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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?

  • Phoebe Bock's avatar
    Phoebe Bock 5/07/2021 4:37 PM
    The economy is something I have never given much thought about so it was really intresting to read about. Here are some main points I took away from this chapter:
    The most common measure of economic progress is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which measures a nation’s economic activity. For the past sixty years GDP has been the main method for measuring people’s well being. Some problems with GDP are that it does not distinguish between spending on bad vs. good things, it does not account for the distribution of growth, it does not account for depletion of natural capital and ecosystem services, and it doesn’t reflect things that have no market price but are good for our society. Because GDP leaves out so many important things, it’s not really measuring our progress. Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) starts with GDP, however it adjusts the level growth for as many as twenty six factors of household, social, and environmental change. Over the last 50 years, a large and continuously growing gap between GDP and GPI indicates that a growing economy does not automatically mean an improved well being. There are very few things that money can’t buy these days, most everything can be bought and sold. This is a problem for two main reasons: inequality and corruption. In a society where everything is for sale, life is harder for people who don’t have much money. Putting a price on the good things in life can corrupt them. For example, if you pay kids to read they will see it as more of a chore than something fun. Putting a price on the good things in life degrades them. The climate crisis and the unemployment crisis are connected. Solving these crises separately will not solve either one. To efficiently solve them we need to solve them together. In 1949 forty percent of people’s paychecks went to food, and in 2016 that number decreased to thirteen percent. In 1949 twenty six percent of people’s paychecks were used for housing, and that price grew to thirty three percent by 2016. Apparel was twelve percent of people's paychecks back in 1949 but decreased to three percent by 2016. The cost of items have changed dramatically since 1949. We are now spending less on items that can be produced globally and more on items and services that can’t be outsourced (for example housing and healthcare). Obsolescence is the process of an item or technology being replaced, outdated, or falling out of use. It can be spontaneous or planned. Obsolescence is one of the main forces driving high levels of consumption and waste.

  • Phoebe Bock's avatar
    Phoebe Bock 5/07/2021 4:33 PM
    I never thought about the impact that Amazon's two day shipping has on the environment. I also never realized that that flying coach was a good way to lessen the carbon impact when flying. Here are some of the main points I learned in this section:
    Amazon has become the most popular online shopping center. People love the free two day shipping; it’s free and you get your stuff fast. However many people fail to consider the impact that free two day shipping has on the environment. The most polluting vehicles are used to transport those packages, which is very damaging to our planet. Instead of picking two day shipping, we could opt for slower shipping to consolidate our orders. Unfortunately, people have become dependent on this two day shipping so convincing people to opt for slower shipping would be very hard. Traveling by plane has become very popular because of how fast it is. However it’s impact on the environment. Some ways to help the environment while traveling by plane is to figure out the carbon impact of your air travel, fly less often, choose nonstop flights, fly coach, etc. As time has passed, more and more transportation systems have been developed. Cars, busses, and planes are just some of the many transportation systems. Luckily, many americans (especially under 35) are recognizing the damage that these transportation systems have on the environment, wanting a cleaner earth for the future. This has made walking become more popular. 

  • Phoebe Bock's avatar
    Phoebe Bock 4/29/2021 1:34 PM
    I never realized how much water is wasted, and how many people don't have access to safe drinking water. I also never realized how climate change affects our safe drinking water, so that was very interesting to read about. Here are the main ideas I took away from the section on water.
    More than a billion people worldwide do not have access to safe drinking water, resulting in nearly two million fatalities a year because of waterborne diseases. Due to water scarcity, pollution, and climate change, our relationship with water must change. We need to make sure everyone has access to safe drinking water in every country. Humans are made up of 70 percent water, so clean safe drinking water is essential for our survival. Since 1950, the number of major dams worldwide has grown from 5,000 to 45,000. Many rivers have dried up because water is lost through evaporation in dammed reservoirs, and then diverted and siphoned off all along the length of a river, drastically decreasing or completely stopping the flow. Water must move to live, so creating dams is doing more harm than good. Problems with water scarcity are hidden very well in water-wealthy countries, however, most of the world is in need of safe drinking water. 70 percent of our earth is covered in water, however, 97 percent of it is saltwater, much of the remaining three percent is freshwater being held in snow and glaciers, leaving about one percent available. Pollution is reducing the purity of the remaining one percent while climate change is also reducing the amount of available safe drinking water. While our amount of safe drinking water decreases, our human population increases. It is essential to educate more people on water scarcity so that we can preserve as much water as possible.  

  • Phoebe Bock's avatar
    Phoebe Bock 4/29/2021 1:29 PM
    I never realized that meat consumption affects climate change and how much water we use so greatly. I tried to go vegetarian but only lasted for a few days. I have ADHD so meat really helps me focus. However, now looking at how greatly meat consumption impacts our environment, I will work on lowering the amount of meat I eat. It also amazed me how much food we waste. I never thought about that much but now that I think back on my childhood, I wasted a lot. When my family would go out to eat my dad would hardly ever order a meal. He would just eat the leftovers from me and my sister. I always thought that was weird, but now it makes sense. Here are some of the main points I learned from the section on food. 
    Unless we cut down our meat consumption, our greenhouse gas emissions will continue to skyrocket. In three decades, emissions related to agriculture and food production are likely to account for about half of the world’s available carbon dioxide. Approximately one-third of all food produced for human consumption goes to waste, an estimated 1.3 billion tonnes of food annually. That is four times the amount required to feed the world’s 795 million hungriest people. All the energy and natural resources used for this wasted food impact the environment greatly. With all the greenhouse gases released, this makes a huge impact on climate change. The average family of four spends 15 hundred dollars a year on food that they throw out. 

  • Phoebe Bock's avatar
    Phoebe Bock 4/29/2021 1:21 PM
    I have always known that climate change is affecting our planet and that we waste huge amounts of water and food, but I never thought much about it. I didn't realize how important it is for us to take action immediately until recently. Here are some main points I took away from the "A Call To Sustainability" Section.   
    Ecosystems tend to increase in biodiversity, complexity, and overall ecological output until they eventually reach a climactic state where they are able to maintain themselves unless their integrity and balance are compromised. Starting to work towards sustainability starts with individual actions. Changing your lifestyle, such as eating less meat, reducing your waste, etc, is the easiest way to understand and interact with larger systems. We need everyone to take action to create a more sustainable world. However individual actions are not enough. We need to change policies, structures, laws, our culture, values, etc, in order to really make a change. Every living system is declining at an accelerating rate. The water, soil, and air have been poisoned; the earth is over crowded; and the temperatures have gone up. Our planet needs everyone to work together to help reverse the damage that we have done. Climate change, deforestation, water, poverty, peace, conservation, hunger, and human rights are just some of the many issues we need to work on. 

  • Gabriel McHugh's avatar
    Gabriel McHugh 4/29/2020 4:39 PM
    With the recent shelter in place orders my neighborhood has started leaving kind notes and signs out for support.  We have also begun a grocery delivery system if anyone needs it.  When this is all over I plan on joining a restoration project in a local climbing area. 

  • Lindsay Walker's avatar
    Lindsay Walker 4/29/2020 4:28 PM
    This week I went on a virtual tour of the waste recovery facilities in Tacoma. I learned that Tacoma's landfill is already full and so our garbage has to go 30 miles to a landfill in Pierce County. I also was always curious about where food waste goes and learned that it goes to Puyallup to the composting factory. I also learned that recycling goes to JMK materials in Tacoma's tideflats area. I have been curious about the Tacoma Transfer center and it was cool to learn about it. It is a leed gold certified building and while it is currently closed to the public it will be opening again May 4th. The transfer center has a drop off area for block styrofoam, all kinds of electronics, glass, packing materials and other items. There is also usually a goodwill truck there accepting donations. It was important for me to think about the Tacoma dump being full and that our current dump will also be full someday. It is a good reminder to try to repair and share things instead of throwing them away.

  • mitch pereira's avatar
    mitch pereira 4/29/2020 4:27 PM
    This week I supported a local business and bought only what I needed. Buying only what I needed was pretty easy due to the quarantine since my family has been mostly only buying groceries. But I paid more attention while grocery shopping. I slowed down and more thoroughly considered what was want versus what was a need, as well as tried to choose more conscious choices for them; such as buying organic or things in glass jars versus plastic. It was definitely pricier to make more sustainable choices, but I found it can work towards balancing out if I keep wants vs needs in mind, since I wouldn't buy somethings that I normally would. That being said, instead of shopping online or shopping at a big brand store, I shopped at my local grocery store instead.

  • Lauren Moseman's avatar
    Lauren Moseman 4/29/2020 3:49 PM
    This week I have been doing a lot of reflecting, and the cool thing about that is that is takes many forms! After last week's class and the endless horror that has been the news, I definitely let myself feel some anger and grief around that. I went on some nice walks through the quiet downtown of my town with my sister and did my best to pick up to trash when I saw it. I have avidly been watching the buds on the tree outside my window explode in growth and greenery, and have been accepting gratitude with open arms in whatever size it arrives! I I also signed a few petitions from browsing and tracking my purchases-which have been very minimal recently. Mostly, I think it all comes back to the systems-thinking and the iceberg model--everyday another piece of the puzzle is added, and it if often impossible to tangibly represent and understand your individual footprint on our one finite planet. This class has forced me to grapple with a lot of my doubts and preconceived notions about sustainability. Even though of course I love the Earth and of course I want to save the Environment but everywhere I look the piles still get larger whether I am contributing to them or not, often at the hands of faceless corporations and politicians whose hands are tied with oil-drenched money. But this class has begun to remind me: start with what you know, and hopefully the rest will follow. 

  • Evan Lebakken's avatar
    Evan Lebakken 4/29/2020 2:25 PM
    This week was a challenging one to focus on sustainability for me personally, as the semester is wrapping up and I am a graduating senior. I was able to make time to watch "Supersize Me 2" with my house one night though, which was an interesting synopsis on the changes that the fast food industry has undergone since Supersize Me came out. This documentary also featured an in-depth look into the chicken farming industry, something I found very interesting given my attendance at the Wilcox farm field trip. There was a stark contrast between what we were shown at Wilcox and what was shown in the documentary, which makes sense given the differing conditions the chickens in each place were raised in. I found this interesting especially given the popularity of chicken as a healthy meat, because the health of the actual chickens varied wildly from wilcox to the documentary. The meat industry is struggling under the conditions of the current pandemic, and I wonder how the chicken industry is being effected, along with how this upcoming meat shortage will shift the dietary culture of the US.