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Ben Wall's avatar

Ben Wall

amy minato

POINTS TOTAL

  • 0 TODAY
  • 0 THIS WEEK
  • 90 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    100
    minutes
    spent learning

Ben's actions

Transportation

Learn More and Advocate

Access to public transportation is a social justice issue! I will learn about the need for public transportation in my community and tell 1 friends or classmates each day about the issue.

COMPLETED 0
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

Community

Engage In Active Listening

I will practice actively listening to a friend, family member, co-worker, acquaintance, or someone who I may disagree with in at least 5 conversations.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Water

Saving water while washing dishes

I will turn the faucet off whenever possible while washing dishes.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Whole Food Lifestyle

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

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Choose Organic Ingredients

I will enjoy 1 meal(s) cooked with organic ingredients each day.

COMPLETED 0
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.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

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 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Waste

Prevent Recycling Contamination

Contamination prevents what is recyclable from being recycled. I will spend 15 minutes researching which materials are accepted by local haulers or drop stations in my community and recycle only those items.

COMPLETED 1
DAILY ACTION

Waste

RESEARCH LOCAL WASTE SITES

I will spend 30 minutes finding out where landfills and/or toxic waste sites are situated in my region and which communities are most impacted by these sites.

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?


  • Ben Wall's avatar
    Ben Wall 2/25/2024 6:38 PM
    For this week's challenge I chose to research and discuss local transportation justice issues with friends. Unsurpringly, I learned that the east side of Portland is underserved by Trimet. There are fewer transit routes and stops in neighborhoods on the east side of the Willamette River, which tend to be more marginalized and lower income communities than on the west side. Less access to transportation means less access to jobs, healthcare, education, community services, and so many other things vital to life. In 2022, Portland Bureau of Transportation implemented a Transportation Justice initiative that acknowledges disparities and inequities that have been created, and resolves to redistribute transportation resources so that everyone has equal mobility options. However, Trimet recently raised fares, so I guess those who are most economically disadvantaged will bear the brunt of the "redistribution."

  • Ben Wall's avatar
    Ben Wall 2/18/2024 8:37 PM
    For this week's challenge I updated the mailing address on my voter registration, which was easily done online, and I practiced active listening with five people. It was a great reason to use this weekend to catch up with friends and family that I don't regularly talk with. Something I can always use more practice with when having long conversations is to recognize when the other person wants to talk, and maybe is only wanting to get things off their chest, and isn't interested in my thoughts on the topic. I probably spent around eight hours on the phone over the past few days, and it left me feeling more connected.

    • Amy Minato's avatar
      Amy Minato 2/19/2024 9:17 PM
      active listening is the key to healthy relationships i think

    • Soraya Castaneda's avatar
      Soraya Castaneda 2/18/2024 9:49 PM
      Hey Ben,

      I also connected with a lot of friends and family as it was my birthday week! Thursday after class I prepared like 100 tamales to enjoy with my family and Friday night I had a great meal and drinks with friends. We are all so busy but it's important to take time to connect with our loved ones. It's always nice to have some time to catch up with friends and family and actively listen to what they're saying. I've been taught to think about active listening as hearing what the speaker is saying and not just waiting for your turn to talk. I feel like people who interrupt often are more focused on what they want to say and not so much on what the other person is conveying. Maybe we need more active listening tips and tricks to overcome those tendencies. I'm glad you were able to stay up to date with everyone and foster that sense of community this week.

  • Ben Wall's avatar
    Ben Wall 2/11/2024 7:40 PM
    This week I aimed to turn off the faucet whenever possible while washing dishes. I often let water run constantly while I am washing and rinsing one dish after another, and I recognized that this was unnecessary. I read that washing a dishwasher load-worth of dishes by hand uses an average of 27 gallons of water, and I estimate that I probably wash about a third of that per day, which would require nine gallons of water. By turning the faucet off whenever possible, it probably at least halved my usage. Another water-saving tactic that I found useful was to wash and rinse my dishes using a basin rather than using running water.

    • Amy Minato's avatar
      Amy Minato 2/12/2024 6:48 PM
      nice work Ben. good data too

    • Alex Crowe's avatar
      Alex Crowe 2/11/2024 8:17 PM
      Hey Ben! I didn't realize the amount of water that can be wasted when washing dishes before. It makes me wonder how much water is used for dish washing machines compared to your dish washing method. I'll definitely be more considerate when washing dishes in the future!

  • Ben Wall's avatar
    Ben Wall 2/04/2024 9:35 PM
    I set my goals this week at eating one meal each day with organic ingredients, and having one meal each day consisting of only whole foods. I chose a whole foods-only breakfast and began eating oatmeal with frozen wild blueberries each morning. I typically cook one large dinner each week that I stretch into several meals, and this week I cooked a rice dish that included a head of organic purple cabbage and organic broccoli. Considering that it composed multiple meals, the added price of buying organic cabbage and broccoli was nominal. The switch to oatmeal for breakfast was worthwhile as it made me feel more energetic than the high-fat breakfasts that I've been eating recently.

    • Amy Minato's avatar
      Amy Minato 2/07/2024 5:21 PM
      i love having oatmeal for breakfast. i created a tray of jars with nuts, dried fruit, spices, coconut, etc to switch up my toppings

  • Ben Wall's avatar
    Ben Wall 1/28/2024 7:20 PM
    This week I chose to wash my clothes with cold water and to power down my laptop when I haven't been using it for more than two hours. The idea of using cold water for laundry had me questioning why I have always changed the setting to warm water. I assumed that warm water would do a better job of washing, but I use commercial washers that do a thorough job. When it came to powering down my laptop when I'm not using it, the first thing I did was go to my settings to see if I could have it automatically power down after two hours. I could not find this setting, but it was very cool to find that Windows had multiple recommendations for settings to change to reduce my carbon footprint. From the recommendations, I switched my screen to dark mode, my laptop will go to sleep after three idle minutes, and screen brightness will optimally adapt to the content I am viewing.

    • Amy Minato's avatar
      Amy Minato 1/29/2024 7:30 PM
      Ben i think the dark mode is also better for your eyes! cold water seems to do fine for most clothes, also drying on warm not hot can save energy

    • Yoseleen Guerrero's avatar
      Yoseleen Guerrero 1/28/2024 9:12 PM
      HI ben,
      I also wonder why I always use warm water.
      But I see where you come from since I also have my Laptop, TV on, on times i am not even using it or when i get distracted.
      What a thoughtful thought.


  • Ben Wall's avatar
    Ben Wall 1/21/2024 8:20 PM
    I did some research on where our waste in Portland ends up, and I was surprised by the distance that our waste travels to its burial. I used to live in rural NE Oregon, and all waste there went to the county landfill that was a ten minute drive from town. It cost about $15 to dispose of a heaping pickup full of garbage, which I think is way too cheap. In Portland, most of our waste collected by Waste Management ends up at the Columbia Ride Landfill in Arlington, OR; 140 miles to the east along the Columbia River. Columbia Ridge spans 750 acres and is one of the ten largest landfills in the U.S., and it processes around three million pounds of waste annually. The landfill opened in 1990 and has an estimated 120 years of life expectancy remaining. There is also a Waste Management landfill in Hillsboro that operates in conjunction with Tualatin Valley Waste Recovery, which recovers about 40% of waste as recyclable or reusable. TVWR processes nearly 400 tons of waste per day and specializes in construction and demolition debris. Most of the recovered material is sent to local recycling markets, woods products are processed into fuel that provides steam for energy, and asphalt shingles are processed into base-material for road construction.
    I also researched hazardous waste superfund cleanup sites in the Northwest. The Hanford nuclear reservation is a notorious waste site 200 miles eastward of Portland along the Columbia River. Decades of nuclear manufacturing produced over 50 million gallons of high-level radioactive waste and 25 million cubic feet of solid radioactive waste at the Hanford site. Cleanup efforts began in 1989, and by 2014 it was the largest environmental cleanup effort in the world. There are currently over 10,000 workers involved in the Hanford cleanup. 60 sq. miles of groundwater beneath Hanford still remain contaminated, down from 80 sq. miles when cleanup began.
    Another notable superfund site in the Northwest is the Bunker Hill Mining and Metallurgical Complex in northern Idaho and eastern Washington. Spanning 1,500 sq. miles, including 166 river miles, Bunker Hill is the most expansive cleanup site in the U.S. Mining operations there began in 1883 and, incredulously, continue today. It has been on the EPA priority cleanup list since 1983. Since cleanup began, the level of lead in the blood of local children has been reduced by more than 50% to a level that is considered in a healthy range.

    • Amy Minato's avatar
      Amy Minato 1/24/2024 5:16 PM
      thank you so much for this information Ben i had not known about the Bunker HIll Mine.

  • Ben Wall's avatar
    Ben Wall 1/21/2024 6:36 PM
    Hey All,
    I chose to research what can and can't be recycled via Waste Management pickup in Portland, as well as resources for recycling and reusing various materials. Some bits I learned about recycling pickup is that frozen food boxes are unrecycleable, empty aerosol cans can be thrown in with mixed recycling, empty and dry paint cans can go in mixed recycling, buckets (5 gal or less) and rigid plastic planters (4"+ diameter) can go in mixed recycling, and plastics are recycleable based on size and shape, not the recycle symbol #. I've reviewed the list of what can and can't be recycled in Portland multiple times in the past, but often find myself questioning what I can put in the bin. Some common things I wish were recycleable via pickup, but aren't, are coffee cups, plastic food take-out containers, lids of any kind, plastic bags, and plastic bottles under 6 oz. All containers have to be free of residue and dry, but don't need to be perfectly clean.
    When searching for how to recycle items that Waste Management doesn't accept, I found an amazing local website that has resources for sustainably disposing of just about anything: oregonmetro.gov. The site has a very user-friendly search function for finding where to recycle or reuse dozens of different materials/items. I tried a search for light bulbs, cell phones, and oil filters and found multiple recycling locations within four miles.