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Gerda Miller's avatar

Gerda Miller



  • 0 TODAY
  • 335 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    zero-waste meals
  • UP TO
    spent outdoors

Gerda's actions

Visions of Sustainability

Eco-friendly Gardening

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


Consumption and Economy

Track my Purchases

I will maintain a record of all my purchases.



Walk Instead

I will walk 1 mile(s) each day this week instead of driving and avoid sending up to 4.56 lbs of CO2 into Earth's atmosphere.



Connect with a Nonprofit

I will connect with a local nonprofit, environmental or otherwise, and find out how I can get involved or become a member.



Learn About My Watershed

I will find local resources for learning about my watershed and the particular water issues my region faces.



Zero-Waste Cooking

I will cook 3 meal(s) with zero waste each day this week.


Ecological Principles

Practice Gratitude for Earth

This week, I will spend 30 minute(s) each day outside, practicing gratitude (prayer, meditation, journaling, etc.) for Earth and the nature surrounding me.


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?

  • Gerda Miller's avatar
    Gerda Miller 12/01/2021 2:57 AM
    This year, I collected some milkweed seeds. The seeds should be dark brown without the pod split open. To get rid of the fluff, I shook the seeds in a brown paper bag. I planted them after the first hard frost on the soil with some leaf mulch. If they germinate in the spring, the plants should thrive with lots of sunlight. I plan to get different seeds next year from a local butterfly preserve that can’t sell them due to government regulations.

    • BRIAN BEAR's avatar
      BRIAN BEAR 12/01/2021 12:27 PM
      There is a little plot of milkweed in an industrial park near us. I have been trying to help it along by distributing the seeds and hoping that the owner doesn't mow it (it's in a ditch that is hard to mow, thank goodness) I harvested some seeds for planting at home too.  I didn't realize until I tried planting them that milkweeds are perennials (duh) and they take a couple of years to get going. I got germination and growth the first year (2019) and transplanted from pots into the yard this year, and they are doing well now.  

  • Gerda Miller's avatar
    Gerda Miller 11/25/2021 1:15 PM
    My vision for a sustainable town centers on the belief that “there’s no place like home.” If you care about your community, you’ll support what it takes to keep it going. Just don’t forget about the environment when the opportunity for change happens. Finally, don’t listen to someone who sees no value in individual efforts in sustainability. Otherwise, this course was a waste of time.

  • Gerda Miller's avatar
    Gerda Miller 11/17/2021 9:17 AM
    Introducing me to Dr. Vandana Shiva’s writing is a fantastic Ecochallenge gift. She has a blog (Jivad) and has a post on what the pandemic has taught us.  She echos my belief on the importance of simplicity towards sustainable living.

  • Gerda Miller's avatar
    Gerda Miller 11/17/2021 8:00 AM
    Economics is a difficult topic for me to grasp. My main goal in life is to live below my means in order to save and stay out of debt. Can the topic of sustainability boil down to better choices in consumption?

    • Jennifer Goldschneider's avatar
      Jennifer Goldschneider 11/17/2021 12:37 PM
      Different choices about consumption would certainly have an impact on sustainability. The size of the population matters, too. Even if people only consume what is absolutely necessary to live, there is an upper limit on how many people can do even that without overtaxing the planet. However, think how much closer we could come to equity of resources if we all were committed to living that way. Of course, I don't think human nature lends itself to consuming only as much as needed to survive. Most other animals don't gain power and dominance by hoarding, the way we can.

  • Gerda Miller's avatar
    Gerda Miller 11/16/2021 3:45 PM
    My husband and I are not shoppers, and the nearest grocery store gets most of our business. Paying in cash and using a list makes us aware of the cost of things. Inflation is on the rise, but the price of food still is not as bad as it was during the first months of the pandemic. The biggest change in our food habits concerns meat. We buy less of it, but nothing seems to beat the price of a package of toilet paper. The store brand is not often on the shelf. What good is a double roll, if it doesn’t fit the roll dispenser? 

    • Jennifer Goldschneider's avatar
      Jennifer Goldschneider 11/17/2021 12:40 PM
      Now there is a cosmic question! Challenge for marketers: how to make us think we need more and bigger toilet paper rolls, even when they don't fit the standard holder!

  • Gerda Miller's avatar
    Gerda Miller 11/10/2021 3:50 AM
    I know my dog is my main motivator for walking. This activity gives me the chance to regularly exercise, get outside, and feel a part of the neighborhood. I used to drive 80 miles a day 2 days a week for work, but retirement has lessened my dependence on a car. I have a grocery store, bank, hospital, and parks all within walking distance. Life would be great, if I could get rid of doctor and dentist appointments.

  • Gerda Miller's avatar
    Gerda Miller 11/09/2021 1:51 AM
    Because of sinus issues, I will not be able to complete my ecochallenge this week. Instead, I decided to look into alternate transportation choices in my neighborhood. I’m a quarter mile from the local bike path but never realized that I can get to a great city park and the fairgrounds by walking about a mile on it one way. Then, I checked the bus routes in town. I have a stop less than a quarter mile from home. The loop is on a 1-hour schedule, and the fare is reasonable. The transit system also acts as a taxi service, but prescheduling is required. If I need to give up driving in the future, I have options.

  • Gerda Miller's avatar
    Gerda Miller 11/03/2021 2:51 PM
    I recently renewed my memberships to 3 local environmental nonprofits. I almost forgot one, but this ecochallenge reminded me. Money is the easiest way to support environmental causes, but I also go to educational programs that are required to keep their status.

  • Gerda Miller's avatar
    Gerda Miller 10/30/2021 1:18 PM
    Reflection #5
    Supporting local nature parks is important to me. I’ve seen generational use from my grandparents to my son. Guided hikes provide a means of connecting with people as well as nature. Walking in a woods is my happy place. This Tuesday, I’m voting for the local parks levy. 

    • Tammy Alverson's avatar
      Tammy Alverson 11/08/2021 5:04 PM
      We always vote for green and try to choose candidates who have green space in mind.

  • Gerda Miller's avatar
    Gerda Miller 10/27/2021 6:03 AM
    Soil and water had an interesting solution to unused pills. Instead of flushing medication down the toilet, put some water inside the pill bottle and throw in the trash. 

    I give my community a lot of credit with improving my local watershed. Two streams within a half mile of my residence have undergone restoration efforts, and the combined sewer plus stormwater line is being separated in my neighborhood. New apartments nearby required a retention pond.

    • Jennifer Goldschneider's avatar
      Jennifer Goldschneider 10/27/2021 1:11 PM
      I am so encouraged to hear that your community is taking real steps to work on water quality - and that you are aware that's happening! 
      We have a "Drug Takeback Day" in my area every few months, where you can turn in unused and expired medications. That's another way to keep those chemicals out of the water supply, and you get to recycle the bottles as well.