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Maggie Hopkins's avatar

Maggie Hopkins

ENST 246: Fall 2020

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 965 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    132
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    1
    community events
    hosted or attended
  • up to
    440
    minutes
    spent exercising
  • up to
    60
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    5
    meatless or vegan meals
    consumed
  • up to
    12
    minutes
    being mindful
  • up to
    20
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • up to
    28
    plastic bottles
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    24
    plastic straws
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    180
    minutes
    not spent in front of a screen
  • up to
    300
    minutes
    of additional sleep
  • up to
    100
    gallons of water
    have been saved

Maggie's Actions

Simplicity

Eat Mindfully

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

COMPLETED 2
DAILY ACTIONS

Health

Support Pollution Reduction

I will spend at least 30 minutes learning about water and air quality issues in my area, how they are impacting human and environmental health, and how I can help.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Food

Reduce Animal Products

I will enjoy 3 meatless meal(s) and/or 2 vegan meal(s) each day this week.

COMPLETED 1
DAILY ACTION

Energy

Learn About Renewable Energy

I will spend 60 minutes learning more about renewable energy alternatives (i.e. solar, wind, biomass) in my region.

Completed
One-Time Action

Health

Learn More about Food Apartheid

What can lack of access to nutritious food affect a community? How can having access to nutritious food help a community become more resilient?

Completed
One-Time Action

Health

Healthy Sleep

Effectively working for sustainability requires self care! I will commit to getting 60 more minute(s) of sleep each night to achieve at least 7 hours per night.

COMPLETED 6
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 5
DAILY ACTIONS

Simplicity

Limit Social Media

I will limit my social media use to once each day reducing my daily use by 30 minute(s)

COMPLETED 6
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Host A Watch Party

I will host a watch party to screen a documentary about an issue that matters to me.

Completed
One-Time Action

Waste

Use a Reusable Water Bottle

I will keep 1 disposable plastic bottle(s) from entering the waste stream by using a reusable water bottle.

COMPLETED 17
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Watch a Documentary about Food Sovereignty

I will watch 1 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

Turn it off

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

COMPLETED 31
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 17
DAILY ACTIONS

Nature

Explore My Area

I will explore at least one new hiking trail or nature walk in my area.

Completed
One-Time Action

Waste

Skip the Straw

Plastic bags and small plastic pieces like straws are most likely to get swept into our waterways. I will keep 1 plastic straw(s) out of the landfill and ocean each day by refusing straws or using my own glass/metal straw.

COMPLETED 22
DAILY ACTIONS

Energy

Switch to Cold Water

I will switch to washing my clothes in cold water, saving up to 133 lbs of CO2 a month and 1,600 lbs of CO2 over the course of the next year.

Completed
One-Time Action

Simplicity

Go For A Daily Walk Outside

I will take a walk outside for 30 minutes each day.

COMPLETED 14
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed


  • Maggie Hopkins's avatar
    Maggie Hopkins 9/28/2020 8:44 AM
    My challenges this week went pretty well. For a daily challenge I chose to take 5 minute showers. This was easier than I had anticipated, as I found I already take fairly quick showers. It seems like a small thing I can easily keep in mind in the future, which can add up to make a big difference. One of the things I did to gauge the amount of time which was suggested on the website was to bring in a speaker to listen to music (https://www.watercalculator.org/posts/shower-bath/). This way you can tell by how many songs have played about how long you have showered. I will definitely keep doing this in the future. My other daily challenge was to sleep one more hour each night. This one was more difficult as I had a lot of work last week. I tried to keep in mind my challenge from last week which was to limit social media, and not go on my phone before bed. I read about how the blue light from our phones can affect the circadian rhythms of sleeping because they keep your mind more in focus and alert. This suppresses melatonin and makes it more difficult to fall asleep (https://online.nursing.georgetown.edu/blog/sleeping-well-in-the-digital-age/). The nights I was able to not go on my phone before bed I did notice a difference in how easy it was to fall asleep, so I will try to keep doing this in the future.
      One of my one time challenges was to learn about food apartheid. This is something I did not previously have very much knowledge on, so I was interested to learn about it because of how prevalent it is today. I read about “food deserts” which are areas in which people do not have sufficient access to good quality food. In an interview with Karen Washingotn, who is fighting for food justice, she explains how the movement itself will become a desert if more young people do not get involved. More young people must get involved in the farming itself in order to change the system from within (https://www.guernicamag.com/karen-washington-its-not-a-food-desert-its-food-apartheid/). I also found it interesting how connected this movement is with the more well known movements of racial injustice. The role that food insecurity plays within these issues is something which needs more attention because of how severe the consequences can be. 
    My other one time action was to learn more about renewable energy. I read that currently, electricity production gives rise to 25% of heat-trapping emissions globally. This statistic is definitely concerning. It reminded me of the recent clock that was put up in New York which gives the amount of remaining time before global warming becomes irreversible. These numbers are very alarming and show the immediate need for change to be made. One article describes the solution as have several aspects, including enhancing efficiency, shifting production, and improving the system (https://www.drawdown.org/sectors/electricity). This includes many changes that need to be made, such as reducing the demand itself for electricity from large buildings and industries, shifting to thermal energy, or creating new, flexible grids to improve the balance of electricity supply with the demand. Given the damage electricity production is currently producing, these changes need to be implemented widely. 

    • Carrie Loomis's avatar
      Carrie Loomis 10/05/2020 2:59 PM
      Hey Maggie! 
      It was really cool to read the tips that you got from the resources you read. I also took up the challenge of taking shorter showers and also used listening to music to time myself. Good for you for making the change to not going on your phone before bed. That can be especially hard nowadays because with everything being online, its easy to entirely surround yourself with screens and light. It is even harder at school when the schoolwork, which is often online, keeps piling up. It is really interesting that the blue light can affect the way that our bodies release melatonin and learn to relax. I definitely want to look into this further ( and try to put it into practice) as well. 
      Food apartheid is a really important issue to learn about. I also chose the challenge to learn about food apartheid this week. It is really interesting to see the kind of power that our generation as “young people” seem to have over different social and political movements. Before this week, I had never considered urban farming as a solution for food inequality. 
      It is really scary to read about the amount that energy production contributes to global emissions. We use so much energy in a day and it is so easy to forget to do things like turning off the lights, even though it is such an easy task. It is also really interesting to hear you talk about improving efficiency as a way to lower electricity related emissions. Overall, you seem to be really pushing yourself through self-education! 

  • Maggie Hopkins's avatar
    Maggie Hopkins 9/21/2020 12:38 PM
    I had more difficulty with my challenges this week than the previous weeks. I was able to do some of the challenges easily, however I forgot or did not make enough time for the others. For my daily challenges, I chose to use a reusable water bottle and limit my social media use. Using a reusable water bottle was pretty easy, since I already had a couple. I just had to remember to take it with me places, which I did. I did not limit my social media usage as well though. My goal was to limit it by 30 minutes a day. I will usually go on my phone when I’m bored and not notice if a lot of time goes by. In order to be more aware of the time I was spending I looked at my setting in the screen time section. I saw that in general I spend about 4 hours on my phone a day. By looking at the times I use it throughout the day, I saw that a lot of that time comes from before bed. I usually will go on my phone for a long time before bed. This is definitely not good for me, so I decided to try to not use it at all for a couple nights. Doing this, I was able to cut down my social media use and just general screen time by a lot. I did this a couple times, but forgot several of the nights unfortunately. This is definitely something I want to try and make a habit though. In one of the articles they said that limiting social media can help you fall asleep faster (http://www.onebrickaday.com/top-10-things-learned-limiting-social-media-usage-2-weeks/). I have trouble falling asleep sometimes so this could be really helpful for me. I might get one of the apps which helps you limit your time on social media to do this. 
    For my one time goals I chose to host a watch party and watch a documentary about food sovereignty. I was going to combine these two actions, but I didn’t end up doing that. I did host a “watch party” and watched a documentary with some of my friends, but we watched The Social Dilemma. We had all heard a lot about it and were curious to see if it would live up to the hype. While I did find the documentary interesting I think people had exaggerated in how profound it was. We also thought some of the portrayals of people our age were not entirely accurate. However, their message is definitely important and I think we all learned a good bit and are more aware of what really goes on behind our social media use. In terms of the food sovereignty documentary challenge, I still want to do this. It’s a topic I don’t know very much about, but am interested in learning more. With all the problems that come with mass food production dominating the industry today I want to learn how we could improve the system. One of the websites linked has a documentary called “Regaining Food Sovereignty” which shows communities that use these practices, so I think I’ll watch that. 

    • Molly Paine's avatar
      Molly Paine 9/28/2020 4:34 PM
      Hi Maggie! I really resonated with your journal entry for this week and I enjoyed reading about your experience trying to cut back on social media use. This is something that I think I am going to try for the last week of the eco-challenge. It will definitely be a struggle for me because I too spend a lot of time on my phone when I am bored and before bed. I also sometimes have trouble falling asleep at night especially after being on my phone for a long period of time. It’s such a hard habit to break so props to you for taking on this challenge! I am also doing the daily challenge of carrying around a water bottle to reduce my plastic bottle use and I have actually loved this challenge. I feel like I have drunk so much more water in the last few weeks and I feel so much more energized and clearer headed as a result. It’s for sure a challenge to remember and bring the water bottle around with you everywhere you go, but I think after a couple weeks of doing so I’ve gotten into a good habit of remembering it. This is something that I want to keep up after the eco-challenge ends and I hope you are able to do so as well! It’s really cool to hear that you and your friends watched The Social Dilemma. I have seen the preview for it on Netflix and have been meaning to watch it myself because it looks really interesting and eye-opening. It’s interesting to hear that you didn’t think they accurately portrayed people our age and I will definitely look out for that when I watch it. I am a little bit nervous from watching the preview that the movie is going to freak me out about how much data these social media sites actually have on us. Hopefully this can help prompt me to cut back on my social media time next week for the eco-challenge. I hope you have a great last week of the eco-challenge and great job with keeping up with your daily and one-time challenges this week!  

  • Maggie Hopkins's avatar
    Maggie Hopkins 9/14/2020 12:19 PM
    My new challenges this week went pretty well. I was able to keep up with my daily actions from last week and still add on more, and remembered to do them all almost everyday. One of the daily actions I added was to skip the straw. To do this, I brought my own coffee in a reusable cup I have with a straw to class. Some mornings I buy coffee on the way to class and they give you a plastic straw there. However this week by doing this challenge I was able to save straws and money. I read that plastic straws can stay in the environment for half a millennium, yet we only use them for 12 minutes on average (https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/more-recycling-wont-solve-plastic-pollution/). This statistic puts it into perspective how lasting our daily, seemingly meaningless actions can be. With this challenge though, it is so easy to avoid this. This article explains how big corporations play the largest role in plastic waste, however even these small changes can make a difference. In this case, since this change saves money as well, there is no reason to not make it a habit.
    The other daily action I chose was to write down three things I’m grateful for every day. I was hesitant to try this because I thought it might turn into somewhat of a chore, but I ended up actually looking forward to it each night. After my homework I would take out a journal and think about my day. Just taking a couple minutes to focus on the positives for the day really made me appreciate all the good in my life. I found it to be useful to do this after doing homework, since that is not usually my favorite part of the day. Being at school sometimes the days can start to blend together as we settle in routines. Making this effort to be conscious of the good parts of the day that stood out, even when they were small, helped break up this routine a bit. There are several benefits to health and mindset as well which come with this practice. Consciously practicing gratitude has shown to make individuals happier, less materialistic, sleep better, and encourage patience, humility, and wisdom (https://positivepsychology.com/benefits-of-gratitude/). I was definitely surprised at how much I liked doing this challenge and am looking forward to continuing it. 
    For my one time action, I chose to explore a new area. I did this with my friends and we went on a hike. It was a lot of fun and the view from the top of where we went was really cool. I was not surprised that I enjoyed this challenge, because I’ve always liked being outdoors. I know that there are a lot of benefits to getting outside too. While just walking outside can promote mental health, it also has proven to reduce stress (https://www.huffpost.com/entry/walk-nature-depression_n_5870134). I definitely want to incorporate this challenge into my life more frequently at school, because it’s a great way to get off campus and do something different. The only barriers for this challenge could be organizing people to find a time we can all go. I hope to find new places in the area to explore and keep up with this challenge especially in the fall as the trees change color and everything looks so pretty. 

  • Maggie Hopkins's avatar
    Maggie Hopkins 9/08/2020 4:41 PM
    My first week doing these challenges was an engaging experience. Initially, I just noticed how much more aware I was of my actions. My one time action of switching to cold water didn’t have a huge impact on me since it was over quickly. This wasn’t surprising since this is not a drastic change and it didn’t affect me too much afterwards. However, one of my other challenges was to turn off lights and electronics when possible. After starting this one I noticed that I was becoming much more aware of the electricity I use everyday. Every time I left my room I was thinking about remembering to turn everything off. Normally, I would leave the room and not think about whether or not I had turned things off, since I’m usually coming back relatively soon. This challenge has definitely changed my mindset in that sense. Now, by turning off everything when I leave, these hours could add up to be something significant. This goes along with something I read from one of the website linked in the “learn more” part of this challenge which says that “If every US college student replaced a single incandescent light bulb with an LED, we could avoid the emissions of a small commercial power plant for the school year” (https://smarterhouse.org/resources/shrink-your-dorm-print). While I don’t have LEDs, this goes along with the idea that just one person making a small change in this way could add up to be something substantial enough to make a change. I think I will definitely be able to make this a permanent change in my lifestyle. It’s very easy and I was able to remember it pretty regularly. 
    The other challenge I had was to go for a daily walk. I found this one a bit more difficult just because I didn’t always plan it into my day or end up having time. It’s not surprising that this was more difficult since I was pretty busy last week and this challenge takes up a lot more time and planning. I want to try to make this a part of my everyday life though. According to one of the websites linked to this challenge, there are lots of benefits of walking. Some of these include improving your mood, helping digestion, making you feel more creative, boosting your immunity, and even help you live longer (https://www.prevention.com/fitness/a20485587/benefits-from-walking-every-day/). Being back at school I’ve found that I spend a lot more time sitting in class and in my room doing online classes, so making a point of getting outside for a substantial amount of time would definitely be good for me. 
    Overall, my biggest barrier in accomplishing these challenges was remembering to log them on the website. While I did set reminders on my phone, I would often see the reminder and push it off, then forget to do it later. This week I’m going to try to have a time set every day where I just log all my actions for the day, so it can become part of my routine. 


    • Andrew Stuhl's avatar
      Andrew Stuhl 9/09/2020 6:50 AM
      Awesome Maggie! I appreciate your honesty in reflecting on what is keeping these habits from taking hold. It is super super common to forget to do these things when we are just starting out! Hopefully this site and the accountability of the journals and our support for one another helps these behaviors become second nature -- a new habit! I hear you on finding time to walk. I wonder -- I see a few other students in the class who are committing to walking (Annie, Charlotte, maybe others). Maybe y'all could exchange contact info and go on walks (distanced!) together?