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Capstone summer 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?

  • Ellie Griffith's avatar
    Ellie Griffith 7/17/2022 8:26 PM
    For my eighth eco-challenge, I planned out my garden for my backyard. I did some research about PNW native plants and what vegetables are best to sow in the summer. Next month I'm going to plant a food garden at one end of my backyard with lettuce, carrots, and broccoli. I will also have a flower garden with Globe gilia (gilia capitata), Oceanspray (holodiscus discolor), and Pacific bleeding heart (dicentra formosa ssp. formosa). I'm looking forward to spending time outside working in my garden, making my backyard pretty, and harvesting food!

  • Bella Solorzano's avatar
    Bella Solorzano 7/16/2022 3:16 PM
    W4-Challenge 8
    The last challenge!! Well not the final but the last of this class :(
    I went to a baseball game last week and brought my reusable bottle (as per usual). I went to ask if someone could refill my bottle and all the vendors refused. They claimed it was an issue w/ "cross-contamination" while not wearing a mask nor changing gloves between customers. I was upset and asked if there was a bottle refill station to which they said no but I was welcome to use the bathroom sink water. This frustrated me b/c here I was trying to make a difference and the baseball stadium wasn't allowing it. I wrote them and email regarding maybe installing bottle refill stations w/ the idea that they could sell reusable bottles and get money that way. However, this whole thing got me thinking about COVID's effect on the sustainability but more on the use/need for single-use items. I tried going to a few coffee shops in the following days only to be met w/ a similar response. Coffee Bean said they couldn't but they gave me a big cup of water w/ no lid (no lid I guess is them limiting waste so I'll give them some props). A Starbucks drive-through employee said he wasn't supposed to but that since it was really hot outside they would. A different Starbucks said no but that I could have a cup (similar to Coffee Bean). Just interesting to think how the pandemic set us forward but also behind in our practices. Hope everyone has a great rest of their summer!!!!

  • Madison Scruggs's avatar
    Madison Scruggs 7/14/2022 11:44 AM
    For this eco challenge, I decided to create a journal of ways to stay sustainable after this class ends. I have taken ideas, tips, and discussion from class and turned it into something I can always looks at when needing inspiration. Some of these ideas are shopping from companies that don't throw away 'weird looking' produce that is perfectly fine. I've also written down some of the Saturday markets classmates have shared like the Portland night market and Portland states market. I was also able to create a journal on plants that are native to Oregon, and plants that are drought tolerant. From our field trips I was able to write down some of the fruit trees were able to grown here in Portland! Overall creating this journal allows me to look back and get creative with local opportunities! Heres a place I visited from my recommended list (thrift store):

  • Romi Watson's avatar
    Romi Watson 7/14/2022 9:37 AM
    For this ecochallenge, I decided to say "no" to all the plastic bags for my groceries and all the plastic straws for my drinks this week. Before, I'd use plastic bags for my groceries without thinking twice. The only thing that bothered me about them was the $0.05 charge for each bag, but what should've bothered me more is the impact that each plastic bag would have on the environment after I threw them away at home. I know a lot of grocery stores now advertise their plastic bags as "reusable", and I'll agree that the plastic bags have seemed to get more durable like they can be used more than once. However, my issue is that I never remember to bring them with me to the store. If I did, I'd just buy cloth tote bags rather than reuse plastic bags. It's a continuous cycle of buying plastic bags to use them only to transport my groceries home before they end up in the garbage--a mere hour of use at most. It's the same issue with plastic straws where I'd only use the straw for the duration of my drink and then it's garbage. It's wasteful and most people do these things without thinking about it. I think most people don't think about the impact of their decisions because the impact isn't right in front of their faces (i.e., landfills, polluted waterways, air pollution, etc.); out of sight, out of mind. If the problem were in our backyards, I think a lot more people would be vocal about our waste issue. We're lucky that the US has the resources to manage waste and/or send it overseas, which is morally wrong to do to people living in other less developed countries that don't have the resources to deal with it. Saying "no" to these products felt liberating to know that I wasn't contributing to sending my garbage overseas and to the escalating waste issue plaguing our planet. I went to the grocery store twice this past week and spent money on fast food a couple times. I counted and tracked how much plastic waste I'd saved on, and I saved about 10 plastic bags from my two trips to the grocery store and about 4 plastic straws from fast food drinks. I didn't take any pictures of this ecochallenge because there wasn't anything to photograph. I used my reusable water bottle and other sustainable products in place of plastic bags and straws (e.g., paper bags and drinking from the cup). Avoiding products, like plastic bags and straws, allows me to make more conscious decisions about what I buy and where it comes from. Ecochallenges like this force me to analyze my lifestyle in a different perspective and make noticeable changes that will (hopefully) last a lifetime and create intergenerational habits with my children. 

    • Madison Scruggs's avatar
      Madison Scruggs 7/14/2022 11:46 AM
      This is great Romi! I also found that this class made me analyze how I'm doing things!

  • Daniel Martin's avatar
    Daniel Martin 7/14/2022 9:06 AM
    My challenge for this week was taking public transit instead of taking a car. I take public transit most of the time if I can help it, or I just walk. This was a bit different because the main thing I needed to travel to this week was our hike at Tryon Park. It was a trip on the longer side, around 2 1/2 to 3 hours. It was 88 miles in total that I didn't take in a car. Although I did carpool with Professor Minato briefly (I appreciate it). I don't mind using transit to get around, given that I believe the use of cars are a big contributing factor to a lot of issues we face today. For instance all the infrastructure that is dedicated to cars creating impermeable spaces and making people isolated from the people in their own community. I appreciate that I live in Oregon and we have quite a bit of infrastructure for transit relative to other states, and investment in transit even in smaller towns. I think creating development around bus depots or light rail stations is a good start to creating a lot of the change we talked about in class, such as making more greenspaces, making streets a destination, using more local goods through easy access to local businesses. I am going to continue to stick to using transit if at all possible. I am going to include the route map of the bus I took to get from McMinnville to Tigard as I imagine that most people don't know that the smaller towns/counties in Oregon have their own transit systems.

  • Gabe Dicenzo's avatar
    Gabe Dicenzo 7/14/2022 5:41 AM
    For the final eco challenge I opted to participate in/create a sharing economy with friends and neighbors. I've probably said this eight times now but I'm moving here soon so we have a lot of furniture, cooking supplies, and other household items that we are looking to part with. In return for help moving we've been giving our friend's household items as compensation and I've traded some of my camping and skiing equipment for golfing stuff that will be more useful for me down in Arizona. I really like the idea of the simple barter economy as it gives a greater sense of community. I got a lot of satisfaction seeing my stuff being reused by people I care about and from keeping some waste out of the landfill. The economic benefits were much appreciated too as money seems a little tighter around moving time. If I were to to have more time I would like to set up a selling account on some online platforms to get rid of the stuff, but so far group messages and reaching out to individuals has worked well. If anybody is in the market for some stupid cheap furniture or free decor let me know! EVERYTHING MUST GO 

  • Lexi Silva's avatar
    Lexi Silva 7/13/2022 11:20 PM
    For my last eco-challenge, I decided on taking on a task I have been wanting to do for months but never really took the time and research necessary to take steps toward starting an eco-friendly garden. I have some indoor plants and I love looking after them. Though I live with my parents and they have a backyard with enough space to have a garden. I have contemplated and my parents have even encouraged me, but it's intimidating only because I am so new to it. Though with this course, and this eco-challenge, I decided to invest in tools and hope to plant some squash, peppers, and tomatoes. I am also asking around some friends who are way more committed to plants that would help with any question I might have. I feel like I have personally become more aware of my environment and what it can give me. It takes more effort and work but it's sustainable and works towards and long-lasting healthier environment for all. I am very excited to see how far I can take this mini garden!

    • Gabe Dicenzo's avatar
      Gabe Dicenzo 7/14/2022 5:33 AM
      Oh my gosh Lexi I love this. I made 4 cedear garden beds for my mom for Mothers Day one year and they're still alive bearing veggies. I care for a lot of indoor plants  now in my apartment too but I would love the space to build an outdoor garden. Good luck!!

  • Kassy Vazquez's avatar
    Kassy Vazquez 7/13/2022 10:56 PM
    For my sixth eco-challenge, I decided to research some better transportation options. One solution is cycling. There is a local group called "The Street Trust"(, whose mission is to advocate for safe, accessible, equitable, zero carbon streets. Everything they do is about expanding transportation choices to reduce dependence on solo drive trips and making roads safer for motor vehicles and other street users. They do a lot of advocacy work with different community members and are outspoken about injustices such as what happened to an Asain family on Eastbank Esplanade. They also run various clinics and events throughout the month; their calendar is on their website if anyone is interested! 

    • Lexi Silva's avatar
      Lexi Silva 7/13/2022 11:41 PM
      Hi Kassy!
      Good on you for expanding and learning more about different and more sustainable transportation options you can practice. Also, thanks for sharing about "The Street Trust" because I think local programs and groups like these help expand and influence others to also cycle. Thanks for sharing! 

  • Giovanni Simmons's avatar
    Giovanni Simmons 7/13/2022 10:37 PM
    For eco challenge eight, I decided to  do an online energy audit for my apartment & identify the next steps to saving energy. I was pleasantly surprised to see that our apartment scored a 10. At first I thought I entered data wrong but I double checked and it was all correct. To preface, we have a 1 bedroom apartment and our bills are anywhere from $30-$60 per month. I’ve realized that we don’t actually use much electricity and in places that we do, our devices are mostly energy efficient. Our apartment only uses electricity and doesn’t have gas stoves, so I only had to enter our electric bills. We have powerstrips everywhere that we have things plugged in, our light bulbs are energy star rated bulbs, and have many other efficiency factors. The building we live in is really old too, and the heating is baseboard heating which is really expensive to use from what I’ve heard, so we’ve never used it. We also don’t have air conditioning so we just  have a couple of fans that we use when it’s really hot and open up some windows. In terms of lights, we usually only have one on at a time in the evening and during the morning/afternoon we use the large East-facing windows to get natural light in. I really am curious what is causing a spike in energy use in a couple of months though. Sometimes the energy bill is double that of the previous month but we don’t really change our habits so I’m not sure what is causing this.
    My next step to save more energy is to better organize our refrigerator so it doesn’t pop open. Occasionally it cracks open a little bit which increases the energy it uses. Many of the other suggestions on the website don’t apply to me though because I live in an apartment so I can’t recycle my refrigerator or get an energy-star rated washer/dryer.

  • Kassy Vazquez's avatar
    Kassy Vazquez 7/13/2022 10:23 PM
    For my last eco-challenge, I decided to do an energy audit for my apartment. My total score was 8.6, which is not too bad, but there is always room for improvement. The website stated that I was among the top energy use performers over the last 12 months. This is great to hear because my husband and I are very cautious when it comes to not using too much electricity. When not in a room, we turn off the lights, and we do not keep the AC on continuously. However, my son gets hot VERY quickly, so sometimes we turn it on more than we would like if it were just us. We also unplug the things we are not using, such as the charger, the baby monitor, and the hatch. Once I clicked on ways that I can improve my score on the website, there were some interesting options, such as choosing an energy-star-certified TV, replacing the HVAC system, and choosing appliances that are energy-star certified. A lot of the options did not apply in my circumstance because many of the changes I am not able to make due to not owning a house.