Skip to main content
Vanessa Martinez's avatar

Vanessa Martinez

Capstone Spring 22


  • 0 TODAY
  • 211 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    meatless or vegan meals
  • UP TO
    traveled by carpool
  • UP TO
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • UP TO
    plastic bottles
    not sent to the landfill

Vanessa's actions

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.


Consumption and Economy

Buy Only What I Need

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



Try Carpooling

I will commute by carpool 25 mile(s) each day this week and avoid sending up to 121.83 lbs of CO2 into Earth's atmosphere.



Pick Up Litter

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



Use Reusable Bottles

I will use a reusable bottle and stop purchasing bottled water, saving 2 disposable plastic bottle(s) each day this week.



Reduce Animal Products

I will enjoy 1 meatless meal(s) and/or 0 vegan meal(s) each day this week.


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.


A Call to Sustainability

Explore My Area

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


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?

  • Vanessa Martinez's avatar
    Vanessa Martinez 5/25/2022 8:49 PM
    For this week’s eco challenge, I’ve decided to complete an online energy audit of my house. The audit allowed me to view and analyze how I can save money, based on the utilities and appliances in my house. I answered the questions as best as I could, with the knowledge that I had. Based on the information I entered in, I received alternatives to devices in my house that help my family and I save energy and money. I was very surprised by the recommendations the audit gave me. With also the consideration of the amount of money I would be saving. What was also great about the website, was that it also gave saving tips and advice, based on the information I provided. There were suggestions with heating and cooling and with home electronics, which I thought were really helpful. I know personally for me, there are some bad habits that my family and I have, when it comes to how we use the energy in our house. I will definitely be sharing the information I have learned and share it with my family about saving energy.

  • Vanessa Martinez's avatar
    Vanessa Martinez 5/18/2022 10:59 PM
    For this week’s eco challenge I chose to do was the Buy Only What I Need action and only purchasing items for health and safety. This was a difficult challenge to complete for a few reasons. I’ve mentioned before how I work in retail and I do like to spend money. Therefore, it doesn’t make it easy when I am around products and my peers encourage me to purchase them. This was not the only factor I had to consider. Like I mentioned before, I would spend money on other things as well like books, food, coffee, etc. I really do like to spend money. For this week’s eco challenge, I tried to brainstorm ways that I could reduce my spending habits. Since I use my debit/credit card when I purchase items, I decided to leave it at my house, so I wouldn’t be tempted to use it. I found it to be very effective because I DID IT. I didn’t spend money on things I didn’t need. The action, like the reading mentioned, made me reflect on whether or not I really needed to purchase any of these items. I considered the positive and negative aspects of buying the said item, and had to determine if it was a “want” or a “need.” It definitely saved me money for the week, but boy, was it a difficult action to complete, at least personally for me.

  • Vanessa Martinez's avatar
    Vanessa Martinez 5/11/2022 11:28 PM
    For this week’s eco challenge, I chose to do the carpooling action. On Thursday’s, I carpool with my friend to school, since we both attend the same college and the same class. This is significant to reducing our carbon footprint, since we are driving together and not using more than one car to travel to our destination. We do this every Thursday and the occasional Tuesday’s. It usually takes us about 40-45 minutes to get to our destination and another 45-50 minutes to get back home. Sometimes, it’s a longer journey if the time we are heading back matches up with rush hour. It can be tiresome if there is a lot of traffic, especially passing through Wilsonville. I, however, find the driving to be very fun and not too bad driving with another person with me, like with my friend or even with my sister. We hold conversations and listen to music, where it is very enjoyable. This also helps so you're not alone and also reduces the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the air, if you are driving different cars. I also carpool with my sister on the days that we work together. It takes us about 10 minutes to get to our destination, depending on traffic it can be more or less. When we work on the same days and leave around the same time as each other, we usually plan on driving back home together. Since we both work at the mall (just at different stores), we can visit other stores if we have to wait for the other, until they finish their shift. 

  • Vanessa Martinez's avatar
    Vanessa Martinez 5/04/2022 9:20 PM
    For this week’s eco challenge, I’ve decided to pick up litter around my neighborhood. I had difficulty choosing which days I should work on this action, since the weather where I live can change from sun to rain within the hour. It is usually not very consistent during this season. However, on the day I settled in, it happened to be very sunny and the weather was perfect. Anyway, I made sure to have the essential supplies to help me with the action I chose for this week. I had with me two garbage bags (to separate between litter and bottles), gloves to not touch the litter directly, and a garbage/trash picker. I always thought a small actions like this can go a long way. I asked my sister if she wanted to accompany me and work on this action together, since this week's topic was about community. My sister and I walked around our neighborhood and not surprisingly, we found quite a bit of litter on the side of the road. We found a variety of litter on the side of the road such as: cardboard boxes, wrappers from food, plastic cups from fast food chains, candy wrappers (including chocolate boxes), etc. I have to say after completing this action, it personally felt good removing any litter that doesn’t belong on the ground. I feel like getting more members of the community involved will definitely show improvement and help reduce litter in the community.

  • Vanessa Martinez's avatar
    Vanessa Martinez 4/27/2022 9:12 PM
    For this week’s eco challenge, I decided to do the action, “Use Reusable Bottles.” This task wasn’t too difficult to accomplish. This is mostly because I was just switching from using plastic water bottles to using my Hydro Flask. Ever since I bought my Hydro Flask, I haven’t been using plastic bottles, which saves me from buying a packet of water for $5. To fill my water bottle, my refrigerator has a water outlet with a filter, and that's where I get my water from. I love my Hydro Flask. I take it with me everywhere now, like to school (probably have seen it) and to work, so I don’t have to buy drinks over there that's too sweet, whereas I can just have water. Like I mentioned, not only am I saving money, I am also reducing the amount of plastic bottles I use (I recycle them after I am done with them). Using plastic bottles, it would lead to me sometimes not finishing the water in them and it would be a waste if I didn't finish them, and I keep on using plastic. I do see the value of having a reusable water bottle, having any type will work just fine, as it doesn’t necessarily need to be a Hydro Flask.

  • Vanessa Martinez's avatar
    Vanessa Martinez 4/20/2022 10:34 PM
    For this week’s eco challenge, I chose to do the action Reduce Animal Products. This was engaging to participate, as well as challenging. This is due to my diet mostly consisting of having some type of meat products with my daily meals.  My goal was to have at least one meal for three days, which did not contain meat. I wanted to see how different it would be removing or altering my meat intake. And boy was it challenging and intriguing! One of my meals consisted of spaghetti, with tomato sauce and without the meat. Wasn’t too bad, yet it did feel like I was missing something. I am just used to eating my spaghetti with meat. The second dish I had was during one of my morning breakfast of having egg, with a side of rice and some fruit. Not too difficult to complete, since my morning meals typically don’t have any meat. For my final meal, I had cheese ravioli with a side of salad. These are typically dishes I have with meat products, therefore, I had my doubts when it came to substituting it with vegetables, herbs and fruit. However, it was not as bad as I thought it would be. Starting with only three meals was a small step, but I can see myself trying to do more meals in the week. Like the reading mentioned, “Cows and sheep in particular emit methane as a by-product of their digestion. Methane is at least 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.” Hence, this was information I kept in consideration when I did this challenge.      

    • Yevelina Torgonskiy's avatar
      Yevelina Torgonskiy 4/21/2022 2:36 PM
      I know the struggle of reducing meat as it's something I grew up with and still consume. As you said, it feels like something is missing in some meals. We often add mushrooms to meals because it sometimes provides a similar texture to meat. Maybe that could be a possibility for you? However, mushrooms are not everyone's favorites, and some types have unique textures that may be disgusting for some. So, it depends on if you'd like the substitute. I understand that some want to completely remove meat from their diet, but I also can understand that some will prefer to eat meat. Therefore, regenerative farming and small/local farming would be interesting to look into and make more common to regular citizens (ex. rotational grazing is good for both livestock and land).

  • Vanessa Martinez's avatar
    Vanessa Martinez 4/13/2022 9:53 PM
    Hi everyone! For this week’s eco challenge, I chose to do the action of reducing my footprint. Like we discussed in class, or rather small group discussions, I was informing my family ways we can reduce using energy. I was referring them to turning off lights when they are not in use and instead using natural lighting. Also, changing our light bulbs to one that are not as harmful as regular light bulbs, will help with how much energy we use. Same goes for turning on our heaters. Instead, I mentioned how we can use blankets if we get cold or simply put on a jacket. At first, it was kind of difficult because the weather has not been the greatest. It is cold and it tends to get darker fairly quickly, which means we want to turn on the lights. However, informing them of how we can reduce a negative impact was the first step, and creating an action that is doable is the next. My brother said he would have trouble adapting to this action. I also took a quiz, answering to the best of my ability, because I was curious where I was at on my ecological footprint. My ecological footprint was 7.0, which I believe is from not using public transportation. My CO2 emissions were about 12. This gave me a perspective of things I want to improve on. 

  • Vanessa Martinez's avatar
    Vanessa Martinez 4/06/2022 9:39 PM
    For my eco challenge, I decided to explore my area by taking a walk with my dog, as a companion. I don't usually go on walks around my neighborhood due to not setting some time to do so. However, I found it the perfect opportunity to do this action with my dog. We went around my neighborhood and we ended up at a nearby park. Overall, it wasn’t too long of a walk to the park, but I made sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothes and pack some water for both myself and my dog. Instead of using a car to get there, I walked with my dog around my neighborhood. Not only did we not waste gas from my car, which releases chemicals and toxins to the environment. I also got exercise by walking, which helped me release any stress I had from school and my personal life.
    Overall, I really enjoyed this experience and I think it went really well. I see myself continuing to do this action, and doing so will result in maybe a longer duration of walking. Any obstacles I faced were more on a personal level of not being used to walking an amount of distance. It’s been a while, so my body was not quite used to the distance walking around and going to a park to only continue walking. 

    • Olivia Carrillo's avatar
      Olivia Carrillo 4/08/2022 1:10 PM
      Hi Vanessa,
      I find going on nature walks to be great for stress relief as I also decided to participate in this eco challenge. It seemed to be very beneficial for you since it can be mentally and physically helpful. I hope you will be able to commit time to this trail, especially if you notice positive changes!