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Sam Galvan's avatar

Sam Galvan

Community Team

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 338 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    14
    meatless or vegan meals
    consumed
  • up to
    9.0
    miles
    traveled by bus
  • up to
    32
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    12,852
    gallons of water
    have been saved
  • up to
    3.0
    neighbors
    met

Sam's Actions

Visions of Sustainability

Eco-friendly Gardening

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

Completed
One-Time Action

Consumption and Economy

Support Local Businesses

I will buy from local businesses instead of shopping online.

Completed
One-Time Action

Transportation

Use Public Transit

I will use public transit 9 mile(s) each day this week and avoid sending up to (___) lbs of CO2 into Earth's atmosphere.

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Meet My Neighbors

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

Completed
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.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Reduce Animal Products

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

Completed
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

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

Feed


  • Sam Galvan's avatar
    Sam Galvan 3/02/2022 4:58 PM
    As y'all probably already know I'm starting a garden for my eco-change. The project is going well and I'll have lots to say about it when I do my presentation next week but I'll give a quick update. We've built out the garden bed and with the help of my family we pruned the Asian pear tree out front. My roommates and I are most excited about growing tomatoes and potatoes, both of which are better to plant when the weather's more consistently warm, so probably not before late April. We've also discussed planting microgreens and garlic and longer term plan to build two more beds and plant some herbs and berries. Included are some photos of the construction of the first bed. 

    • Placeholder avatar for unknown participant
      amy minato 3/12/2022 10:57 AM
      Sam Asian pears are the best fruit and they grow so well in Portland. I love that your friends have helped you.

    • Jessie Quandt's avatar
      Jessie Quandt 3/02/2022 7:37 PM
      I love the planter! I think it looks really well done and solid. Planting a garden in cold weather is probably really difficult, so makes sense you're holding off on planting those. It also looks like it was a lot of fun to make this with your friends and family. Great way to have fun and be sustainable! I look forward to seeing your final presentation!!

      -Jessie :)

    • Kendyl Huston's avatar
      Kendyl Huston 3/02/2022 7:34 PM
      Hi Sam! Wow this is awesome! I'm excited to hear more about your eco change next week! It's very cool that your family and roommates are helping out with this project because putting a garden together is always better with more people. I hope you continue to do this after this class is over. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sam Galvan's avatar
    Sam Galvan 2/23/2022 6:52 PM
    Support Local Businesses: Go Check Out Portland Music Co. at 122nd & Division!
    I try to shop locally as much as I reasonably can. It's a little harder with food because of the time, budget, and convenience savings offered by large supermarkets but there are a number of other areas where it's easier. For me these include clothing, hardware, and bicycle materials and repair. I want to focus this post, however, on spotlighting one of my favorite local business, Portland Music Company at SE 122nd & Division. PMC is a great smaller shop with a nice selection of guitars (acoustic and electric), drums, keyboards, and accessories. The staff are awesome people and they do a great job of creating a laid-back welcoming environment in there, starting with Matt, the store manager, and including every employee I've interacted with there. They're always recommending the coolest guitars and amps for me to try out even when they know I'm not in there to buy any. I've  seen them do an awesome job with everyone from kids who come in getting their first instrument to experienced guitarists looking for some ultra-specific effects peddle. They put a lot of effort into using the store build community and it shows, and it's basically everything I would hope a local business would be. This last week I needed a new cable for my electric guitar and even though it's a little out of the way for me, it was 100% worth it to go there for it.

    • Placeholder avatar for unknown participant
      amy minato 3/01/2022 6:19 PM
      Sam thanks so much for this recommendation!  I really enjoy hearing about local businesses and how they create community. there is a local toy store near me that has that same vibe. we have bought all our kid toys and gifts there over the years and now are friends with the owners. it feels so good to support folks you like

    • Jessie Quandt's avatar
      Jessie Quandt 2/23/2022 10:25 PM
      What an awesome store to find! It is so nice to find spaces like this, where everyone is there because of a mutual love and respect for (in this case) art. I think that finding communities like that is really important, as you mentioned, even when they knew you were not going to purchase something, they still support you. All of that shows that they are doing this for more than just money and its so refreshing to hear that these places are still in our communities! we just need to find them :)
      -Jessie 

    • Janny  Lai's avatar
      Janny Lai 2/23/2022 9:11 PM
      I don't play an instrument but the place you recommended sounds awesome! I love eating locally; it lets me explore Portland and the people are always so nice to chat with. A website I use is shopsmallpdx.com. It has a bunch of local businesses listed and it's my go-to if I want to find a place to visit! 

  • Sam Galvan's avatar
    Sam Galvan 2/16/2022 3:25 PM
    Use Public Transit
    I already take the bus almost every time I go to school and the only exceptions to this are when I ride my bike. It's a pretty direct and easy trip from my house and takes under 30 minutes each way. Many of the other trips I make aren't so straightforward and I often end up driving. This week I challenged myself to make more of my shopping and leisure trips without driving. I live 5 blocks from a Trader Joe's so most of my grocery shopping I can do walking. It's a 5 minute walk to a bus that'll take me to other places I need to shop like pharmacies or hardware stores. Leisure trips can be a bit more complicated, often requiring connections which can add a lot of delay if the transfer timing is off. I've managed to make this less stressful by viewing time spent on the bus as its own relaxation and leisure time, entertaining myself with a book or my phone. I'm not too productive when it comes to actually getting work done on the bus but I don't really feel I need to be in order to feel like I'm making good use of the time. Another side effect of using transit more is it forces me to be more organized and have better time management as I'm somewhat operating on someone else's schedule.

    • Placeholder avatar for unknown participant
      amy minato 2/21/2022 5:29 PM
      Sam  its so true that bus rides can be restful or recreational if you look at them that way. I guess driving can be that for some people which is hard for me to fathom.

    • Kaylee Fujita's avatar
      Kaylee Fujita 2/16/2022 8:53 PM
      I'm so jealous you're so close to a Trader Joe's! Hawaii people are kind of crazy when it comes to Trader Joe's. You should see the hauls of trail mixes, snacks, and seasonings I bring home each break for family and friends. It's embarrassing. I sometimes streetcar to Safeway, sometimes walk, but I've been doing exactly what you said and have been making it a point to walk more so I've been walking to get my groceries. I walked to Whole Foods too once, but honestly that was more of a hike than a leisurely walk so I haven't done that again. But it's been especially nice out so walks have been a really enjoyable weekend outing for me.

    • Jessie Quandt's avatar
      Jessie Quandt 2/16/2022 8:29 PM
      Hey Sam, this is a great post! Using the time waiting for the bus to read or do something else is an awesome practice. I wrote about this in my own post, but another thing you could do is walk ahead to the next bus stop! I do this all the time when waiting for the streetcar. If the stop closest to me says a streetcar is coming in 10 minutes, I know I can walk 2 stops up and get on there. This keeps me warm when its cold because rather than sitting and waiting for the streetcar, I'm walking to the next stop. Then I only have to wait for a couple minutes until the streetcar catches up to me! I'm not sure how it works where you live, but just an idea!
      -Jessie :)

    • Kendyl Huston's avatar
      Kendyl Huston 2/16/2022 8:21 PM
      Hi Sam, I think it's cool that you go on leisure trips on public transit. Once you're used to all the interesting people that are on the MAX day to day, I'm sure you can have a relaxing time. Regarding riding public transit, I have a co-worker who rides in from an hour away. Sometimes he shows up late because the MAX shut down or the bus showed up late, but he always lets us know! It would be nice if our public transit was as efficient as it was shown in that video on Tuesday. Thanks for sharing!

    • Janny  Lai's avatar
      Janny Lai 2/16/2022 6:15 PM
      I also went on leisure trips using public transit this week! Whenever I take the MAX to campus I always like to bring earbuds or download a show on my phone to watch. I think we're lucky to have a decent public transit system that expands to so many areas. 

  • Sam Galvan's avatar
    Sam Galvan 2/09/2022 6:10 PM
    Gotta shout out my neighbors for making this one really easy for me! Outside one of the houses around the corner from mine there's a basketball hoop with a few basketballs always out below it. I've shot around there a couple times assuming whoever left the balls out there was cool with it and this week I was able to confirm that was the case. I was walking by there the other day and a couple of guys were out there shooting so I stopped and asked if the hoop was open to everyone. They told me that was exactly the idea when they put it up and I ended up sticking around for about half an hour shooting hoops and getting to know them. It made for a really pleasant afternoon and I'm stoked to connect with more of my neighbors at the basketball hoop in the near future! 


    • Placeholder avatar for unknown participant
      amy minato 2/11/2022 8:56 AM
      Sam thanks for the photos and the inspiring story! there are so many simple things like that we can do to increase community in our neighborhoods.  

    • Kendyl Huston's avatar
      Kendyl Huston 2/09/2022 7:24 PM
      Hi Sam! I think this is awesome that you were able to approach people and ask them about the basketball hoop. It's pretty cool that they decided to have the hoop open for anyone to use it, that's very kind. I hope you were able to make some new friends!

  • Sam Galvan's avatar
    Sam Galvan 2/02/2022 6:10 PM
    Eco Challenge 4: Fix Leaky Faucets
    This week I was able to do a home improvement project that's been on my mind for my eco challenge. My old kitchen sink was a classic two-knob style, and although it wasn't terrible, it did drip occasionally. I bought a new sink spout a few weeks ago that I hadn't gotten around to installing until now (prompted by this eco challenge). The new spout has a single lever that blends hot and cold water and a nozzle that extends and toggles between regular flow and spray flow. My roommate and I installed the new spout together, first shutting off the valves and disconnecting the hoses to remove the old one and then applying some teflon tape and doing the process in reverse to put in the new one. It was a relatively straightforward process that we completed in under half an hour.

    In addition to saving water from the leak, the new faucet configuration is more conducive to reducing my water usage. With the dual knob configuration I'd end up spending a while trying to get the right temperature, especially when washing dishes. The blend lever, however makes this much easier and facilitates a quicker on-off of the flow. 

    Pictured: the faucet replacement before, during, and after.

    • Placeholder avatar for unknown participant
      amy minato 2/04/2022 3:15 PM
      Sam that looks great!  I am duly impressed. plumbing work scares me....this simple fix will save a lot of water in the long run

  • Sam Galvan's avatar
    Sam Galvan 1/26/2022 6:06 PM
    Reducing my consumption of animal products was pretty easy. For the vegan meals I either swapped oat milk for cow's milk in my morning breakfast cereal or hummus instead of cream cheese on lunch bagels and sandwiches. I honestly didn't notice a difference when it came to the milk and the hummus was definitely more filling than the cream cheese. For many of my vegetarian meals I ate eggs instead of deli meats on sandwiches and made a tasty dinner of quesadillas and black bean soup. The centerpiece of this challenge however, came in the form of impossible burgers and homefries my roommate and I made on Tuesday. These featured double patties, cooked smashburger style for that good texture, swiss cheese, grilled mushrooms and caramelized onions in addition to your classic burger dressings. Although far from vegan, containing cheese, egg mixed into the patties, and a mayo-based sauce, they were 100% vegetarian and 100% delicious!

    • Placeholder avatar for unknown participant
      amy minato 1/30/2022 12:25 PM
      Sam  it looks awesome. for me its all about the condiments so veggie burgers always taste good in my world. hummus instead of cream cheese is a good idea

    • Kaylee Fujita's avatar
      Kaylee Fujita 1/27/2022 8:15 AM
      Hi Sam! Wow, that looks so yummy! Sounds like you made a lot of positive changes this week. I also like using hummus in sandwiches. It just makes everything tastier. Have you tried any vegan alternatives for cream cheese? I've heard of some "good" ones (I think Kite Hill?) but haven't tried any yet because I just know it won't compare to the real, dairy thing. But, I shouldn't knock it till I try it. Also, I just realized I have those same plates! Thanks for sharing!

    • Laura Maple's avatar
      Laura Maple 1/26/2022 8:59 PM
      yum! I'm glad you had a good experience with the impossible burgers. I need to try them sometime. Black bean soup is one of my favorite veg/vegan meals because I love soup. I love adding chipotles in :)

  • Sam Galvan's avatar
    Sam Galvan 1/19/2022 6:49 PM
    For my eco-challenge this week I looked into Portland General Electric's various clean power options. Their traditional power option is about 3/4 fossil fuels (natural gas and coal) with hydro comprising the largest share of the renewable power. Their Green Future Choice option is 100% renewable, over 90% of which is wind and solar. Green Future Choice costs on average $6 more per month than the basic plan for residential customers and $11 more for small businesses. Additionally, PGE offers "block" plans where customers can add a larger share of wind or solar into their power mix for a smaller additional charge than the Green Future Choice option. The chart I've included in the post breaks all this down very nicely. Due to the extra charge these plans represent one of many ways making environmentally friendly consumption choices is something of a premium privileged option, however the price difference is small enough that they're still relatively accessible.

    • Placeholder avatar for unknown participant
      amy minato 1/21/2022 2:55 PM
      Hey Sam thanks for the comprehensive data on PGE!  I do wish that consumers did not have to pay the price for renewables.

    • Reganne Harding's avatar
      Reganne Harding 1/19/2022 11:07 PM
      It's interesting to see the prices compared like that. I think my apartment building uses the green future choice since they claim to be powered by wind energy, but I'm not sure because my electricity is built into my rent. It's also disturbing to see the pollutant percentages but it's hard to tell what they really mean in terms of how much of a pollutant goes into the environment.
      Thanks for sharing.

  • Sam Galvan's avatar
    Sam Galvan 1/12/2022 4:12 PM
    Action: Explore My Area


    I'm currently in Arcata, CA visiting my partner and her family. I took the opportunity to come down here when all my classes this week went remote. Today we went for a short hike out to Elk's Head at Trinidad State Beach. It was a nice walk through the forest and to a viewpoint overlooking the coast (pictured). The hike provided an opportunity for some reflection on human-environment interaction. My partner's dad, who's a marine botanist at Humboldt State University, talked about wanting to set up some research equipment at the cove due to the relatively low human impact compared to other beaches in the area. He hasn't been able to so far however, as most of the land around the cove is private property.

    Completing this challenge really wasn't particularly challenging for me as it's the kind of thing I like to do anyway and fits into my existing lifestyle. It was a short hike so it wasn't really physically challenging for me although it was a plenty rewarding experience. I always enjoy getting to see more of the landscape and the reflection and conversation with my partner's dad was enlightening and valuable.

    • Placeholder avatar for unknown participant
      amy minato 1/13/2022 9:29 AM
      Sam has your friend's dad heard about the emphasis on seaweed as a source of carbon sequestration and a use for reducing methane in cows? just curious. great photo!

    • TERRANCE MOSES's avatar
      TERRANCE MOSES 1/12/2022 7:29 PM
      Hey Sam, that looks like a great place, love the photo! Thats pretty cool that that cove isn't used too much by humans, it would make a great place to learn about the environment uninterrupted by human presence. Hopefully he'll be able to observe someday with equipment. Even though this particular hike wasn't too challenging for you, it sounds like you still got a lot out of it! 🙃