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Clarissa Hand's avatar

Clarissa Hand

ENST 246 : Environmental Activism

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 555 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    2
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    240
    minutes
    spent exercising
  • up to
    24
    conversations
    with people
  • up to
    210
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    180
    minutes
    being mindful
  • up to
    120
    gallons of water
    have been saved
  • up to
    19
    whole food meals
    consumed
  • up to
    1
    zero-waste meals
    consumed

Clarissa's Actions

Food

Plant an Herb Garden

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

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Zero-Waste Cooking

I will cook 1 meal(s) with zero-waste each day

COMPLETED 1
DAILY ACTION

Health

Audit Toxic Cleaning Products

I will spend 90 minutes researching toxic chemicals found in cleaning supplies and personal care products and remove them from my home or dorm room.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Energy

Power Down the Computer

I will power down my computer and monitor when not using it for more than 2 hours, saving up to (1.1) lbs of CO2 each day that I do this.

COMPLETED 2
DAILY ACTIONS

Health

Happiness

I will write down three things every day that I am grateful for, or send one email every day thanking or praising someone.

COMPLETED 7
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 6
DAILY ACTIONS

Health

Exercise Daily

Exercise is a great stress blaster! I will exercise for 30 minute(s) each day.

COMPLETED 8
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Join a Local CSA

I will sign up for a local CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture).

Completed
One-Time Action

Transportation

Choose a Carbon Offset

If buying a plane ticket, I will also buy a carbon offset.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Community

Talk To My Friends and Classmates

I will decide which social or environmental issue in my community is most important to me and tell 3 friends and/or classmates each day about the issue.

COMPLETED 8
DAILY ACTIONS

Waste

Carry my Trash

I will carry all of my unrecyclable, non-compostable trash with me to raise my awareness of how much I send to the landfill.

COMPLETED 8
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 90 minutes researching which plants support local native pollinators and plant some in my yard or local community garden.

Completed
One-Time Action

Simplicity

Meditate

I will meditate or create a moment of silence for 15 minute(s) each day to reflect on things important to me.

COMPLETED 12
DAILY 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

Food

Whole Food Lifestyle

I will enjoy 1 meal(s) each day free of processed foods.

COMPLETED 19
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 17
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed


  • Clarissa Hand's avatar
    Clarissa Hand 3/07/2019 11:20 AM
    Clarissa Hand
    Mid Journal 4
    Word count: 516

    Overall, I am really struggling in trying to figure out the balance between all of this. I think it is supper interesting how there are certain components that I forgot were part of the challenge. For example, the whole food diet had just bounce part of my daily life. This great because that is why I choose that to be my goal in the first place. 

    With that being said there are definitely components of the challenges that I forget about in my day to day life. For example, I forget about how long I should take showers for. It is typically part of the relaxing section of my day so I am not thinking about school. This moment and others when lifestyle interests with my academic commitments definitely diminish my success in those challenges. 

    I definitely want to make powering down my computer a common habit. Being a student, I am always using my computer so it is hard to determine when that is the case. However, when I have classes for going to bed, basically any time when I have a strong understanding when I am going to use my computer next, I have found it very helpful to power down my computer. It also minimizes the amount of time I have to spend looking for a computer charger.

    It was difficult to determine what cleaning products the custodial staff uses. I also do not know what the legislation and policies are in determining what cleaning products are used. All I know is that it has a very aggressive smell which does not smell natural in the slightest. I think it would also be interesting to look into initiatives for cleaning products for the custodial staff. This would be a helpful initiatives for environmental change as well as the en

    There also was an article illustrating the more sustainable alternatives between various appliance that are common in a dorm room. I found this to be particularly interesting considering our current state. For example, they recommend that I replace a microwaves with an electric kettle if I am using iit to boil water. Also I really want to get a Smart Power strip where the individual outlets are allocated to specific energy output.

    Also the EWG has a guide with the top sustainable and green product appliances that I sent to my mom.  I Think she appreciated seeing these alternative. I personally found it difficult to do a cleaning audit since I do not use the cleaning products in the dorms, but my mom uses these cleaning products. I would like to think that I have control over that and can influence her decisions given a cleaner alternative. I definitely want to make this choice a more permanent one. I also did some outside research and there is a lot of chemicals that are thrown away if the packaging is damaged. I think it would be a great way to reduce the waste of perfectly good cleaning supplies that I could also get at a discounted price.



  • Clarissa Hand's avatar
    Clarissa Hand 2/28/2019 10:48 AM

    This week was pretty great. I am definitely feeling overwhelmed from everything. I am having a difficult time remembering everything I have to do in a day and strategizing. I think this is mainly because society makes it so convenient to utilize resources. There has been some difficulty there. However, breaking it down to the individual aspects of the goals that were new to this week. I was able to join a local CSA called greenwood. I bought half a pound of portobello mushrooms. They deliver it to mondragon on Thursdays which is really nice. I wish I would have been able to meet the farmers because they just drop off the mushrooms at the bookstore. However, I was able to meet the people individuals working at Mondragon. We talked about CSAs and other beautiful solutions around Lewisburg. THe women that I talked to volunteers at Dreamcatcher, a sustainable alternative farming organization that focuses on regeneration and permaculture. It was fascinating to talk to this women as well as talk to another individual about social and environmental issues. The other addition that I added was to exercise daily. Before trying this challenge, I work workout 3-4 times a week for a long period of time (about an hour). However, if I did not go to the gym I would not workout. However, this approach of working out for a minimum of 20 minutes, allowed me to be creative on the days when I decided not to go to the gym. This involved walking around lewisburg, finding a new trail, and just doing short workouts in my room as a study break. I ended up working out in longer sessions less but I did shorter sessions more frequently. The one time challenge that I was not able to get tot was to choose a carbon offset. Since spring break is coming up, I am going to be flying to and from phoenix. I wanted to purchase a carbon offset to find a minimize that, but I have not done enough research for that. I also tried a happiness challenge in which I had to write three things I am grateful for everyday. I have tried mediation and I did not see the biggest difference. It was definitely helpful but I feel like I still have a while until I find my groove. The gratitude list, on the other hand, is very helpful. I think that is the best thing I could have done for my mental health recently. It completely reshaped how I have viewed things. I say this because it forced me to change me perspective on the day from things that went wrong or that I did not get to, to solutions or things that I have gained from the day. Referring back to my experience with trying to carbon offset based on flying, it is fascinating how much co2 is emitted from airplanes. The author offerest a startistics in which the climate impact of airplanes is two to three times greater than the CO2 emissions alone. The reason why is that planes emit mono-nitrogen oxides in the upper troposphere, often called contrails. Additionally, they places cirrus clouds with aerosols form the fuel combustion. The other thing that I learned new reviewing the positives of the gratitude journal is that it is beneficial for mental health as the huffington post article alludes to. I found myself breathing into a space that was free of judgment. I could write what I wanted without even myself judging and the best part is I would be the only one who sees it. Finally, I though the huffington post in the Life and Wellness section further emphasized my experience with walking as a form of a workout when i did not have the time to go to the gym for extended period of time. Even though I was not getting as intense of a workout out I found myself to be happier. I thought the harder my workout would be the more endorphins would be in my system. However, the article suggests that people are 50% happier when being outdoors rather than in the gym. 



    • Andrew Stuhl's avatar
      Andrew Stuhl 3/04/2019 10:58 AM
      Love this journal! So much truth telling, positivity, and connection happening through your challenge Clarissa! I totally agree on the gratitude journal; it is having similar impacts for me too. I can't wait to hear more about the portobello mushrooms! And I think there will be a great tie-in between your conversations in Mondragon and your upcoming work with Wild Goose Farm! 

  • Clarissa Hand's avatar
    Clarissa Hand 2/21/2019 10:22 AM
    Mid Journal 2
    Word Count: 617
    I think it is really interesting how my experience with activism, the advice I received from Brian Skerry and the Resources on the Eco Challenge from Network for Business Sustainability, all highlight the same aspect of activism that are the most effective. They all have pointed to the importance of relevant and personal tacts to motivate individuals to act. Additionally, personal and local tacts make it easier for individuals to understand and work with. Moreover, proximity is very important to people as the Network for Business Sustainability highlights. The more distance an issue is the more abstract and individual believes the issue is thus it is difficult for them to understand and feel empowered by. This was highlighted by Brian Skerry’s presentation when he said how a lot of his pictures were he attempts to make fishes have faces. This strategy to me is important because it makes it personal by making people connect with fishes and seem more similaires then we often think we have with other animals. I think it is interesting how our passion for environmental change has continued to decrease as the issue become s more and more prevalent. The network for Business Sustainability notes how the issue was 4th in 2007, but in 2011, the issue is now 8th out of 16 issues. 
    Meditation, as illustrated by the New York times article in the Meditation resources sections, is about paying attention to the present moment. I think this explanation is very helpful because it deconstructs the perception that it is to stop thinking to empty the mind. Additionally, on Monday, when classes started and blocking out time became more difficult, I read this New York times article which explains how to meditate while walking. This was super beneficial for me because I could spend 15 minutes walking to class and meandering while meditating. This made meditation feel so much better and well as more accessible in my daily life. While I do not think after this challenge I will be able to incorporate it into my life every day, I do think I will try to make it a more common practice in my weekly life. I am thinking about meditating about 3 or 4 times a week. 
    I also really appreciate learning more about pollinators. The two main takeaways I gained from my research is perfectly illustrated by the smithsonian magazine that notes the importance of learning to love imperfections and that bee are not the only pollinators that are important. While I do not think I will be continuing research into pollinators, I will continue to advocate for them. Their importance for the Earth biodiversity cannot be overstated. 
     The major barriers that I am still facing include the fact that I am am struggling to eliminate plastics from what I purchase. 
    I actually was surprised by how little trash I have produced in the past week. I have not measured it. Though I will say that it did not encourage me to minimize my plastics, though it did help ensure that I recycled and cleaned all of my plastics. I definitely want to continue this for a while until it becomes a habit. I do not want to cary my trash around, but it is helpful how to dump out the contents to see what I am throwing away. I think moving forward, though it is more intense, I would be interested to also collect everything that I recycle, particularly plastic, since glass can be reused endlessly unlike plastic. I want to improve that as a next step once when I have reduce what I put into the trash to being close to zero. 



  • Clarissa Hand's avatar
    Clarissa Hand 2/13/2019 1:33 PM
    Mid Journal 1
    a) What was it like for you to experiment with these daily and one time challenges this week? What was surprising to you?
    I enjoyed eating a whole foods diet though for next week I need to more thoroughly sketch out what a whole food diet is. For example, if I eat bread that is made of whole grain, does that count? Also meal prepping went well but I also wonder if there is a stronger way to do it. I still found myself using plastic containers to hold the food. While the plastic containers are not new, nor were they purchased for this eco challenge, I am still worried about holding my food in the plastic for an extended period of time. I was also surprised on how meditative meal prepping was. I just put on a good podcast and enjoyed listening to that. Once when it ran out I was too lazy to change the podcast so I just finished the meal prepping in silence and that was the best part. It was nice to alone with my thoughts creating healthy food for the upcoming days. Another surprising thing that came from all of this was my decrease in processed food which lead to almost the complete absence of processed sugar.
    b) What are the barriers you faced in making thee lifestyle change permanent?
    THE BISON! It was so difficult to get food not covered in plastic. Moving forward, I have to go to the grocery store in advance to meal prep. I enjoyed going to the grocery store because I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of whole food not covered in plastic. I mean there was still a lot of food in plastic, but I could manage getting a lot of what I wanted without plastic. I am still looking for ways to get berries and grapes without plastic. Also, when I had moments when classes were stressful, I struggled to figure productive ways to eat whole foods. Following these strategies are fine as long as I have a plan.
    c)Knowing what you know from your personal experience and the resources you read, are you willing to make these lifestyle changes permanent? Why or why not? (include references)
    I think it is convenient to reduce things that I have purchased in plastic while also following a whole food diet. Often a lot of the processed food is packed in plastic packaging. It is also important to note that before this challenge majority of the items that I have purchased in plastic was for food. It is much easier to buy plants in bulk and without packaging. Also I was worried about not having all of my goals achieved nutrition wise through this process; however, in the forks over knives website, they note that the protein deficines are mainly seen individuals that are also calorie deficient. I think the whole foods is slightly more difficult because I have to do a considerable amount of meal prep. This was due able this week considering that my workload was easier. I am hoping that when my meals become more routine in the following weeks that meal prep and whatnot will be easier. I would like to point out that I still have a few more questions on what it even means to eat a whole foods diet. The Forks over Knives diet did a good job explaining certain food but the list was not flushed out enough to carter to other things the I find in the Bison that are not on the list. 

    • Andrew Stuhl's avatar
      Andrew Stuhl 2/13/2019 1:45 PM
      Thanks for this Clarissa! I appreciate your honesty and your enthusiasm for the challenge! I found this website that seems to offer some good information on 'definitions' of whole-foods as well as lists of foods that qualify (and should be avoided): https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/plant-based-diet-guide#overview.  Also, I have two slow-cookers and would be willing to lend you one for your food prep -- my wife and I cook most of our meals for the week on Sunday and the slow cooker is HUGE for achieving this without having to monitor skillets/ranges/stirring etc (esp in winter time, for things like soups and stews). Finally, in future journal entries, I'd like to see you engage more with the resources listed. I see you reference the Forks over Knives piece, and that's a good start. Just more in depth treatment of that so you can combine your personal experience with more research! Keep going!