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Christina McElroy's avatar

Christina McElroy

capstone spring 21

""Gratitude and the contentment that it engenders is a radical act in a consumption driven society." - Robin Wall Kimmerer"

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 444 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    1.0
    miles
    traveled by carpool
  • up to
    3.0
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    21
    plastic bottles
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    2.0
    documentaries
    watched

Christina's Actions

A Call to Sustainability

Start a Sustainability Journal

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

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

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

Use Reusable Bottles

I will use a reusable bottle and stop purchasing bottled water, saving 3 disposable plastic bottle(s) each day this week.

Completed
One-Time Action

Transportation

Try Carpooling

I will commute by carpool 1 mile(s) each day this week and avoid sending up to (___) lbs of CO2 into Earth's atmosphere.

Completed
One-Time Action

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

Visions of Sustainability

Support a Sharing Economy

I will create or support a sharing economy with family, friends, and neighbors.

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

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

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

Food

Watch a Documentary

I will watch a documentary film about food with family and friends and talk about what we learned.

Completed
One-Time Action

Feed


  • Christina McElroy's avatar
    Christina McElroy 4/22/2021 8:41 AM
    Yesterday evening I had the amazing opportunity to listen to Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer speak. If you have not already, I HIGHLY recommended reading Braiding Sweetgrass because it beautifully weaves the ideas of respect, gratitude, and value for the environment into a beautiful basket of opportunity.

    Immersing ourselves into the intimate connection to nature and adjusting our abilities to empathize may allow us to tackle the larger issues in front of us now. Observing and identifying the juxtaposition of creationist and Natives perspectives towards land, understanding the objectivism of western science and the animacy of Indigenous science, as well as embodying the Honorable Harvest and reciprocity may help us in returning “to the privilege of breath” (Braiding Sweetgrass p. 384). 

    In her talk, she covers the topic of sustainability through two lenses: an indigenous lens (giving) and a western lens (perpetual taking).  A friend of hers explained this topic through the lens of her tribal elders. Their message was sustainability sounded to them “like they’re trying to find a way to just keep on taking. It’s always just taking. It’s not our right to keep taking. When your feet hit the ground in the morning, we should be thinking, what can we give?”

    My favorite (and most important, I feel) takeaway from her talk was the idea of treating the earth, our mother, as a giver of gifts. “When you feel grateful and in relationship to those who are giving you these gifts you have this sense of satisfaction and contentment of a sense of abundance in a way which is an antidote which seems like endless messages that we are always getting that say ‘we have to have more, we have not enough, we have to consume more in order to be happy’. Gratitude and the contentment that it engenders is a radical act in a consumption driven society.”

    If you are able to donate to SAL (Seattle Arts & Lectures) the talk link is still live. If not, there are free options for viewing as well. There is a required password: botany. (let me know if you have any trouble)

    Talk link: https://lectures.org/event/robin-wall-kimmerer/
    Braiding Sweetgrass (For Cover reference. Please support your local book stores!): https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/braiding-sweetgrass-indigenous-wisdom-scientific-knowledge-and-the-teachings-of-plants_robin-wall-kimmerer/9039161/item/10223214/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwvYSEBhDjARIsAJMn0lgaMh_mX9uxFT3FTn1BUihBliVlGsX73z1qzc9HXpcaHpATwzHmJSoaAqYSEALw_wcB#idiq=10223214&edition=8660098

    • Placeholder avatar for unknown participant
      amy minato 4/23/2021 1:41 PM
      Thank you so much for this link Christina.  Her perspective is so relevant and crucial.

  • Christina McElroy's avatar
    Christina McElroy 4/22/2021 8:11 AM
    Happy Earth Day!

    Since being mortified about learning polyester sheds microplastics in my wash, this week I have been focused on sustainable swaps & eco-conscious items in my everyday. The biggest (and I think most exciting) find that I felt would help my partner and I, was a microplastics / microfibers filter for our washing machine. When doing this research I found that there were a large variety of eco-conscious laundry items that would be great alternatives to what we currently use. A few that I found that have great reviews are:

    The Cora Ball - https://www.coraball.com/pages/getting-started
    Microfiber / Microplastics Filter - https://www.girlfriend.com/products/water-filter
    EcoNuts - https://econutssoap.com/pages/about-eco-nuts

    • Placeholder avatar for unknown participant
      amy minato 4/23/2021 1:48 PM
      thanks again for the links Christina. I am interested in learning if the cora ball works.

    • Abigail Jones's avatar
      Abigail Jones 4/22/2021 9:59 AM
      This is awesome! I've been wanting to get one of these, but I've been nervous about installing it. Would love to hear how it goes!

  • Christina McElroy's avatar
    Christina McElroy 4/14/2021 12:30 AM
    This past weekend, while having a conversation with a friend of mine, I learned that she believed recycling her cans was too difficult and she just threw them in the trash. This got me thinking and I ended up reaching out to a couple of my friends to see if they had cans they were too busy to recycle.  I gathered all the aluminum cans from my house and the homes of four of my friends to take to be recycled. I used Bottle Drop so that I could use the money & the additional 20% to purchase my next batch of groceries from Fred Meyer. (Pic is of my haul that went to BottleDrop. Only 15 bags are allowed per account per quarter and I had collected 14 bags worth!)

    Oregon Bottle Drop: https://www.bottledropcenters.com/

    After doing this, I wondered if there were any master recyclers in my areas (Clackamas County) that would be able to help me recycle a few items of mine that could not be fixed and/or donated before my move as well as places I could take items I no longer needed/used to be given a second chance.

    Below are all the resources that I found for alternatives to donating items to for-profit organizations, problematic anti-LGBT organizations, or sending them to landfills. I hope this info helps some of yall and if you have any other recommendations/suggestions please let me know.

    Oregon Metro Recycling & Garbage information - https://www.oregonmetro.gov/tools-living/garbage-and-recycling
    GI Junk Removal - https://www.gijunknw.com/
    GI Recyclable Information - https://www.oregonmetro.gov/tools-living/garbage-and-recycling/find-a-recycler/recyclers/2854

    Habitat for Humanity: Restore - https://pdxrestore.org/donate
    New Avenues for Youth - https://newavenues.org/in-kind-donations
    JOIN - https://joinpdx.org/needs/
    JOIN Partner: Community Warehouse (furniture donations) - https://www.communitywarehouse.org/give-furniture/
    Cat Thrift Store - https://catthriftstore.org/donation-guidelines/

    If there are any other places that are currently accepting donations please let me know!

    • Christina McElroy's avatar
      Christina McElroy 4/22/2021 8:11 AM
      Thank you for the recommendation! I'll definitely write that down to check out.

    • Placeholder avatar for unknown participant
      amy minato 4/15/2021 12:15 PM
      there is a group called agylix that recycles  just about anything but I'm not sure where in Portland to drop things. 

  • Christina McElroy's avatar
    Christina McElroy 4/13/2021 11:57 PM
    Some exciting news this week: My wife & I bought our first house! Since the closing process is going so quick, we have to fully be out of our rental in 30 days (ahhhh!). Because of the big move, I took this week to research renewable energy options for our new home.  Below are the two most helpful resources for those who obtain their electricity through Portland General Electric & resources to connect with Energy Trust solar trade ally contractors.

    Energy Trust of Oregon: Solar for your home - https://www.energytrust.org/incentives/solar-for-your-home/
    PGE: Clean Energy Choices for Home - https://portlandgeneral.com/energy-choices/energy-choices-home

    • Placeholder avatar for unknown participant
      amy minato 4/15/2021 12:17 PM
      wow that is exciting! now you can plant whatever you want in that yard too