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Nicole Brueggeman's avatar

Nicole Brueggeman

Foundations and Practice of Sustainability 2020


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participant impact

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    spent outdoors

Nicole's actions


Research Better Transportation

I will research one of the solutions presented in this week's session on Transportation and see if there are any groups in my community already doing this work.


Consumption and Economy

Support Local Businesses

I will buy from local businesses instead of shopping online.



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.



Watch a Documentary

I will watch a documentary film about food with family and friends and talk about what we learned.



Meet My Neighbors

I will meet 1 new neighbor(s) this week.


Ecological Principles

Practice Gratitude for Earth

This week, I will spend 15 minute(s) each day outside, practicing gratitude (prayer, meditation, journaling, etc.) for Earth and the nature surrounding me.


A Call to Sustainability

Research Local Organizations

I will learn what local organizations are working on sustainability issues and how I can get involved.


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?

  • Nicole Brueggeman's avatar
    Nicole Brueggeman 12/01/2020 6:42 PM
    This week, I learned about the Siegel Family Endowment.  This philanthropic foundation focuses broadly on  infrastructure.  "We support work that advances physical, technological infrastructure, and helps individuals and institutions develop resiliency in order to adapt to ongoing cultural and technological upheaval."  Transportation is one pillar of the foundation's work.  I have been reviewing their recent report, Rebuilding America:  The Road Ahead.  You can access a copy of the report at   One of the trends I am noticing about infrastructure is the broad approach many organizations are taking, adding digital infrastructure (broadband, digital fiber) to physical infrastructure (roads and bridges).  Do you think it's a good idea to group various types of infrastructure?  Ultimately, grouping transportation with digital infrastructure may increase federal funding, but I am concerned that the root problem may be overlooked by this broad approach.  

    • Mary Ann Lazarus's avatar
      Mary Ann Lazarus 12/13/2020 8:19 PM
      Stephanie: in response to your question I definitely think that integrating digital with physical infrastructure is very important to our future. This is one way that district scale sustainability can work effectively. It's happening in many places around the world, including developing countries, as a way to leapfrog to new technologies. 

  • Nicole Brueggeman's avatar
    Nicole Brueggeman 11/17/2020 12:51 PM
    This week, I supported a small, local, and woman-owned business.  In fact, it's my eye doctor.  She has been in business for several years and owns a boutique shop.  I am thankful that she takes my health insurance (vision insurance) and continues to fight to stay in business during the pandemic.  It's not easy for her, or any other local business right now.  My family is trying to do our part.  

  • Nicole Brueggeman's avatar
    Nicole Brueggeman 11/08/2020 5:19 PM
    Watching the Story of Bottled Water reinforces the power of advertising.  More importantly, the short story reveals the power of fear as a motivator.  Personally, I am just learning to choose a re-fillable water bottle over a plastic bottle of water.  I can honestly say that working from home (thanks, COVID) has helped me adopt a habit of refilling one reusable bottle.  I think I am actually drinking more water and saving money.  Win-win.   

    • Jamie Kenyon's avatar
      Jamie Kenyon 11/16/2020 7:46 AM
      Nicole, we have so many refillable bottles at our house (RE: Rant on Stuff) but can't ever find proper lids. Recently had to return to a resealable plastic water bottle. I ride with a coworker in a work truck and no way to protect a refillable container from coughs and sneezes, so a screw cap bottle is my refuge, at least briefly. I do refill it multiple times before recycling it. Makes me feel a little less guilty.

  • Nicole Brueggeman's avatar
    Nicole Brueggeman 11/02/2020 6:28 AM
    This week, I watched, "What the Health."  A documentary about food choices, including animal-based protein.   This documentary reminded me that 1  out of every 3 healthcare dollars is spent on the treatment of diabetes.  While I am having a hard time separating the root cause of diabetes from sugar, this film does make me think twice about my own reliance on animal-based protein.    

  • Nicole Brueggeman's avatar
    Nicole Brueggeman 10/27/2020 6:26 PM
    This week, I was able to meet one of my neighbors.  She was outside with a new puppy, so I went over to introduce myself and meet the new puppy.  We remained socially distant, but had a nice conversation. The puppy received most of the  attention. 

    • Nicole Brueggeman's avatar
      Nicole Brueggeman 11/02/2020 6:25 AM
      Mary Ann:  Halloween brought several opportunities to meet new neighbors.  We socially distanced on our driveway and let the kids take candy from pre-made bags.  It was clear that people were ready for social interaction by their level of engagement.   Adults and kids were having a blast.  Great to see. 

    • Mary Ann Lazarus's avatar
      Mary Ann Lazarus 11/01/2020 9:30 AM
      I agree that animals can be a great common denominator especially in these times where neighborhood gatherings are limited. Did you find any opportunities around Halloween?

  • Nicole Brueggeman's avatar
    Nicole Brueggeman 9/29/2020 6:36 PM
    This week, I selected researching a local organization as my challenge.  As someone who is involved in public policy, specifically cross-sector engagement, I am always looking across sectors to see where there is alignment.  Today,  I attended the first of six webinars through AgTech Next (  AgTech Next is a consortium of agriculture, technology, and science partners working to advance agriculture.   Today's webinar highlighted local, state, and regional farmers who discussed agricultural innovation, workforce/labor shortages, family farming, supply chain management, and federal/state regulations.  The one stand out topic:  global trade.   When asked if farmers can withstand current trade restrictions, the panelists were apprehensive about answering the question and simply stated, "it's political."   

    • Nicole Brueggeman's avatar
      Nicole Brueggeman 10/01/2020 6:19 AM
      Stephanie:  I am happy to share more if you want to connect.  

    • Stephanie HUFF's avatar
      Stephanie HUFF 9/30/2020 7:14 PM
      This forum sounds like the very thing I am interested in learning more about - the combination of ag, tech and science. Thanks for sharing and I am going to check out the link.