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Kim Nguyen

capstone fall 22


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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?

  • Kim Nguyen's avatar
    Kim Nguyen 11/27/2022 10:24 PM
    This week I decided to focus on implementing a sharing economy with my roommates and my family at home. I chose this challenge fro this week because a couple of weeks ago I decided to carpool with my roommates when having to commute. Because we still carpool together now for most of your daily errands, I decided to breakdown all of the things that we could share instead having our own. The first thing we started sharing was a small heater I bought from Costco. Because my roommates and I live on the same floor, most of the time one heater in the common space is enough to heat our rooms, but typically we have our own heaters in our rooms. This week we tried to see if one heater in between our rooms would keep us warm, and indeed it did. So we now only use one heater upstairs rather than two. (This is also great because our power bill last month was huge). I also started leaving my tote bags in the kitchen, so whenever we would go anywhere or grocery shopping we would have reusable bags that we could use instead of buying bags at the store. This week I also moved my desk into my roommate's office, so whenever I needed to do work I would go in there and we would share the space and light. This was nice because it felt like I was studying with people, even though it was just me typing out reports and my roommate working with his real estate clients online. This change also meant that there was less light being used in the home, which is also helping our electricity bill. We sometimes buy our groceries at Costco because its cheaper in bulk, but there are many times when the produce can go bad before we can eat all of it, so this week I portioned out what I knew we were going to use and took the rest back to my parent's house so that they could use it to ensure no potential food waste. Overall, this week was a lot of planning and portioning. However, it was quite fun to interact with my roommates more and feel more connected. This also gives me more reason to go home to my parents and visit them as well.

  • Kim Nguyen's avatar
    Kim Nguyen 11/20/2022 11:01 PM
    This week I decided to buy only what I needed for the week. This week in particular I sat down and spent a lot of time thinking about my groceries. I typically buy groceries on a weekly basis, rather than monthly. So I find it easier to calculate what I need and not over estimate. But I still catch myself buying too many groceries at a time, and I can definitely contribute this to buying groceries after class when I am very hungry. I decided to write down the meals I wanted to cook for the week and their ingredients. I actually calculated the number of portions I wanted and used that to gauge how much I should cook. I went to Winco to buy groceries, but this time rather than buying mainly packaged foods or ingredients that I may not use all of, I bought most of my ingredients from the bulk section. I also made an effort not to go to the grocery store hungry, and that helped me stay away from the snack section. I noticed that my groceries costed less than normal, and that my fridge was more empty as well. At first it kinda scared me to have a more empty fridge because I would think that I wouldn't have enough food and have to go shopping again, but in reality I actually had enough fro exactly a week. The lack of clutter in the fridge also made it easier to see my options when it came time to eat.

  • Kim Nguyen's avatar
    Kim Nguyen 11/13/2022 11:16 PM
    This week I decided to start carpooling with my roommate and landlord to save gas and to reduce CO2 emissions. Because we all live together now, it makes much more sense for us to carpool whenever necessary. I chose to do this challenge this week because I noticed how much I was spending on gas a month (around $300 a month), so I figured that I would save myself funds and help the Earth in the process. We typically do the same activities throughout the day, but we do them at different times, so the first thing we did was talk about our schedules and tried to line them up with each other as much as possible. This week we all went to the gym together at the same time in the evening. I am typically in downtown for classes while my landlord is at work, which is near campus. So I rode with him where he dropped me on campus for the day and then picked me up after he got off work. We all went grocery shopping together, which was actually very beneficial because we collaborated on meals and got what we needed without having duplicates. I also was able to use my reusable tote bags as well for our grocery shopping hehe. I typically put nearly 300 miles on my car every week, but this week I noticed I only put a bit under 200 miles on my car for the week. and have not filled up my tank yet. It was actually really fun carpooling with my roommates this week, we definitely saw each other more often and socialized much more. We don't have plans to stop doing this, so we will see how long we can sustain this!

    • Grace Lawrence's avatar
      Grace Lawrence 11/16/2022 8:52 PM
      I love that your roomates are involved in your eco challenges! Very cool to see!

  • Kim Nguyen's avatar
    Kim Nguyen 11/02/2022 8:15 PM
    For this week's challenge I decided that I would meet 2 new neighbors. I chose this challenge this week because I finally overcame my malady after a couple of weeks, moved into my new place and have not introduced myself to my new neighbors yet. After two weeks of being antisocial, I forced myself to meet my next-door neighbors. I didn't knock of their doors to introduce myself or anything, but the neighbor to my right was taking out the trash the same time I was, so I took the opportunity to say hi and introduce myself. We had a short friendly conversation about the neighborhood and he asked me about what I'm currently pursuing in my life. I explained how I am in my last year of undergrad and I am pursuing optometry. He reciprocated by wishing me luck and well in my endeavors. Today after coming home from class, I noticed the neighbor to my left taking in groceries. I introduced myself and commented on her adorable fluffy pup waiting at the door. I mentioned that I just moved in with a friend next door and she congratulated me. Both of these conversations were mainly small talk and very brief, but I've always had trouble approaching people and introducing myself. I've always been afraid of other's reactions, but I think that because I had not seen many people for the past couple weeks because I was sick I had lots of pent up social energy that was not used. And that came in handy for this week's challenge. I'm happy that I got to meet my neighbors because I feel that I have made a good impression and now I feel a bit more confident introducing myself to people. 

  • Kim Nguyen's avatar
    Kim Nguyen 10/27/2022 8:54 PM
    This week I reduced my plastic usage by using my reusable water bottle only for water, and omitted the use of plastic bags while grocery shopping/shopping in general. Since the beginning of this class, I have come to realize how wasteful my plastic usage is. From week one I got my first hydro flask to use instead of plastic water bottles. Considering my stressful living conditions, plastic water bottles were a huge convenience for me. They were easy and clean. On average I used 1-2 plastic water bottles a day. Considering the excessive amount of water it takes to make plastic and the amount of plastic that is found in our oceans, taking the small steps to reduce plastic usage is huge. This week I decided to get another hydro flask to add to my collection because I found myself having to refill my 21 ounce so quickly. I got a 32 ounce hydro flask, and I must say having something I enjoy looking at really encourages me to use it hehe. Along with using a hydro flask for my water, I started using homemade tote bags for my groceries. I have developed a new love for this because I came to realize the excessive amount of clothing I have that I do not wear anymore. I learned how to sew from my mother when I was a teen, and decided to use my old clothing and other old fabric I have to make tote bags for my groceries. It is quite rewarding to see that I am putting old items I have to use and it benefits the environment as a whole. I found true enjoyment in these small projects, even though it probably takes me much longer to complete simple stitches than others. It is a stress relieving activity that kept me sane while I've been sick this past week, and it is quite enjoyable to put them to use on my day to day errands.

    • Katherine Cushing's avatar
      Katherine Cushing 10/31/2022 11:56 AM
      Hi Kim!
      I also use a reusable water bottle and I love it. I think it's so convenient to just keep in my bag so I always have water (except for when I forget to refill it). Also, I think that it's really cool that you made your own tote bag. Did you sew it by hand or with a sewing machine?

  • Kim Nguyen's avatar
    Kim Nguyen 10/19/2022 10:31 PM
    This week I decided to reduce animal products in my meals by trying to eat at least one meatless meal a day. Because I mainly eat at home for breakfast, I decided to make my breakfasts meatless. I chose to take on this challenge this week because of my poor gut health currently brewing inside me. This challenge came at a perfect time because I wanted to incorporate more fruits and veggies into my diet. I love avocados, but sometimes I don't buy them because I don't eat them in time before they brown. So this week I bought 3 avocados and made avocado toast everyday for breakfast. I developed a new passion and love for avocado toast. I am not good at making them pretty, but I think I was able to perfect my avocado toast. I used sourdough bread from New Seasons, always added Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and a fried egg on top with a squeeze of lemon. Absolutely delightful. I also decided to incorporate smoothie bowls and smoothies into my week as well. Lots of blueberry banana smoothies, and smoothie bowls mainly topped with organic granola, fresh blueberries, bananas, and honey. I truly feel that after this week I feel healthier. I have more energy and overall just feel better, especially because I had been sick this past week as well. I definitely will continue this trend and keep up with my avocado toast and smoothie bowl collection.

  • Kim Nguyen's avatar
    Kim Nguyen 10/16/2022 11:21 PM
    This week I decided to combine two of the challenges into one. I decided to recycle everything I used and spoke to others about reducing our footprint. This week I decided to only use glass bottles if I had to buy drinks while out and about. I drank water only from my hydro flask to reduce plastic use. Because I was mainly drinking out of glass bottles, it was a lot of coffee and kombucha haha. This weekend I compiled by bottles and took them to a bottle recycling center in Milwaukie to have them recycled. My current lifestyle and my roommates' lifestyle is not very sustainable. We used lots of disposable utensils, bottles, and food containers. Because I was making a change this week my roommates questioned my actions and I took the opportunity to explain how the amount of waste that we produce is unnecessary and harmful to our environment. This conversation almost turned existentialist quick while talking about climate change and the future of our earth in our lifetime. One thing to note during this week's challenge was how often I had to take the trash out. I used to take the trash out 2-3 times a week. Granted our trash can is smaller, compared to this week I only took out the trash one time. And that was kinda nice to only take out stinky trash once. It was also nice and relieving to see that our space was less cluttered. This week felt quite rewarding because I realized the amount of waste I produced was completely unnecessary and it helped my current stressful living conditions.

  • Kim Nguyen's avatar
    Kim Nguyen 10/09/2022 10:52 PM
    This first week I decided to sign my first petition. This petition is to prevent food waste from grocery stores in Portland, Oregon. I chose this petition in particular because I feel that this topic can apply to everyone. Especially in Portland where there is a houselessness crisis, avoidable food waste is extremely harmful and can be used for better purposes. The description of the petition states that most grocery stores have extreme amounts of food waste because of the "best by" or "sell dates". Most of the food thrown out by grocery stores are no where near spoiled and can still be consumed. Grocery stores also have habit of overstocking and over ordering their stock to seem more attractive to customers and be more competitive in the industry. In the United States alone, 150,000 lbs of food waste is produced everyday. If grocery stores were to lessen their stock and donate the food that is still edible to food banks or shelters, food waste would be greatly reduced. Personally, seeing food being thrown away is very off putting for me. I grew up with extremely traditional Vietnamese parents that adopted the mindset that wasting food is a sin. Food in my household was seen as a privilege, and buying too much food, or letting food spoil was extremely frowned upon. I was fortunate enough to rarely have to worry where my next meal was coming from when I was living at home. But now that I have moved out and have to financially support myself, there are moments when I cut meals out of my day because it is more important to pay for gas than to eat lunch. To learn that there is an abundance of edible food being tossed everyday is quite frustrating especially when one is struggling to find food. Donating any potential food waste to food banks and shelters would ease the pain of those who do not have the means to eat three proper meals a day.