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Ruby Nations

Community Team


  • 0 TODAY
  • 270 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    meatless or vegan meals
  • UP TO
    spent outdoors

Ruby's actions

Consumption and Economy

Track my Purchases

I will maintain a record of all my purchases.


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.



Reduce Animal Products

I will enjoy 2 meatless meal(s) and/or 1 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.


Consumption and Economy

Personal Waste Audit

I will collect all of my unrecyclable, non-compostable trash to raise my awareness of how much I send to the landfill.


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?

  • Ruby Nations's avatar
    Ruby Nations 6/04/2023 10:05 PM
    This week, I watched the Fantastic Fungi movie! I think it beautifully conveyed the remarkable interconnectedness of all living organisms through the lens of mycelium, the intricate underground network of fungal threads. What struck me the most was the film's ability to bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and spiritual connection. The ancient sculptures of the mushroom head entities were fascinating, as well as the ‘Stoned Ape’ hypothesis. It definitely sparked my curiosity to understand more about the incredible potential of fungi and their implications for various industries, including medicine, agriculture, and sustainability. The use of fungi to clean up polluted soil and water gives me hope for the future. Overall, I highly recommend this film to anyone seeking to gain a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness and beauty of the natural world we inhabit.

  • Ruby Nations's avatar
    Ruby Nations 5/26/2023 11:25 AM
    This week, I chose to maintain a record of all my purchases and attempt to buy what is only necessary for health and safety. It reminded me of a recent time in my life when I would try to challenge myself to see how long I could go in a week without spending money. This one is especially pertinent to my life right now, as I’ve had a lot of unexpected expenses lately and am going to have much more next month when I move. I need to save up as much as I can! I’m proud to have only purchased gas and groceries so far this week and will be out of town this weekend for a festival (where the expenses were already paid for about a month ago). I will admit– an obstacle to buying only things necessary for health/safety came up when I started putting snacks in my grocery cart to prepare for the weekend and realized that chips, popcorn, and energy drinks do not fit this category. LOL. This is definitely a challenge I can see myself trying in the future when money is much tighter by avoiding any junk food snacks like this for the sake of my health and to save money. I believe this can also be a part of my minimalism journey this summer when move and hopefully donate around half of what I own. In other words, I can try to eat as many whole foods as possible and cut unnecessary junk out of my diet. If only the healthy, organic food was cheaper than junk food…

    • Olivia Monestime's avatar
      Olivia Monestime 5/27/2023 4:06 PM
      I hope you enjoyed the festival Ruby! And hey, I would consider the snacks an essential for your health and safety this weekend - can't have you out of energy or passed out from no-snackage!?

  • Ruby Nations's avatar
    Ruby Nations 5/21/2023 7:19 PM
    This week, I spent at least 30 minutes outside each day practicing gratitude for Earth and the nature surrounding me. I tried to mostly do this in the morning within my first hour of waking up because there are many benefits to this like activating a natural boost of cortisol and serotonin which eventually converts to melatonin and helps you fall asleep easier at night. I sat or laid on a blanket in the grass and did some meditation while listening to the birds chirp, letting my body soak up the sun, and the wind blow through my hair. Afterward, I always felt more focused, relaxed, grounded, connected to nature, and very thankful for the sunshine and warm weather. On one of the days, I did a meditation walk and reflection which was part of my homework for my yoga class this week and wrote about how the sounds of nature, like the birds and wind rushing through the trees, are like music. It’s important to stop and simply listen in our busy lives; it truly slows the mind down. Speaking of busy lives, there were a few days I couldn’t do it in the morning, so I opted for a sunset meditation in a nearby park. There were some beautiful sunsets this week! Nature is truly incredible.

    • Olivia Monestime's avatar
      Olivia Monestime 5/21/2023 10:02 PM
      Wow those pictures are stunning and motivating me to get back into a mindful morning routine again. I hope you keep the routine up :) I definitely notice a change in my entire day/week when I start the day with meditation. Also that yoga class sounds so fun with solo assignments like that!

  • Ruby Nations's avatar
    Ruby Nations 5/14/2023 8:09 PM
    I enjoyed the beautiful weather this week and spent lots of time outside walking, playing tennis, and hanging out on the beach. My specific eco-challenge was to explore a new nature trail, so I went to the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge and it was my favorite part of the week! I started out at the visitor center talking to one of the ladies that works there about the bird nest she had just checked on and she showed me a picture of the mouse that is now making its home in one of the bird boxes. They had an incredible informational exhibit that touched on many sustainability topics we covered in class. My favorite was these "wanted" signs posted on the wall of invasive species and their adverse effects. I ended up buying a new hat there! The walk was beautiful-- I saw many baby geese, baby ducks, and a blue heron. It's definitely somewhere I will visit again, but hopefully with a pair of binoculars next time.

  • Ruby Nations's avatar
    Ruby Nations 5/04/2023 5:54 PM
    This week, I volunteered at Kindness Farm for my independent field trip. They are an immigrant, refugee, and queer-led nonprofit educational, regenerative farm. All the produce they grow is donated to organizations like Urban Gleaners and Our Streets PDX, to feed marginalized communities. We started the volunteer time with a discussion about what regenerative agriculture is and did some stretches and deep breathing to ground ourselves with the land. The two tasks I worked on were pulling weeds in a few of the beds to prepare them for the summer squash that will be planted, as well as processing cardboard (removing, tape, stickers, and staples) to get them ready to use for sheet mulching. The farm leaders, Sarah and Noah, were very friendly and knowledgeable and offered me a few different edible flowers to try! I was there from 10am-12pm, and would’ve stayed longer if the rain had let up, but unfortunately, I was drenched from head to toe by the time I left. Overall, it was a wonderful experience to connect with their farm, connect with nature, and breathe fresh air.
    Because this organization doesn’t necessarily directly align with my eco-change, I plan to supplement it by visiting Realm Refilery or any local refill store to explore more options for kitchen sustainability, including buying some bulk ingredients using containers from home!

    • Vytien Phan's avatar
      Vytien Phan 5/05/2023 6:23 PM
      That is incredibly rewarding, Ruby. I have volunteered with Urban Gleaners before so that is good news to know Kindness Farms works with them. Aw and you remembered the lead names. This sounds fun! Thanks for the visuals too!

  • Ruby Nations's avatar
    Ruby Nations 4/30/2023 4:42 PM
    This week, I chose to eat 2 meatless meals and 1 vegan meal each day. I started with the goal of limiting my meat consumption as much as possible to see if I could get through the week without having any, but I didn’t quite reach that goal. I ended up having chicken a couple of times, which I ordered when I was out and about. I normally don’t go out of my way to cook any meat products at home, and my carbon footprint was still reduced by eliminating beef. According to the textbook, the carbon footprint of beef lies around 27 kilograms of CO2 for each kilogram of meat consumed, whereas chicken is much less than that, at 6.9. To ensure I was having at least one vegan meal a day, I cut eggs out of my normal breakfast routine and mainly made avocado toast (pictured below), or granola and fruit with oat milk. My go-to for dinners is some form of pasta and salad, my favorite being this spicy vodka pasta I made this week. I will be more mindful of the food I order when I go out by looking more for meatless options, especially because the less meat I consume, the better I feel physically.

    • Olivia Monestime's avatar
      Olivia Monestime 4/30/2023 8:59 PM
      YUM Ruby these meals look delicious, nice job! It's hard to put restrictions on your diet all of a sudden so don't be hard on yourself for not being able to go completely meatless. Small steps!

    • Claire Nagel's avatar
      Claire Nagel 4/30/2023 8:28 PM
      Hi Ruby! Avocado toast is such an easy and delicious vegan option. That pasta looks great! Going for more vegan/vegetarian options is such a good idea to reduce your carbon footprint.

  • Ruby Nations's avatar
    Ruby Nations 4/23/2023 8:49 PM
    In connection to this week’s topic of ecological principles, I chose to calculate my ecological footprint using, and discuss my results with my partner to brainstorm ways to reduce my negative environmental impact. By measuring my individual impact on the earth, both locally and globally, I can target certain aspects of my life to reduce my footprint. I like the way that the video (linked on page 49 of the textbook) explained it: “...we can assess the pressure our lifestyle puts on the environment”.
    I felt guilty reading my results and was somewhat embarrassed but not shocked for someone living in the U.S. I am about to pass my personal overshoot day, and would therefore need 3.2 ‘Earths’ if everybody lived like me. I learned that Earth’s overshoot day is July 22nd! My home is the highest in the consumption category, so some solutions could be replacing our current lights with LEDs, unplugging devices when they’re not in use, and washing my laundry with cool water. I also like the idea that the textbook gives, which is researching what options are available for the sharing economy in my community. I found the NE Portland Tool Library where I can borrow gardening tools, as well as a ‘community kitchen’ in NE that is all about stretching food dollars, strengthening community ties, and resource and skill sharing. Ultimately, I hope to apply some of these solutions in my everyday life, and I’m excited to start doing so in my Eco Change project.

  • Ruby Nations's avatar
    Ruby Nations 4/16/2023 9:49 AM
    This week, I did a ‘personal waste audit’, by collecting all of my unrecyclable, non-compostable trash to raise my awareness of how much I send to the landfill. This activity stood out to me because I tend to have a good awareness of things I throw away and am sure to recycle everything possible. That’s not to say I didn’t have various moments throughout the week to humble me about how much I’ve actually avoided sending to landfills. My biggest weakness: paper towels. I found the majority of my waste was coming from the kitchen, specifically paper towels, single-use plastics, food packaging (especially when I get take-out), and non-compostable food leftovers. Thankfully, the eco-challenge helped me remember to throw all of my compostable food scraps into our compost bin, no matter how small. In the past, I tended to be lazy when it came to small food scraps and would toss them in with the rest of the trash. An obstacle I faced during this activity was my ability to collect the trash I created outside of my home, specifically when I ate out a few times (Chipotle, Starbucks, etc) and threw away the food packaging at the location. I also realized halfway through that I was not collecting/accounting for the amount of toilet paper I used throughout the week, so ideally I would find out my average use per week and mentally account for it. I was reminded about toilet paper by the zero waste TedTalk when the woman said people ask her questions like “Hey, how do you wipe your butt?” LOL. Besides raising awareness about how much I send to the landfill each week and helping me be more mindful about composting, this eco-challenge inspired my eco-change project, which will be centered around transforming my kitchen into a more sustainable space. I’ve attached a picture of the trash bag to help give an idea of the amount I’m sending to the landfill on average in a week, give or take a bit because some trash is not physically accounted for.

    • kerry mccarthy's avatar
      kerry mccarthy 4/22/2023 7:41 PM
      Oh, wow! Ruby. Great job. I'm feeling like a recycle loser though now because you are so far ahead of me, haha. I'm taking baby steps I guess. But yes, the paper towels. I am also really bad about using too many. They're like an addiction. Toilet paper. Horrible. I can't imagine how many paper towels and toilet paper this planet uses. Thanks for the informative post.

    • Samuel Siegrist's avatar
      Samuel Siegrist 4/16/2023 9:08 PM
      I thought about doing this for this week's challenge but since I wasn't super smart with my planning ill save this one til next week. From what I gathered from what you wrote this seems very like an eye-opening experience.

    • Alessandro Negrete's avatar
      Alessandro Negrete 4/16/2023 7:33 PM
      I appreciate your post, Ruby I can definitely relate to trying to be more sustainable around the kitchen. It was eye opening how waste comes from there. One thing I incorporated this week would be the use of reusable containers instead of all the plastic wrap