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Katherine Cushing

capstone fall 22


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Katherine's actions

Visions of Sustainability

Become a Master Recycler/Composter

I will sign up for a Master Recycler/Composter program in my area.


Consumption and Economy

Buy Only What I Need

I will not buy anything except items required for health and safety.


Ecological Principles

Practice Gratitude for Earth

This week, I will spend 20 minute(s) each day outside, practicing gratitude (prayer, meditation, journaling, etc.) for Earth and the nature surrounding me.


A Call to Sustainability

Watch a Documentary

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


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?

  • Katherine Cushing's avatar
    Katherine Cushing 11/29/2022 7:25 PM
    For my eco challenge this week, I have made the decision to begin recycling my food scraps to make vegetable broth, to reduce food waste and get the most out of the produce that I buy. I actually got this idea from Francis. For the past few weeks I have been been saving scraps from produce that I cut up, that I would ordinarily throw away, and keeping them in the freezer. When I had filled a gallon bag, I made the broth. I sautéed the vegetables, then added water and spices. I let it simmer for an hour, then strained it into glass storage containers. I put them in the freezer to make a soup with in the near future.

  • Katherine Cushing's avatar
    Katherine Cushing 11/22/2022 12:20 PM
    This week the eco challenge that I assigned myself was I will buy only what I need. I did not buy anything except items required for health and safety. This wasn't too difficult for me. I'm not a big spender usually. I did lose my beanie though and felt like I couldn't justify buying anyone on in the name of health and safety. I bought food from the grocery store and that was the only thing that I purchased all week. There was a point when I was able out of paper towels and bought some more because I dint want to end up in a situation where I really needed them.

  • Katherine Cushing's avatar
    Katherine Cushing 11/11/2022 12:06 PM
    This week, I sourced 1 meal a day from local producers each day. This was pretty easy for me because I eat a lot of baked sweet potatoes with just strawberries, or some other easy-to-find-local-products, on it. But I also picked up some groceries from the farmers market to make something more elaborate. One dish I made was a butternut squash pasta. I used local pasta, ricotta, squash, garlic, and spices. Shopping for exclusively local groceries is a little expensive for me to do all the time, but I think I will continue to do this from time to time when I am at the farmer’s market. 

    • Sydney Brown's avatar
      Sydney Brown 11/14/2022 11:48 AM
      I love farmer's markets and the accessibility to them living here in Oregon. That pasta sounds delicious! Using squash is such a great idea.

  • Katherine Cushing's avatar
    Katherine Cushing 11/06/2022 4:33 PM
    For my eco challenge project this week I wrote down the times that I walked or took public transportation as a way to get somewhere (not including leisure walks or walking around campus). I also calculated what my carbon footprint was from lyfting or riding in friends’ cars. I thought that doing this would bring awareness to my use of CO2 and encourage me to be more mindful and choose transit options that would be more sustainable. My CO2 from riding in cars is a lot higher than usual this week, it is usually next to none. 

    The number of miles that I rode in a car this week was 145.5 miles. I did not realize that it would be that high. One source that I found said that each mile driven emits 0.77 pounds of CO2. If this source is accurate that would mean that my car transportation from the week emitted about 112 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere. This number sounds much too high but other sources I have looked at say around the same number. 

    The number of miles that I walked as a means of transportation was about 13.8 miles. This saved about 10.6 pounds of CO2 from being emitted if I were to use a car as transportation. 

    The number of miles that I used public transportation last week was around 49.6 miles. A source that I found said that taking public transportation reduces CO2 emissions by 45%. That would mean that my CO2 emission from public transportation for this past week was 21 pounds.

    This challenge made me realize how much CO2 that I use without realizing. I will definitely take this into consideration the next time that I feel like taking a lyft somewhere that I could bus.

  • Katherine Cushing's avatar
    Katherine Cushing 10/31/2022 10:42 AM
    The eco challenge that I participated in this week was attending the Climate Cafe on October 30. The concept for the event is indigenous eating, all food used to prepare the meal was locally grown produce that is native to the region. The event consisted of serving a meal with multiple dishes featured including tacos, salad, soup, and sorbet. Some of the produce used were black beans, butternut squash, kale, blueberries, sunflower seeds, corn, peppers, and mushrooms.
    I told a friend from my hometown about the events, and she told me the restaurant she works at is called "Indigenous", that has a similar theme to the climate cafe. I looked at their website and found that their mission statement include seasonal eating, sustainability, and working closely with fisherman, artisans, and farmers.

  • Katherine Cushing's avatar
    Katherine Cushing 10/24/2022 9:24 AM
    This week for my eco challenge project, I watched "My Octopus Teacher". I thought that this documentary is an interesting take on sustainability efforts by creating empathy for sea creatures. The audience is meant to feel compassion for this animal so unlike them. The creator of the documentary says that octopi have a similar intelligence level to a cat, dog, or lower primate, despite looking so alien and having a life span of just over a year. I believe that creating this empathy and even affection for this random marine animal, creates a desire to take care of the ocean in the viewers. 

  • Katherine Cushing's avatar
    Katherine Cushing 10/15/2022 1:30 PM
    The Ecochallenge that I chose for this week is practicing gratitude for the Earth. I have been dedicating at least 20 minutes a day to sitting outside and doing nothing except meditating or practicing gratitude. I find that when I’m stressed if I count 10 things that I’m grateful for, I feel a lot better. During this time, I limit my gratitude to just things relating to nature. I have done this everyday for the past week, starting on October 8th and today is October 15. I feel like it has brought me a lot of peace, I will continue to do it most days from now on. I can certainly see how if everyone set aside time for this, it could give the masses more of an appreciation for nature and a desire to take care of it. This is a challenge that would be very simple for a person to incorporate into their life but could have significant positive impacts on their mental health.

    • Lauren Meyers's avatar
      Lauren Meyers 10/17/2022 4:36 PM
      Hi Katherine,
      I did this eco challenge too!
      It was so nice to just be outside and listen. We also got lucky with pleasant weather! I like the idea that gratitude is an action. We have to show up for the things we are grateful for in order to be really practicing gratitude. Meditating outside is a great way to really appreciate and be grateful for our planet. 
      See you tomorrow!

  • Katherine Cushing's avatar
    Katherine Cushing 10/15/2022 1:26 PM
    (This my Ecochallenge Session 1, I couldn't figure out how to post on here)
    The eco challenge that I did this week was "REPAIR A BROKEN ITEM". I repaired a broken candle using a lighter and to heat the pieces and put them back together. I attached photos below. (In retrospect, maybe using a lighter wasn't very sustainable, in the future a match might be better)