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Addie Carns's avatar

Addie Carns

NSC Earth Week Challenge 2020

"Reduce things! Reduce waste! Reduce footprint!"

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 563 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    240
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    42
    locally sourced meals
    consumed
  • up to
    56
    meatless or vegan meals
    consumed
  • up to
    330
    minutes
    of additional sleep

Addie's Actions

Food

Try a New Way to Prep

I will try a new method of food preparation, such as canning, pickling, or baking bread.

Completed
One-Time Action

Waste

Prevent Recycling Contamination

Contamination prevents what is recyclable from being recycled. I will spend 5 minutes researching which materials are accepted by local haulers or drop stations in my community and recycle only those items.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Water

Mulch the Base of Trees and Plants

I will prevent water runoff and increase absorbency by mulching the base of plants and trees at my home or work.

Completed
One-Time Action

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 2
DAILY ACTIONS

Simplicity

Track my Purchases

I will spend 10 minutes each day maintaining a record of all my purchases and learning about my spending habits.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Simplicity

Needs Vs. Wants

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

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Transportation

Conduct Virtual Meetings

I will not travel for meetings and will instead conduct them virtually.

COMPLETED 3
DAILY ACTIONS

Health

Eliminate Toxic Plastics

I will avoid buying toxic plastics - including polycarbonate, polystyrene and polyvinyl - and instead replace them with durable non-plastic options.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Health

Healthy Sleep

Effectively working for sustainability requires self care! I will commit to getting 30 more minute(s) of sleep each night to achieve at least 7 hours per night.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Weekly Meal Planning

I will reduce food waste and save money by planning a weekly menu, only buying the ingredients I need.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Locally-Sourced Meals

I will source 3 meal(s) each day from local producers.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Reduce Animal Products

I will enjoy 2 meatless meal(s) and/or 2 vegan meal(s) each day this week.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed


  • Addie Carns's avatar
    Addie Carns 5/03/2020 9:52 AM
    It hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be to eat less meat, I'm finding that more and more often I opt for vegetarian options. It's difficult for me to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables because I have Crohn's and a lot of food allergies, so I have a lot of intolerances. I had a major Crohn's episode about 6 or 7 years ago and ever since then I've had a lot of fear about certain types of foods possibly pushing me into a flare. Over the last year or so I've been pushing myself to get out of my comfort zone of "safe foods" and try a wider variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and even trying the occasional vegetable raw (My "safe foods" are thoroughly cooked). I only just recently started eating hot sauce and salsa again! I am so happy that I've been able to safely expand my food options, because there are so many things that I've missed, but didn't even know I was missing them. I've turned a bunch of those fears into joy, and am slowly starting to love food again.
  • Reflection Question
    Simplicity Track my Purchases
    What have you noticed about your purchases? Where are you inclined to make shifts, if any?

    Addie Carns's avatar
    Addie Carns 5/03/2020 9:35 AM
    I've been budgeting regularly for many years now, but I seem to always have just enough to pay for my bills and necessities and a little bit of entertainment. I talked to a financial advisor at my credit union about budgeting, and I am on the right track. One shift that I made after that meeting was to have money moved from my checking to my savings automatically each time I get a paycheck, and make my budgets off of the leftover amount. That way, it's as if I never had that money to begin with. I'm not able to sock away as much as I would like to right now, but it's slowly growing. Soon I will be done paying off my car and student loans, and then I will be able to increase my bimonthly savings transfer. 

    Looking at how some of these different challenges affect each other, I've realized how much money I currently spend on my car, when I only regularly drive 3 days a week. I am hoping that once the Northgate lightrail station opens, and once I get comfortable with longer and all-weather rides on my E-bike, that I'll be able to sell my car. It's still really nice to be able to get out of town occasionally or go up to a trailhead, but with some advanced planning that can be done without a car as well.


  • Reflection Question
    Food Weekly Meal Planning
    An average American throws out about 240 lbs of food per year. The average family of four in the US spends $1,500 a year on food that they throw out. Does this surprise you? Where would you rather use this money?

    Addie Carns's avatar
    Addie Carns 5/03/2020 9:30 AM
    I'm trying to save money for a downpayment on a house (which in Seattle sort of feels like an unobtainable goal, but we'll see). I've always done basic weekly meal planning but I just recently started planning out roughly 2 weeks at a time, ever since the stay at home order was put in place. The trick I've found has been trying to find items that can be used across several different types of meals. One of the struggles I've faced in meal planning is that I live with someone who's tastes are quite a bit different from my own, so shopping for 2 different types of meals seems to lead to more waste in general without careful planning. 

    One of the things I'm realizing about a lot of the challenges I've picked is that depending on your approach, you can save money, but certain things also cost more when you pay the "true price" --supporting local agriculture is an example. It speaks to the need for both bottom up and top down approach to sustainability. Individuals being involved and making the right choices (consumer habits, transportation lifestyle, etc), community support, and strong leadership that implement progressive policy that supports small and large businesses that practice sustainability all have different parts to play. Ultimately, it seems like we won't get the policy if we don't demand it.
  • Reflection Question
    Health Eliminate Toxic Plastics
    What single-use items (e.g. straws, coffee cups, vegetable bags, plastic bags) do you regularly use? What could be substituted instead?

    Addie Carns's avatar
    Addie Carns 5/03/2020 9:14 AM
    Mostly wrappers for food items and product packaging. There are lots of other disposable but not exactly single-use plastics that I have noticed. Shampoo bottles, thread spools (used to be wooden!) To-go food containers. Then there's things like cell phone cases that don't universally fit, so when you need a new cell phone you need a new case. Electronics in general seem like a huge source of bad waste, especially considering the ore mining that is required for lots of the internal components. 

    But that is definitely the one that is hardest for me to figure out how to fully curb is plastics associated with the packaging on food products. (Also, floss.)
  • Reflection Question
    Waste Prevent Recycling Contamination
    What have you learned about what is accepted by local haulers for recycling, what you can drop off or ship to certain places, and what is not recyclable in your area? What is the most difficult part of recycling for you?

    Addie Carns's avatar
    Addie Carns 4/28/2020 8:56 AM
    Plastic film is no longer recyclable.. lids under 3" that aren't attached to anything aren't either. I always thought bottle caps were, but as it turns out they are not. There are lots and lots of local resources for all different kinds of recycling and reuse. Terracycle does accept lots of different plastics for recycling that normally aren't, including plastic film. The catch is that you need to have a certain amount of weight in order for the recycling impact to outweigh the shipping impact (eg: brita filters). Also, many of the recycling programs that terraform offers are actually quite expensive. What it has made me realize overall is the less plastic we can use from the start, the better. Recycling should be the last option, and not seen to be as much of an eco-friendly process as a lot of people view it.
  • Reflection Question
    Health Healthy Sleep
    Consider how many hours of sleep you get now. How would you like to shift your sleep patterns? What are you finding works for you to be successful in this action?

    Addie Carns's avatar
    Addie Carns 4/28/2020 8:39 AM
    My sleep pattern was finally relatively consistent over the last 6 months or so, but with the stress of the stay-at-home order I have fallen out of my usual pattern, which is why I chose this challenge. I am at the point where I am needing some extra help with this so at the advice of my doctor I will be trying a low dose of melatonin 30-60 minutes before bed, trying my best to not nap in the afternoon, or if I do nap keep it less than 1 sleep cycle, and I will be adding some extra steps to my bedtime routine. I already meditate (usually in the morning or afternoon) and limit my screentime in the evening, but I will be adding some extra relaxation practices to my bedtime routine as well.
  • Reflection Question
    Food Reduce Animal Products
    Why do people in richer countries eat more meat than people in other places? How does eating more meat affect our planet and other people?

    Addie Carns's avatar
    Addie Carns 4/28/2020 8:34 AM
    We subsidize the farming industry to be able to supply cheap meats on grocery shelves. The feed is also subsidized. We have massive supply chains in place that also enable this process. Animal welfare and the environment suffer as a result. Greenhouse gasses are a major concern (both from animals themselves and supply chains) as well as water consumption and water quality as a result of runoff from mismanaged high density lots. This can lead to major public health problems like the romaine and spinach E. coli outbreaks.
  • Reflection Question
    Food Locally-Sourced Meals
    If you were to only eat what is in season locally from now on, what would be the most difficult food item for you to give up? Why?

    Addie Carns's avatar
    Addie Carns 4/28/2020 8:26 AM
    Asparagus! Occasionally I eat fresh asparagus out of season.. but it just isn't the same. So it wouldn't be that challenging for me, because I often go for canned, pickled, frozen or dried things that are off-season. Love some dried fruits.. 

    Peppers would be another hard one. But they are also really good pickled!

  • Addie Carns's avatar
    Addie Carns 4/28/2020 8:17 AM
    Used my economic stimulus check to buy an E-bike. I used to commute by road bike everywhere, but now I live in a really hilly area of Seattle, and I get so sweaty. Rode it for the first time yesterday, and I am IN LOVE. Wishing I had done this years ago. Hmm.. maybe I can get rid of my car soon.. once the Northgate lightrail station opens maybe.

  • Addie Carns's avatar
    Addie Carns 4/28/2020 8:15 AM
    Trying to figure out what to do with my give-away pile during a pandemic! It is amassing to several boxes worth of things. Any ideas? I could put it out on the sidewalk for free, but I am worried it will get rained on.