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Kevanna Doolittle's avatar

Kevanna Doolittle

Capstone summer 22


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participant impact

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Kevanna'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.


A Call to Sustainability

Explore My Area

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



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.



Visit a Local Farm

I will visit a nearby farm to pick my own fruits and veggies.


A Call to Sustainability

Start a Sustainability Journal

I will start a sustainability journal, capturing my thoughts, concerns and learning about sustainability issues.


A Call to Sustainability

Watch a Documentary

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


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.


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.


Visions of Sustainability

Online Energy Audit

I will complete an online energy audit of my home, office, or dorm room and identify my next steps for saving energy.


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?

  • Kevanna Doolittle's avatar
    Kevanna Doolittle 7/13/2022 2:42 PM
    For my final eco challenge, I decided to research a sustainable organization I can volunteer when I return from visiting family. Beaverton City Library had a volunteer fair earlier this year and their information page on their website features an organization called "Waste Not Food Taxi". The intention of the organization is to bridge the gap between commercial food waste and hunger-relief programs.

    I think it's a really neat organization that has parented with both Oregon Food Bank and a new non-profit called "Growing Together Farms" aiming to raise culturally specific crops. GTF is also looking for volunteers. WNFT has recently suspended most operations in Multnomah and Clackamas counties due to funding problems but they still service Washington county.

    Volunteer link:

    • Gabe Dicenzo's avatar
      Gabe Dicenzo 7/14/2022 5:21 AM
      Thanks for the info Kevanna! This program seems like a very cool way to get involved in the community and give back. Hope your experience goes well:)

    • Montgomery Archambo-Pietsch's avatar
      Montgomery Archambo-Pietsch 7/13/2022 10:21 PM
      Thank you for sharing! These sound like super cool organizations to volunteer with! I will also look into Growing Together Farms.

  • Kevanna Doolittle's avatar
    Kevanna Doolittle 7/11/2022 3:17 PM
    For my eco challenge 7, I decided to do research on alternatives to the GDP. I am a huge data nerd so it was fun to see various data used to explain society, happiness, and more. In the reading, I learned about the Social Progress Index, where we (the US) is ranked as a Tier 2 with a score of 86.29. The index score is based on nutrition, medical care, water/sanitation, shelter, safety, access to information/knowledge, environmental quality, personal rights/freedom, and more. According to our score, the US does a decent job with providing these resources. 

    I also looked up the Happy Planet Index which I found in the reading. The website states the Happy Planet Index is "a measure of sustainable well being, ranking countries by how efficiently they deliver long, happy lives using our limited environmental resources." Number one on the list includes Costa Rica, the life expectancy is 804 years, a 7/10 for well being, and overall HPI score of 62.1. We are number 122 on the list with an overall HIP score of 37.4, a life expectancy of 78.9 and 6.94/10 for well being.

    On my own research, I found an alternative called the Thriving Places Index. However, it's only exclusive to the UK. This index is interesting because their data design makes me think of nesting systems from our first week. The center circle focuses on equality regarding income, ethnicity, gender, health, etc. The mid-circle focus on local conditions, and the outer circle describes sustainability. It would be cool to see this index in locations outside of England and Wales as I could see this being a helpful tool for government officials and citizens. 

    • Jillian McDaniel's avatar
      Jillian McDaniel 7/11/2022 10:07 PM
      Hi Kevanna, 

      Thanks for doing all this research. This was very interesting to see! I don't know why I was surprised that we ranked two on the Social Progress Index. Overall we do great, I guess I am just so use to seeing the negatives about all these categories. 

  • Kevanna Doolittle's avatar
    Kevanna Doolittle 7/07/2022 2:09 PM
    For my eco-challenge six, I decided to complete an online energy audit. I was surprised and glad at how easy my electricity usage was to find on the PGE website. After I input my information on the EnergyStar website, I received a cool graph and score of 7.4. I was pleasantly surprised with my score and am happy I scored more than the average of 5 for my home. I noticed the highest energy month is in February. The winter is always difficult for me because I get cold very easily. I am warm-blooded and sensitive to the cold which causes me to set the temperature a little higher than necessary. At the bottom of my results, a link directs me to "Ways to Save". Many of the options recommend me to switch to "Energy Star" products; however, there are also recommendations to caulk/weather strip windows/doors, improve HVAC system, fix leaky faucets, and more. Some of these things are difficult for me because I live in an apartment complex but it's good to know about this resource so when I move into a home, I can come back to this and adjust my energy use if necessary.

    • Romi Watson's avatar
      Romi Watson 7/07/2022 2:56 PM
      Hey Kevanna!
      That’s great that your household uses less energy than the average household, I bet that feels good to know you’re making an impact! It makes me wonder what my energy audit would look like and what I could do to reduce my energy usage. I’m the same way as you where I get cold pretty easily, so the heater is usually on during the winter months and that’s often when the electricity bill is highest. I also live in an apartment, so I understand that maintenance to make your home more energy efficient isn’t really doable. It’d be nice if apartment complexes considered more energy efficient solutions when constructing these places. I feel like the upfront cost of implementing sustainable solutions would pay for itself. I’ll definitely consider some of these sustainable options when I own a home one day to cut down on my resource usage and save money by doing so! 

  • Kevanna Doolittle's avatar
    Kevanna Doolittle 7/04/2022 8:06 PM
    For my session five eco challenge, I decided to explore a new area. I went on a bike ride on the Banks-Vernonia Trail beginning at the Manning Trail Head and heading north. My husband only recently got a mountain bike so it was the first time we went on a biking adventure. It was a little tough because the trail was all up hill. After about 6 miles, we decided to turn off the paved trail to visit a view point. The viewpoint trail was rough but at the end my husband threw up his drone and took a few aerial photos. Heading back to our vehicle was fun because it was mostly downhill and we just bombed down the path. After our trip we took our dog Mika to a new park and I made her a flower crown. 

    I was happy to visit a new area because I haven't been getting outside as much as I should. COVID and losing my mother-in-law last August has made life a little difficult and gloomy. Being outside opened my eyes and reminded me the importance of being near nature. I have a book of walking trails around the Portland-metro area and today I realized there is also a key for biking trails. The book is called "Take a Walk" by Brian Barker. 

    • Kevanna Doolittle's avatar
      Kevanna Doolittle 7/07/2022 1:42 PM
      Hi Gio, 

      The trail was not terribly busy but you can expect to see others; I suppose it will depend on the time and day you visit the trail. I suspect a week day will be less populated than a weekend. 

    • Giovanni Simmons's avatar
      Giovanni Simmons 7/04/2022 9:26 PM
      Hi Kevanna!
      That trail looks like a lot of fun! I've always been fond of mountain biking, but haven't been to this trail yet—I'll have to check it out! Going on new trails is always a good time. Was it a busy trail?

  • Kevanna Doolittle's avatar
    Kevanna Doolittle 6/30/2022 8:03 AM
    For my session four eco-challenge, I watched "the Story of Bottled Water". I learned a lot from this less than 10 minute informational video. For example, I learned that Cleveland tap water beat out Fiji bottled water for taste and quality tests. I learned that tap water has more regulations than bottled water. I re-learned that some water bottle companies are simply selling filtered tap water such as Dasani and Aquafina. 

    According to the video, Nestle campaigned an ad claiming "bottled water is the most environmentally responsible consumer product in the world." Their campaign efforts are comical yet saddening as well. I have known for many years how terrible bottled water is for the environment and a waste of money. The video goes on to explain that some of our water bottles travel to India to be "downcycled" rather then "recycled." It's disappointing (but expected) for a corporation to make false claims when the evidence prove their wrong doings. Between the oil it takes to make and transport plastic bottles, the improper recycling methods of many Americans, and the transportation of "recycled" bottles to be repurposed - plastic bottles seem just as bad, if not worse, than plastic straws and bags. 

    I have been using reusable water bottles for about a decade and I'm glad I switched. This is my most recent water bottle decorated with a few stickers. 

  • Kevanna Doolittle's avatar
    Kevanna Doolittle 6/27/2022 3:16 PM
    For my third eco-challenge, I have decided to reflect on my sources for local produce. I spent most of my time shopping at Winco, Trader Joe's, and Fred Meyer's. As I began our Session 3 reading, I began thinking I need to visit a farmer's market this weekend was too hot for me to do anything so I took sometime to do online research. In a couple of hours, I managed to find over 2 dozen farmers' markets in the Portland-metro area.

    I'm sharing it with you all to encourage you all to go to a farmers' market near you, if you don't already visit one. I plan to go this weekend at the Beaverton Farmers' Market since it is nearest to me. Here is the full spreadsheet. 

    Preparing this spreadsheet has made me excited for the current harvest season. As said in our reading "It's a strategy that will keep grocery money in the neighborhood, where it gets recycled into your own school system and local businesses." I look forward to meeting community members and supporting local farmers to reduce my fossil fuel consumption through the foods I purchase. 

    • Misti Randall's avatar
      Misti Randall 6/27/2022 6:48 PM
      Hi Kevanna,
      Nice job! This is very useful and I am glad that you were able to put it together in such a nice way. I was actually looking for something like this online and couldn't find something so clear. I want to make more of an effort to shop at markets as opposed to super markets. Shopping locally is so crucial to local economy as well as being better for our health. I am sad to see not much open during winter which is understandable though. Cheers to harvesting season!

  • Kevanna Doolittle's avatar
    Kevanna Doolittle 6/23/2022 8:23 AM
    For today's eco-challenge, I completed a challenge not listed on this website. On my morning walk with my dog, Mika, I decided to pick up garbage along my path to one of the ponds near me. I thought of this idea when I worked on my reflections from Session one and Professor Minato recommended I do it as an eco-challenge.
    When I lived on the coast of Washington (Tokeland) I had a history of picking up trash on the beach. I did this a couple of times a year as a teenager. I hated seeing the garbage in one of my favorite places and thought it was a good contribution to mother nature. I haven't done a garbage clean up in a few years and I thought getting in touch with my neighborhood trails would be a good start. It's an easy step because I regularly walk my dog on the path, I simply need to use a bag and gloves to gather garbage. 

    I picked up a lot of beer caps and cigarette butts. A tiny paint brush (yellow in my bag) and a few other miscellaneous items. I was surprised there wasn't more trash but glad that my neighborhood is semi-clean. I hope with this little change, I can see improved health for the animals I see on my path such as bunnies, birds, ducks, and geese. As we learned about nested systems and system thinking, this is my contribution as a subsection of my local ecosystem. I'd rather help contribute to cleaning it than do nothing at all. 

    • Romi Watson's avatar
      Romi Watson 6/26/2022 2:27 PM
      Hi Kevanna!
      I think it’s really cool you thought to do this and I’m a little surprised it wasn’t already an ecochallenge online—thank you for taking the time to do this! 🙂 Cleaning up garbage seems like such an easy thing we can all do to make a small impact on the environment and to ensure that it doesn’t end up in our waterways. I might consider doing this on my daily dog walks as well. I feel like good deeds like this rub off on people, and that people will feel inspired to begin doing the same thing to make a difference. It’s sad that littering is inevitable (people do what people do), but I’m happy that it seems like our ecosystems aren’t as trashed as one would expect like you mentioned. 

    • Jillian McDaniel's avatar
      Jillian McDaniel 6/23/2022 12:09 PM
      Hi Kevanna, 

      I think that it's so cool that you decided to pick up trash along a normal routine. it has inspired me to do that the next time I go on a walk around the neighborhood. This just shows that little changes to everyday routines can make a difference. It's also interesting to see what kind of trash gets left behind, like the paint brush. 

    • Katherine Huff's avatar
      Katherine Huff 6/23/2022 9:03 AM
      Hey Kevanna! 

      This is such a great idea to add to a daily walk, especially the use of the doggy bags you have to bring on your walk anyways. Also, your dog is adorable! 

      Hope you're having a great summer term!

  • Kevanna Doolittle's avatar
    Kevanna Doolittle 6/20/2022 11:35 AM
    My eco-challenge for the session one reflection included starting a sustainability journal as recommended in the "A Call to Sustainability" challenges. I have always enjoyed journaling because it helps me organize my thoughts when I have a lot of information to sort through. I anticipate and recognize I will have exposure to various resources which will be helpful to have time to reflect on through my journaling. 

    A couple of years ago, I made a decision to purchase a tablet to reduce my use on paper. After this switch I have made several notebooks for journaling and classes I have taken. In my digital journal thus far, I documented what my reading of session one in our textbook. For example, session one focuses on intersectionality and how everything is connected. Due to the digital aspect of my set up, I also have the privilege of taking pictures and dropping them into my journal. I included the Culture Tree as well as the Iceberg Model for later use.

    I am excited to continue journaling my sustainable journey to help me consider further steps I can take to improve my community and planet's life. 

    • Ellie Griffith's avatar
      Ellie Griffith 6/20/2022 8:04 PM
      Hi Kevanna,
      I also started a sustainability journal for my eco-challenge. Originally, I used a notebook because I enjoy writing things down on paper. I was thinking more about the aesthetics rather than the practicality of the form of journaling. Your post and ideas have totally shifted by point of view. I could have saved the paper and instead used my laptop to journal. It seems so obvious, but it didn't even come to my mind that this wasn't sustainable! This just shows me how much I have to learn from this course to change my mindset to live more sustainably. Because I already have the physical journal, I will continue to use it, but in the future I'm going to use my laptop to journal. Thanks for your post!

  • Kevanna Doolittle's avatar
    Kevanna Doolittle 6/17/2022 11:59 AM
    From this class, I hope to gain knowledge and actions I can share with my organization to promote environmental sustainability. I hope I can also find new ways to reduce my carbon footprint and support others with the same goal.