrade to include lunch and breakfast in the future weeks. I would really like to get intense about all this meal planning. I'd like to make it into meal prep at some point, too.

    • Stacey Alcott's avatar
      Stacey Alcott 2/02/2023 7:08 PM
      I look forward to hearing if your grocery shopping was successful towards your meal planning this week, Maya. I decided that it was nice to know what I was making ahead of time and have a few more days figured out towards next week. I, too, have meals that use some of the same ingredients. I find that to be the only way to finish tomatoes, lettuce, etc.

    • Maya Kato's avatar
      Maya Kato 1/31/2023 8:02 PM
      Hi Stacey - I did the same thing this week and put a bit more thought into my grocery list. I'm glad you had less produce being tossed. I just went grocery shopping today so I hope my meal planning works out but I tried to reuse ingredients in multiple meals/recipes. I also focus primarily on dinner and that tends to be where I have more waste because lunches I usually keep simple or eat leftover dinners. Meal prepping seems to work really well for people but I've found that I get tired of eating the same thing over and over again. I would like to find a way that works for me though because it seems really convenient and saves time.

  • Stacey Alcott's avatar
    Stacey Alcott 1/18/2023 9:28 AM
    I decided to choose recycling everything I can. I am pretty good about this already so it shouldn't be too difficult. I try to reuse everything I get that can't be recycled. I work at a Vietnamese restaurant and they use these plastic bowls and containers that are wonderful for storing lettuce and cilantro in my refrigerator. It's helped me reduce my food waste and I don't feel as bad about the plastic. I also use them for my hair wrap projects. I can put beads in them or anything else that I need to. Clear lids allow for seeing what is in each container and I reduce waste by reusing. I also saw a post on social media where someone is going to use old Keurig pods (since they can't be recycled as far as I know) to plant seed starts. I already remove the coffee grounds to use in my compost so why not use the pods for that instead of tossing them out right away?

    • Stacey Alcott's avatar
      Stacey Alcott 1/20/2023 9:22 PM
      Osvaldo, the use of the yogurt cups for your painting is brilliant. I'm not sure on the keurig pods, it's not something I've actually done, it's something I saw that I could start doing this year. Maybe I'll have to see and keep this group informed, lol. I actually use another plastic item, a tube, for actual seed storage. The thing about Keurig is they have branched out to more than coffee. They have hot chocolate and apple cider as well as tea in them now! Plastic is everywhere and I try to repurpose things if I can.

    • Stacey Alcott's avatar
      Stacey Alcott 1/20/2023 9:18 PM
      Hi Claudia, I adore anything clear for storage. If I can't see it, it's lost to me, lol.

    • Stacey Alcott's avatar
      Stacey Alcott 1/20/2023 9:17 PM
      If I use the hair wraps for the class barter how many do I have to have made? I don't have any premade since they're kind of personal to the individual. I'm not sure what I'll use if not those, I'm not really crafty. Also, I missed the first part of Thursday because of it starting at 10am rather than 1015am and am a little unsure what the class barter all entails. I know what barter means, just not what all was listed on the board or what is being offered. Were you able to snap a picture of it and would I be able to see it, please?

    • Claudia Esteves's avatar
      Claudia Esteves 1/19/2023 12:41 AM
      I never thought about using those type of containers for storage. It sounds like an amazing idea since you can see through the lid. I always find myself not knowing how to recycle those type of containers.

    • Osvaldo Rios-Sabalza's avatar
      Osvaldo Rios-Sabalza 1/18/2023 12:53 PM
      Reusing plastic seems a bit counterintuitive when you first think about it, but a lot of people also have the idea that they should throw out their perfectly good plastic containers for an eco-friendly ones. I usually reuse greek yogurt containers to store some of my own art materials and to hold water when I use paint. The plant seed starts sounds cool! I don't plant or drink coffee but that sound like a great way to reuse those. I guess my concern is whether those cups would be discarded after being used for the plants or if they could be reused forever.

  • Stacey Alcott's avatar
    Stacey Alcott 1/10/2023 9:50 AM
    I am totally new to this and am not sure what I'm doing. I'm hoping I can learn some things about meal planning as I'd like to open a fast food restaurant that centers around healthier foods.

    • Stacey Alcott's avatar
      Stacey Alcott 1/30/2023 7:12 PM
      Ooo, I'd love a recipe that you think is a good starter for this. I know you made some suggestions but my taste pallet is very unsophisticated and I am unsure what spices work well together. I posted about actually meal planning for dinners this week (late). It turned out nicely, even if there had to be some tweaks with abrupt schedule changes.

    • Stacey Alcott's avatar
      Stacey Alcott 1/18/2023 9:13 AM
      Hi Jamie,
      I am NOT meal planning for myself, or my family. I grocery shop and then I hope I have something to put together, or we eat out (mainly because I work three jobs, have full time school, and other things). It's daunting to me to create a meal plan because I don't have a lot of likes on food. I would love any insight on meals to make.

    • Jamie Phillips's avatar
      Jamie Phillips 1/14/2023 11:54 PM
      Hey Stacey, I'm wondering, are you already meal planning for yourself personally? In the last year I started meal planning my food for my work and school day, which has helped me eat a really well-rounded diet! It's become such a part of my routine at this point that I can't even imagine not doing it!