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Hannah Schaeffer's avatar

Hannah Schaeffer

Bucknell ENST 246 - Spring 20224

POINTS TOTAL

  • 0 TODAY
  • 0 THIS WEEK
  • 640 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    11
    whole food meals
    consumed
  • UP TO
    4.0
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    24
    plastic straws
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    617
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • UP TO
    60
    minutes
    spent learning

Hannah's actions

Community

Support A Sharing Economy

I will create or support a sharing economy with family, friends, neighbors, or classmates.

COMPLETED 3
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

SIGN UP TO VOTE

I will make sure I’m registered to vote. While I’m at it, I’ll sign up to help others register too!

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Waste

Use Reusable Bags

If at all possible, I will not accept any disposable bags when making purchases.

COMPLETED 3
DAILY ACTIONS

Health

Audit Toxic Cleaning Products

I will spend 45 minutes researching toxic chemicals found in cleaning supplies and personal care products and remove them from my home or dorm room.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Health

Reduce refined sugar

I will keep track and reduce my consumption of refined sugars, including sweetened beverages, candy, and processed foods.

COMPLETED 5
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Whole Food Lifestyle

I will enjoy 1 meal(s) each day free of processed foods.

COMPLETED 10
DAILY ACTIONS

Water

Say No to Plastic Straws

An estimated 71% of seabirds and 30% of turtles have been found with plastics in their stomachs. When they ingest plastic, marine life has a 50% mortality rate. By asking for no straw when placing a drink order, I will keep 1 plastic straw(s) of out of the ocean each day.

COMPLETED 15
DAILY ACTIONS

Water

Mulch the Base of Trees and Plants

I will prevent water runoff and increase absorbency by mulching the base of plants and trees at my home or work.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Energy

Turn it off

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

COMPLETED 14
DAILY ACTIONS

Nature

Do Nature Activities

I will engage in nature-based activities alone, or with my friends or family, for 20 minute(s) each day. (This can be anything from going on a walk or hike, to noticing the leaves changing color, to reading a book with nature themes.)

COMPLETED 17
DAILY ACTIONS

Simplicity

Needs Vs. Wants

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

COMPLETED 21
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

Participant Feed

Reflection, encouragement, and relationship building are all important aspects of getting a new habit to stick.
Share thoughts, encourage others, and reinforce positive new habits on the Feed.

To get started, share “your why.” Why did you join the challenge and choose the actions you did?


  • Hannah Schaeffer's avatar
    Hannah Schaeffer 2/18/2024 10:27 PM
    Journal 3
    1. Through the water, health, food, and energy categories, I learned a lot about how I live my life. I found myself being reminded about the effects of my actions way more than before. Especially in the food category, I found myself thinking a lot about what I was consuming and the health impacts it can have. I chose the challenge to reduce processed foods and refined sugars. Now whenever I want to get something to eat and snack on it is much more than just grabbing what I want to eat and it is about what is the best choice for me to make for myself. For the water and energy challenges, I found it easier to make those changes. My challenges were to turn off electronics and lights when not in use and to not use plastic straws. Turning off electronics was already something I was used to doing at home which I channeled to implement here, and for the plastic straws, I already didn’t like using single-use plastic bottles, so now I carry around a straw with them. I learned a lot about what issues I had previous attachments to and which I had more of a challenge to incorporate into my life.
    2. Through these past 4 categories, I feel more connected with the environment because of the connections that each topic has with one another. Especially thinking about the reading of Food for Dissent by Maria McGrath, I definitely think of food more than just fuel. A quote by Waters included by McGrath explains how food can be used for connecting with a more natural and healthy lifestyle. “You set a table, and make it a beautiful experience that they don’t forget. This is an environmental movement that’s about pleasure on the table . . . Through beauty. It’s not telling people what to do. It’s bringing something to people that can change their lives, and that they can do easily.” When I make sure I have a daily meal without processed foods, I feel more connected with nature because I know that is where my food is coming from. I can also see myself including these food practices after this challenge because it makes me feel better knowing that what I am eating is good for me and also better for the environment. Through the challenges of water and energy, I find myself closer to the environment as I think about how much waste I am reducing. By turning off the lights, I am reducing the amount of fossil fuels I consume, and by reducing the amount of plastic straws, I am limiting the amount of plastic waste I consume. This connects to this week's readings about waste, where Robin Kaiser-Schatzlein explains, “What constitutes our waste changes, and with it our understanding of the world.” By thinking about what I consider “waste” I change how I feel about the world around me. I started to care more for it as I realized the changes I could make to my lifestyle to reduce the amount of trash I leak back into the world.

      1. The countercultural food movement directly relates to the food and health challenges, as the purpose of this movement was to control your health through the food you eat. Especially in “Real Food: The Best Diet” by Andrew Weil, he explains how the food trends in recent history have not been in the best interest of health. He explains that increased portion sizes and sugar consumption have caused a higher percentage of people who are overweight in the US. These unhealthy relationships with food also cause other health issues such as inflammation and diseases. The counterculture movements urge people to not follow these easy trends and to source their food in natural ways to have control over their health.
      2. Conservation has a deeper connection to the water and energy categories. Through the reading of “The Intersection of Renewable Energy and Water Conservation” by Energy5 Your Way, they explain the various sustainable ways to both preserve water resources and produce energy for the world. The focus on keeping the world’s natural resources as preserved as we can has been constant throughout the history of conservation. To ensure that you are not worsening any conservation issues, it is important how you use the water and energy resources we gain from the planet. This connects with the Eco Challenges through these categories as it focuses on people reducing their contribution to waste.

    Sources
    The intersection of Renewable Energy and Water Conservation. Energy5. (2023, November 6). https://energy5.com/the-intersection-of-renewable-energy-and-water-conservation#anchor-1
    Kaiser-Schatzlein, R. (2021, April 24). The history of New York, told through its trash. The New Yorker. https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-history-of-new-york-told-through-its-trash
    MCGRATH, M. (2019). INTRODUCTION: THE GATHERING STORM Baby Boomers and Their Discontent. In Food for Dissent: Natural Foods and the Consumer Counterculture since the 1960s (pp. 1–14). University of Massachusetts Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctvpbnpbk.5
    Weil, A. (2014, June 10). Real food | the best diet | Andrew Weil, M.D. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRTKgp5nz18



    • Andrew Stuhl's avatar
      Andrew Stuhl 2/20/2024 3:23 PM
      Great Hannah! A very thorough Journal entry. I appreciate you working each day on your challenges, and I also appreciate how you connect the EcoChallenge to our readings and other course materials. In this Unit, I really wanted students to be able to have an experiential journey (daily behavioral changes) and be able to contextualize it / understand it through an intellectual journey (readings on the impacts of these behaviors as well as their historical/cultural origins). I'm glad you feel closer to the environment as you think thru your daily actions, and whether to reach for that sugary snack :)

  • Hannah Schaeffer's avatar
    Hannah Schaeffer 2/11/2024 12:17 PM
    ---------------get mulched

  • Hannah Schaeffer's avatar
    Hannah Schaeffer 2/04/2024 10:52 PM
    Journal 3
    1. Working with the EcoChallenge for the first week has been a very different experience for me. I enjoy doing my part in connecting with the world around me, but doing this challenge made me feel part of something bigger. As we discussed in class, I usually don’t feel like I have the time to enjoy my free time, and I typically want to spend my time completing work for classes. This challenge helps me to realize that I can take the time for myself to enjoy the world, without any guilt. What I found surprising through the challenge was how many people asked me about it. I had a lot of my friends ask me about how it was going and what the challenge's purpose was. I think especially with the past week's challenges, people were more interested in how such personal actions are helpful to the environment, like my challenge of spending time outdoors. I felt like every person I had explained to has spread the word of how to be environmentally friendly in everyday life, which I also feel grows my impact.
    2. For this week, I noticed the biggest challenge that I would have to make these changes permanent is the challenge of only buying things I need. I hold back on what I buy because of having a very limited budget being in college, but when I do have the money, I buy things that will make me feel a lot of joy or something to improve my space. I think if I continued this challenge I would adapt it to only supporting sustainable businesses when I do buy unnecessary things, so I wouldn't act as any mindless consumer.
    3. Going off what I said in b) my only challenge would be constraining myself to living with only the necessities. I do think that it is important to think about how many unnecessary things I would be bringing into my life. I did read an article provided by the EcoChallenge website as a resource for the wants vs. needs challenge. From newdream.org, I read an article called “4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Product”, where they explain 3 important things to think about above asking yourself if it is necessary. They say to know where your product is coming from, who is selling it, and how long the product will last. They also explain that when you ask yourself if you need something, it should be more focused on preventing impulse purchases, where you wouldn’t even want the thing if it weren’t on sale or if you weren’t already in the zone to continue shopping. This idea of asking yourself questions before you buy things makes me feel a lot less restricted than only buying things I need. Overall, I am willing to continue these challenges in the future as long as I don’t feel held back or overconsious about doing them, by adapting them to fit my lifestyle. This will also make it easier for me to continue them if they are more easily integrated into my typical day-to-day.
    Source:
    Evans, D. (2016, June 9). 4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Product. New Dream. Retrieved February 5, 2024, from https://newdream.org/blog/2016-06-4-questions-to-ask-yourself-before-buying-a-product

    • Andrew Stuhl's avatar
      Andrew Stuhl 2/13/2024 10:39 AM
      Great Hannah! I'm glad to hear that others have been noticing you take on these daily challenges - which has given you an opportunity to talk with them about it. That's great practice for some of the skills we will learn later in the course regarding collective environmental action, including 1:1 meetings, recruitment to events, and public narratives. I also hear you on the struggle of limiting purchases. That's good you feel that struggle as that is an indication that you are working on changing yourself. One thing my wife and I did that helped us in this regard is to think about 'saving' money as investing in ourselves and even something specific. So, "not" buying a latte is not just limiting a purchase, it is actually choosing to spend that money on ourselves for something bigger we will need or want later -- like a trip to Hawaii or a down payment on a house or a month's rent. The idea here is that every purchase on something that we don't really need actually does take away money we can use elsewhere, so it is is right and good to think about each purchase this way.

  • Hannah Schaeffer's avatar
    Hannah Schaeffer 1/28/2024 7:16 PM
    Journal 2
    I am most excited about this week for discovering more about living more simply and connecting with nature. I feel like I live such a busy life that slowing down and appreciating smaller things gets forgotten. I deeply appreciate nature yet I usually find myself disconnected from it, especially when I am dealing with the stress of school. I think that connecting with nature will help me to reduce stress and also help me become even more appreciative of the world around me. I am more nervous about choosing challenges in the community section. I am not very social so I think it will be hard for me to pick from the list. Although I am nervous, I do feel that it will be beneficial for me to step outside of my comfort zone and connect with more people. I find it very rewarding to help people so I will be more comfortable with thinking about it that way.

    I think this week I have already chosen challenges that will greatly impact my footprint. I try to be mindful of my consumption and how this has an effect on the world around me and by doing these challenges it is focusing my efforts to be more concise. I think how Rebecca Solnit explains the difference between consumers and citizens within Big Oil coined ‘carbon footprints’ to blame us for their greed. Keep them on the hook, is an interesting way to categorize people within a community. By making a conscious decision to think more like a citizen, and to play a bigger part in civilized society, then I will understand more how I can contribute positively to the world. In class when we were asked if we think of ourselves as consumers or citizens, I recognized that I think more like a consumer. I do not always think in ways in which my actions impact the world. I think that these challenges will make me more conscious of how my decisions make me consumer or citizen-like. This will further push me to be more conscious in other ways that I contribute to my ecological footprint and to put more effort into reducing it.

    I think that the community and waste challenges will help to address issues such as the political and social crises in the world today. For many of these issues, volunteering, voting, and being active in the decision-making processes in the local community will help your actions make a big impact on those who need it. This activism will also help people recognize that they are not alone and that there are people to help them rise above these crises to live an unrestricted life. I also understand that the waste we produce, be it air, food, or plastics, must be handled by someone, and it is more than likely going to be those who are people of color or under the poverty line. I think this connects to Market Fundamentalism and the Worst Time by Naomi Klein, where she explains that movements to reduce climate change, which will benefit the vast majority of people, are threatening the elite minority who run things like oil or coal companies, which is the reason why actions are not taken. This is where we need to recognize the power the majority of people have to take over the planet to run it the best way. By helping the planet we help all the people in it, especially those who are already facing issues that can be directly attributed to climate change or income disparity.

    Sources:
    David Thoreau, H. (n.d.). Where I lived, and what I lived for 13-23 | Walden. https://commons.digitalthoreau.org/walden/where-i-lived-and-what-i-lived-for/where-i-lived-and-what-i-lived-for-13-23/
    Solnit, R. (2021, August 27). Big oil coined ‘carbon footprints’ to blame us for their greed. Keep them on the hook. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/aug/23/big-oil-coined-carbon-footprints-to-blame-us-for-their-greed-keep-them-on-the-hook

    • Andrew Stuhl's avatar
      Andrew Stuhl 1/30/2024 6:15 AM
      Great Journal, Hannah! I appreciate your connections to the readings, which helps us see how this EcoChallenge addresses the big problems we face (and also how it doesn't). Always good to practice that critical reading and thinking. I also very much appreciate you identifying the areas of discomfort or nervousness you have - esp with the "community" category of challenges. That's important in finding the edge of our comfort zone. I love the mindset you take - that pushing this edge will benefit you. That's awesome! It will be hard, but all growing and learning happens thru hard things. And you're capable of doing them! It will be fun to get to the end of the challenge and look back at what you did and feel proud of yourself for trying new things.