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Nino Semenak's avatar

Nino Semenak

capstone summer 21


  • 0 TODAY
  • 166 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    meatless or vegan meals

Nino's actions


Reduce Animal Products

I will enjoy 3 meatless meal(s) and/or 1 vegan meal(s) each day this week.


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.


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.


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?

  • Nino Semenak's avatar
    Nino Semenak 7/14/2021 1:16 PM
    Over this past month I have made efforts to eat mainly vegan or at the very least vegetarian. I have slipped up more than a few times, but generally I feel better when I eat like this. Last summer I ate vegan for the entire 3 months and I definitely saw the benefits of it. Unfortunately it takes more willpower and planning then I have had this year, but I tried my best anyways. I have hopes that in the future I can make this more of a lifestyle, but I often give in to the convenience of readily available food when I'm busy or distracted in one way or another. 

    • Kiet Chuc's avatar
      Kiet Chuc 7/15/2021 10:08 AM
      That does sound rough when you thinking about it. All the planning and the temptation seeing meat everywhere on the street makes it hard. I know a person who do this and he claimed that he does not even make an effort during his first year, but it's getting better when he thinks about the benefits. So I think you are in the same case like my friend. I believe you can do this.

  • Nino Semenak's avatar
    Nino Semenak 7/07/2021 11:14 PM
    I chose to do a personal waste audit because I realized that I always have enough trash to fill up a bag (granted a small bag) at the end of the day. I wanted to reflect on how that happens and substitutions I can make to stop that. Much of it is packaging and disposable paper products like paper towels. I understand that paper towels are easily substituted with rags but it's hard to get past the ideas ingrained in my thought process since childhood that say it's a lot more sanitary to use one-time use items. For instance, wiping the counter down after handling eggs or meat was always something that I have been obsessively cautious about. I've even cut those things entirely out of my diet before just because the handling of it stressed me out so much. So when I tell myself to use a reusable rag for things like that, I associate it with being unsanitary even though that isn't the case. A similar line of thought can be applied to various things that accumulate in my garbage bin. My point is that most of my trash production stems from one belief or another that I'm being cleaner or ridding myself of something, even though that is not necessarily true. 

    • Samantha Contreras Leos's avatar
      Samantha Contreras Leos 7/07/2021 11:43 PM
      Hi Nino! I recently realized a waste a lot too, especially paper towels. I have been looking into paper towel-esque rags that I feel like I really need to purchase. I think I waste like 2 rolls a week which is ridiculous. That is so much waste for usually just drying my hands and some kitchen stuff. Taking a step back and seeing just how much we waste really puts things into perspective. I am glad though we can do that and learn from it and take conscious steps to make a change. Thank you for sharing!

  • Nino Semenak's avatar
    Nino Semenak 6/30/2021 9:11 PM
    Today I had to dispose of hazardous waste for the first time in my life. I had to research a place to take an appliance that had Freon in it and if I hadn't looked into it beforehand I would've just assumed I could throw it out. Usually the appliances I have are included in the apartment I'm at and they take care of repairs and replacements, but I had a dehumidifier which no longer works that I needed to dispose of so I had to figure out what the procedure was with that and take care of it. In the process I learned about the negative effects Freon has on our environment when it is dumped in landfills and not properly removed from appliances beforehand. 

    • Kiet Chuc's avatar
      Kiet Chuc 7/01/2021 4:03 PM
      It is difficult to find places to dispose big size item as well. Usually waste companies will refused to do it and ask consumers to take it somewhere else. And some places in Goodwill are being picky about which items they can accept. Funny enough that some items I saw was not even working but they still accept. I also had a lot of dead batteries for a while, but I never know where to dispose them correctly.

    • Regina Posvar's avatar
      Regina Posvar 7/01/2021 1:56 PM
      That is interesting. I didn't know that. Thank you for sharing.

    • Nicola Bittner's avatar
      Nicola Bittner 7/01/2021 9:01 AM
      This isn't one we hear every day! Thank you for the info, Nino. It's so easy to assume that we can simply throw out anything and everything, but that's definitely not the case. Thank you so much for sharing. 

  • Nino Semenak's avatar
    Nino Semenak 6/23/2021 10:52 PM
    I don't often get outside or out on trails, although I know that the Portland area is great for that. There are a few parks and trails that I have often passed and never been on, so I chose the prompt saying to explore a new trail in the area. I went to Tryon Creek Nature Park and walked one of the shorter loops, it was pleasant and peaceful and a surprisingly massive park. 

    • Kenja Bettis's avatar
      Kenja Bettis 6/24/2021 12:29 PM
      If you email me, I can send you a map of trails in Portland. My partner works at Oregon Walks, and is constantly telling me about trails. (I think they post the trails on their website or social media pages) We have gone on a few and they were incredible. I will have to try Tryon Creek Nature Park! For Father's day, I took my partner to Scouters Mountain, although I'm not sure if that park is really accessible.