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Guillermo Castillo's avatar

Guillermo Castillo

Capstone Spring 22

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 35 This Week
  • 296 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    5.0
    conversations
    with people
  • up to
    3.0
    petitions
    signed
  • up to
    1.0
    documentaries
    watched

Guillermo's Actions

Consumption and Economy

Learn About Alternatives to the GDP

I will research alternatives (like Gross National Happiness) to measuring economic livelihood and the health of a nation.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Weekly Meal Planning

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

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Sign a Petition

I will sign a petition in support of an environmental or social initiative in my state.

Completed
One-Time Action

A Call to Sustainability

Talk To Others

I will tell 5 people why sustainability is important to me and what my vision for a sustainable world is.

Completed
One-Time Action

Ecological Principles

Support Pollution Reduction

I will learn about water and air quality issues in my area, how they are impacting human and environmental health, and how I can help.

Completed
One-Time Action

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.

Completed
One-Time Action

A Call to Sustainability

Research Local Organizations

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

Completed
One-Time Action

A Call to Sustainability

Watch a Documentary

I will watch a movie about a sustainability issue I would like to know more about.

Completed
One-Time Action

Feed


  • Guillermo Castillo's avatar
    Guillermo Castillo 5/26/2022 6:34 PM
    For this weeks eco-challenge I learned about the different alternatives to use for our economic measure instead of GDP. Some systems included Genuine Savings Indictor (GSI), Better Life Index (BLI), Thriving Places Index (TPI), etc. However, the economic measure that caught my eye that I decided to explore more heavily on was the Happy Planet Index (HPI). The HPI system is based on the consideration that current crises and inequalities we face in today is grounded upon all being interconnected. HPI takes into account the "sustainable wellbeing" of a country while also their capabilities to deliver long and happy life's with the limitation of the Earth's natural resources.  The three main indicators that the measure include a countries wellbeing (life satisfaction), life expectancy, and ecological footprint. What the HPI hopes to challenge is to prove it is in fact possible for an economy to provide long and happy life's to its citizens while also having infrastructure that can support itself without causing environmental harm to an extensive degree. When learning of the ranking and data of the HPI it was interesting to learn the results. Latin America countries where shown as being the top ranking countries having economies with either a wellbeing population or high life expectancies with having low ecological footprint. There are many critics of this measure metric due to the ecological footprint indicator playing a huge role in uplifting countries in Latin America who may contribute less to usage of resources but have persistent underlying socio-economic issues. However, the main point of the HPI is not entirely the measure of human happiness as it is also the happiness of the planet that has to be taken into consideration. In fact regardless of the a countries ranking, HPI has reported no countries scores high in all three indicators at the same time. I enjoyed researching this economic measure metric because we truly cannot expect to leave long and happy lives if the planet is not happy. 

  • Guillermo Castillo's avatar
    Guillermo Castillo 5/18/2022 11:08 PM
    This week I decided to take into consideration a weekly meal plan for myself. I went into the grocery store with a plan of meals I know I will enjoy and can make fairly quick and simple. For my breakfast the items I had purchased included bananas, cereal, kodak protein waffles, bagels, veggie sausage patties, avocados, hashbrowns, yogurt, veggie sausage links, and eggs. Breakfast meals I have in mind is too eat waffles with syrup and add some bananas with a side of yogurt which would be a satisfying meal. I will also eat cereal on morning where I find myself running late in which I love adding bananas as well regardless of the brand. I can make a breakfast sausage using the bagels and sausage patties I have boughten and add an egg with some spring mix so it can be a full meal with many elements too it. Lastly, I make breakfast scrambles by mixing in a hashbrown with chopped of veggie sausage link and scrambled egg. This meal is very fulfilling a good breakfast as well. As a vegetarian I get all my plant based substitutes from the brand "Tofurky" they are local considering they are based in Hood River so receiving the products in-store makes me feel at ease the minimal carbon-emission that were put into the atmosphere to get the products to Portland.  For lunch I purchased some udon and ramen noodle packages that come with many toppings and sauce themselves but I bought some asparagus to mix into the soup as well as tofu and layer it with an egg. This was a yummy and calm meal! I bought some items from trader joes which included really cheap tortellinis which I can cook into a pot and just layer with tomato sauce and grilled plant based crumble "beef". I also purchased some veggie pizzas that I can pop into the oven if I do not feel like cooking a meal. Lastly I had purchased chikin pieces from tofurky to make sandwiches for lunch. I think the Thai basil chicken by Tofurky is my favorite plant-based product from this brand. Other simple purchases include plant based chicken nuggets which I usually eat with a side of ranch, another simple and fast meal that doesn't require to much thought. As a student it can be hard aiming for 3 meals a day so at times I find it best to buy enough food but also leave consideration that I may not have a choice but to eat on the go if I am on campus which I think is important in meal planning to understand your schedule and limits with prepping meals to ensure your not contributing to food waste by buying veggies that may go bad due to forgetfulness or being busy. 

    • amy minato's avatar
      amy minato 5/19/2022 9:09 PM
      Guillermo thank you for this incredibly detailed report!  I did not know that tofurky was from hood river. i also add veggies to ramen packets!

  • Guillermo Castillo's avatar
    Guillermo Castillo 5/13/2022 1:03 PM
    For this weeks eco-challenge I decided to sign a petition that is relevant to environmental issues that are local within the state of Oregon. I found a really great petition; https://chng.it/sHkFjv8F9L that urges the state government to remove European Beachgrass from the Oregon Coast. I learned that European Beach Grass is an invasive plant species that has disrupted the natural sand movement of the Oregon Coast by the blowing sand getting caught in the beachgrass thus this in turn creates for overwhelming dune growth effecting the habitats of native plants and animals. European Beachgrass was introduced in the 1900s and planted in California and soon to Oregon. It was planted in efforts to stabilize sand dunes but this plant species had become to good at its job to the point of native vegetation being choked out and dunes becoming cemented firmly in place by the strength of clumps of grass. The dune systems are heavily impacted by European beachgrass so much so that it creates foredunes so high and steep the rest of the sand supply within the system is cut off. Animals such as Western Snowy Plovers due to the dunes choked within the beachgrass having a lack of open spaces for nesting habitats. Furthermore Plover predator take advantage of the thick European beachgrass to pursue their prey reducing breeding pairs of this animal species. Although California has began removing this  invasive species almost 20 years ago there has been no state action on oregons part. In fact City Officials in the town of Cannon Beach has put forth a "Foredune Management Plan" that will continue the planting of European BeachGrass. This issue must be addressed and reminds me of examples of environmental injustice as the introduction of invasive species are some examples of this. I hope Oregon will take action and return our beaches to a more natural setting that will bring balance.  

    • amy minato's avatar
      amy minato 5/14/2022 6:06 PM
      Guillermo really good information on a topic that few folks know about. thanks so much. this situation really illustrates the interconnectedness of species

  • Guillermo Castillo's avatar
    Guillermo Castillo 5/05/2022 7:08 AM
    For this weeks eco challenge I decided to tell 5+ people in my life about the impact of sustainability on my life and why its important. I mainly discussed about this weeks assignment to go to nature undisturbed as well as finding myself finding ways to incorporate practices of sustainability into my interactions with others. I had told my two friends from class, my mentee/friend, my roommate and my mother. I talked about how it is important it is to develop a relationship with nature. Going alone makes you embrace tiny details and hear sounds that normally we get too distracted while having conversations or working out on a hiking trail. By taking time to just focus on nature it felt like a one on one of a close friend from childhood you haven't spoken to in a while due to being so busy! Everyone agreed with me that taking time to go into nature is essential to keeping yourself happy so finding that everyone unanimously agrees on this matter I find to be a common interest we all have in protecting nature. Also this week, I am apart of student groups on campus and I have been promoting sustainability practices more through my leadership. My student group Dream PSU, is planning an event with another student group that we are still working out the details. One of the ideas was if we could not get a high ceiling for our piñata idea we could host it in the park blocks. I however warned about this because of the trash waste this could produce. Everyone seemed to agree with this and actually thought it was a good point they hadn't considered. 

    • amy minato's avatar
      amy minato 5/08/2022 3:32 PM
      Guillermo
      I wonder if there is an environmentally sound pinata? maybe something made with biodegradable paper, or straw. but then there are the candy wrappers...

  • Guillermo Castillo's avatar
    Guillermo Castillo 4/27/2022 10:50 PM
    For this weeks eco challenge I decided to calculate my carbon footprint with me and my roommate. The carbon footprint calculator I decided upon to use was: https://www.footprintcalculator.org. When deciding upon which source to use to calculator our footprints I did not expect to take a moment to weed out which source felt the most suitable to use for me and my roommates. I decided upon this source due to how easy the process was when navigating through filling out the questions. I found most calculators to be complex, especially for first time users of a carbon footprint calculator such as my roommate. However, the complexities of some calculators have me interested in attempting to calculate my footprint when I have more research done such as contacting my utility company and apartment to inquire more about renewable resources that are used or energy efficient programs. The results of our calculations saw some noticeable differences. For myself, according to the calculator if everyone one on earth lived like me we would need 1.6 Earths! And the date for Earth Overshoot Day (the day which we would have consumed all resources) would be August 12th, just a few months away! For my roommate, we would need 2.4 Earths if we all lived like they did and the Overshoot Day would be set for June 2nd. This could be due to multiple reasons as to why my roommate scored higher then myself. For example, living on campus and working remotely leaves me traveling in my car only for required essentials while my roommate travels a lot for work back and forth. To address this we are talking more about aligning our schedules to carpool more conveniently. We have also discussed decreasing usage of appliances such as the dryer and washer by finding techniques to air dry.

    • amy minato's avatar
      amy minato 4/30/2022 5:44 PM
      Guillermo  Sometimes airplane travel can really up your footprint do you think that's what happened with your roommate?  Your number is really low for living in this country

  • Guillermo Castillo's avatar
    Guillermo Castillo 4/21/2022 11:20 PM
    For this weeks Eco-Challenge I decided to learn more about the state of the air quality in Oregon as well as how the local governments in our state are deciding to address this topic. Through my research I have found that disappointingly our Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has faced considerable backlash as well as administrative challenges. For example, I learned in 2016 of the Portland air crisis which effected more specifically the Southeast Portland region when it was found that two local glass manufacturers had spewed toxic pollution into the air. This prompted further outrage as the DEQ had not taken any administrative action to address this hot button issues. Issues within the DEQ have been cited as such: understaffed, numerous overdue complex permits, excessive workload with ongoing regulation policy. These issues need to be handled promptly if we are to have effect and efficient policy enforcement. Through this crisis, Governor Brown has started the "Cleaner Air Oregon" initiative with new head specialists and advisors as well as stricter accountability reporting by industries to analyze air quality in our state. Another additional shoutout in local government policies in Oregon would be "Eugene's Toxics Right-to-Know" program where every industry must account for where exactly their hazardous waste by every pound. Citizens are able to access a website and select their zip code to learn about where such hazards may be within their location. This is a great program and hopefully other local governments within our state will follow this example.

    Links:
    https://www.streetroots.org/news/2016/03/10/portlands-air-pollution-crisis-exposed-now-what
    https://www.oregonlive.com/environment/2016/04/gov_kate_brown_unveils_toxic_a.html
    https://www.oregonlive.com/environment/2018/01/audit_oregon_regulators_face_u.html

    • amy minato's avatar
      amy minato 4/30/2022 6:05 PM
      Excellent report Guillermo thanks!  I think the wildfires have been causing considerable serious air pollution over the last few years

  • Guillermo Castillo's avatar
    Guillermo Castillo 4/19/2022 8:28 AM
    Some local organizations that I was able to conduct research on was; Verde & Rogue Climate. Verde was first created with the concept of bringing wealth to businesses using environmental strategies. It  was created through the Sustainable Development program with grant money. Verde emphasizes the need to increase wealth in low-income communities by providing environmental jobs, training, and entrepreneurial opportunities. Rogue Climate differs by specifically providing sustainable empowerment to Southern Oregonians. This organizations main campaigns feature fighting against the Jordan Cove LNG Export Terminal & the Pacific Connector fracked gas Pipeline in Southern Oregon & Coos Bay, transition communities in the Rogue Valley to renewable energy such as community solar & energy efficiency initiatives, & advocating for statewide clean energy policies. 

    • amy minato's avatar
      amy minato 4/30/2022 6:27 PM
      Guillermo These sound like important organizations thank you for sharing this information

  • Guillermo Castillo's avatar
    Guillermo Castillo 4/14/2022 8:00 AM
    For my first call to action I watched a documentary; "Bottled Life: Nestle's Business with Water". This documentary took a very in depth analysis of the environmental impact that the business practices of a corporation like Nestle have had internationally. The documentary did an amazing job at capturing the essence of the value of water and its autonomy. It features beautiful scenes of waterfalls and running waters to these sources being contained into the billions of plastic water bottles Nestle makes a profit every year. The documentary highlighted many of the shady tactics Nestle has used to dominant in the water business. From taking advantage of out of date water rights in certain areas of interest to creating a dependence on water bottles in developing countries. This was a eye-opening documentary that not will make me hesitate before buying bottled water but as well as other Nestle products.

    • amy minato's avatar
      amy minato 4/18/2022 5:20 PM
      Guillermo I hope more people become aware of the problem of bottled water companies profiting of off our collective water