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Ericka Chen's avatar

Ericka Chen

RIT Community Team

"Learning more about sustainable actions through a community challenge"

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 868 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    320
    minutes
    being mindful
  • up to
    33
    pounds of paper
    have been saved
  • up to
    37
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    660
    gallons of water
    have been saved
  • up to
    2.0
    conversations
    with people
  • up to
    146
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • up to
    50
    minutes
    spent learning

Ericka's Actions

Energy

Learn About Renewable Energy

I will spend 20 minutes learning more about renewable energy alternatives (i.e. solar, wind, biomass) in my region.

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Engage In Active Listening

I will practice actively listening to a friend, family member, co-worker, acquaintance, or someone who I may disagree with in at least 2 conversations.

Completed
One-Time Action

Health

Audit Toxic Cleaning Products

I will spend 20 minutes researching toxic chemicals found in cleaning supplies and personal care products and remove them from my home or dorm room.

Completed
One-Time Action

Health

Reduce refined sugar

I will keep track and reduce my consumption of refined sugars, including sweetened beverages, candy, and processed foods.

COMPLETED 32
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Plant an Herb Garden

I will plant an herb garden in my home, workplace, or dorm room.

Completed
One-Time Action

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 33
DAILY ACTIONS

Waste

Reduce Single-Use Disposables

Cheap, single-use items and disposable packaging end up blowing around as litter more often in poor and POC-majority neighborhoods. I will find out how I can limit single-use items and do my best to limit the waste I generate.

COMPLETED 27
DAILY ACTIONS

Simplicity

Eat Mindfully

I will eat all of my meals without distractions, e.g., phone, computer, TV, or newspaper.

COMPLETED 25
DAILY ACTIONS

Water

5-Minute Showers

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

COMPLETED 33
DAILY ACTIONS

Nature

Enjoy the Sunrise/Sunset

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

COMPLETED 26
DAILY ACTIONS

Nature

Support Local Pollinators

At least 30% of crops and 90% of flowering plants rely on pollinators to produce fruit. I will spend 20 minutes researching which plants support local native pollinators and plant some in my yard or local community garden.

Completed
One-Time Action

Feed

  • Reflection Question
    Health Audit Toxic Cleaning Products
    To what extent do environmental factors contribute to your own health or issues with health?

    Ericka Chen's avatar
    Ericka Chen 10/08/2022 12:29 PM
    The environment has an impact on your mood. Generally, when it is sunnier, you feel happier and when it's gloomy, your mood will match. Other than that, the environment determines what types of plants and animals you will see or have access to. If you have severe pollen allergies and go to a region with a lot of pollen, that will impact your health severely. 
  • Reflection Question
    Nature Support Local Pollinators
    Why is it important to take care of pollinators?

    Ericka Chen's avatar
    Ericka Chen 10/08/2022 12:28 PM
    Pollinators help create food. They spread pollen between different flowers thus resulting in fruit and this is what spreads to many aspects of our life. You see fruit almost everywhere from smoothies to milkshakes to snacks, without pollinators, most fruits would not exist. 
  • Reflection Question
    Food Plant an Herb Garden
    Consider the ways you can garden: a plot of land? a patio container? hanging basket? windowsill gardens? What would work best for your living situation and lifestyle?

    Ericka Chen's avatar
    Ericka Chen 10/08/2022 12:26 PM
    A hanging basket would likely work best for me or a small pot on the windowsill because I don't have much space in the dorm. I'm also pretty busy most of the time so a low maintenance plant would need to be considered. 
  • Reflection Question
    Waste Reduce Single-Use Disposables
    What single-use items (e.g. straws, coffee cups, vegetable bags, plastic bags) do you regularly use? What did you substitute or could be substituted instead?

    Ericka Chen's avatar
    Ericka Chen 10/01/2022 1:33 PM
    I usually use straws and although paper straws are better for the environment than plastic straws, I've still been trying to reduce my straw usage. If I decide to get a drink at a dining location, I will avoid using straws and just drink from the cup. The only exception to that is milkshakes. 
  • Reflection Question
    Water 5-Minute Showers
    Name some of the human activities impacting the health of water systems, both locally (your watershed) and globally (freshwater and oceans). What can you do to improve the health of water systems?

    Ericka Chen's avatar
    Ericka Chen 10/01/2022 1:30 PM
    Fertilizer is a big issue, especially since it encourages algae growth and eventually blocks fish from accessing resources in the water. The best way to improve water systems involving this is to encourage compost as fertilizer rather than chemical ones and to encourage polyculture
  • Reflection Question
    Waste Choose Two-Sided Printing
    Choosing two-sided printing can be an easy adjustment on your computer settings. How can you help others make this same switch? Can it be encouraged company wide?

    Ericka Chen's avatar
    Ericka Chen 10/01/2022 1:28 PM
    I think that having printers automatically set to double-sided printing would be the best option because most people aren't conscious of double or same-sided printing. At most, it might be the difference between 1 piece of paper or two. Plus, some people might just forget to edit the printing settings or might not know how to do it. 
  • Reflection Question
    Simplicity Eat Mindfully
    Mindful eating is healthier for us than eating with distractions. How do your eating experiences differ when practicing mindfulness?

    Ericka Chen's avatar
    Ericka Chen 10/01/2022 1:26 PM
    When I eat without distractions, I can keep better track of what I'm eating and when I'm eating. I don't usually eat snacks and prefer having specific meal times but when I do, I'm usually distracted which means that I finish my food slowly without taking care to understand what is on my plate. 
  • Reflection Question
    Nature Enjoy the Sunrise/Sunset
    Father Thomas Berry says, "... our primary purpose is celebration. Celebration of the dawn and the sunset and the different seasons of the year is a religious ritual, a way in which humans can establish their integral relationship with the universe, with the planet Earth." What is your response to Berry's assertion?

    Ericka Chen's avatar
    Ericka Chen 10/01/2022 1:25 PM
    I'm not religious but establishing a habit of enjoying the sunset and sunrise is very calming. I do feel at peace and more mellow during that moment. 
  • Reflection Question
    Health Reduce refined sugar
    Before you started this challenge, did you think you were 'addicted' to sugar? How do you feel now?

    Ericka Chen's avatar
    Ericka Chen 10/01/2022 1:24 PM
    I usually don't eat sugary foods despite being given a lot of them. I don't feel much difference between now and starting the challenge but I have become more mindful of sugar and what foods I shouldn't be eating too much of. 

  • Ericka Chen's avatar
    Ericka Chen 9/29/2022 7:58 AM
    I recently joined the challenge to help out the RIT Community Team and to be more aware of my own actions. I choose several actions that would be easy to change or manage daily and hope to shift to bigger actions later on.