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Scott Clower's avatar

Scott Clower

Capstone Winter 21

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 301 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    1
    documentaries
    watched
  • up to
    10
    conversations
    with people
  • up to
    42
    meatless or vegan meals
    consumed
  • up to
    21
    organic meals
    consumed
  • up to
    840
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • up to
    15
    petitions
    signed
  • up to
    14
    whole food meals
    consumed
  • up to
    14
    zero-waste meals
    consumed

Scott's Actions

Visions of Sustainability

Eco-friendly Gardening

I will plant native species, landscape with water-efficient plants, and use eco-friendly fertilizers.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Visions of Sustainability

Install Alternative Energy

I will install alternative energy systems, such as solar electric systems or solar water heaters.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Consumption and Economy

Watch a Documentary

I will watch one of the films suggested in the additional resources and discuss it with friends or family.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

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.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Transportation

Use Muscle Power

I will only use muscle-powered transportation this week.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Transportation

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.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Transportation

Use Public Transit

I will use public transit 1 mile(s) each day this week and avoid sending up to 5.45 lbs of CO2 into Earth's atmosphere.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Transportation

Go by Bike

I will commute by bike 3 mile(s) each day this week and avoid sending up to 28.32 lbs of CO2 into Earth's atmosphere.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Community

Pick Up Litter

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

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Community

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.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Community

Sign a Petition

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

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Community

Join my Neighborhood Association

I will join my neighborhood association or another local group.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Community

Volunteer in my Community

I will volunteer 3 hour(s) in my community this week.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Community

Help Others

I will offer to help 3 person(s) who are in need this week.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Community

Meet My Neighbors

I will meet 3 new neighbor(s) this week.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Water

Learn About My Watershed

I will find local resources for learning about my watershed and the particular water issues my region faces.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Water

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.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Water

Say No to Plastic

Plastic bags and small plastic pieces like straws are most likely to get swept into our waterways. This week, I'll say "no" to plastic bags at the store and plastic straws in all of my drinks.

Completed
One-Time Action

Water

Install a Low-Flow Showerhead

I will save up to 15 gallons (56 L) of water a day by installing a low-flow showerhead.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Water

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.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Food

Zero-Waste Cooking

I will cook 2 meal(s) with zero waste each day this week.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Whole Foods Diet

I will enjoy 2 meal(s) free of processed foods each day this week.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Choose Organic Ingredients

I will enjoy 3 meal(s) cooked with organic ingredients each day this week.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Reduce Animal Products

I will enjoy 5 meatless meal(s) and/or 1 vegan meal(s) each day this week.

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

Ecological Principles

Advocate for Sustainability

I will contact local officials and city leaders this week to challenge them to support sustainability policies.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Ecological Principles

Research Renewable Energy Options

I will find out if my local utilities offer an option for supporting renewable energy investment.

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

Recycle Everything I Can

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

Completed
One-Time Action

Ecological Principles

Keep An Ecological Principles Journal

I will keep a journal this week as I observe ecological principles in action in my backyard, neighborhood or community.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Ecological Principles

Practice Gratitude for Earth

This week, I will spend 120 minute(s) each day outside, practicing gratitude (prayer, meditation, journaling, etc.) for Earth and the nature surrounding me.

Completed
One-Time Action

Ecological Principles

Join An Outdoor Project

I will join an outdoor restoration project in my community.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

A Call to Sustainability

Pay Attention to Current Events

I will watch or read the news each day this week with a specific focus on sustainability issues and happenings.

Completed
One-Time Action

A Call to Sustainability

Talk To Others

I will tell 10 people why sustainability is important to me and what my vision for a sustainable world is.

Completed
One-Time Action

A Call to Sustainability

Learn About Local Issues

I will find out what local sustainability issues are most urgent in my region, including both social and environmental justice concerns.

Completed
One-Time Action

A Call to Sustainability

Explore My Area

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

Completed
One-Time Action

A Call to Sustainability

Sign a Petition

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

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


  • Scott Clower's avatar
    Scott Clower 2/16/2021 1:19 PM
    My house is going on day 4 without electricity. I agree with Amy below that it has been nice to have a break from gadgets but it has also been a challenge. I have an electric stove, and gas heat but it is linked up to an electric system (fans, thermostat, etc) so it has not been able to operate. It has made to acutely aware of how reliant I am on electricity. This is both obvious and distressing. I like to think of myself as outdoorsy, and I have always thought that i would fair relatively well if/when The Big One happens, or zombies or whatever, but I am feeling less sure of myself after this experience. It is a nice test run though, and i think i am going to seek out more non-electric appliances for this sort of thing in the future. 

    • Placeholder avatar for unknown participant
      amy minato 2/22/2021 12:17 PM
      you can get a battery operated remote so you can still use your gas stove when the power goes out. the fan wont work but it can radiate heat. if you have a freestanding stove... I agree its been humbling tho

  • Scott Clower's avatar
    Scott Clower 2/08/2021 10:00 AM
    So yesterday I was out walking my dog Boomer, like I do, in a densely wooded area (not a city block or a neighborhood) and I am seeing all these bags of dog poop lining the trail. So I start thinking whats worse here letting dog poop decompose naturally amid the woodland brush, or bagging it up and telling yourself 'I'll pick this up on the way back out' and then not doing it. And then I started thinking about all of the dog poop bags that are ending up in land fills, and how even the decomposable ones will release methane into the air while they are doing their decomposing thing. I mean what is the best option here? In Portland we don't get plastic bags when we buy groceries and such which in the past I would use just because then you are making a single use product a double use product. Now I have to buy special bags for my dog, or else do the ol' stick and flick method. Just to be clear, I would never leave my dogs shit on someones yard, or somewhere that a person might step on in, but like out in the middle of the woods should I pick it up? 

    • Placeholder avatar for unknown participant
      Jami O'Reilly 2/10/2021 11:10 AM
      Hi Scott, this is such a dilemma!  I am not a dog owner, but as a non-dog owner I find it irresponsible of people that own dogs and don't pick up or dispose of pet waste.  For some reason, my son is a magnet for poop and seems to step in it more than most would think possible.  Personally, I think the bury method is probably the most sustainable and ethical for other community members.  However, on city sidewalks I guess compostable bags might still be the best option.  Thanks for reflecting on this point!

    • Placeholder avatar for unknown participant
      amy minato 2/08/2021 3:38 PM
      Scott this is an interesting dilemna. I always kinda wonder about those bags too.
      maybe burying it?  if there are a lot of bags on the trail it seems like too many dogs there to just leave it.  Pets are a dilemna!

  • Scott Clower's avatar
    Scott Clower 1/30/2021 5:22 PM
    Hey ya'll how the heck is everyone doing? Has anyone had any experience living in more eco-friendly type housing arrangements? Perhaps a yurt? How about using a compostable toilet, or solar for the majority of their power? I ask because my sister and I have been talking about the idea of me moving out to live on her land in Kauai. This is very appealing for obvious reasons, but I am unsure about the logistics of it. Any info, or points in the right directions would be much obliged .

    • Placeholder avatar for unknown participant
      amy minato 2/01/2021 3:57 PM
      Hi Scott   My husband and i live in a yurt all summer. they are wonderful spaces, inexpensive and easy to put together, there are lots of compost toilets and off grid solar units now.  What a great opportunity!

    • Placeholder avatar for unknown participant
      Jami O'Reilly 2/01/2021 9:58 AM
      Hi Scott, I've lived in numerous eco-friendly houses on Kauai.  From tents, bamboo lean-tos with a wood platform, yurts and one room shacks.  All included limited electricity use or solar power, on-demand water heaters and composting toilets and screens for windows.  It is really do-able to go simple when it's warm year-round.  Most important is making your space water tight, mold seemed to be the biggest issue for all my structures.  I don't have pointers for specific resources other than support for your vision and the lived experience that you can get by living very simply on the island.  

  • Scott Clower's avatar
    Scott Clower 1/20/2021 8:08 PM
    Today I was out walking with my dog Boomer at one of our favorite spots, the Sandy River Delta park. As I was out wandering like usual I encountered a very pleasant woman who was there with like 5 dogs. I noticed that she had with her a handful of garbage. I told her how appreciative I was that she took the time to pick that up and she responded with "well no one else is going to do it!" I agreed that it was rare to see people walking around with an armful of garbage in the woods, but that the next time I came out I would bring with me a large garbage bag. On my way home I stopped to pick up some bags to keep in the back of my truck, and have made a promise to myself that I will try and take one with me every time I venture out on a walk. I do this most everyday, so am thinking that if I stick to it, I will likely be able to pick up a good chunk of trash. I may even invest in one of those pokey stick things and really commit!

    • Placeholder avatar for unknown participant
      amy minato 1/23/2021 5:55 PM
      I broke my tailbone and had to use one of those sticks which i now use to pick up garbage. It's kinda fun... Your story attests to the power of example.

  • Scott Clower's avatar
    Scott Clower 1/16/2021 3:14 PM
    I was listening to a podcast that I enjoy (and recommend!) called Reply All. The episode was called A Song of Impotent Rage and it was basically one of the hosts of the show named Alex talking about his anger at how tepid the overall response to total ecological devastation is. He decided to make a song about it.
     
    Some of the lyrics are: "The sea level's rising. The far right's on the rise. 
    And still it seems that people just refuse to open their eyes. 

    The wolf is at the door, and you act like you're doing fine. I'm trying to show you the wolf's inside. This is our decline. The wolf is at the door, and you act like you're doing fine. This is it. This is it. This is our decline. 

    In all honesty, I am incredibly stressed out about systemic climate change, and I don't know what the solution is. 

    Corporate greed is choking us. And they pretend they're trying to help. Your climate pledge isn’t good enough. You can go to hell. 

    We need a lot more than cash to reach climate stability. Corporations bought my hopelessness. Fuck them and their petro-masculinity.

    So yeah. Basically every day I feel the same way. And it feels hopeless, and like what can I do as a person... but then I was listening to the most recent episode of the same podcast, and right at the end of it Alex's boss (who is also named Alex) comes on and says he took issue with the way the song was presented. I will just copy and paste a section of the transcript below, because what he said was important for me to hear.

    ALEX BLUMBERG: I’m just saying this is… this is part of the problem. I’ve been working for a year and a half on a climate show and I have this cohost named Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson. And she’s like, she’s a marine biologist who studied coral reefs. That was her sort of area of study. And coral reefs are like, basically, you know, gonna disappear because of climate change. That’s one of the things that’s like, real, and is probably baked in, and there might not be much we can do about that. Um, and so, of all the people who would be like, “Oh, I’m gonna throw up my hands,” you know, here it is, the thing that like, she loves and that she does on a day-to-day basis, and that she has like, devoted her life to doing is gonna disappear because of climate change. And she did not go to her basement and write like, a, a post punk anthem.

    ALEX GOLDMAN: My attic!

    ALEX BLUMBERG: She instead was like, “I’m gonna try to like, actually sort of do some things about it and learn about it, and try to become a, a person who talks to people about this stuff, and like, actually focus on what we can do.” And so, and so, I was—and so, she does this—she does a whole bunch of things. And then, and then I met her, and we started this podcast together. We’ve hired this team of like, the incredible environmental reporters. Like, we have this woman, Kendra Pierre Louis, who is a, who is a, an amazing climate reporter at The New York Times; Rachel Waldotz, who’s like a, a climate reporter from public radio. We have this like, incredibly knowledgeable team of people. And like, and we’re, and we’re like, instead of just like, diving into the like, doomsday of it, we’re just talking about like, what should we do? It’s here. It’s happening. What do we do? And like, the minute you start talking about what you should do, it’s actually sort of exciting.

    ...

    ALEX BLUMBERG: The single most exciting thing is that renewable energy is now as cheap or cheaper than fossil fuel energy… and solar in particular is now being called the cheapest electricity in history. So like, there’s all these like, market forces now that are like, speeding the transition. Um, so this gigantic, huge blocker that was the oil industry, that had—that was incredibly powerful and had this super cheap, super efficient energy source, they are rapidly losing their power.

    ALEX GOLDMAN: How rapidly are we talking?

    ALEX BLUMBERG: Pretty rapidly. Like, Exxon was one of the most powerful, most profitable companies in history...you know... just like a little over 10 years ago. And it was just recently kicked off of the exchange that it was on. It’s still a publicly traded company, but it got kicked off, um, the Dow Jones, uh, which is like just the list of the 30 biggest companies, because it wasn’t big enough anymore. There’s just so many other good things that come out of that. Like, all the things—you know like how the—you know how you’re not supposed to eat fish because of mercury?

    Anyways, I have been spending a lot of time being angry at the way that people who can actually make a difference in terms of eco-change choose not to. It is really easy to get caught up in that negative cycle because the truth is SHIT IS FUCKED right now. I am perpetually afraid that we as a society are spending way too much time dealing with this surface level bullshit and avoiding/ignoring the real problems at hand. I still think that, but to have the words of Alec Goldman tell me that to just throw in the towel, give up, and just preach about the impending doom is adolescent and unhelpful it just brought it back home for me. We all need to get on board here. Individually and culturally. 
    I appreciate you all!

    • Placeholder avatar for unknown participant
      amy minato 1/23/2021 6:09 PM
      I hear you sometimes it seems too little and too late, but things can snowball and with the new administration there's momentum