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Owen Concaugh's avatar

Owen Concaugh

ENST 246: Fall 2020

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 842 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    15
    miles
    not traveled by car
  • up to
    11
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    1
    energy audits
    conducted
  • up to
    840
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    23
    locally sourced meals
    consumed
  • up to
    65
    minutes
    being mindful
  • up to
    300
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • up to
    3
    pounds of paper
    have been saved
  • up to
    7
    plastic straws
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    108
    more servings
    of fruits and vegetables
  • up to
    500
    gallons of water
    have been saved

Owen's Actions

Waste

Go Paperless

I will reduce the amount of paper mail that I receive by 0.11lbs (0.05kg) a day or 3.3lbs (1.6kg) a month by opting into paperless billing, ending unwanted subscriptions and opting out of junk mail.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Meet My Local Farmers

I will visit my nearest farm to find out who produces my food, and will learn about the quality of life of those around the world who produce my food in order to make better choices when I shop.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

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 5
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 5
DAILY ACTIONS

Energy

Online Energy Audit

I will complete an online energy audit of my home, office, or dorm room and identify my next steps for saving energy.

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Justice for the Whole Community

LEARN ABOUT TRANS, FEMME, AND NONBINARY EXPERIENCES

I will spend 60 minutes learning about the experiences of trans, femme, and/or nonbinary people.

Completed
One-Time Action

Nature

Practice Gratitude for Earth

I will spend 10 minute(s) per day outside, practicing gratitude (prayer, meditation, journaling, etc.) for Earth and my natural surroundings.

COMPLETED 5
DAILY ACTIONS

Energy

Turn it off

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

COMPLETED 19
DAILY ACTIONS

Transportation

Drive Less

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

COMPLETED 10
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

SIGN UP TO VOTE

I will make sure I’m registered to vote. While I’m at it, I’ll sign up to help others register too!

Completed
One-Time Action

Health

Audit Toxic Cleaning Products

I will spend 60 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

Water

5-Minute Showers

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

COMPLETED 23
DAILY ACTIONS

Simplicity

Meditate

I will meditate or create a moment of silence for 5 minute(s) each day to reflect on things important to me.

COMPLETED 13
DAILY ACTIONS

Health

More Fruits and Veggies

I will eat a heart healthy diet by adding 2 cup(s) of fruits and vegetables each day to achieve at least 4 cups per day.

COMPLETED 32
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Buy From a Farmers Market

I will purchase produce and meat from a local farmers market or food co-op.

COMPLETED 14
DAILY ACTIONS

Waste

Prevent Recycling Contamination

Contamination prevents what is recyclable from being recycled. I will spend 60 minutes researching which materials are accepted by local haulers or drop stations in my community and recycle only those items.

COMPLETED 22
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed


  • Owen Concaugh's avatar
    Owen Concaugh 9/21/2020 9:05 AM
    My past daily challenges have become part of my daily routine and are becoming very easy. The only one that has been tripping me up a little bit is remembering to meditate, I usually still do it; however, I would like to do it in the mornings and I have forgotten to do it in the morning more than a few times. The 5 minute showers are very easy for me, I had never really timed how long it took me to shower in the past but I assume now that it was probably only slightly longer than 5 minutes. Most of the daily challenges have just made me more conscious of things I was only half conscious of before this challenge. I’m now more aware of things like my fruit and vegetable intake, recyclables, and of lights and electronics that are on around me that don’t need to be on. I have also started walking to practice more and encouraging my roommates to do the same. This really isn’t hard at all because we live on Saint Catherine Street and our practice is at the fieldhouse, but it’s a start! 
                My one-time challenge for this past week was to register to vote, which I put a spin on since I am already registered by requesting my absentee ballot for the upcoming election. One of my past one-time challenges, buying produce from a local farmer’s market, has turned into a daily challenge. It’s now to eat a locally sourced meal. I am still going to the farmer’s market every Wednesday and buying fruit which I eat for breakfast.  
                For my new daily challenge, I selected practicing gratitude for earth. I go for runs pretty much every day because I’m on the track team; however, now I will try to take some time during my runs to look around and really appreciate the natural beauty of Lewisburg and the surrounding areas. I’m going to count my past one-time challenge of eating locally sourced meals as a daily challenge since the website has already automatically turned it into a daily challenge. My new one-time challenge is to spend an hour learning about trans, femme, and non-binary experiences using the resources provided by the EcoChallenge website. I feel like these are important experiences that should be shared and I don’t think I know enough about them yet. 
                One of the resources I utilized this past week was a part of my challenge to drive less. It was an article about how streets were once a place for people but have been changed into monotonous routes for cars. This is something I have been interested in after reading an article a couple months ago about a city in the Netherlands that is banning cars from its roads. I know that in the Netherlands it is much more common to travel through means other than cars than it is here in the USA; however, I wondered if there was any interest in limiting car use in US cities as well. This article was an interesting piece on what streets can offer apart from just a place for cars to drive. 

    • Maggie Hopkins's avatar
      Maggie Hopkins 10/01/2020 6:24 PM
      Hi Owen! I’m glad to hear your challenges went well! That’s great that so many of the daily actions have become part of your everyday routine. I also noticed that many of my daily actions became easier the longer we did them, and I now barely have to think about them. I was interested to read that you registered for a mail in ballot. I also recently requested a mail in ballot, and was surprised at how easy it was. Hopefully lots of people can take advantage of that option, as it may be much more necessary this year. That’s great that you’ve been getting to the farmers market so often as well. Events like that are definitely one of the benefits to going to school in a more rural setting so I’m glad you’ve been able to take advantage of it. Another benefit of our setting is definitely the nature and scenery surrounding us like you mentioned. Since we’ve been back I’ve been trying to make an effort of appreciating this too and just remembering how lucky we are to be back in such a beautiful place. I was also interested in what you wrote about the Netherlands and how they are starting to ban cars from the road. This is definitely an approach which more countries should start following, so hopefully they could create a model for what that kind of transportation looks like. It also reminded me of something I heard a little while ago which was that the use of electric cars is expected to increase significantly in the US in the next 20 or so years. Hopefully efforts like these can help change the direction of the transportation industry in the future. 

    • Andrew Stuhl's avatar
      Andrew Stuhl 9/21/2020 12:22 PM
      Way to go Owen! Def curious to hear how requesting the ballot went, given it may be way more common this year than in past general elections in the US. would you be willing to report out about this in class?

  • Owen Concaugh's avatar
    Owen Concaugh 9/14/2020 7:53 PM
    I tried to choose one daily challenge that would benefit me, and one challenge that would be somewhat difficult for me, but would also help reduce my ecological footprint. The new daily challenges that I added for last week were meditating for 5 minutes per day, and taking shorter than 5-minute showers. The one-time challenge that I picked was to spend an hour researching the toxic chemicals found in my household cleaning products. I have enjoyed these challenges so far. I have thought about starting to make meditation a part of my daily routine for a while, but I hadn’t worked up the initiative to start until this challenge. The showers felt a little bit rushed at the beginning of the week but I got used to it very quickly. The audit of the toxic cleaning product was interesting as well, I learned that some of the disinfecting wipes and spray that I use have toxic chemicals in them. My challenges from my first week were pretty easy to adopt into my daily routine, so I am having no trouble with eating the recommended servings of fruit or with recycling. 
                The barriers that I have faced in regards to the meditation are just down to my own forgetfulness, I try to do it in the mornings but I have forgotten a few times and had to do it later in the day instead. At first, I also struggled with letting my mind wander instead of being present, but I’ve been getting better and better at it. I don’t think I’ve faced any barriers in terms of the five-minute showers, overall that has been pretty easy. I don’t know if this will be a barrier yet, but some of my cleaning products do contain toxic chemicals, I am wondering how hard it will be to find cleaning product that doesn’t contain toxic chemicals. When I researched the toxicity of my cleaning products, the reason the disinfecting wipes are bad for the environment are because they clog the pipes when people flush them. So, it sounds like there isn’t anything toxic in them, as long as I dispose of them properly I think it should be safe. However, I did learn that there are toxic chemicals in some of the Lysol disinfecting spray that I use. 
                As I mentioned earlier, I have tried to get into meditation in the past but haven’t been able to incorporate it into a daily routine, mostly because my mind would wander and I would feel like I wasn’t doing it right and therefore not getting anything useful out of it. The article on “How to Meditate” was very helpful at giving me tips on how to fix this. The article says not to just try to force the thoughts out of your head and immediately return to breath, but to acknowledge that you are letting your mind wander, reopen your attention and then return to breath. The guided meditations were also helpful, especially when I first started. I am excited to continue to incorporate meditation into my daily routine and gradually extend the length of time that I do it for. 

  • Owen Concaugh's avatar
    Owen Concaugh 9/07/2020 7:08 PM
    The daily challenges that I selected for week one were to eat an additional 2 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, and to recycle everything that I can. My one-time challenge was to buy food from a local farmer’s market. It was surprising how easy it is to eat more fruit and vegetables. On Wednesday I bought some plums and apricots from the farmers market and it became so easy to eat the necessary 4 servings per day along with the vegetables and salads in the cafeteria. It is also much easier for me to remember to recycle now that I have to check in on it every day. I am more aware of what around me is recyclable and am able to figure out where to recycle it much quicker than in the past. 

    The biggest barrier to making these lifestyle changes permanent would definitely be time constraints, I’m unsure if I’ll be able to go to the farmer’s market every Wednesday due to a combination of classes, homework, practice, and hopefully job interviews. It will also be harder to remember to do these things when there isn’t a website to go to where I have to check in to make sure I’m doing what I said I would. This will mostly make remembering to recycle everything I can harder. I have always tried to recycle whenever I can, but it used to slip my mind more often than it should’ve. Hopefully now I’ll get into a habit of always being conscientious of recycling.   

    The two resources under my daily challenge of recycling were very interesting. One was about contaminants that ruin recyclables and turn them into trash. One of these contaminants is liquid in a plastic bottle, and I know I’ve been guilty of recycling water bottles that still have a couple sips of water left in them. I am now more aware of the damage that liquid can cause to products that would otherwise be recyclable. Emptying out all of the plastic bottles that I recycle is definitely something that I will make a permanent change in my life. The other resource talked about what would happen if everyone recycled, and it gave me more hope for the future, which I think will inspire me to continue recycling myself and spreading my new knowledge to others. The resources provided for eating additional fruits and vegetables focused on the lack of nutrition that most of the developing world faces, which I was aware of thanks to my developmental economics class, where we learned a lot about the UN’s sustainable development goals. I think it will be pretty easy for me to continue to get the correct number of servings of fruits and vegetables from now on, especially if I can get to the farmer’s market during the week. Lastly, the resource about the benefits of shopping locally didn’t really have anything I didn’t know already, but it did help to remind me of the real reason I love going to the farmer’s market, it’s fun! It is definitely something that I will try to continue to implement into my life. 

    • Andrew Stuhl's avatar
      Andrew Stuhl 9/16/2020 6:11 AM
      Great to hear Owen! Glad you got out to the farmer's market and also learned a bit about the contamination of recycling -- a BIG issue here on campus. The Enviro Studies Dept had a recycling audit last year and found that our offices had so much contaminated recycling -- which you wouldn't expect for a group of faculty who are well tuned to these issues. Stay tuned to Thursday's video, where we learn more about the troubles with recycling thru a different angle/perspective.