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  • Jessi Vaughan's avatar
    Jessi Vaughan 11/30/2020 12:01 PM
    For food, I decided to watch Cowspiracy with my friend Thea!

    She is staying at my house for a bit until campus is able to fill a work order in her dorm, so I figured it would be a good time to watch a food documentary. Honestly the only thing I was surprised about was how little "environmental advocates" knew, or were willing to talk about the impact of our livestock culture. There was only like one guy that would publicly comment on livestock being the root cause of 51% of the depletion on the rain forests, or how much they contributed to greenhouse gas production. A lot of these organizations just want to paint a picture that donors like, which doesn't include criticizing their diet. 

    We gotta start being honest with ourselves. Thea liked the documentary!



  • Jessi Vaughan's avatar
    Jessi Vaughan 11/24/2020 8:45 PM
    Okay for Transportation, I have actually been working on this all term. 

    OKAY. So my family doesn't have the best luck with cars. This sounds like a bad movie script, but this is all within the last five years. My brother ended up crashing his car, crashing the rental for his car, and crashing my moms car (turns out he had an undiagnosed sleeping disorder). My mom was rear ended in a camry, but no serious damage. She then passed the camry on to me ( I had been in a pt cruiser that absolutely fell apart AND WAS ALSO HIT IN THE PSU PARKING GARAGE, so I took over and made payments on the camry). THEN my mom was hit by someone driving an oil company work truck. Some not great things, and my mom is still waiting to get knee/shoulder surgery. After the camry was in my care, someone once again hit it in the PSU parking garage then drove off. THEN my grandparents got hit by a literal school bus. The driver ran the light and t-boned them (THEY ARE DOING GREAT NOW NO LONG TERM INJURIES). THEN I was in the crash in June (the camry) that I mentioned in class. Then someone hit my new (used) car while it was parked, and ran off. SO I got a rental and they fixed my car, which I got back about a month ago. Out of all of that, the only crashes that weren't the other driver's fault were my brother's.

    Anyway now that everyone is caught up, I DON'T LIKE DRIVING. It stresses me out. At the start of the year I was parking my rental on campus, because it was the fastest way to commute. After sitting on it, I realized how big of a waste of money it was to pay for parking, and I started taking the MAX. Last week I switched to the bus so that I could enjoy some morning walks. I like the extra time to think, and I only use my car for work/getting to and from my job. ALSO TRANSIT IS BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND THAT'S RAD. It took me a minute to figure out how everything works, and I have to plan extra time for travel (which I'm kinda bad at), but I'm getting the hang of it :).

    • amy minato's avatar
      amy minato 11/30/2020 10:23 AM
      wow what a story!  my daughter is learning to drive and my stress levels are going up already. cars can lead to so many unexpected crises. I have never once driven to teach my class and i am so calm and prepared when i arrive. I think about my plan while on the bus. i look out the window and chill..

  • Jessi Vaughan's avatar
    Jessi Vaughan 11/24/2020 8:21 PM
    For Water, I decided to cut down on the amount of plastic bottles I use. 

    I will be the first to admit that I can be really bad about my tea and coffee intake. Tired? Cool let me run and pick up something with caffeine. I hate admitting this, because I know they'e horrible for you, but I drink energy drinks fairly often (Hi-Ball, but still). SO this week I cut back drastically. I made my coffee at home, skipped the oat-milk matcha latte, and drank water when I would normally run and grab a tea. I found that when I have my reusable bottle on me, I am way more likely to be consistently drinking water, so that is a huge plus. It saves money, which was a plus. I was definitely missing the caffeine, but I don't think that is a bad thing. I will definitely try to remember to have my water bottle on hand, and I'll try to continue drinking *less* caffeine,

    I've thought about potentially keeping a water heater and tea bags in my instrument locker :). 

    • amy minato's avatar
      amy minato 11/30/2020 10:25 AM
      do you have access to a microwave at school/work?  i think regular coffee/tea drinks (without the sugar...) are a lot better for you than energy drinks.  I bet you will save money too


  • Diamond Quinn's avatar
    Diamond Quinn 11/24/2020 7:51 PM
    Although I personally did not install the system, my whole neighborhood has solar panels on their roofs. It's a law in California that every new house be built with solar panels. The only decision you have is whether you want to buy them or lease them. With the solar panels, there have been times where my parents receive credit since so much energy was saved they didn't have to pay for any of the electricity used that month.

    • amy minato's avatar
      amy minato 11/30/2020 10:27 AM
      we put them on our roof last year and they are really paying off, even here in cloudy Portland. but we are lucky to have southern exposure not everyone here has that

  • Czarinna Mae Posadas's avatar
    Czarinna Mae Posadas 11/24/2020 6:14 PM
    Amy suggested to invest in some rain gear so I can be able to walk more (while staying dry from Portland weather) and not rely on public transportation. I was able to go thrifting and get some decent pieces, excited to explore more of Portland before it gets colder!

    • amy minato's avatar
      amy minato 11/30/2020 10:27 AM
      Good for you Czarinna!  I got a clear umbrella for my birthday so I can walk and still see the sky..

  • Jessi Vaughan's avatar
    Jessi Vaughan 11/23/2020 8:10 PM
    For community I decided to pick up litter! 

    Where I live it isn't uncommon for houseless people to go through garbage to find bottles. This is fine, except lids tend to be left open and trash blows everywhere. SO this week I actually went and cleaned around our complex. I thought it would be a good idea to put out a separate box for bottles so that they were easier to access. I told my neighbors and it actually seems to be helping! People are able to come pick up bottles without digging through trash. The complex has been cleaner, and the bottles have consistently been cleared out every night :)

    • amy minato's avatar
      amy minato 11/24/2020 8:30 AM
      i started leaving returnables out in a bag each week and have not had a problem with litter since

  • Jessi Vaughan's avatar
    Jessi Vaughan 11/23/2020 2:59 PM
    For Ecological Principles I decided to spend 20 minutes outside a day!

    To incorporate this into my schedule I decided to take the bus instead of the MAX, and walk to bus stops that are a bit further out. Doing this not only got my time in my car cut down (driving to a park and ride), but it got me outside and walking! I actually really enjoyed my morning walks and I have decided to continue them as part of my normal routine. I have had a bit more energy in the mornings, have been able to cut back on caffeine, and it gave me a lot of time to think/prepare for the day.

    Sometimes I forget how nice it is to just exist outside.

  • Sophia Serrano's avatar
    Sophia Serrano 11/23/2020 2:47 PM
    Hey guys! This week I am going to make an effort to talk to people outside my circle about the environment. I already made progress by talking to two of my customers about waste and how to reduce it, but I want to keep the conversation going, especially with my coworkers and customers. I deleted my social media, so I feel like this is the best way to do it and still have an impact. I talk to my family often now about the environment thanks to the knowledge I've acquired in this class, but I feel like its time to have more conversations with others. 

    • amy minato's avatar
      amy minato 11/24/2020 8:32 AM
      that's awesome!  those conversations go a long way toward change

  • Misha Skinner-Gehr's avatar
    Misha Skinner-Gehr 11/22/2020 10:42 AM
    I know it's a little late, but I finally got a chance to get out of the house--away from my desk--and out onto the trails. There's a lot near my house that I want to explore, but haven't yet. The one I checked out yesterday was, not exactly a trail? There's a trail, that turns into a deer trail, and goes down into a creek bed in Terwilliger Park, and then on the other side of the ravine is another trail, but I couldn't for the life of me determine where it was or how to get onto it. So yesterday I got a little off the trail and hiked over to it. Turns out I DID know the trail, but the orientation had be all turned around. Here are some photos from my jaunt




    • amy minato's avatar
      amy minato 11/24/2020 8:33 AM
      we are so lucky to live near woods!  the path along terwilliger is a nice hike with great views

  • Aminah Kamawal's avatar
    Aminah Kamawal 11/19/2020 11:36 PM
    Hey guys! This week I was inspired by a classmate to try to generate zero plastic waste, and it sure was a challenge! I ordered some metal straws earlier in the term that arrived last week and have been putting those to good use when I get a drink outside. I didn't consider, however, the container and was left with some waste that could have been avoided had I brought my own (I'm not sure if that's an option at most coffee shops because of COVID right now, if anyone knows for sure, please let me know). The next challenge I found was with trash bags, and unfortunately, I still haven't found a substitute. Because part of my Eco Change was about staying away from the fast-food industry, I didn't end up having to throw out any containers that I normally would have prior to this term. When I went grocery shopping for a few ingredients, I brought my own cloth bag. I'm glad I made that choice because I was actually walking back from the grocery store, and so there was way less chance that the bag would have ripped open on the way. I have some medicine bottles for my vitamins that I recently finished and am trying to figure out if I can use them for soemthing else, like maybe small plant containers. 

    • amy minato's avatar
      amy minato 11/24/2020 8:35 AM
      its hard with covid and coffee shops right now. sometimes they will pour it into your container but then they might throw out the paper one anyway. there are compostable trash bags now. i agree the cloth bags are sturdier and easier to carry anyway!