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Brian Burres

PSU Capstone


  • 0 TODAY
  • 252 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    meatless or vegan meals
  • UP TO

Brian's actions

Consumption and Economy

Carry my Trash

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



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.



Pick Up Litter

I will pick up litter on my street and ask others to join me in taking care of our neighborhood.



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.



Reduce Animal Products

I will enjoy 2 meatless meal(s) and/or 0 vegan meal(s) each day this week.


Ecological Principles

Reduce My Footprint

I will calculate my ecological footprint and talk with my family or roommates about way we can reduce our negative enviromental impact.


A Call to Sustainability

Explore My Area

I will explore at least one new hiking trail or nature walk in my area.


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?

  • Brian Burres's avatar
    Brian Burres 5/27/2020 1:30 PM
    I just finished a week of carrying my trash with me to see how much waste I am sending to the landfill every seven days. It made me think about my consumption in a different way than I had before. The biggest change was in the types of food I consumed. Fast food was not an option anymore because of all the waste that came with every order. The cup, bag, straw, napkins, wrappers, and condiment packets were waste which I would then have to carry foe every meal. While grocery shopping I quit buying frozen foods and stopped using the plastic bags for my produce. I also tried to only buy items that were packaged with recyclable materials. The few times I ate out I got a burritos from the local shop down the street. I specified that it not be bagged and also not to give me the extra sauces that I wasn't going to use. I ended up creating very little waste this week because of this challenge. Now I'm going to try and think the same way without the incentive of holding onto the waste created. I would challenge others to try this experiment and see if their consumption habits change as well.

  • Brian Burres's avatar
    Brian Burres 5/18/2020 8:28 PM
    Today, Monday the 18th of May I woke up emptied out my backpack and decided that  every piece of trash that I create is going to stay with me for the entire week. I did my grocery shopping today and noticed that my buying habits at the store had changed. When I was contemplating on buying something, the packaging it came in became a bigger concern to me that it had been in the past. Normally I would have a few impulse buys while shopping for food, a frozen pizza, pint of ice cream, etc. Today when I looked through the frozen food section all I saw was trash that I would have to lug with me for the following seven days. I ended up buying a lot more produce and less of everything else. My backpack is still pretty empty with just a couple receipts from today, we will see how it looks at the end of the week. I will update this post Sunday on how the experiment turned out.

  • Brian Burres's avatar
    Brian Burres 5/13/2020 4:16 PM
    This week I wanted to to improve on a bus stop in my neighborhood. There are many stops close to me but none have shelters. There is just the blue pole denoting where the stop is but no safe place for riders to wait. There is one stop that is used often and I am focusing on it to add shelter. It is in a tight space, close to the road with very little flat land around it in which to build. I tried to find if there are rules that I need to follow in making a shelter, how far from the street in needs to be, size of structure, accessibility, lighting, etc, and had trouble finding the information. I then called Multnomah county transit for the information and I am now waiting for a return call, which I am skeptical will happen. If I don't receive a call by tomorrow I will try again when I have more time to be placed on hold.

  • Brian Burres's avatar
    Brian Burres 5/07/2020 9:44 AM
    Yesterday I walked around my neighborhood with a trash bag and gardening gloves picking up trash. There wasn't a lot to grab that wasn't deep inside the blackberry bushes that form the border of the neighborhood. I am going to need a long poker to try and get all those wind blown pieces, which for most of it is fast food containers. I am also going to expand the area next time, along with bringing the long poker. My neighborhood is small and the HOA employs a landscaping crew every Monday that keeps the place pretty clean. I have been running along the main road in front of my house and it needs some attention. When I get back out, probably over the weekend, I will fill up a bag or two from the mile stretch between my house an the local park down the street.

  • Brian Burres's avatar
    Brian Burres 4/27/2020 3:42 PM
    Today I watched the documentary, The Story of Bottled Water. I knew bottled water was awful for the environment but there are other things in this film that I was not aware were happening. The statistic that a third bottled water in the U.S. is just filtered tap water was one that stuck out. They are selling us the same product that comes from the faucet and saying it is different and better. The amount of fossil fuels that go into making the plastic bottles is staggering too. If we all used reusable water bottles filled with tap, it could have a similar impact to taking a million cars off the road. Then the fact that 80% of bottles get discarded and much of the 20% that does get recycled really doesn't. It gets turned into single use plastics that can't be recycled again or thrown into a different countries landfill. There was good news, people are realizing what is happening and consumption of bottled water is declining. This trend should continue as this information gets circulated to more and more people.

  • Brian Burres's avatar
    Brian Burres 4/22/2020 2:32 PM
    Over the last week I had at least two meatless meals a day. It was easier than it might have been if I was leaving the house more often than I am at this time. I ended up not eating meat the entire week and I did with large batches. I made 6 quarts of vegan chili in a crock pot with a mix of sweet potatoes, beans, vegetables, and spices the first night. This was a delicious and easy meal that l was able to eat for days. A second meal was cauliflower and black bean tacos. I made a double batch which yielded enough to last me throughout the week, I added salsa and avocado to round out the tacos while skipping the cheese. It was enjoyable to make different meals and finding new recipes to try. I even have some new ones that I am going to be making next week.

  • Brian Burres's avatar
    Brian Burres 4/15/2020 4:54 PM
    I sat down with my roommates and talked about what we could do to reduce our environmental impact. I asked them if there was anything that they saw that could help reduce waste, water usage, or energy usage. We came up with a few things that will take a group effort but should help bring down our environmental footprint. First, we are going to start planning house dinners to decrease all the single serve packaging waste being created. Second, be conscience of running water while using sinks for rinsing dishes, brushing teeth, shaving, etc. Lastly, we are going to lower our dependence on heat and air conditioning by wearing extra layers or opening windows to stay warm or cool down.

  • Brian Burres's avatar
    Brian Burres 4/06/2020 5:39 PM
    Today I went out to Forest Park and hiked a total of five miles starting at the BPA road trailhead. I then took the Wildwood trail to Newton road until it comes around to meet the other end of the BPA road.

    • Brian Burres's avatar
      Brian Burres 4/09/2020 9:31 AM
      I didn't use the new pedestrian bridge over Burnside. I used the trailhead off of Skyline road to start my loop. The original plan was to do a 2.8 mile hike but because the day was so nice I decided to extend the hike to five. The trails had maps at the intersection points where trails would run into each other making it easy to plan routes and change course. There were not many people out as I only passed or really got passed by about 10 people most of whom were running the trail. I first wanted to hike in the gorge but it was tough to find a trail that was open. Many of the trails on both the Oregon and Washington sides have closed because of Covid 19. Although I wasn't able to do my first choice it was still a very nice hike. It was also great to get out of the house and walk further than to the mailbox and back. Below is a picture from the hike.