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Olivia Monestime's avatar

Olivia Monestime

Community Team


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Olivia's actions


Sign a Petition

I will sign a petition in support of an environmental or social initiative in my state.



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.


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.



Watch a Documentary

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


A Call to Sustainability

Explore My Area

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


A Call to Sustainability

Watch a Documentary

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


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?

  • Olivia Monestime's avatar
    Olivia Monestime 6/04/2023 5:05 PM
    Bittersweet finishing up this class. What I've really come to learn is that this topic (our earth and everything about it) applies to everyone, and that community aspect of sustainability really is the foundation of it all. The other day, I had to go meet a new dog I'm planning to watch this summer. While talking to the owner about what I'm currently doing, I shpeeled about how much this class has shifted my priorities for my science future, and that research for the climate should come first. I've been going back and forth with this idea but I was surprised to hear they reacted by saying they had been thinking the same too - to derail their current career plans to shift a focus onto the environment. I'm not sure what feeling that incited, but in a way, a weight was slightly lifted off my shoulders. Maybe because climate anxiety is a thing, and it can feel like the weight of the solution is on each of our shoulders individually (when really it should be on big corps but anyways).

    For my ecochallenge this week, I was feeling very motivated to start crafting long term changes to my life. For one, I decided to vow to never first-hand purchase fast fashion (of any kind) again. That may sound crazy to some, and totally easy to others but for someone who loves a diverse and seasonal wardrobe, this is a big shift and I may not be successful at first but it excites me. On a similar note, I helped organize a "garage-sale" for my friend as she gets ready to move. But instead of a typical garage-sale, we're planning to have a swap-exchange theme so we can reduce and reuse ; ) Small things like this make me excited to continue shifting around my mentality and involvement in consumer culture and promoting a trading-economy.

  • Olivia Monestime's avatar
    Olivia Monestime 5/27/2023 4:03 PM
    (@Vee and Amy, the nursery from my post last week was Pistils Nursery! )

    Going with the theme of the week, I chose to keep track of my purchases and limit my spending on unnecessary items. It was an unfortunate week to track my spending to say the least...I won't share the receipts or actual amounts spent for multiple reasons, but to be fair my spending's not usually like this -- or to this extent. I started off the week strong, and didn't make a single purchase until...Tuesday... BUT, I did choose eco-friendly delivery on my one-and-only online order this week. And, the item itself was also made of sustainable material!

    But, being so focused on finances this week nudged me to do some planning for my future. lol. I came to find out that you can create investment strategies specific to supporting sustainable investment funds. Looking more into this, the stock market/the economic growth that it supports, could be seen as a large part of our consumer disaster. But, it can also be a "partner" in the solution. Not getting too deep into the financial aspect of it, but just by investing in companies that support renewable energy or funds that meet ESG (environmental, social, governance) criteria, I could be supporting a sustainable economy through a different angle while also creating financial security.

    In an ideal world though, my community will be bartering and there will be no need for the stock market! And no capitalism! 😌

    • kerry mccarthy's avatar
      kerry mccarthy 5/27/2023 7:30 PM
      Yes! No stock market and no capitalism! Haha. Back to the basics and bartering. I was just thinking about all of that driving home tonight. Everything has gotten so complicated.
      Good for you for looking into planning ahead for the future.

  • Olivia Monestime's avatar
    Olivia Monestime 5/21/2023 9:59 PM
    This past week I have been enjoying the outdoors by foot more than I have in so long! Because I dog sit, I'm "forced" to explore new areas in the neighborhoods I stay in. This week I found a new park and loved the area so much I came back for a picnic at lunch the next day. Kind of like a mini "Nature Adventure", I hung out there without any sort of outside stimulation and just enjoyed the scenery and fresh air. On another walk through the neighborhood and came across the cutest nursery on Mississippi Avenue! Since I've been starting my own garden, I marked it down as another nursery to support and get advice from!

    • Vytien Phan's avatar
      Vytien Phan 5/27/2023 1:13 PM
      Wow, that it beautiful Olivia! I love this for you and that you were able to make money while doing it. I appreciate visuals. I'd also like to know the name of the nursery if you're able. Thank you for sharing, puppers is adorable as heck!

  • Olivia Monestime's avatar
    Olivia Monestime 5/14/2023 10:33 AM
    Inspired by the actions in the guiding community section, I decided to sign as many petitions as I could this week. And just all in all, being more mindful about putting my time aside to sign my name on petitions is a small change I can continue to make. The Nature Conservancy has created an online portal pretty much for available petitions to sign and actions to take part of (link below). I would urge everyone to sign at least one, it just takes a few minutes!

    • Claire Nagel's avatar
      Claire Nagel 5/14/2023 9:06 PM
      Hi Olivia! That is awesome! I will definitely be checking out that link you provided. Thanks so much!

  • Olivia Monestime's avatar
    Olivia Monestime 5/07/2023 6:15 PM
    This week has been a green-filled week for me and my household. On top of a big spring cleaning, we accumulated at least a dozen new plants to our house collection. Because of my Eco-Change Project being starting a produce garden, I've been catalyzing both of my housemates green-thumbs and sharing lots about sustainability with them. That makes me happy too because now we can make household-scale changes. For starters, we decided to no longer buy laundry detergent in bottles and cartons so we are trying out this detergent bar which can be diluted to create gallons of detergent. On top of that, it claims to not have chemicals, toxins, PFAs, etc., that affect runoff water systems. Also, because of the emphasis on Water this week, it inspired me to upgrade our water filter and am now considering filters for the showerheads but I'm not sure yet. SO all in all, I feel like I completed a few challenges this week: shared about sustainability, found a sustainable alternative for detergent, used eco-friendly cleaning products, spent lots of time gardening/potting, and was mindful about my water usage. Pretty good week!

    • Vytien Phan's avatar
      Vytien Phan 5/10/2023 3:35 PM
      Olivia, I love this progress for you! Spring cleaning is the best! Let me know how that detergent works for you. I use EarthBreeze EcoSheets and they are wonderful! I ordered in bulk and it lasted me close to a year. I am interested in other methods. Anyways, keep up the great work and have a lovely sunny weekend!

    • Ruby Nations's avatar
      Ruby Nations 5/07/2023 8:43 PM
      How cool! I've heard so much about how bad the everyday laundry detergent is for the environment and our health (and even our wallets!), but I have yet to make the switch. I'm glad you were able to make so many changes this week!

  • Olivia Monestime's avatar
    Olivia Monestime 4/30/2023 9:15 PM
    I was hoping I would finish my project before the week was over but I was unsuccessful! I decided to make a vow to myself to not buy another piece of clothing until I finish crocheting a top of my own. I did this mainly to curb my spontaneous purchases of clothing so I think I'll do this more often to kind of 'reward' myself for making my own clothing. Eventually, I'd love to have a whole wardrobe that I've made by hand, but I have also learned through research that that isn't always sustainable either. There are actually fast fashion parallels in the 'fabrics and yarn world'. So, being mindful of who I'm sourcing my yarn from is something I want to continue to take into account. It can also be expensive to make even one piece of clothing. So far, for my top, I have gone through 2.5 skeens of yarn. And they're around $10-$15 each. Keeping that in mind, it isn't necessarily cost effective to make this a permanent change for where I am currently in my life financially. But it's a goal for the future. And I enjoy it!

  • Olivia Monestime's avatar
    Olivia Monestime 4/23/2023 12:10 AM
    This week, I have been on a roll with ditching eating out, and instead making meals from home using (nearly) all local ingredients. It's been an impactful switch-up in my routine since more recently I've fallen into the habit of reaching for convenient junk food. The 2 most successful dishes of the week were my feta tomato bowtie pasta, and some savory cheddar and herb scones! I didn't make the actual pasta from scratch (maybe a future mission), but I did make the scones completely from scratch and they were delicious. I was actually inspired to make the scones because one of my favorite coffee runs in the morning consists of a $6 cheddar and jalapeno scone....which is not sustainable for my budget. So this alternative was just as good, if not better. I've started to enjoy the process of making my own food again so that's a big win for the week.

    • Randy Lucas's avatar
      Randy Lucas 4/23/2023 8:20 PM
      Hey Olivia, I also focused on cooking at home for this week. I found it fun, but it's definitely hard sometimes to make time for it. I have the same problem with the Starbucks pumpkin loaf, so reading your post makes me want to try making it myself.

    • Jayvee Velicaria's avatar
      Jayvee Velicaria 4/23/2023 10:07 AM
      Hi Olivia! That's fantastic how you're looking for different options for food where you're avoiding going out to get fast food or overly priced bakery goods. I have definitely been there... I think as college students, we need to be more mindful about the food we eat and where to get them. It's really easy to fall into the temptation of quick and cheap food that you can just pick up at a restaurant. But I think it's really important to be able to learn how to make your own meals, especially if it's from scratch. Also, those cheddar and herb scones look delicious!

  • Olivia Monestime's avatar
    Olivia Monestime 4/15/2023 10:12 PM
    This week/end I was dog sitting a pup and luckily the house was right near Laurelhurst Park which is such a huge open green space. The eco challenge I took on was to explore a new walking trail or area in my neighborhood but I added in an emphasis that I should walk for at least 45min-1hour, each walk. She was one happy pup with so many long walks each day, and I felt much better going through the day. I tend to not go out too much when I'm dog sitting, I am held accountable for getting outside. I also walked without a headphone in which I usually do while I listen to a podcast or something. I didn't really realize how often I'm stimulated by external noise throughout the day- whether its busy streets, music, tv, or videos. There was so much peace and serenity with noise being so far in the distance and only silence close by. I even heard owls on one of our evening walks and the only other group of people close by were also in awh at the sound :) On top of that, it was a good break for my body from sitting down all day. Even though I'm done dog sitting, I want to keep up with this and take walks around my beautiful neighborhood and parks.

    • Samuel Siegrist's avatar
      Samuel Siegrist 4/16/2023 9:11 PM
      I've been near that park and that's one of the good ones, I used to walk and I should get back into doing it again, its always so relaxing and fun to walk around and see different things in nature.

    • Ruby Nations's avatar
      Ruby Nations 4/16/2023 10:03 AM
      Hi Olivia,
      How wonderful you were able to get outside for some long walks this week! It can be hard for me to get outside sometimes, especially when it's cold or raining. Whenever I dog sit my neighbor's dog, however, I love that it motivates me to be out in nature and exercise, regardless of the weather. A long walk really does shift my mood and helps me recenter without the distraction of screens or noise, and I feel that I have better focus after a walk.
      Also, Laurelhurst Park is amazing!! I used to take my nanny kids there every week last summer for a walk and/or picnic.
      I hope you are able to make a habit of getting outside each day or week, and you've inspired me to do the same :)