Michael Park

ENST 246 : Environmental Activism

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 742 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    1,650
    minutes
    not spent in front of a screen
  • up to
    11
    people
    helped
  • up to
    51
    plastic straws
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    1,080
    minutes
    being mindful
  • up to
    810
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    17
    miles
    not traveled by car
  • up to
    1,449
    gallons of water
    have been saved
  • up to
    780
    minutes
    spent learning

Challenges

Energy

Switch to Cold Water

I will switch to washing my clothes in cold water, saving up to 1,600 lbs of C02 over the course of the next year.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Simplicity

Disconnect from Email

I will disconnect from my email when not at work or school.

COMPLETED 31 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

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 31 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Simplicity

Eat Mindfully

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

COMPLETED 24 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Water

Fix Leaky Faucets

I will fix faucets or report leaky faucets to facilities that have been wasting up to 9 gallons (34 L) of water per faucet every day.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Simplicity

Limit Social Media

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

COMPLETED 24 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Food

Smart Seafood Choices

I will visit seafoodwatch.org or download the app and commit to making better seafood choices for a healthier ocean.

COMPLETED 24 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Health

Go get a check up

I will make an appointment for my annual physical.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Waste

Use Reusable Bags

I will not accept any disposable bags when making purchases.

COMPLETED 17 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Transportation

Drive Less

I will cut my car trip mileage by only taking necessary trips.

COMPLETED 17 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Nature

Forage for My Food

I will use the resource below to find where I can forage for my own food locally.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Waste

Skip the Straw

Plastic bags and small plastic pieces like straws are most likely to get swept into our waterways. I will keep 3 plastic straw(s) out of the landfill and ocean each day by refusing straws or using my own glass/metal straw.

COMPLETED 17 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Waste

Go Paperless

I will reduce the amount of paper mail that I receive by opting into paperless billing and ending unwanted subscriptions.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Waste

Find Local Recycling Depots

I will spend at least 30 minutes finding out where to recycle the recyclable items that I can't put in my curbside bin.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Simplicity

Needs Vs. Wants

I will adopt a "Needs Vs. Wants" approach and only buy things I need.

COMPLETED 11 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Community

Help Others

I will offer to help 1 person(s) who are in need each day.

COMPLETED 11 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Feed


  • Michael Park 3/07/2019 9:29 AM
    This week was extremely interesting trying to figure out how to fulfill all the challenges I picked since the first week of EcoChallenge, when to fulfill them, and whether I was doing a good job doing so. Picking a challenge from all the categories EcoChallenge offered was a new challenge for me, as it made me explore areas that I was never exposed to, and helped me branch out my options to change my lifestyle that can benefit the environment. Some challenges were easier than others- I had no problem helping out others around campus, identifying my needs and my wants, or look into local recycling depots. The ‘food’ category was a hard challenge for me to embrace since I love food and eating and love to enjoy all kinds of food, from meat, seafood, vegetables, to fruits, etc. I also love to try out new things, so the fact that giving up meat or anything was something I couldn’t wrap my head around for a while. Fortunately, I was able to find a challenge that involved making better choices regarding seafood. I found this challenge interesting at first glance, as I love seafood, since it made me wonder what a ‘smart’ seafood choice is. At first, I thought that it meant to eat fresh, not bad or funny, seafood, and stay healthy. But I was really wrong. A site published by NRDC offered tips for enjoying fresh seafood while minimizing damage to the body and the environment. It was the ‘enjoying seafood while minimizing damage to the environment’ part that I was particularly interested in. Also, the website offered which seafoods contained least amount of mercury, which is harmful to our bodies, and suggested consuming what seafoods to consume to minimize the mercury intake. For example, anchovies, clams, flounders, oysters, shrimps, and scallops had minimal amounts of mercury, while bluefish, king mackerels, marlins, and sharks had the highest amounts of mercury. This guideline is great for those choosing what seafoods to bring to the table, as it reminds us to enjoy seafood that will not damage our bodies. The website suggested consuming American-caught seafoods. Also, the website challenged us to eat different types of seafood, other than the five most consumed seafoods in America: shrimps, salmon, canned tuna, tilapia, and pollock. This is important as those five types can suffer from “overfishing, harmful catch methods, habitat destruction, and overuse of antibiotics,” if we heavily depend on just those five types of seafoods. The single thing from the website that I could not agree on was eating local seafoods. I just couldn’t see myself eating community-supported fisheries when I’m living in Lewisburg. Central PA is not the region I would trust my seafood to be from, and quite frankly, I don’t even think there are fisheries around the area. But overall, this website was full of good information that I could use and remind myself when purchasing seafood in the future. Other than consuming local seafood, I could definitely adopt the information to my daily lifestyle of consuming seafood. 
     

  • Michael Park 2/28/2019 6:51 AM
    As expected, the EcoChallenges have picked up in difficulty and demand for time and effort. I was not surprised at all at how many challenges have been added in a matter of two weeks, and how much focus, detail and effort these challenges require in order for me to complete them in the right manner. This week, I explored a variety of categories of the challenges, adding challenges from the health, nature, transportation, and waste categories. While it is a requirement to complete at least a challenge from each category, I would’ve done so regardless of the requirement. It is definitely rewarding to experience all categories of the EcoChallenge, as it teaches me how there are so many different ways to be an environmentalist. The challenges I picked for this week were still mostly simple tasks to complete. It was not hard for me reduce my usage of straws and plastic bags; using a reusable bag at Giant this past weekend made me feel extremely proud of myself and I felt that I was actually doing something worthwhile that helps the environment. I also asked my parents to set up an appointment over the summer for a check-up, which also was not a hard task to complete. 
    The only challenging task I had to complete was the challenge from the nature category, which is to forage for my own food. At first, this was not a welcoming task to me, since I had no idea how to forage for my own food, and where to forage them, so I never figured this was a possible task for me to complete in a college campus setting. But there is a cool website called fallingfruit.org where it lets you know where you can forage food and what you can forage. Apparently, in the town of Lewisburg, there are 32 things I can forage and eat. In fact, all 32 items that popped up in this website were on Bucknell campus, so this was surprising to me, since I never figured there were edible food for me to forage on campus. If this challenge asked me to actually forage my food instead of just researching where and what I can forage around me, I wouldn’t have completed this challenge. I would not be ready to forage for my own food, especially not after depending on non-foraged food for 21+ years (my entire life). On top of that, because I am a swimmer and we are in-season right now, where nutrition is vital, I don’t know if I trust myself to forage my own food without upsetting my stomach or not consuming enough or right nutrients. But because this challenge was to simply research into foraging, it was nice to see the possibilities of foraging for food, and it was cool to see that it was possible here in Lewisburg. However, this is a challenge I cannot include in my permanent lifestyle changes, and it’s not something I am willing to embrace for the rest of my life. According to the website, a lot of the areas across the world do not provide food available to be foraged, so it would be harder than easier for me to forage my own food, especially if I end up in those unavailable areas after college. 

  • Michael Park 2/21/2019 9:35 AM
                This week was more challenging to complete my daily eco-challenges simply because I had more challenges to complete. The challenges I picked for this week were still relatively simple and easy to complete, so I had no problem completing them. I just had to keep reminding myself to complete the daily challenges and checking in on the eco-challenge website. I picked a lot of challenges from the ‘simplicity’ category early on, since I wanted to experience what it meant to live ‘simple.’ I was pleasantly surprised how little and easy tasks I picked have a lot of impact on how ‘simple’ I can live on a daily basis. Never would I have thought how limiting social media and staying away from them while eating can ease my mind and clear my mind off distractions. I was actually able to sleep better at night because I would stay away from any kind of screens before I went to sleep. Previously, I would check my phone every single night before I went to sleep to check my emails or my social media to ‘try to catch up to things.’ I realized that, as I completed the daily tasks to stay away from emails and social media, I really wasn’t ‘behind’ anything and life was still the same as checking emails and social media every night before going to bed. Luckily, my mods’ bathtub faucet has been leaking water since the winter break, so I was easily able to call facilities and have them come in and fix it. I was thinking why I haven’t contacted facilities earlier, since I would’ve saved way more water had I called in facilities as soon as I noticed the faucet leaking. I was almost embarrassed when facilities asked me when the faucet started leaking, since it has been a while since it did, and I answered “winter break.” It was obviously to me that facilities were thinking why I haven’t contacted them earlier. These little things in my daily life really does make a difference on the environment. 
                I see the challenge to stay away from the phone while eating as the most challenging task to keep my promise for the rest of my life. I know that as I graduate college, get older, and get a job, I will have way more demanding and mature responsibilities that will require any time I have to fulfill the responsibilities. I can imagine myself being chased by time and checking emails or doing work while inhaling any food I can grab in my hands. This challenge, so far, seems to me as the task most difficult to change permanently. 
                I read a blog about staying away from social media and the author of this blog talked about 10 things that he learned when he stayed away from social media. It was safe to say that I was able to relate to all 10 things he mentioned. I was able to sleep earlier and better, kill the urge to check Facebook constantly, eliminate any notifications regarding social media, enjoy other things I love to do that I wasn’t really able to do because I was distracted on my phone or my laptop, and most importantly, get work done. Social media and phones have always distracted me from doing work. For example, if I sat in the library and started work at 7 PM, the first thing I would always do is check my phone, and when I check time, it is 9 PM all of a sudden. With the phone without notifications and away from me in my bag, I was actually able to finish work at 9 PM, and this connects to going to bed earlier. I really liked this blog and was really able to connect and relate to it. 

    • brooke shepherd 2/25/2019 7:46 AM
      When I started the Eco-Challenge, I also wanted to see how I can live my life more ‘simply’. After watching the documentary on the Minimalists, it was inspiring to see how happier they were after living their life more simply. I started off by minimizing my social media time which surprisingly made an impact on my daily life. It makes a difference to limit my time on social media and remain disconnected. I thought that your comment on ‘catching up on things’ was very insightful to how social media can tend to take over our lives. We constantly feel the need to catch up on each other’s lives through social media, but in reality when we take a break it doesn’t make that much of a difference. It amazes me how starting the eco-challenge has made a difference on the things that occur within my life that I haven’t noticed before in regards to being eco-friendly. With your example of the leaky faucet, without starting this challenge you may have left the faucet remain in its state for a longer period of time. I read the same additional source from limiting my social media and I thought it was interesting how much the author learned from staying away from social media. We often don’t realize how much of our daily lives are consumed by checking our phones, and it is beneficial to learn about the impacts that putting our phones down can have on our productivity. Although it can be difficult to disconnect from social media, I think that it can be rewarding for ourselves and our work ethic to be mindful of our screen time.

  • Michael Park 2/14/2019 6:01 AM
    For the first week of EcoChallenge, I chose relatively simple challenges that can also benefit my lifestyle and the environment. I chose to switch to cold water for laundry cycles (one-time), shut off my laptop whenever I am not using it, and stay away from my email for 30 minutes when I am not doing work or in school (daily challenges). These were relatively simple and non-demanding tasks that I did not stress over. Quite frankly, remembering to do these tasks were the hardest part of the EcoChallenge so far. However, I do realize that as we stack on more challenges as weeks go on, I know that the tasks will be more demanding, more time-consuming, and harder to remember. What did surprise me is the fact that how much impact I can make on the environment if I do these challenges as a daily routine and a part of my life. I do not have the exact numerical statistics with me, but I did see how much I can impact the environment if I switch to cold water for laundry cycles, and how much CO2 pounds I can save if I turn off my laptop when not in use or stay away from emails and technologies for a chunk of my day. Little did I know that these seemingly simple tasks could really make impacts on the environment. It’s not hard to shut off laptops when we are not using it. If all laptops in the world were shut off when not used, I cannot even imagine how many CO2 pounds that can be saved by doing so. While there may be challenges that I cannot accept as permanent lifestyle changes, the three challenges I have been doing so far are definitely something I can accept as permanent lifestyle changes for the rest of my life. I can definitely stay away from emails for 30 minutes every day, and I can also switch to cold water for every laundry cycles and switch off my laptop every day. 
    I am absolutely willing to switch to cold waters for laundry for the rest of my life. According to the coldwatersaves.org website, If I wash 4 out of 5 loads of my laundry in cold water, I can save 864 pounds of CO2 emissions per year, which is equivalent to planting .37 acres of U.S. forest. Also, by switching to cold water, I only spend $16 of electricity per year, compared to $265 when I use hot water. If I can save money and the environment at the same time, it would be hard not to do it. I am also willing to shut off my laptop every night before I go to bed, and stay away from emails for 30 minutes every night too. Shutting off my laptop helps me stay from distractions I face every night which leads to loss of sleep time, while staying away from emails reduces stress and helps me enjoy other things I love doing.
    Overall, I was pleased that I was able to keep my promises to do these challenges daily and make an impact on the environment. I am excited to do more new challenges and help the environment out even more in the future. 

    • Andrew Stuhl 2/20/2019 5:46 AM
      This is great! Wise move to choose challenges that you felt were an easy entry into the larger 4 week challenge. I love that you found the cold water wash a simple switch -- especially given that it saves money and the planet! One thing about that -- cold water is not as effective as warm water in removing stains. So, you might want to consider applying some stain remover to clothes before you do a cold wash; or separating items that are stained and washing them together in (somebody else's) warm wash. Nothing illegal about grouping together with friends to do a single warm wash for those items to cut down on everyone's warm wash / CO2 emissions. Also, about shutting down the laptop -- this is huge. Somehow I got in the habit over the last 10 years of leaving mine on..all the time. I honestly can't remember the last time it was powered down that wasn't a reboot or a crash or something. I really can't say why except convenience. and it does use so much power! Good work!