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Emily Spitz's avatar

Emily Spitz

ENST 246: Fall 2020

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 800 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    131
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    2
    documentaries
    watched
  • up to
    485
    minutes
    spent exercising
  • up to
    183
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    145
    minutes
    being mindful
  • up to
    35
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • up to
    3
    pounds of paper
    have been saved
  • up to
    10
    people
    helped
  • up to
    28
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    41
    plastic straws
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    120
    gallons of water
    have been saved
  • up to
    1
    water collection systems
    installed

Emily's Actions

Action Track: Justice for the Whole Community

Reduce Single-Use Disposables

Cheap, single-use items and disposable packaging end up blowing around as litter more often in poor and POC-majority neighborhoods. I will find out how I can limit single-use items and do my best to limit the waste I generate.

COMPLETED 3
DAILY ACTIONS

Transportation

Conduct Virtual Meetings

I will not travel for meetings and will instead conduct them virtually.

COMPLETED 3
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Help Others

I will offer to help 3 person(s) who are in need each day.

COMPLETED 3
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Try a New Way to Prep

I will try a new method of food preparation, such as canning, pickling, or baking bread.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Watch a Documentary about Food Sovereignty

I will watch 2 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

Waste

Go Paperless

I will reduce the amount of paper mail that I receive by 0.11lbs (0.05kg) a day or 3.3lbs (1.6kg) a month by opting into paperless billing, ending unwanted subscriptions and opting out of junk mail.

Completed
One-Time Action

Water

5-Minute Showers

I will save up to 20 gallons (75 L) of water each day by taking 5-minute showers.

COMPLETED 6
DAILY ACTIONS

Waste

Use Reusable Bags

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

COMPLETED 6
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

Water

Collect Rain Water

I will create a rain garden or bioswale or use rain barrels to collect water for outdoor watering needs.

Completed
One-Time Action

Nature

Explore My Area

I will explore at least one new hiking trail or nature walk in my area.

Completed
One-Time Action

Simplicity

Needs Vs. Wants

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

COMPLETED 10
DAILY ACTIONS

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 10
DAILY ACTIONS

Health

Go get a check up

I will make an appointment for my annual physical.

Completed
One-Time Action

Health

Exercise Daily

Exercise is a great stress blaster! I will exercise for 30 minute(s) each day.

COMPLETED 14
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Visit A Local Farm

I will visit a nearby farm to pick my own fruits and veggies.

Completed
One-Time Action

Energy

Turn it off

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

COMPLETED 21
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 2 plastic straw(s) of out of the ocean each day.

COMPLETED 18
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed


  • Emily Spitz's avatar
    Emily Spitz 9/21/2020 7:44 PM
    This week I learned a lot from my daily and one time challenges. My one time challenge was switching to cold water when doing laundry. This is a very simple task because you are just hitting one button on the washing machine, but it makes a world of difference. Using cold water saves up to 133 pounds of CO2 a month and 1,600 pounds of CO2 over the year. Not only is washing clothes in cold water better for the environment, but it is also better for your clothes. In addition, if you mix lights and darks, washing in cold water will stop the dark colors from bleeding onto the lights like it would in hot water. Although this was a one-time challenge, I want to make this a permanent lifestyle change. I currently don’t see any barriers to this challenge which makes it even easier. Reading from the resources on the Eco Challenge Website, it further confirmed that I should be making this change and washing every load of laundry in cold water. I learned that “90% of the energy the washing machine uses goes towards heating the water. Washing in cold saves energy, saves you clothes, and could help save the planet.” Furthermore, “washing 4 out of 5 loads of laundry in cold water is equivalent to planting .37 acres of forest,” (coldwatersaves.org)


    Another daily challenge I have signed up for is using a reusable water bottle instead of disposable plastic ones. This is a challenge because I usually buy a big pack of plastic water bottles and stick them in my fridge since I drink a lot of water and it’s easy. Although I have wanted to switch for a while to reusable bottles since it is much better for the environment and this is the perfect opportunity. One barrier is that there are limited water fountains on campus since most of them were shut down due to Covid. Although, I have been filling the bottles up at home before class which usually works well. Looking at the resources on the Eco Challenge Website, I have learned facts that confirm I should make this change permanent. One example is “between 5m and 13m tons of plastic leaks into the world’s oceans each year to be ingested by sea birds, fish, and other organisms, and by 2050 the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish.” In addition, “a million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the number will jump another 20% by 2021, creating an environmental crisis some campaigners predict will be as serious as climate change. Scientists at Ghent University in Belgium recently calculated people who eat seafood ingest up to 11,000 tiny pieces of plastic every year.” These facts motivate me to continue this daily challenge after the semester ends. 



    • Courtney Sellig's avatar
      Courtney Sellig 9/28/2020 8:38 PM
      Hey Emily! It was great to read your post and here about all of your challenges! As I have been reading some of our classmates’ posts, I have been seeing that many other people write about switching to cold water in the wash as well! I didn’t even know about all of the positive effects before reading these journals! The statistic from the online resource was very fascinating as well! It makes me want to add this to my daily challenges for this last week of the Eco-Challenge. Also, just like you, I have been using a reusable water bottle. I purchased an insulated one right when I came back to school this semester, knowing that I would be spending more time in the house, so it would be wasteful to use plastic water bottles every day. I also drink a ton of water, so it was awesome to make it a habit, knowing about all of the benefits from the Eco-Challenge resources. I read your previous journal, and saw that you started meditating! In the beginning of the challenge, I decided to take on daily meditating, thinking that it would be easy, but have found that it is my daily challenge that I struggle with most! Even though it would be so easy to meditate before bed, or in the morning, I always forget, or would rather go to sleep/get my day started. It is great that you have found benefits from it and want to keep it as a normal part of your life. It is great to know that other people in the class are enjoying the Eco-Challenge as much as I am! Good luck with our last week!

  • Emily Spitz's avatar
    Emily Spitz 9/14/2020 9:46 PM
    My daily and one time challenges this week went very well and I had a great experience overall. I have only meditated once or twice before but doing it for at least 10 minutes everyday has made me really understand the benefits of meditating. In addition, continuing to reduce my use of plastic straws and turning off electricity when I leave the room continues to motivate me to help the environment. I also have been exercising for at least 30 minutes a day which has not only made me more efficient with work, but made me feel so much more healthy.

    My goal is to make meditating permanent in my life. Right now, I am only meditating for at least 10 minutes every day, although, I want to increase the amount of time the next couple weeks. Even though I am only meditating for a short amount of time each day, it makes a world of difference and saves time in the long run. By using this time to de-stress and calm down, I spend less time later in the day stressing and worrying. I try to meditate when I first wake up, or right before I go to bed, so I can start my day off right and in a good mood, or end the day feeling calm and relaxed. Another daily challenge I want to make permanent is exercising. As of right now, I am exercising at least 30 minutes a day, but like meditating, I want to increase this overtime. I noticed meditating and exercising makes me sleep better and motivates me to get out of bed in the morning. This is such a good habit to get into: waking up and either exercising or meditating. 

    There are some barriers to making these lifestyles permanent. I used to go to the gym every day, although because of the virus, gyms were closed for a long time. Many are starting to open up again, although, there are many restrictions making me not want to go to the gym in person. This barrier may work out to have a silver lining as exercising outside may be more easy and better for your health. Another barrier is that although I turn off all of my electricity, the campus building lights stay on overnight. Some of the lights are motion sensored, but usually the lights in the hallways of dorms stay completely on which is very bad for the environment. A solution could be to suggest to Bucknell to change every light to motion sensor.

    Reading the resources on Eco Challenge confirmed the importance of exercising everyday and made me want to do this everyday. “Getting your daily steps in could lead to better cardiovascular health, reduced stress, improved mood and self-esteem, healthy weight, strengthened bones, and boots in creative thinking.” In addition, I not only want to exercise everyday, but I also want to make sure that I am exercising outside. “A 2013 British study found that jogging outdoors makes people 50 percent happier than working out in a gym.”



    • Annie Maley's avatar
      Annie Maley 9/25/2020 12:14 PM
      Hi Emily! Wow, I am SO impressed with your meditation. Similar to you, I have opted to do daily meditation and thirty minutes of nature walking everyday. Unfortunately, unlike you I have definitely been struggling to set aside time for meditation everyday. I have been aiming to meditate for two minutes everyday, but it is definitely something I need to improve on. Do you have any helpful tips or suggestions you’d be willing to share? In regards to your outside exercise, I totally agree! I love working out outside. I used to be such a gym-person but during the spring when gyms were closed for so long I definitely broke my habit. Since then I have really enjoyed working out and walking outside. I highly recommend running around the golf course and surrounding neighborhoods if you’re looking for a good route. There are a lot of really pretty wooded streets behind the golf course that have very little traffic and are great for running or walking. Charlotte, myself, and my roommates walk the loop a fair amount, so I’ll be sure to shoot you a text next time so you can join us if you’re free! Also, as someone who lives in the senior apartments I totally get how annoying the lights are. It is very frustrating that two of the lights stay on the apartments permanently, regardless of day or night. I understand the safety rationale, but it is definitely super annoying. I think that the motion sensors in the whole apartment is a great idea, and one worth suggesting to Bucknell. Great job on the challenge, keep up the good work! 

      -Annie 


  • Emily Spitz's avatar
    Emily Spitz 9/08/2020 7:43 PM
    The two daily challenges I chose for this week are exercising for at least 30 minutes, and writing three things that I am grateful for. Exercising is something I already make an effort to do every day, but it is helpful to have made it a daily challenge so that I can make sure to check it off on the website and make it official. In addition, I have never formally kept a gratitude journal, but so far, it seems to have really improved my outlook on life each day. Writing down things that I am grateful for really makes me reflect and think about how my day went and what I am thankful for. Visiting the local farm to get my own fruits and vegetables was also such a great experience. Not only was I supporting local business, but it is healthier and better for the environment to get food from a local farm. It also was such a great experience spending a Saturday at a farm nearby campus that I had never been to before in my three years at Bucknell. 

    Although there are a couple barriers, making these daily challenges permanent is absolutely feasible and I will make it a goal to continue these actions after the semester ends. It is such a great habit to get into completing daily and one time actions to improve the environment and to better ourselves. The one daily challenge in particular that I am aiming to keep up is reducing the use of plastic straws. Saving at least two plastic straws every day continues to be a challenge, but it is something that is super important to me. In addition, saving two is a great start, but my goal is to completely remove them from my day- to- day life. The reason that this tends to be more difficult than the other ones, is because I always go out and order coffee which typically comes with plastic cups and straws. However, there are many ways that this could be avoided. One way is that I can start making coffee from home so that I don’t waste plastic, or I could bring my own reusable cup that the coffee shop can fill up. Reducing the use of plastic goods, and in particular plastic straws, is very important to me since they are incredibly detrimental to the overall environment and to the oceans specifically. This is confirmed on the Eco Challenge website, as it states “it’s estimated that we use over 500 million plastic straws every day in America, and most of those end up in our oceans, polluting the water and killing marine life.” Plastic straws harm the ocean and the animals that live there. Furthermore, “when plastic does make it into the ocean, it breaks down into microplastics which poses threats to marine life including fish.” If everyone took the simple action of stopping their use of plastic straws, we could save many animals and make the environment cleaner and safer.



    • Andrew Stuhl's avatar
      Andrew Stuhl 9/09/2020 6:53 AM
      Great Emily! I'm glad you had such a rewarding experience with the gratitude journal, exercise, and your visit to a local farm!! Which one did you go to for your fruits and veggies? I hear you on the benefits to our outlook / mental health from practicing gratitude -- so important! As for straws, right on! Good luck on that challenge! I often find I can drink my drink without a straw, so I politely decline or just don't take one. There are also metal straws available for purchase, but Ive never found them to be convenient.