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Geo Barzona's avatar

Geo Barzona

ENST 246 : Environmental Activism

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 476 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    18
    miles
    not traveled by car
  • up to
    767
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    5
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    480
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • up to
    9
    pounds of paper
    have been saved
  • up to
    108
    gallons of water
    have been saved

Geo's Actions

Create Your Own Action

Forage for My Food

I will use the resources below to find where I can forage for my own food locally.

Completed
One-Time Action

Energy

Power Down the Computer

I will power down my computer and monitor when not using it for more than 2 hours, saving up to (1.1) lbs of CO2 each day that I do this.

COMPLETED 16
DAILY ACTIONS

Transportation

Drive Less

I will cut my car trip mileage by only taking necessary trips.

COMPLETED 9
DAILY ACTIONS

Health

Happiness

I will write down three things every day that I am grateful for, or send one email every day thanking or praising someone.

COMPLETED 9
DAILY ACTIONS

Waste

Choose Two-Sided Printing

I will save up to .21 lbs (.09 kg) of paper per day by switching from one-sided printing to two-sided when I have to print documents.

COMPLETED 9
DAILY ACTIONS

Water

Conserve Toilet Water

I will save up to 12 gallons (45 L) of water a day by flushing only when necessary.

COMPLETED 9
DAILY ACTIONS

Nature

Enjoy the Sunrise/Sunset

I will enjoy the sunrise and/or sunset each day.

COMPLETED 16
DAILY ACTIONS

Energy

Adjust the Thermostat

I will adjust my thermostat down 2 degrees from usual when I use the heat, and up 2 degrees when I use air conditioning.

COMPLETED 16
DAILY ACTIONS

Energy

Switch to Cold Water

I will switch to washing my clothes in cold water, saving up to 133 lbs of CO2 a month and 1,600 lbs of CO2 over the course of the next year.

Completed
One-Time Action

Simplicity

Needs Vs. Wants

I will adopt a "Needs Vs. Wants" approach and only buy things I need.

COMPLETED 23
DAILY ACTIONS

Energy

Turn it off

I will keep lights, electronics, and appliances turned off when not using them.

COMPLETED 23
DAILY ACTIONS

Simplicity

De-Clutter My Home or Dorm Room

I will de-clutter, clean, and donate or recycle unneeded items in my home or dorm room.

COMPLETED 21
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed


  • Geo Barzona's avatar
    Geo Barzona 3/07/2019 7:34 AM
     
                The final week of the eco-challenge was a little bit easier than the third week for me personally. During the third week it got to be a lot to remember and found myself always having to check up on what all my challenges were. This week things began to become more of a habit and the only ones I really had to check up on were my most previously selected challenges. My new challenges for the week consisted of helping others, saying no to plastic straws, using reusable bottles, and exploring a new area.
                The first challenge of helping others proved to be easy as I had done this on a pretty regular basis prior to this. With being on a sports team there are a lot of younger teammates that need help on assignments. Multiple of the assignments were in classes that I had preciously took so I give them help whenever I can. I also take multiple classes with my roommate. He has trouble remembering things about assignments/when they are due, so I also find myself helping him nearly on a daily basis.
                Saying no to plastic straws was also a simple challenge for me. I never really go anywhere or get any drinks that come with plastic straws. I normally eat in the caf which uses cups or at my mod where I just use a glass. This is a challenge I can see myself making permanent as it doesn’t really require me to make much of a change. As it doesn’t require much change for me personally, it will be a step towards reducing the 500,000,000 straws uses daily in the US (plastic pollution collation, pg. 1).
                The challenge of using reusable bottles went pretty hand-in-hand with saying no to plastic straws. Mainly when I drink it’s at the caf or my mod where I only use glasses which are both reusable. If I use anything else to drink it’s my water bottle that’s provided to me by my wrestling team. I use it mainly when I’m at practice or around campus. The only struggle I would face with making this a permanent change would be when I sometimes crave a soda. Most come in bottles or cans, but it could be solved by taking my reusable bottle/mug to somewhere that allows to fill them at fountain machines.
                My final challenge of exploring a new area was definitely my favorite. I have been an outdoorsy kind of person ever since I was a young kid. Hunting and fishing are easily my favorite hobbies. With this being said, when exploring a new area, I made sure it was somewhere that allows for public hunting. The closest area was about 5 miles from campus which consisted of a good amount of state game lands. The area looked very nice and it was a great escape from my usual daily life on campus. I plan on going back to the area in the spring for spring gobbler season any chance that I get

    • Dayane Da Silva's avatar
      Dayane Da Silva 3/17/2019 5:43 PM
      Hello Geo! I’m glad and really surprised to hear that the last week of the challenge was easier for you compared to the rest. Since at the end of the unit we have added/ accumulated so many additional challenges, many people often find the last week to be more difficult. So, it is awesome to hear that you found it to be easier! Also, I am glad that many of these challenges became a habit for you, and that you didn’t need to work hard to remember them. That means that they were not only easy to complete, but there’s also a high chance that you’ll be able to incorporate these challenges into your daily life even after this unit is over.  Also, it is great that you already have the habits of doing these great and helpful challenges such as helping others and saying no to straws. Places like the 7thSt. Café and the Bison aren’t always environmentally friendly when it comes to plastic usable. So, it is great that most of the time you either drink out of a reusable cup at the cafeor your mod. Additionally, it’s great that you got to have fun with these challenges and do something that you like. Since you are an out-doorsy person, choosing the challenge to explore other areas near you must have been a lot of fun! It’s great that it made you relax and escape from the normal stress that we often encounter here on campus.
      Word Count:253

  • Geo Barzona's avatar
    Geo Barzona 2/27/2019 1:31 PM
    The challenges in week three have begun to get a bit more challenging. The number of challenges to remember has proved to be the most difficult part throughout this week. I find myself more focused on the most recently selected challenges and on multiple occasions caught myself forgetting to continue the challenges from week one. The new challenges I selected for week three was choosing two-sided printing, conserving toilet water, driving less, foraging my food, and writing down three things every day that I am grateful for. In previous weeks a good amount of the challenges were relatable to each other, but this week were of a much wider variety. 
                The first new challenge added to my list was to simply choose double-sided printing. It was a pretty simple task and its hardest part was once again remembering to do so. As professors don’t seem to mind one way or the other, it seems to be a task I could permanently adopt. As it seems extremely simple and wouldn’t make much of a difference its actually very surprising how much paper over time you could save. I find myself printing some kind of material almost every day, so this could make more of a difference in my life then I originally expected.
                The next new challenge for this week was conserving toilet water. This was a challenge a bit different then ones I had been doing and required me to venture away from a social normality. Instead of flushing every single time I used the bathroom I would only flush when I was not urinating. I thought my roommates would notice or say something about this habit, but they never mentioned anything so I’m not sure if it was simply not cared about or just ignored the action. I also wasn’t sure how much of a difference this would make, but it turns out that “if you flush every third time, you’re saving 3.2 gallons of water per night, 22.4 gallons per week, 89.6 gallons per month, and 1,075 gallons a year” (Umbra, paragraph 6). Therefore, this is a habit that I may consider making permanent in my life. The barrier I could see from achieving that would be further down my life when I have a wife. I’m not sure if I could convince her that this is a habit worth adopting. 
                Driving less was definitely the challenge that proved to be the hardest. Previously I would drive nearly everywhere I went across campus including to class, practice, and the caf. It’s just a habit that is practical and saves time in my daily routine. The challenge wouldn’t have been so difficult if I didn’t first live in the mods and second be an athlete. Three days a week my team has mandatory lifts at 6 AM. Forcing myself to walk that distance in the freezing cold that early got very old even in just one week’s time. I think I could use my car less and walk to most of my classes but cutting it out completely isn’t going to work for me. 
                My final two challenges were my most simple being to research where I can forage for my food locally and write down three things per day I am thankful for. I was surprised by the amount of options there was to consume foods on the local level. The option I will try to take advantage of the most is the weekly farmers market that is only a short distance from campus. Writing down three things I am thankful for each day made me realize how many good people and things I have surrounding/supporting me each and every day. Each of these tasks are ones I believe I can easily make permanent throughout my life. 

    • Andrew Stuhl's avatar
      Andrew Stuhl 3/01/2019 9:57 AM
      Geo, do you have a bike on campus? I would love to see a comparison of how long it takes to bike from the mods to the Graham building (using the underpass/tunnel) vs. how long it takes to drive there -- esp getting stuck at the light on 15! And, during the winter, I find that I am MUCH warmer biking than sitting in the cold car waiting for the heat to kick on! Just a thought. You could also run from the mods to lift and get your cardio/warm up done by the time you get there! :) 

  • Geo Barzona's avatar
    Geo Barzona 2/20/2019 3:10 PM
    The second week of the eco-challenge was a bit more difficult, but still pretty easy to accomplish. I chose to take on the three daily challenges of adjusting my thermostat 2 degrees lower, powering down my computer, and enjoying the sunrise/sunset each day. My new one-time challenge for the week was to switch to cold water while doing my laundry. The most difficult part was simple due to the number of things that I had to remember and keep track of. The tasks themselves weren’t hard to put in place as they were still pretty easy challenges and some of them went hand in hand with my previous ones. 
                My daily challenges throughout the week went very smoothly and I had no real difficulties completing them. Powering down my computer already was included in one of my challenges that I chose for last week which was turning off all electrical appliances while not in use. This more just helped to remind me and make this a habit in my daily life. Adjusting the thermostat was another simple and actually extremely enjoyable challenge. I’m normally known as a “warm blooded” person and am almost hot everywhere I go. My roommates like our mod to be at a temperature that is often a bit too warm for me. This gave me a better excuse to keep turning the thermostat down throughout our place. I thought they might get a little annoyed with this, but to my surprise they were both in favor of this once I explained why I was doing this. They are both in environmental related majors so this related to their beliefs strongly and made them optimistic towards the task. My third daily challenge of enjoying the sunrise/sunset was satisfying. I am up nearly every morning before the sun rises due to wrestling lifts/practices. I never really took the time to sit and watch the sun as it rose, but as I did it proved to be a peaceful and grateful way to start my day. The one-time challenge of switching to cold water for my laundry was my most difficult challenge of the week. It wasn’t switching to cold water that made it difficult, doing the laundry itself was. Since I only live 35 minutes away I normally take my laundry home and my mom does it for me. This challenge forced me to take it and do it myself at the laundromat, and that I want necessarily a fan of.
                Similar to last week, most the challenges didn’t show many major barriers into make them a permanent lifestyle change. Enjoying the sunrise/sunset is a very easy challenge to continue throughout my life. The only trouble I notices was it could create a little difficulty on the weekends as I’m probably not going to want to wake up as the sunrises every day of the week. As mentioned before, the cold-water laundry switch would only be a difficult permanent switch due to me having to do my own laundry all the time. It’s a task I just really don’t enjoy doing and will probably have to convince whoever regular does my laundry throughout my life to adopt the habit. Adjusting the thermostat is a lifestyle change that I would definitely want to make permanent. It’s both enjoyable to me, and very beneficial to the environment.” The action reduces energy consumption and contribution to greenhouse gas pollution which threatens wildlife and habitats worldwide” (Oregon Zoo).  Many species such as polar bears, bumblebees, frogs, and Pikas are all proven to benefit from making this small switch as the dependent greatly on the climate. Adopting this as a permanent habit in our society could help bring the Earths’ climate back to a more stable place and protect our animal species.

    • Dayane Da Silva's avatar
      Dayane Da Silva 3/06/2019 7:29 PM
      Hi Geo! I really enjoyed reading how your challenges were going and how you were dealing with these changes on a day to day basis. I loved the challenges you picked of adjusting your thermostat 2 degrees lower, powering down my computer, and especially the “enjoying the sunrise/sunset each day”. I can imagine how enjoying the sun rise and sunset can have such a positive outcome on your daily routine. It can really set up a time to just enjoy, be in the moment, and really be grateful for another day. It’s very admirable that you wake up so early every day, and even before the sun is even out, doing that can defiantly make you feel more at peace and a lot more relaxed especially before or after your wrestling practices. I noticed that in your challenges you mentioned that waking up early in the weekends to see the sun rise is very difficult, and I can completely imagine that it would be. The weekends are the time we get a little extra lime in our comfy beds, so having to wake up early must be a very big challenge. I know that I personally wouldn’t have been able to do that, so it is really admirable that you can do it. I’m curious if you were able to stick through it every day? As it seems like a challenging task to do for every single day and several weeks. Overall, I am glad that you are enjoying the challenges and aren’t finding them necessarily hard keep up the great work. 
        

    • Andrew Stuhl's avatar
      Andrew Stuhl 2/21/2019 6:15 AM
      Nice work Geo! I am impressed that you made time to watch the sunrise or sunset every day -- that is an awesome commitment and I'm excited to hear more about that. To be honest, I lose track of the exact time of the sunrise/sunset and it is only by happenstance that I see it. This is very different from when I lived on an island and, because the tide was crucial to navigation / transportation, I knew intimately the sun schedule and the tide schedule. It reminds me that our industrialized lives are often so disconnected with the rhythms of nature. As for future challenges, I want to encourage you to choose ones that are not already captured by existing challenges, like in this week when you chose powering down your computer (which you were already doing). I want you to push yourself and see what you can do -- similar, I imagine, to the mindset you adopt as an athlete. 

  • Geo Barzona's avatar
    Geo Barzona 2/12/2019 5:35 PM
                Overall, my first week of the ecochallenge went pretty well. My challenges I selected were pretty simple as I wanted to ease my way into this type of lifestyle with some smaller changes. The first challenge I selected was to simply turn off lights, electronics, and appliances when they were not in use. It took a couple days to get into the swing of things and make this a habit. I would often walk by the bathroom or my bedroom and notice that I had left the lights on after leaving the room. Turning the electronics off while not in use was surprisingly the easier task. It just came to my mind a lot easier after completing homework or going to bed to simply turn off my lap top/cell phone. The challenge made me realize how much I truly do leave energy consuming technologies running when they are being totally unused. The major barriers that would hold me back from making this a permanent lifestyle change is the fact that I am currently and probably always will be sharing my living space with other people. In some cases, I would make sure to turn the lights off in a room and it would be moments later before one of my roommates used the room and left them on. It would need to be a mutual agreement to me and whoever I am living with at the time to take on this habit in order to make it a permanent change or else it would get far too frustrating. Although it could be frustrating at times due to living with other people, it still is a habit I would be willing to make permanent. Not only is it better for the environment, but it also saves money. As mentioned in one of the resources, even when some devices are turned off they still continue to use energy. “These phantom energy suckers can account for as much as 20% of your monthly electricity bill” (Duke Energy). This alone is enough incentive for me to adopt this habit now as when I have to pay my own electrical bills this could be major cost reducer. I was also hesitant on rather these small changes would actually make a difference on the environment, which then led me to be a little hesitant at first on a permanent change. The reading by “Smarter House” changed my mind on this as they explained that if every US college student changed to LED bulbs we could avoid the emissions of a commercial power plant. I imagined turning appliances completely off when not in use would have a similar or even greater effect, giving me even more of an incentive. 
                My other daily challenge was to de-clutter and clean my room. This was probably the most difficult challenge for me as I tend to be pretty messy. I often leave clothes laying all around my room and this forced me to change this habit. It also encouraged me into getting rid of a lot of the clothes that I no longer wear or have grown out of. This was surprisingly nice as it freed up a lot of room in my closet and dresser. This challenge proved to have the same barriers as the one mentioned before due to sharing the space with another person. I came to conclusion in order to do either of the challenges permanently I would also have to convince whoever I’m living with to take on the challenge with me or else it would get far too frustrating. My one-time challenge was very simple and only required me to purchase some foods from a local farmers market. I could see this being something I do permanently for some foods, but not all due to being a little costly in some cases.  

    • Michael Park's avatar
      Michael Park 3/18/2019 8:23 AM
      I appreciate your research into the LED bulbs that can save energy. My family in fact has switched all the lightbulbs in the house to LED bulbs, when reports about the LED bulbs saving energy and cutting electric bills came out. I don’t exactly remember when that was, but I remember my parents ordering me and my brother to help them switch the lightbulbs in the house from the old ones to the LED bulbs. The LED bulbs, in addition to saving energy and electric bills, were also brighter than the old non-LED bulbs, so I am a big supporter for LED bulbs. I do hope that all college campuses switched to LED bulbs in dorms and buildings as well. I don’t know the exact statistics on how much energy can be saved by switching to LED bulbs, but I know for a fact that they do save energy, as I experienced it back home. 
                  I’m interested in the ‘de-cluttering’ challenge. I’m not sure if I can complete that challenge, as I love collecting things and setting them up in my room. Somehow, I find reasons for myself to consider keeping the junks justifiable to keep. My mom always yells at me to clean the junks out of my room as they only collect dust, but if I find reasons for keeping something, I would almost never throw them out. I hope that this de-cluttering challenge helped you clean your room out and really give yourself space to breathe and clean out your mind a little bit.