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capstone fall 22 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?

  • Lauren Meyers's avatar
    Lauren Meyers 12/03/2022 9:10 AM
    Today, I watched the story of bottled water. When thinking about bottled water, I usually worry about body of water. This mini doc, reminded me of what happens to things that get "recycled". There is so much misinformation about recycling, it is sad that so much of what we consciously and thoughtfully recycle still ends up in landfills. I wish, I would have thought of this aspect before my final project. The amount of plastic water bottles we drink in one year, can wrap the planet 5 times. This sort of analogy kind of scares me, it should and I am unsettled. I don't read many Dr. Suess books anymore to the children I watch, they have fallen out of fashion. But, I love the Lorax and was thinking about it while watching this video. "A thneed is is thing everyone needs", this amazing consumerism and capitalism has disastrous effects. It feels like science is giving us all Truffula seeds in the form of knowledge and people are trying really hard to plant them. The next thing on my list to remedy in terms of becoming more sustainable, is just investing in a soda stream. I love La Croix. It seems like, everything we fix is replaced with a new evil.
    Before I buy food at the grocery, I touch it and ask if it is going to nourish me. It is a quick response and similar to the arm thing we do with herbalist. Now, it is a working part of my brain and intuition has over come a lot of temptation. I wonder if that exercise would work with technology, or non-produce/food items? I keep just thinking, all the answers are inside us, and we just have to chart the way to them.

  • Engraver Arnold's avatar
    Engraver Arnold 11/30/2022 8:58 PM
    For this eco-challenge, I decided to buy only what I need for a week. I consider myself a pretty frugal shopper and someone who doesn't buy a lot of unnecessary things, but I actually found a lot of opportunities to buy less.
    I normally buy paper towels every couple weeks, but since I was running low I decided to use this as an opprortunity to use less paper towels on a daily basis. I decided to avoid using them whenever possible. At first, I found it annoying to use dishrags to clean up my messes and I was reminded why the convenience of paper towels makes them an attractive option. I don't have all that many so I had to wash them pretty soon. However, once I got in the habit of washing the dishrags immediately it felt like less of a hassle after a few days. I did use paper towels to clean up a few pet related messes but I realized that besides that, all the other messes in my life could actually be cleaned up without using paper towels. I have managed to make that last paper towel roll last a few weeks now, which is a huge improvement from before. It's fun to know that I'm helping the environment by throwing away less trash, and it's also cool to be able to buy less.

  • Engraver Arnold's avatar
    Engraver Arnold 11/30/2022 8:39 PM
    For this eco-challenge, I began taking daily walks to complete some of my small errands instead of driving. Most days, I drive to a cafe near my house for a coffee and a bagel. I decided to use this as an opportunity to walk instead, since it isn't very far. The first day I planned to do this, I slept in too late and didn't have time to walk. The next morning I made an extra effort to set my alarms so that I could have extra time for my morning walk. When I actually put in the effort to give myself enough time I found that it was really nice and relaxing to have a leisurely morning instead of a rushed one. The walk gave me a great chance to mentally plan for my day, and check in with myself. Oftentimes I don't really have time during my day for a mental-check in until I'm at home, so I really noticed the difference going through the rest of my day having had this mindful moment.
    I appreciated having a reason to push myself to go outside more, because even though I enjoy it it can be difficult to motivate myself. I live near Mt Tabor so there's really a lot of great places to walk around near my house with a pretty view-- after doing this exercise I will definitely push myself to take walks more regularly.

  • Engraver Arnold's avatar
    Engraver Arnold 11/30/2022 7:19 PM
    For this eco-challenge, I decided to use my daily walks as an opportunity to pick up litter on my street.
    I often see litter on the ground in my neighborhood and it makes me sad, but I have never put in the effort to do something about it before. I was surprised that it really didn't feel like work at all, since I already enjoy taking walks through my neighborhood. I brought a garbage bag with me and a rubber glove to pick things up. Weirdly, it was actually kind of fun to find pieces of trash and grab them, sort of like a scavenger hunt. By the end of my 1st walk, ,my bag was full. I was surprised how quickly I was able to accumulate trash once I started looking! Since then I've taken 3 more trash-collecting walks and it's honestly become sort of a fun activity for me. The most recent one I even convinced my roommate to come with me.
    I enjoy this activity because of the feeling that comes afterwards, of having helped clean up my neighborhood and from a selfish perspective, having the area around my house look nice and clean. I feel like I hear a lot of people (for example on Nextdoor) complaining about seeing trash in their neighborhood but who aren't willing to do anything themselves to fix it. I would recommend to those people to spend some time cleaning up their neighborhood, because it's actually not that hard and feels great!

  • Katherine Cushing's avatar
    Katherine Cushing 11/29/2022 7:25 PM
    For my eco challenge this week, I have made the decision to begin recycling my food scraps to make vegetable broth, to reduce food waste and get the most out of the produce that I buy. I actually got this idea from Francis. For the past few weeks I have been been saving scraps from produce that I cut up, that I would ordinarily throw away, and keeping them in the freezer. When I had filled a gallon bag, I made the broth. I sautéed the vegetables, then added water and spices. I let it simmer for an hour, then strained it into glass storage containers. I put them in the freezer to make a soup with in the near future.

  • Lauren Meyers's avatar
    Lauren Meyers 11/29/2022 4:44 PM
    For all of this term, I have avoided buying or using plastic bottles for water drinking. It has been tricky on days that I forgot my bottle. I spent some time being dehydrated and then, started remembering. I have only used two paper cups this term and feel like not having a coffee mug and water bottle at all times severely impacted my happiness on campus/ and at work. The convenience and how readily available cups and bottles are make it seem like a chore to bring bottles sometimes. I am happy about the times I said no to plastic, and refused my favorite gatorade. We get to make so many little choices each day, this one has pretty huge impacts.

  • Sydney Brown's avatar
    Sydney Brown 11/29/2022 8:00 AM
    For the final eco challenge, I decided to do an energy audit of my house. It was interesting to see how much energy is used in a two person household. I'm not sure if I entered in the information 100% accurately but from what I could it seemed to make sense for the apartment I live in. I have never done an energy audit before, so I might do them more often. It's nice to see the impact you're actually making.

    • Katherine Cushing's avatar
      Katherine Cushing 11/29/2022 7:33 PM
      I was thinking about doing this challenge but I found the system confusing. I think that it's cool that you were able to find that information for your household. Do you have any ideas for how to lower your usage or do you think that number is good for your household?

  • 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.

  • Frances Bigelow's avatar
    Frances Bigelow 11/26/2022 8:17 PM
    This week, the change that I've resolved to undertake is to begin composting. I've wanted to do this for a while, but haven't been able to figure out a viable way; I live in an apartment building that doesn't offer compost as part of its waste-management program. However, I live very near to some of PSU's residence halls, which have an outdoor dumpster setup, including compost bins. It's quite easy to walk over once or twice a week and deposit my compostable waste in these bins. This is my short-term solution; in the longer term, I'd like to get a proposal together and talk to my building manager about the possibility of adding compost into our community's waste program.

    • Sydney Brown's avatar
      Sydney Brown 11/29/2022 8:03 AM
      I wish I was able to compost; I live in an apartment as well and do not have access to anything. I'm glad you found a place to try composting and I hope you could get composting for your building! Thanks for sharing.

  • Colin Brock's avatar
    Colin Brock 11/26/2022 7:43 PM
    I’ve been growing my own plants for a bit now, and I wanted to branch out to something that I could actually eat. I ended up walking past a booth in front of Smith where I saw they were handing out seeds for people to grow their own food. It was a random bag of seeds, but the seeds that I got were corn. it’s a weird plant to start with, but I have a few extra pots laying around that can definitely fit the full roots of a corn plant. After starting them a week ago, both the seeds I planted are already growing strong! Corns kind of a funny thing to to start with, but I’ll definitely be branching out to a wider variety of vegetables. As of right now, I think it would be extremely funny for a friend to walk into my apartment and see a full size corn plant in the corner.