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  • Yevelina Torgonskiy's avatar
    Yevelina Torgonskiy 5/31/2022 7:21 PM
    I tried planting some “fancier” flowers in the past, but we didn’t really have the space to get larger containers. It was also cooler and I had to keep them inside. The only room I had was in my window (with the worst lighting) and they ended up growing too tall too fast and folded over. Now there’s only a fern in my window as it doesn't need that much light and I get to have a plant in my room (and I got a fern because I named one of my budgies after the plant — both the plant and parrot are the exact same shade). Hopefully, the low light is sufficient. 

    About two weeks ago, I saw some reels/TikToks (short videos) where people were walking or riding around their local cities and sprinkling native seeds onto empty plots or pots. They even used spice shakers for easier distribution. We did something similar at the beginning of the course, but it’s harder to see the effect with only one soil clump. I thought that was fun but wanted to do it more locally and with a larger amount of seeds. I know plants native to an area do better and have a higher chance of surviving. I had multiple bags of local seeds and planted a little row of them. I also germinated a mango and put that into the ground. 

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      amy minato 6/01/2022 11:52 AM
      Yevelina  I still haven't seen that flower sprinkling tik tok but am intrigued by the idea..so many native plants are edible it could also increase local food for foragers. sweet that you have a budgie named Fern

  • Pazetive Redwood's avatar
    Pazetive Redwood 5/31/2022 9:12 AM
    I had originally decided to do an evaluation of the energy audit in my apartment, but then realized I do not have the information I needed to complete this. So, I decided to create a rainwater collection station for outdoor watering needs at my mothers place. I searched everywhere to find 50 gallon barrel to set up in her backyard and finally found one at my uncles house. He used it for holding compost but decided to make a section of his garden at the corner of his fence to be the compost pile. I took the barrel, washed it out, cleaned it thoroughly, and set it up at the top of the sloped grass in my moms backyard. I drilled a hole for a spigot and attached a valve and a hose. It started working immediately, thanks rain :)

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      amy minato 6/01/2022 11:54 AM
      Paz its always good to have some extra rainwater stored up. do you have a photo?cool that you knew how to attach a spigot. could be a good youtube how-to video?

  • Emma Russell's avatar
    Emma Russell 5/30/2022 9:53 AM
    This week, I had the amazing opportunity to volunteer with Forest Park Conservancy! I joined a restoration effort to maintain the forest by pulling invasive ivy species. It was a great experience getting involved with such a great cohort and tackling the ivy infestation. Many people who were out walking and running on the trail thanked us for our efforts, which was so kind to hear.
     
    The weeding was extremely satisfying, and I was able to connect with nature through the process. Hiking is a great way to appreciate nature, and I was surprised to experience the same appreciation while I was on my knees weeding. It made me think about how communities can be more sustainable, and I feel like giving back is one of the best ways to do that. By volunteering my time, I was giving back to the trails that provided me peace, and am helping extend the lifetime of these paths. Environmental conservation is a great way to keep the parks looking beautiful and preserve our natural forests.

    On BuildAbroad's website, they state that: "Sustainable volunteering is about ensuring that the organization you are supporting is conducting themselves in an ethical manner, from administration through to projects and monitoring their long-term impacts." I like this idea of making sure you are volunteering with an organization that is ethically providing the change you desire. Forest Park Conservancy is very transparent and is doing many great projects to better the large urban park we all love. I'm glad they provide opportunities to give back.

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      amy minato 6/01/2022 12:03 PM
      emma I have spent many hours pulling ivy and know the satisfaction it brings! not to mention the good 'ole microbes we get from the soil and exercise, etc..glad you had fun

  • Xenia Owen's avatar
    Xenia Owen 5/28/2022 8:07 PM
    I watched the documentary titled "Food, Inc." I have watched it before in my high school health class but I wanted to rewatch it. The most impactful part for me when I was in high school was the portholes. This aspect still was very hard for me to see. A porthole is a hole they make on the side of a cow so that they can see the inside of the cows' stomachs. It is so gruesome and graphic. Everytime I watch it and let alone think of it-- it reminds me to take a look at my own eating behaviors and just try to be more mindful. 

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      amy minato 6/01/2022 12:05 PM
      Xenia so many of those films are alarming. now they wont let filmakers in to see what they do in industrial cattle yards. brave of you to watch it!

  • Maya McGill's avatar
    Maya McGill 5/28/2022 3:30 PM
    This week, I was resourceful and used recycled objects to house my plants. I'm making some propagations off my Pothos plant for a friend, which I haven't done before. The other day, I got these little pudding cups I hadn't tried before from Green Zebra. They were plant based, and came in cute tiny glass jars. Normally I would recycle or throw away the packaging of my food, but the label peeled off from the jar so easily, and gave me the ides to use it for propagations.

    Normally I buy my plant pots, but I found one in the "free pile" in my apartment building. I have a small plant that needs a new pot, and it'll be perfect for it. I love that we have the option to share things instead of disposing of them right in my apartment building, and that I can tell people actually leave and take things rather than them just getting thrown away.

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      amy minato 6/01/2022 12:08 PM
      Maya its great your apartment has a free pile. so many places find this "too ugly" or too much work to maintain. its fun to find uses for food containers, especially filling them with plants!  

  • Edaena Maldonado-Vizueth's avatar
    Edaena Maldonado-Vizueth 5/27/2022 1:24 AM
    Sorry this is a bit late. This week's challenges were a bit hard! Though, I feel like promoting a sharing economy is something that I have been raised to do, and was inspired to write about. These past couple of weeks have been really hard on me and after our sustainability class today, I could tell that my professor and a lot of my classmates were also going through it, so I thought it would be nice to bring in doughnuts for the class. Sharing is something that has never come easy to me, but I always feel good after I share. This especially applies too food. I feel like I really needed that feeling today too. I am also excited to potentially join a community garden and share the hopefully bountiful harvest while connecting with the earth. I have a lot to learn about gardening be first, but sharing is pretty cool.

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      amy minato 6/01/2022 12:15 PM
      Edaena  yes i think everyone is struggling now because of the weight of the world..but we can always be kind. kindness can heal. sharing food is an elemental act of kindness and so appreciated

  • Guillermo Castillo's avatar
    Guillermo Castillo 5/26/2022 6:34 PM
    For this weeks eco-challenge I learned about the different alternatives to use for our economic measure instead of GDP. Some systems included Genuine Savings Indictor (GSI), Better Life Index (BLI), Thriving Places Index (TPI), etc. However, the economic measure that caught my eye that I decided to explore more heavily on was the Happy Planet Index (HPI). The HPI system is based on the consideration that current crises and inequalities we face in today is grounded upon all being interconnected. HPI takes into account the "sustainable wellbeing" of a country while also their capabilities to deliver long and happy life's with the limitation of the Earth's natural resources.  The three main indicators that the measure include a countries wellbeing (life satisfaction), life expectancy, and ecological footprint. What the HPI hopes to challenge is to prove it is in fact possible for an economy to provide long and happy life's to its citizens while also having infrastructure that can support itself without causing environmental harm to an extensive degree. When learning of the ranking and data of the HPI it was interesting to learn the results. Latin America countries where shown as being the top ranking countries having economies with either a wellbeing population or high life expectancies with having low ecological footprint. There are many critics of this measure metric due to the ecological footprint indicator playing a huge role in uplifting countries in Latin America who may contribute less to usage of resources but have persistent underlying socio-economic issues. However, the main point of the HPI is not entirely the measure of human happiness as it is also the happiness of the planet that has to be taken into consideration. In fact regardless of the a countries ranking, HPI has reported no countries scores high in all three indicators at the same time. I enjoyed researching this economic measure metric because we truly cannot expect to leave long and happy lives if the planet is not happy. 

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      amy minato 6/01/2022 12:18 PM
      Guillermo good job describing the different metrics. i wonder if it is possible to achieve high points in all 3 areas?  maybe long life should not necessarily be a goal....quality over quantity

  • Maya McGill's avatar
    Maya McGill 5/26/2022 2:59 PM
    Before I wrote about how my roommates are trying to grocery shop together more in order to save money and keep from wasting perishables. But lately, our schedules and appetites have aligned and we've found time to make bigger meals together. Not only is this a great excuse to spend time together, we're saving time, energy, and money by making lots of food at once. When we make our own meals, that's three pans, three plates, three mixing bowls, etc that would need to be washed. This way, we're saving water and saving on packaging when we might otherwise eat out. We also end up having leftovers, so those are meals later which we don't have to cook. It also feels easier to carve out time to cook and feed myself if I have others holding me accountable.

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      amy minato 5/26/2022 5:51 PM
      Maya I hadnt thought about how eating together saves water from dishwashing. good point!  it's also so much more fun to cook with others I think

  • Olivia Carrillo's avatar
    Olivia Carrillo 5/26/2022 12:41 PM
    Last weekend I went to a farmer market nearby and bought some vegetables to plant in my garden. Because of this, I decided to do the challenge on eco friendly gardening. With spring already here and summer just around the corner, I have been outside more trying to figure out what kind of vegetables I want to plant. Every year I always plant tomatoes and cucumbers, but this year I wanted to branch out more and try some other plants as well. I have never had peppers in my garden before so I am excited to see how those turn out! I also bought some green bean seeds and I am looking forward to these too. Gardening is one of my favorite parts about summer because everything is so fresh tasting.

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      amy minato 5/26/2022 5:53 PM
      Olivia Good luck. For some reason peppers have been hard for me to grow. Let me know if you learn any tips!

  • Tim Zimmer's avatar
    Tim Zimmer 5/26/2022 12:08 PM
    For this weeks project, i decided to continue my budgeting project of last week (since I didn't do so well), and only try and buy essentials. For this, I decided to try and not buy too many groceries, and try to make meals with what I have just sitting in my pantry (pasta, ramen, soup...etc). I kind of just buy boxes of pasta here and there and the amount of boxes i collect really just add up, so it was nice to make some room in the pantry for new items and try to stick to a budget. I also re discovered some amys soups in my cupboard which I forgot about and they tasted really good. Of course i went to the grocery store to buy pasta sauce, but I only bought ingredients that would complete meals I could make out of stuff in my pantry. Not only did I save money, but I also made tons of new space for new food.

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      amy minato 5/26/2022 5:55 PM
      Tim Every once in awhile I skip shopping for a couple weeks and just eat stuff from my cupboard. It forces a bit of creativity!