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Ellie McChesney's avatar

Ellie McChesney

amy minato


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Ellie's actions


Compost Food Waste

I will avoid sending up to .69 lbs (.31 kg) of food waste to the landfill each day by composting my food or learning how to.


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  • Ellie McChesney's avatar
    Ellie McChesney 3/08/2024 2:57 PM
    This week after our hike I decided to donate two of my plants to a friend. I buy the plants from Home Depot or Lowes that are dying and on clearance to be thrown away so that I can save them and gift them. I have a friend that just moved and noted that she had no decoration, so I gave her a small fern and a small spider plant. By giving away plants I not only benefit her but I created more space so that I can save more plants!

    • Maranda Simpson's avatar
      Maranda Simpson 3/10/2024 1:10 PM
      Hi, Ellie!
      You are a very generous soul! It is so funny to me how attached to nature we all get. I become very attached to any plants I own, and I want more as well. Creating space is a really big deal, though! Good job.

  • Ellie McChesney's avatar
    Ellie McChesney 3/01/2024 5:20 AM
    This week I decided to donate my old electronics to free geek. I have a handful (a gallon bag full actually) of old phones, tablets and iPods that are no longer being used and that I don't remember the combination to anymore. Free Geek runs donation hours from Wednesdays to Saturdays and will take all sorts of technology. It felt really nice to get rid of clutter that's been taking up space, and it was nice to be able to donate them to a good, environmentally friendly cause as well.

    • Eva Tomlinson's avatar
      Eva Tomlinson 3/03/2024 7:38 PM
      This is awesome! I have been planning to do this with some old headphones if I can't get them fixed.

  • Ellie McChesney's avatar
    Ellie McChesney 2/23/2024 8:34 PM
    Today I called the PSU transportation center to ask about purchasing a Trimet permit for next term instead of a parking pass. I was informed that the permits are not yet available for spring term, so instead I mapped out the quickest route to and from school that doesn't involve a car. Instead of commuting via car to PSU or even driving my car to the Trimet stop, there's a pretty protected bike path from my house to the Max line in Tualatin. I've been enjoying taking the max rather than my car up to campus, and once the sun comes out it will be really fun to bike, too. This not only saves a lot of money for gas and parking but also reduces an hour of driving per day. Over a week that means 5 less hours on the road, and 20 less hours a month.

    • Ben Wall's avatar
      Ben Wall 2/25/2024 6:44 PM
      Hi Ellie, that's awesome! It's crazy how much time is spent in cars. It's cool that there is a reasonable alternative, even if it involves multiple modes of transportation.

  • Ellie McChesney's avatar
    Ellie McChesney 2/18/2024 12:37 AM
    In response to this week's theme of community, earlier tonight I attended a birthday party for a 7 year old and I offered to bring some old clothes to tie dye that I don't wear anymore and I've been meaning to take to Goodwill. Turns out, the tie dye clothes were a hit, especially the sweatshirts, and almost all of the clothes ended up finding new owners. It was nice to work with a young community and it ended up being a really nice teaching moment.

    • Alex Crowe's avatar
      Alex Crowe 2/18/2024 6:29 PM
      Hey Ellie, this is an awesome way of both reusing clothes and connecting with your community! I've been meaning to look at places to give away some of my clothes, but I hadn't considered looking into my own community.

  • Ellie McChesney's avatar
    Ellie McChesney 2/08/2024 11:18 PM
    Over the last week, I started building the parameters for my compost and found that I had one more pallet than I needed. Since I got them for free, I decided to keep the extra pallet and turn it into a planter. (I got the pallets from a small business in Newberg that gives away pallets so they don't have to pay for them to be taken by waste management.) I wanted to hang it from the ceiling on my front porch but the soil made it way too heavy to even lift off the ground, so it's serving as a planter and decoration on my front porch. I used gutter pieces from Habitat for Humanity as little walls on the sides of the planters on each level and my mom has a huge collection of seeds so I planted kale and broccoli seeds.

  • Ellie McChesney's avatar
    Ellie McChesney 1/30/2024 3:27 PM
    In light of the session three reading this week, I decided to research ways to waste less food, specifically produce. I read up on some expert tips for keeping produce fresh and found that one of the number one tips for veggies was to use damp, cloth bags instead of plastic ones. What's even better about this is that this can be old shirts, pillowcases, sheets, etc. Anything cloth is better than plastic. So I washed some pillowcases that we never use, wet them, wrung them out, and then put lettuce and sliced apples inside them. This kept the fruit and lettuce SO much fresher than plastic! They remained crisp and hydrated, and it appeared their shelf life will be much longer than if they were kept in a plastic bag. I was pleasantly surprised how well this worked, and I'm really pleased that there's way to reuse material to prevent wasting produce. All in all, highly recommend!

    • Ben Wall's avatar
      Ben Wall 2/04/2024 9:47 PM
      Hi Ellie,
      Thanks for the great idea! I've been needing to get rid of some old shirts that are too worn to continue serving as shirts, and I have enough rags as it is, so why not turn them into produce bags? I rarely make it all the way through a bushel of lettuce before it begins to wilt, so if it would last just a couple days longer, that would be awesome.

    • Maranda Simpson's avatar
      Maranda Simpson 2/04/2024 9:36 AM
      Hello, Ellie!
      Wow! I didn't even know that using cloth bags to hold food was an option! I always save my vegetables by vacuum sealing, but it does use plastic quite a bit, so it is something I am trying to replace. I will definitely try this method!

    • Eva Tomlinson's avatar
      Eva Tomlinson 2/03/2024 5:37 PM
      Hi Ellie! This is a concern I have about my own produce, your post was super informative, thank you for sharing. I might try this with spinach which I use a lot of.

  • Ellie McChesney's avatar
    Ellie McChesney 1/23/2024 1:45 PM
    This week, since we're all stuck inside, I decided to sort through a lot of the clutter in my house. I found that I had a lot of paper that I was going to recycle, so instead I decided to repurpose it. I made a small station at the edge of my counter for all the paper that's still usable (both for printing and anything else). I ended up filling an entire box with reusable paper as well as a stack of fun/colorful/scrapbooking paper. I feel that this fits the sustainability conversation because just like clothes and furniture, paper can also be reused instead of tossed immediately.

  • Ellie McChesney's avatar
    Ellie McChesney 1/13/2024 7:25 PM
    This morning I collected 5 eggs from my chickens, which is an unusually high number in the winter. Given that I won't eat them all in time, I took them to my neighbor's house. She's elderly and didn't want to walk her food scraps out to her compost given the bad weather, so I ended up feeding them to my chickens. It felt nice to both donate and recycle food products so they don't end up getting thrown away.