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Soraya Castaneda's avatar

Soraya Castaneda

amy minato

POINTS TOTAL

  • 0 TODAY
  • 0 THIS WEEK
  • 259 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    0.5
    pounds
    food waste prevented
  • UP TO
    1.1
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • UP TO
    5.0
    disposable cups
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    4.0
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    26
    gallons of water
    have been saved

Soraya's actions

Community

Connect with a Nonprofit

I will connect with a local nonprofit, environmental or otherwise, and find out how I can get involved or become a member.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Water

5-Minute Showers

I will save up to 20 gallons (75 L) of water each day by taking 5-minute showers.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Water

Say No to Plastic Straws

An estimated 71% of seabirds and 30% of turtles have been found with plastics in their stomachs. When they ingest plastic, marine life has a 50% mortality rate. By asking for no straw when placing a drink order, I will keep 1 plastic straw(s) of out of the ocean each day.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Water

Brush My Teeth Without Running Water

I will save up to 8 gallons (30 L) of water each day by turning it off while brushing my teeth.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Water

Use Reusable Bottles

I will use a reusable bottle and stop purchasing bottled water, saving 1 disposable plastic bottle(s) a day.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Water

Install a Low-Flow Showerhead

I will save up to 15 gal (56 L) of water a day or 450 gal (1,680 L) a month by installing a low-flow showerhead.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Food

Weekly Meal Planning

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

COMPLETED 1
DAILY ACTION

Food

Watch a Documentary about Food Sovereignty

I will watch 2 documentary(ies) about food sovereignty: the right of local peoples to control their own food systems including markets, ecological resources, food cultures and production methods.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Energy

Heat and Cool Naturally

I will naturally heat and cool my house, office, or dorm room by opening or closing my windows, curtains, and blinds, and by using fans.

COMPLETED 2
DAILY ACTIONS

Waste

Use Reusable Bags

If at all possible, I will not accept any disposable bags when making purchases.

COMPLETED 3
DAILY ACTIONS

Waste

Use a Reusable Mug

I will avoid sending 1 disposable cup(s) to the landfill each day by using a reusable mug.

COMPLETED 3
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 2
DAILY ACTIONS

Participant 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?


  • Soraya Castaneda's avatar
    Soraya Castaneda 2/18/2024 9:37 PM
    On Valentine's Day, my partner and I were heading out the door for a late lunch. All of a sudden, the fire alarm starts blaring as we are on our way to the parking garage. We have had a few false alarms go off in recent months with the ice and snow triggering them. For a moment, we thought it was going to be another drill and we would be fine continuing with our plans. When we made it to the parking lot, we saw that there was smoke billowing out from a unit on the 4th floor of our building. This is when a bit of panic set in. You see, our building is very pet-friendly. We are fortunate that our leasing agents and building management take the time to get to know the residents and their pets. Upon learning about the fire, two leasing agents rushed to rescue Luna, the dog of the tenant whose apartment was ablaze.

    Before the fire trucks even arrived, many of our building's residents were outside with their cats in carriers and their dogs in their arms. My partner and I took the time to check in with neighbors who looked distressed. We bonded with new neighbors we had never met and strengthened connections with people we were already friendly with. We are very fortunate that it was a minor fire that mostly affected one apartment. This week's goal of building community showed me how important it is to know more about our neighbors in case of an emergency. The dog's owner was on shift at the hospital across the street. If it hadn't been for the brave actions and knowledge of two leasing agents, I don't know if Luna would have made it out alive. I feel so fortunate that we live in a community that cares for the people and the pets that reside here. Although we missed going to brunch, it was worth it to comfort and care for those who needed it at the moment. This helped us grow closer to our community and appreciate the friends we have made so far.

    • Amy Minato's avatar
      Amy Minato 2/19/2024 3:36 PM
      what a story! sounds intense. so glad no one was hurt. it's amazing how people step in to help each other in crisis

  • Soraya Castaneda's avatar
    Soraya Castaneda 2/11/2024 9:21 PM
    This week, I challenged myself to take 5-minute showers and to find other ways to conserve water around the house. As I looked through the suggested actions, I found I already do many of the things listed regularly. We already have low-flow faucet attachments and a low-flow showerhead installed in our apartment. I was recently gifted a Brita water filter but I am looking into a stainless steel one with a ceramic filter in the future. This helps me drink more water at home and be able to take a water bottle with me instead of buying one at the convenience store. I never buy bottled water for our household but I have found that when I do buy a bottle of water, it's because I didn't plan accordingly.

    The 5-minute showers were fairly easy as I turned the water off between lathering and rinsing. I now see it like turning off the tap when I brush my teeth. There really isn't a reason why the water should be running if I'm not using it at the moment. I'm going to try and use this mindset as I use water when I do dishes, wash my hands, etc. Overall, the activities this week made me realize I do an ok job conserving water already, however, I think my biggest impact on water use is around the food and beverages I consume. I will be looking more into how I can further reduce my water use by choosing more sustainable food options in the future.

    • Amy Minato's avatar
      Amy Minato 2/12/2024 6:46 PM
      i think its wise to look at food choices to lower your waterprint since you are already careful with household use

  • Soraya Castaneda's avatar
    Soraya Castaneda 2/04/2024 9:02 PM
    My focus this week was to use ingredients I already had in my fridge, freezer, and pantry to meal prep. I supplemented with a few fresh items but overall, it was pretty doable. Last night we had spaghetti with marinara sauce and garlic bread made from some leftover rolls. Earlier in the week, my partner and I had what we call "Leftover Surprise" where we reheat our leftovers and find creative ways to make new dishes. Another one of our lunches this week was made by combining leftover chili and leftover mac and cheese to make chili mac. I used zero-waste recipe generators including SuperCook.com and MyFridgeFood to find meals I could make with things I already had on hand. Overall, it was a pretty successful and cost-effective method to prevent food waste.

    One source of food waste for us is sliced bread. I live with my partner and we struggle to go through an entire loaf of bread before it goes bad. However, tomorrow I plan on making a french toast bake or some bread pudding to prevent this loaf from going to waste. I also found some other recipes that use sliced bread as a main ingredient. We are fortunate to live in a building that has composting services available but we still try to reduce our waste as much as possible. I enjoyed getting creative in the kitchen and I plan on continuing the trend for the foreseeable future.

    • Amy Minato's avatar
      Amy Minato 2/07/2024 5:22 PM
      try making croutons with the old bread!

    • Ben Wall's avatar
      Ben Wall 2/04/2024 9:41 PM
      Hi Soraya,
      I love that there are zero-waste recipe generators; so useful. I am terrible at cooking meals using only the things that I have on hand. I typically wander around the grocery store checking out what's on sale to decide what I will cook rather than basing my decision off of what I already have. As a result, I occasionally have to throw food away and it's agonizing.

  • Soraya Castaneda's avatar
    Soraya Castaneda 1/28/2024 8:30 PM
    This week's focus on energy was a bit challenging to undertake, as apartment living doesn't allow you the most options to reduce your energy use. Right now, we do our best to keep the blinds closed to insulate our space. We also no longer use the poor in-wall heating units built into our apartment. We are fortunate to have an Energy Star-rated portable heating and cooling unit that is much more efficient. I also found that I was already doing several of the actions listed like using cold water to wash clothes, replacing traditional lightbulbs with LEDs, and turning down the thermostat in favor of bundling up. Overall, it was great to see all the new technologies that exist to help us curb our energy use and still maintain our creature comforts. In our future home, I plan on implementing even more energy-saving strategies and technologies to ensure we are not wasting valuable resources.

    • Amy Minato's avatar
      Amy Minato 1/29/2024 7:28 PM
      great that you are on this! have you ever tried drying your clothes on a drying rack? it works outside in summer and in winter near a heat source.

    • Eva Tomlinson's avatar
      Eva Tomlinson 1/29/2024 11:34 AM
      I have the same issue with having in-wall heating units that are not energy efficient. I really like the idea of finding more efficient portable heating unit, I think I will look into this.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Waste Use a Reusable Mug
    Maybe you've heard how good it is to switch from a single use coffee cup to a reusable one, but it's just hard to make the switch. What stands in your way of making this a habit? By identifying the challenges, you can begin to work through them to have better success in taking this action. Knowing the difference you are making, how does it make you feel?

    Soraya Castaneda's avatar
    Soraya Castaneda 1/21/2024 7:33 PM
    The snow and ice storm we just experienced made it easier for me to stay home and avoid going out for anything, let alone a cup of coffee. When I'm out in my neighborhood, it's convenient for me to stop by one of my favorite coffee shops and grab a cup to-go. Nowadays, I tend to make my cup at home more often than not. This is both economically and environmentally friendly. I plan to continue making coffee at home as often as possible. Additionally, I will make an effort to grab my reusable mug before I leave for the corner cafe next time. It feels good knowing I'm not contributing more waste every time I need a caffeine boost.

    • Amy Minato's avatar
      Amy Minato 1/22/2024 7:12 PM
      Soraya sounds good! does your local coffee place allow you to bring your own cup? i wish more places encouraged folks to sit and drink together in the cafe.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Simplicity De-Clutter My Home or Dorm Room
    How can you prevent yourself from accumulating more unnecessary things in the future?

    Soraya Castaneda's avatar
    Soraya Castaneda 1/12/2024 7:07 PM
    I try my best to shop around and take my time to consider the pros and cons of buying new products. The quality of the items, price, and necessity are what I think about before I make a new purchase. I'm trying to reduce my consumption of unnecessary/material things and focus more on repurposing or making do what I already have.

    • Amy Minato's avatar
      Amy Minato 1/21/2024 6:26 PM
      good plan Soraya do you have any specific items that you've been able to reduce?

    • Maranda Simpson's avatar
      Maranda Simpson 1/17/2024 3:45 PM
      Hello, Soraya! It is crazy just how much stuff we have when we sit and look at it! I moved recently (within 8 months ago) and I was shocked at how much stuff I have and literally never use, just shove into the closet or under my bed.

  • Soraya Castaneda's avatar
    Soraya Castaneda 1/12/2024 7:00 PM
    Earlier today, I took my neighbor to the local donation center. I had a bag of things I had been meaning to donate as well. I plan on decluttering my home again soon and giving away or swapping some old hobby/crafting supplies I have.