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Lauren  Partridge 's avatar

Lauren Partridge

ENST 246: Fall 2020

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 1,185 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    40
    miles
    not traveled by car
  • up to
    179
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    1
    documentaries
    watched
  • up to
    475
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    4
    meatless or vegan meals
    consumed
  • up to
    320
    minutes
    being mindful
  • up to
    20
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • up to
    10
    plastic bottles
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    40
    more servings
    of fruits and vegetables
  • up to
    660
    minutes
    not spent in front of a screen
  • up to
    1,080
    minutes
    of additional sleep

Lauren 's Actions

Energy

Learn About Renewable Energy

I will spend 30 minutes learning more about renewable energy alternatives (i.e. solar, wind, biomass) in my region.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Reduce Animal Products

I will enjoy 1 meatless meal(s) and/or 0 vegan meal(s) each day this week.

COMPLETED 4
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

LEARN ABOUT TRANS, FEMME, AND NONBINARY EXPERIENCES

I will spend 30 minutes learning about the experiences of trans, femme, and/or nonbinary people.

Completed
One-Time Action

Nature

Enjoy the Sunrise/Sunset

I will enjoy the sunrise and/or sunset each day.

COMPLETED 4
DAILY ACTIONS

Waste

Learn About & Practice Sustainable Fashion

I will learn about sustainable fashion and begin trying to practice it in my own life.

Completed
One-Time Action

Health

More Fruits and Veggies

I will eat a heart healthy diet by adding 1 cup(s) of fruits and vegetables each day to achieve at least 4 cups per day.

COMPLETED 10
DAILY ACTIONS

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

Water

Use Reusable Bottles

I will use a reusable bottle and stop purchasing bottled water, saving 1 disposable plastic bottle(s) a day.

COMPLETED 10
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

Limit Social Media

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

COMPLETED 18
DAILY ACTIONS

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 18
DAILY ACTIONS

Health

Learn About Local Environmental Justice Concerns

I will spend 30 minutes researching environmental justice and environmental racism concerns in my region, who is affected by them, and local initiatives to address these concerns.

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Support Native Communities

I will use the resource links provided below and spend 60 minutes learning about the native populations that lived in my area prior to colonization, and what I can do to support those that still exist.

Completed
One-Time Action

Transportation

Drive Less

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

COMPLETED 25
DAILY ACTIONS

Waste

Prevent Recycling Contamination

Contamination prevents what is recyclable from being recycled. I will spend 30 minutes researching which materials are accepted by local haulers or drop stations in my community and recycle only those items.

COMPLETED 25
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.

Completed
One-Time Action

Simplicity

Meditate

I will meditate or create a moment of silence for 10 minute(s) each day to reflect on things important to me.

COMPLETED 32
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 32
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed


  • Lauren  Partridge 's avatar
    Lauren Partridge 9/21/2020 7:09 PM
                The daily challenge that I have struggled with the most adding this week is getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night. At the beginning of the week I thought that maybe I would feel less guilty going to bed early because it was technically for an assignment. However, I have found that I am still struggling with time management and also understanding that I really do need more sleep, and it is unhealthy to only get 4 or 5 hours. I am surprised by how much of a difference it has made to get just get a little bit more sleep for only a week. I am hoping that this is a habit that I can keep up because I have always felt like I do not get enough sleep. Unfortunately, I think that there will be a large barrier to me being able to adopt this permanently once I graduate and have to work full time while being a real adult.

                I was surprised at how refreshing it was to limit my social media use. Even cutting back by only about 30 minutes a day definitely made a difference. By designating a specific block of time to not use social media, I was able to stay focused for longer periods of time to get work done. I also found that the more I limited myself using social media the less I feel like I needed to be on it constantly. These days it has been especially hard to pull myself away because of the need to feel constantly updated and informed on current events that are happening, but the constant stream of sad and angering news has added significantly to my stress and does occasionally affect my mental health. I think the hardest part going forward with trying to limit my social media use even more is fighting the urge to be constantly informed. I don’t necessarily feel the need to be scrolling on social media all of the time, but I do feel guilty sometimes if I feel like I’m ignoring what’s happening in the world. 

                The easiest challenge by far was switching to using cold water to wash my clothes. I have never considered how much energy it took to wash clothes because laundry is something that is necessary and it just always gets done without a thought. However, now that I am paying more attention, there is really no downside to doing your laundry in cold water. A quick read of coldwatersaves.org explains that washing your clothes in cold water is better for your clothes, uses less energy, and saves you money. I am always frustrated when some of my favorite shirts start to fade quickly because I wear them, and therefore wash them, so much. It turns out that one of the best ways to prevent fading is to wash in cold water. This is one challenge that I can say for certain will remain permanent in my life. 

                One of the most eye-opening parts of this week’s challenges was learning about environmental justice. A lot of what I had previously learned about climate change is how it affects some of the “Least Developed Countries” that have contributed the least to climate change. I have often focused on these countries because it always seemed unfair to me that the countries that are contributing the least are being harmed the most and the fastest. I think that a big part of the problem with climate change deniers in the United States is that people here don’t think they’re experiencing it yet, so they don’t believe it. I think that some of that is changing with all of the wildfires, but I think that it would also be beneficial for people to look at NOAA’s Interactive Climate Explorer. I was shocked when I looked at how much of the United States would be affected by only a 3 ft rise in ocean levels. It looked even worse when I realized how much of the United States’ population lives in coastal areas. This map really put into perspective how much more the US could be affected than I already thought, and unfortunately, that did take a visual aid for me.


    • Carrie Loomis's avatar
      Carrie Loomis 10/05/2020 6:20 PM
      Hey Lauren!
      Taking on the challenge of ensuring you get enough sleep every night is impressive! I am right there with you when you talked about time management getting in the way of sleeping enough. It can be so easy to lose sleep as a student. I am so happy to hear that changing your sleep habits has already had a positive impact on your life. Hopefully, you will be able to keep up with this as life gets more hectic! Designating a specific block of time to be away from your phone sounds like such a good idea! I have not thought of doing that before, and it feels like it would be very effective. I am happy to hear that you are stepping back from it since it causes you so much stress. I don’t think that you should feel guilty either! The best thing that you can do is take care of yourself so you can help others in the best way possible.
      I love that you have such a positive attitude to your challenge of washing your clothes in cold water. It is really cool that you took a challenge meant to be temporary and liked it enough to prefer it over the alternative. The way you have written about it makes me want to switch to only washing my clothes in cold water. It is so upsetting that the negative effects of climate change fall most on places that contribute the least to the problem. It is really powerful to see negative effects, and I think you are right about people who deny climate change. Hopefully, the future will hold more widespread climate education.

    • Maggie Hopkins's avatar
      Maggie Hopkins 9/30/2020 6:31 PM
      Hi Lauren! I really appreciated your journal entry and a lot of it really resonated with me! I have also been trying to sleep more and had difficulty with it. I’m glad you noticed the difference it made when you were able to get more sleep. I found that the nights I get more sleep I feel much better throughout the next day. I also really liked what you said about cutting back on social media. This is another challenge I have been doing as well and I know how hard it can be. I liked how you designated a specific time to not use your phone. That seems like a good way to keep yourself accountable. I relate to what you were saying about it being hard to pull yourself away from news and the media on your phone these days. While it’s hard to stay away from it all sometimes a break can be really beneficial in order to clear your head and come back later to it. Your insight on the environmental justice issues was interesting also. I definitely agree that for many people they won’t believe in it until it is affecting them more which is very frustrating. I wish more people could better understand the less obvious effects of their actions and the ways in which the environment has already been so severely hurt by our impact. I looked at the NOAA’s Interactive Climate Explorer which you mentioned. That definitely seems like a good way in which people could visualize these effects, especially if they were to look at the specific areas they live in. I hope you have a great rest of the week!

  • Lauren  Partridge 's avatar
    Lauren Partridge 9/14/2020 5:21 PM
                Adding two more daily challenges this week made it a lot easier to remember to do them. I think when I have more to do and more to remember I am better at managing my time. One thing that I am glad I was able to accomplish was to remember to check in and complete my challenges earlier in the day if possible. The daily challenge that I feel I was most successful in completely this week was one of my new ones, driving less. Although I don’t necessarily drive long distances every day, I do have a bad habit of driving to different locations on campus or downtown that I could easily walk to. By committing to driving less, I also became more aware of unnecessary trips that I was used to taking to places such as the grocery store. So, instead of running out to the store every time I needed or wanted one thing, I better planned my shopping so that I would only have to go once. If I forgot something, I deemed it to be unimportant enough to remember, and I would live without it until my next big trip. Additionally, in the future, I plan to attempt to coordinate with friends going to places that require driving in hopes to further reduce carbon emissions. Overall, I was surprised at how easy it was to reduce my driving.

                I continued to struggle with meditation this week; however, I am still determined to make it a helpful, regular habit of mine. I’ve found that, on the days that I was able to practice mindfulness with zero distractions, it felt incredibly refreshing and improved my day overall. Another barrier that I’ve faced this past week is to remember to check exactly what I am recycling. I always have it in my mind that I should be recycling papers, plastics, and glass if possible, but I don’t always remember to check what number the plastic item is that I am recycling. I still think that the largest barrier I will face in making these lifestyle changes permanent is continuing to practice them once the accountability of the EcoChallenge and class is gone. 

                After reading “The Battle Against Recylcing Contamination is Everyone’s Battle,” I was once again reminded how serious recycling the correct materials actually is. I, and I’m sure many others, have fallen into a habit of believing that, as long as we recycle as much as possible, we’re doing our part to help the earth. However, this is most definitely not the case, and it is more important now than ever that we are make conscious decisions to pay attention to exactly what we are recycling so as not to contaminate actual recyclable material. I also think that, if possible, reusing before recycling should become more popular. This would not only reduce the amount recycled, which we know is costly and not as eco-friendly as originally thought, and it would reduce the likelihood that the recycling becomes contaminated with unrecyclable materials. 

                Cultural appropriation is a hot topic these days, and it is also something that I am more consciously trying to make sure that I am not participating in or endorsing. “4 Ways to Honor Native Americans Without Appropriating Our Culture,” is an article I was led to by my one time challenge to learn about and support Native American communities. I feel that it is extremely helpful in explaining the difference between appropriation and appreciation and offering ways to appreciate Native American culture by supporting Native artists and craftsmen. The article also offers recommendations for different movements that we can help support, and I would highly recommend that everyone read it. I think that cultural appropriation, as well as coming to terms with the violent history with Native Americans that our country has had, are becoming more important knowledge to have as it becomes more readily available. Especially now, there is no excuse for being unaware of these issues, and they are issues that I would like to continue to educate myself on and would encourage others to do the same.


  • Lauren  Partridge 's avatar
    Lauren Partridge 9/07/2020 5:37 PM
                For my daily challenges this week, I decided that the best starting place for me would be to focus on my mind. I chose to meditate for 10 minutes each day and record three things I am grateful for. The easiest challenge for me to complete was the one-time challenge I chose which was watching a documentary about food sovereignty. I already enjoy watching documentaries about various topics, and, although I only watched one of the suggestions for the challenge, I will likely be returning to the page for more suggestions. The daily challenges were slightly more challenging for me. I knew that implementing something new into my daily routine would be difficult, as I am horrible at establishing new habits, but I did not realize just how forgetful I actually am. Even though I set an alarm everyday to remind me to complete my daily challenges, I found myself snoozing it if I was in the middle of something when it went off and then rushing to complete it at the end of the day once I realized I had not done them yet. Once I remembered to write down my three things I am grateful for, it was easy. Meditating is what I have struggled with the most. 10 minutes may not seem like a long time, but, when you are used to being busy and moving all day long, meditating for 10 minutes proved to be difficult as I often find my mind wandering or stressing about what I have to do next. I think that discipline is what could prevent me from incorporating these daily actions permanently into my life. If I am no longer held accountable by the EcoChallenge website and the class, then I can see myself skipping a day here and there until they are completely lost from my routine. However, it has only been one week, so I am hoping that if I can keep them up for five then I will actually be able to form the habits. 

                I am willing to make these lifestyle changes permanent, and I am hoping that over the course of the challenge I will acquire the tools to be able to do so. The article “How to Meditate” by David Gelles, gives great insight on multiple forms of meditation and mindfulness that I would like to try to see which one suits me the best. Once I am able to get the basics of meditation down, then I will try to incorporate meditation styles such as mindful eating and walking meditation. The article also offers some guided tracks to help train your mind to get more out of meditation which I would also like to try. I have heard and read a lot of positive results of meditation, so, even though I have not successfully reached those results yet, I am not going to give up. The article “14 Health Benefits of Practicing Gratitude According to Science” by Kori Miller offers similar sentiment. Practicing gratitude comes with a multitude of both physical and mental health benefits that I think would be extremely beneficial to myself. Improving mood and satisfaction while reducing materialism are goals that I have recently set for myself and would really like to achieve. Additionally, like I’m sure many other college students would, I would greatly enjoy getting better sleep and being less fatigued during the day. While I would not consider my first week of challenges a failure, I am not exactly going to describe it as a total success. I am definitely looking to improve how deliberate I am in completing my daily challenges and better incorporating them into my routines.


    • Nicole Snyder's avatar
      Nicole Snyder 9/25/2020 10:03 AM
      I find that sitting down and just focusing on nothing but being relaxed is very difficult even for just ten minutes. Throughout the time you have been doing this have you noticed it begin to get easier or is it just as difficult as it was at the start? Another question I had while reading your response was the idea of writing down three things you are grateful for each day. Have you found that some of the things you have been writing tend to repeat a lot over time or have you had different ideals every time? I think it is good that you have acknowledged a few weaknesses you found within the first week of challenges but have accepted them and are going to try harder with them in the next coming weeks. I think it is good to always think about what you have done and then try to do better.  

    • Andrew Stuhl's avatar
      Andrew Stuhl 9/14/2020 12:03 PM
      Awesome Lauren!! I hear you on accountability and how important it is in making positive changes in our lives. This is something I struggle with -- at times I feel like I'm totally on it and other times, I can't get a grip on it. Just sharing that to say your experience is totally valid, common, and to be expected! I appreciate you using the journal to be honest and recommit and also think about all the benefits of your first week in the challenge! Keep going!