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John Equihua's avatar

John Equihua

Community Team


  • 0 TODAY
  • 288 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    not traveled by car
  • UP TO
    traveled by bike
  • UP TO
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • UP TO
    plastic straws
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO

John's actions


Go by Bike

I will commute by bike 2 mile(s) each day and avoid sending up to (___) lbs of CO2 into Earth's atmosphere.




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



Meet My Neighbors

I will meet 2 new neighbor(s) each day.



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 2 plastic straw(s) of out of the ocean each day.


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?

  • John Equihua's avatar
    John Equihua 11/26/2023 9:53 PM
    I visited the Reuse Room in Cramer Hall with my partner and had a look around. The room had a lot of things, office supplies and decorations for the most part. I didn't find anything for myself but my partner found some decorations she could use for her dorm. The Reuse room supports the sharing of resources within the community by creating a space where things can be donated and taken as is needed by students and staff. This saves people from having to buy things and saves space by avoiding things going to the landfill or being charged up in thrift stores. It also promotes the use of secondhand items instead of buying something brand new. While I didn't find anything for myself this go around, I will be sure to visit again to see if there is anything new or to donate something myself!

    Here's the link to the PSU Reuse room, located in Cramer Hall Rm 180:

    • Dylan Broten's avatar
      Dylan Broten 11/27/2023 1:18 PM
      That sounds cool John, I might have to check this out myself. I think stuff like this is very nice and I've been surprised how much good stuff you can get from people just not needing it anymore. I often shop around on craigslist and other sites for local stuff like this and sell it or give it away myself as well.

  • John Equihua's avatar
    John Equihua 11/19/2023 5:43 PM
    My eco challenge this week was to keep track of my purchases, which for this week was unfortunately quite a bit. Monday through Thursday was not too out of the ordinary, I spent money only on a couple meals that didn't break past the $30 mark and I had to pay for my car's gas (3rd time this term!). Friday was the big spending day, I had a contact lenses fitting appointment (which my insurance did not cover) and ended up having to shell out a little more than $100. My dad also asked me to pay for the car's oil change and to seal the chip on the windshield (due to me using the car during the school year) and, with a surprise oil flush, ended up paying nearly $200! Small note, one of the technicians gave me $25 off for being nice, big thanks to her! Needless to say my wallet has taken quite the hit.

    Today I got to do a grocery run on my bicycle (Hooray!) and it came out to just more than $80. Luckily my bank's credit card gives me 5% back; not a whole lot but at least it's somewhat cheaper. All in all, this last week came out to around $400, probably the most expensive week I've had in a long time. I hope that my adoption of the bicycle caused the costs related to the car to have been delayed until today, but getting the double whammy of my contacts with it was really a damper. My lesson this week: cars are expensive and I wish I had a better insurance.
    Transportation Go by Bike
    How do your transportation choices affect your engagement in your community? Does your experience differ while walking, riding transit, biking, or driving?

    John Equihua's avatar
    John Equihua 11/12/2023 8:22 PM
    I've been picking up on my biking habits and using it more often, but I'm not sure if it's affecting my community engagement that much. While I ride my bike I can't say I've been interacting with too many people; I feel like the people I engage with most are motorists who (as far as I can tell) don't really acknowledge my presence outside of giving me the right of way. It still feels the same way as when I drive, seemingly a solitary process of going one place to another. This isn't to say I haven't had any engagements. I did meet another bicycle enthusiast who I chatted with from the bike shelter to the elevator. But I think that's the only noticeable engagement related to biking.

    The type of transit that does provide more community engagement was riding transit, specifically the tram and the MAX. Almost every time I've taken one of these there is someone willing to chat about anything. In front of the Portland library I was able to talk to an older gentleman about the renovations the library was going through, his frustration in the process of returning a book to said library, and frustration with the lateness of the tram. I feel like riding transit provides a better opportunity to interact with others in the community. And that if I want to interact with other people while biking I should probably join a biking group.

    • Sophie Wille's avatar
      Sophie Wille 11/13/2023 10:30 AM
      Hey John, I think that joining a biking group could be a great way to make biking more social! Even if you just got together with a couple friends for a leisurely ride along the waterfront or something like that, it could be really fun. I definitely agree that public transit is a great place to find people who want to talk. One time on the tram I met a woman who told me about the Libby app for the library, and now I use it every day. I only talked to her the one time but it actually made a difference in a small part of my life, so I think it can be great to talk to strangers sometimes.

    • Dylan Broten's avatar
      Dylan Broten 11/12/2023 10:42 PM
      Even if it doesn't engage with the community directly, I feel like biking creates a community presence. When I see more bikers in my community I feel better about the transit options that we have and am more willing to partake myself. The MAX is definitely the best way to meet people during transit however, I have had plenty of cool encounters from riding the MAX. I'm very happy to have these transit options in our city.
    Community Meet My Neighbors
    In what ways can you create more real and meaningful interactions with friends — or strangers — each week?

    John Equihua's avatar
    John Equihua 11/05/2023 9:51 PM
    This last week I went out of my way to try and meet some more people on my floor. It was surprisingly difficult since I very rarely see them despite living on the same floor! However, I did meet two people: Milo, my floor's RA and Julia, a neighbor two rooms to my right.
    Milo I was able to meet while doing a whiteboard activity he had made. He invited me to a Fall Fest event, (though unfortunately I worked the day of the event). Still, I hope to see him again on his next event.
    I met Julia through a small Halloween get together on the floor below me. We've been able to chat and make acquaintance which I think is quite nice! I now have someone I can greet on the hallways and make a bit a small talk which feels meaningful, at least to me. I think going forward I should try to greet more people, maybe a cheerful hello while I pass by. I think even small things like a smiley greeting are quite meaningful, at least as a start. Maybe by doing so I can make more friends or acquaintances; it could create a more friendly environment where we feel less like strangers and more like companions.

    • Ashton Livingston's avatar
      Ashton Livingston 11/08/2023 7:36 PM
      This is great! It’s really hard to go out of your way and meet new people! It’s super scary sometimes but sometimes has great reward!

    • Dylan Broten's avatar
      Dylan Broten 11/05/2023 11:20 PM
      This is really cool Josh. I always find knowing my neighbors important, and have great relations with my neighbors. I hope you meet more and continue to enjoy those interactions!
    Water Say No to Plastic Straws
    What single-use items (e.g. straws, coffee cups, vegetable bags, plastic bags) do you regularly use? What could be substituted instead?

    John Equihua's avatar
    John Equihua 10/29/2023 9:59 PM
    Typically I use plastic straws when getting a soda somewhere like at a restaurant or a coffee place. My mom gave me metal straws to use some months back, however I never really used them as carrying seemed obtuse in my pockets. I decided to change that this last week and I realized how many single-use items I really use. I decided to forego buying coffee in favor of making my own at my dorm to avoid both the coffee cup and straw while carrying a couple of those metal straws with me in my backpack. I was able to avoid using half a dozen or so straws during the week which I was quite pleased about; I was glad to know that I reduced at least a tiny bit of plastic and garbage from going into the water cycle. Looking back on it, I should have been doing this a long time ago and have had reduced it by much more, but I guess the best time to start is now.

  • John Equihua's avatar
    John Equihua 10/15/2023 6:47 PM
    I'd meant to learn more about water and air quality issues in my area but the link wasn't working. However, I got distracted while trying to find a different avenue and did the ecological footprint quiz alongside my girlfriend instead. In the image below, we can see my personal Earth Overshoot Day is the fourth of September and that we'd need 1.5 Earths to live my lifestyle. My girlfriend and I were gobsmacked that her stats said her Overshoot Day would be mid March and 2.5 planets to live her lifestyle. Frankly, out of the two of us, I thought that she'd be the one with a lower score than I seeing as environmentalism and sustainability are huge for her. To give an idea: She eats mostly local, I do not. She is vegetarian, I am not. She carries a kit of utensils, I still use the plastic utensils.

    But we found the major difference in our habits that made her footprint greater than mine: she travels greater distances than I do, both plane and car.

    I drive more often than she does, she much prefers to take the tram here in Portland, but I only drive within Portland and Vancouver. My family and I don't really have the resources to travel often and let alone anywhere far; the furthest we do travel is within Washington and Oregon with the very rare California trip every few years. This last summer, my family and I only drove up to Bellingham, WA once for five days. She, on the other hand went to a ranch in eastern Washington, a couple of events in Seattle, drove to-and-from her home near Bellingham and Portland, all in the summer. Adding to that, she told me she takes an annual family vacation to France which definitely affected her carbon footprint.

    Now, this isn't to say I am pointing the finger here, I definitely could be doing much more. Case in point: to eat more locally, drive less (Hey! That's part of my Eco Change!), make a utensil kit, etc. But she is going through what I can only describe as some sort of reckoning, jokingly telling me she's never traveling again and that the quiz is oversimplified by overlooking other stuff. Still, I think both of us learned a lot about each other and that we can both continue to grow into better, more sustainable individuals.