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Sulema Medina Torres

capstone summer 2024


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Participant Feed

Reflection, encouragement, and relationship building are all important aspects of getting a new habit to stick.
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  • Sulema Medina Torres's avatar
    Sulema Medina Torres 7/20/2024 6:05 PM
    For this week’s eco challenge I decided to find alternatives to buying items I’ve been wanting. One of the things I chose to do was to get heels from my mom and sister since they have an insane amount (racks full), they were happy to gift me some they wouldn’t wear as often. I am also attending the renaissance faire and comic con this year so I chose to repurpose clothing and accessories I already owned for both. It took some time and reimagining but I ended up with outfits I am happy and excited to wear.

    To get more in tune with nature I decided to do homework and eat outside as much as possible. Mainly it was me being in my backyard but having the trees, sunlight, and the breeze helped me immensely. I also chose to not be on my phone while eating and just enjoy being outside. The other activity was listening to live music at the park with a friend. We went on a picnic and painted too so it was a lot of fun. There were also these girls giving away free kitties so we got to play with them for a bit. The whole experience was so nice because everyone was having a good time and just enjoying the scenery and music together.

    • Carolina Rhodes's avatar
      Carolina Rhodes 7/21/2024 10:03 AM
      Hi Sulema, that sounds like the perfect summer day! Music at the park, picnic wit friends, painting and free kittens- oh my! Just being outside, breathing fresh air and having your feet touch the soil does wonders in regulating our nervous systems! I also love that you shopped your family's closets. I don't have my family nearby, but what a great idea to do with close friends as well! Have a great rest of your summer!

  • Sulema Medina Torres's avatar
    Sulema Medina Torres 7/16/2024 5:59 PM

    Topic: COMMUNITY

    I redownloaded the bartering/trading skills app called Simbi. I had known about this app years back when it was first created and I loved the premise behind it, however, at the time there were no energy users for me to fully be able to benefit from it. I loved being able to explore all the new features it had like the “find niche communities''. It was also a great reminder to brush up on skills I have and to opt to buy/ trade with others instead of always buying new things from large corporations. Along these same lines, as I am remodeling and reorganizing my new space I am donating items and repurposing others.
    The last thing for this topic, I would like to mention is that the area I live in has a few of the little book houses (not quite sure the terminology for them). These are little storage areas where people can trade books free of charge. I have always adored the idea of them and am happy to be surrounded by them as I grew up being a bookworm. I had pushed off on buying brand new books and now I am glad I did as I can peruse these little book houses.


    I already take the bus everywhere I go so there was much else I could think of to do for this challenge. I will say that I now live further from a friend and am still choosing public transit over using Lyft or Uber. I used to live 30 mins away from them and now I live a full hour away. To keep myself from being tempted to use Lyft, I would do homework on the bus. I have also set aside a book I can start as a way to kill time during trips as well ( I will commence reading this once homework isn’t taking up most of my time). The one big change I want to make is to explore this new area where I live well enough to where I can make the majority (90%) of my purchases from local shops I can walk to. This would mean eliminating the need to travel at all and also reduce packaging waste from buying things that need to be mailed to me. Something I already did to start this was to make an inventory on my phone of all the surrounding shops I want to go visit.

    • Montana Kent's avatar
      Montana Kent 7/21/2024 8:12 AM
      Hi Sulima,

      Thanks for sharing! I was trying to remember the name of this app because you had mentioned it during class, glad to have it here. I'm going to download it now because that seems like such a great use of technology. I also love the free libraries, my old neighborhood used to have way more of them but maybe I should just start one in my new neighborhood, the closest one to me is at least 10 blocks.

    • Amy Minato's avatar
      Amy Minato 7/20/2024 4:32 PM
      aren't little libraries great! there are many more things we could just put out to share if we wanted. we should need to make cute little storage places for them..

  • Sulema Medina Torres's avatar
    Sulema Medina Torres 7/09/2024 5:58 PM

    Topic: FOOD
    I chose to shop organically for all my fruits and vegetables. I also did not purchase any new items until I had finished the majority of everything I had so as to avoid any food waste. Thanks to the new house I live in I was also able to compost any of the scraps as we have a compost bin set up. I was especially happy to be able to compost my coffee grounds as they make good fertilizers. All of the compost will be used in my future gardening projects. Circling back to avoiding food waste. I work at a restaurant and always ensure that anything that is thrown out at the end of the night is minimal if not zero. For example, preventing people from heating an excessive amount of chicken that will be thrown out by the end of the night. We also let people take whatever they would like home so it's not just thrown away. Lastly, I started taking my own reusable containers to work in case I wanted to bring food home to avoid using take out containers.

    Topic: WATER
    I chose to start taking my hydroflask with me everywhere I went (especially with this heat). If I visited campus to study I used the water bottle refill stations. In regards to conserving water/ lowering my water consumption I installed a water efficient shower head into my new bathroom. I already owned it from when I moved into an apartment building so I simply switched the one at the new house I am living in. It's nice because you can pause the flow of the water without needing to turn off the faucet altogether. This way whenever I am shampooing, I can pause it and conserve water.

    • Amy Minato's avatar
      Amy Minato 7/15/2024 3:53 PM
      good work Sulema! I put my coffee grounds on my plants too.

  • Sulema Medina Torres's avatar
    Sulema Medina Torres 7/09/2024 5:52 PM
    Reducing Waste

    As someone who is very into fashion I try to avoid fast fashion due to the poor quality and the unethical labor practices used to create it. As such, I chose to thrift instead of buying new clothes. I ended up getting 3 pieces. The most exciting one was the pinstripe blazer as these are typically very expensive to buy new and it is also something I need as a business major for interviews and such. The next item I got was a jacket for the winter time. It's always smart to buy when it is the opposite season as it can be cheaper that way. Lastly, I bought a knitted mesh cardigan. New versions of these are typically made with shoddy fabric, yet the one I found feels very sturdy and like a piece I will wear for a very long time. All three pieces will be staples to my wardrobes I can wear many times without needing replacement. For many years I have been wanting to do a clothes swap event, so perhaps I will do that for a future challenge.

    The other way I chose to reduce waste this week was to go shopping at a store that offers local products in sustainable packaging. I specifically was looking to find glass bottled alternative milk. I already own my own espresso machine so I make my own coffee. However, I typically buy cartoon oats or soy milk. I wanted to be able to reduce waste by finding somewhere that has refillable options for my most bought items. Particularly, as I know that the majority of waste I generate is packaging waste from food products.

    Upon actually going to a store called People’s Co-op, I found they didn’t really carry alternative milk in glass bottles. I did purchase other items, however, that were more eco friendly than what I normally buy. I got an organic soap bar (over buying a plastic container of soap), granola, canned coconut milk, etc. I mainly wanted to see what they had and now I can plan future purchases based on what they offer. I was excited to see olive oil and various vinegars I use to cook with in a refillable manner. I already buy glass containers with these but still have to buy new containers each time. I’m the future. I can now come to this store and refill with my own containers.

    • Amy Minato's avatar
      Amy Minato 7/15/2024 3:56 PM
      this is awesome Sulema! (I like your taste in clothes!). People's is wonderful.