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Harry Watkins

Sustainability Action Spring 2018

"I will work with my students, my family and my friends to embrace spiritually faithful, socially just, and environmentally sound way of living on this planet. We have only one home. I want to do all I can to pass it on intact and thriving to my grandchildren, and to all grandchildren everywhere."

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 2,900 Total

Challenges

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Water

Research My Water Supply

I will learn more about my own local watershed and where my water comes from and identify any conservation or water quality issues.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Water

Protect Clean Water

I will join one of the Waterkeeper Alliance's clean water campaigns to combat pollution and preserve clean water sources.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Food

Advocate for Food Options

I will advocate for local and/or organic food options on campus.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Health

DIY Non-Toxic Cleaning

I will make my own cleaning products using non-toxic ingredients - improving air quality at home or school and also protecting human and environmental health.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Health

Audit Toxic Plastics

I will avoid buying toxic plastics, including polycarbonate, polystyrene and polyvinyl.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Nature

Explore Campus Nature

I will spend time getting acquainted with the nature on or near my campus.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Nature

Attend or Join an Outdoor Club

I will go to an outdoor club or similar group's meeting or event.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Nature

Get Involved In Local/Campus Conservation

I will get involved in a local or campus conservation project, volunteering my time or researching local conservation issues.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Community

Register to Vote

I will register to vote with my state or local election office.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Energy

Ditch The Halogen Desk Lamp

I will replace my halogen desk lamp with an LED bulb.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Energy

Disable Screen Savers

I will disable screen savers and will put the computer to sleep instead, saving up to 28% % more energy.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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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

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Energy

Online Energy Audit

I will complete an online energy audit of my dorm room or home and identify my next steps for saving energy.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Energy

Choose LED Bulbs

I will replace 18 incandescent lightbulb(s) with Energy Star-certified LED bulbs, saving up to $14 per fixture per year.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Water

Install a Low-Flow Showerhead

I will save up to 15 gallons (56 L) of water a day by installing a low-flow showerhead.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Water

Watch A Water Documentary

I will watch a documentary about water and the environment.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Water

Wash Only Full Loads of Laundry

I will conserve water by only doing full loads of laundry.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Health

Support Pollution Reduction

I will learn about water and air quality issues in my area, how they are impacting human and environmental health, and how I can help.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Health

Audit Toxic Cleaning Products

I will research toxic chemicals found in cleaning supplies and personal care products and remove them from my home.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Health

Cut Out Harmful Self-Care Products

I will check labels on my shampoo, lotions and/or beauty products. I'll replace products that use known carcinogens such as formaldehyde, cocamide diethanolamine, DMDM hydantoin or benzene.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Food

Plant an Herb Garden

I will plant an herb garden or window pot in my home, workplace, or dorm room.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Food

Watch a Documentary

I will watch a documentary about food with family and friends and talk about what we learned.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Food

Shop at Farmers Market

I will purchase produce and meat from a local farmers market or food co-op, or join a CSA.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Energy

Turn it off

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

COMPLETED 109 OF 113
DAILY CHALLENGE

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Water

If It's Yellow Let It Mellow

I will save up to 12 gallons (45 L) of water a day by flushing only when necessary.

COMPLETED 108 OF 113
DAILY CHALLENGE

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Water

Brush My Teeth Without Running Water

I will save up to 8 gallons (30 L) of water each day by turning it off while brushing my teeth.

COMPLETED 107 OF 113
DAILY CHALLENGE

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Water

5-Minute Showers

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

COMPLETED 108 OF 113
DAILY CHALLENGE

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Transportation

Ride the Train

I will ride the train 26 mile(s) per day and avoid sending up to 15.72 lbs of CO2 into Earth's atmosphere.

COMPLETED 36 OF 113
DAILY CHALLENGE

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Transportation

Ride the Bus

I will ride the bus 20 mile(s) per day and avoid sending up to 7.3 lbs of CO2 into Earth's atmosphere.

COMPLETED 36 OF 113
DAILY CHALLENGE

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Food

Eat Meatless Meals

I will enjoy 2 meatless meal(s) per day.

COMPLETED 109 OF 113
DAILY CHALLENGE

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Food

Choose Organic Ingredients

I will enjoy 2 meal(s) cooked with organic ingredients per day.

COMPLETED 109 OF 113
DAILY CHALLENGE

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Food

Locally-Sourced Meals

I will source 2 meal(s) per day from local producers.

COMPLETED 108 OF 113
DAILY CHALLENGE

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Waste

Compost Food Waste

I will avoid sending up to .69 lbs (.31 kg) of food waste to the landfill per day by composting my food.

COMPLETED 109 OF 113
DAILY CHALLENGE

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Waste

Use Reusable Containers

I will only use reusable containers for my lunches at work or school.

COMPLETED 108 OF 113
DAILY CHALLENGE

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Waste

Recycle Everything I Can

I will recycle all materials that are accepted by local haulers or drop stations in my community.

COMPLETED 108 OF 113
DAILY CHALLENGE

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Waste

Reduce Food Packaging

I will only purchase bulk food items and avoid all single-package items.

COMPLETED 105 OF 113
DAILY CHALLENGE

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Waste

Needs vs. Wants

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

COMPLETED 109 OF 113
DAILY CHALLENGE

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Waste

Buy Nothing But Food

I will not purchase anything but food during the challenge.

COMPLETED 104 OF 113
DAILY CHALLENGE

Feed

  • Harry Watkins 4/02/2018 1:44 PM
    Friends,
    I've been thinking about where I do well and where I falter in terms of my efforts to reduce my environmental footprint. In many ways, I find I am compromising a bit in my efforts in order to make life work. 

    "Goodish"? I have reduced my meat consumption to about 3-4 nights a week (free-range chicken, certified sustainable fish, but generally avoid beef/pork/lamb.), eating non-meat meals for almost all my other meals.  I live a long way from work, so I drive to work 2 days/week, and use the trolley/bus 1 day/week, and try to telecommute the other days. I'm pretty good with water - "navy" showers, turn off faucets, capture grey water and roof water for gardening, high efficiency toilets, etc. I recycle everything. We sip energy in our home (manage thermostats aggressively, have timers on power strips, etc.) and have installed solar. And as I've discussed in class, Carol and I live in one home with another couple, thus decreasing our housing and "stuff" footprint.

     "Badish"?  In order to find a house that worked for two couples and our budgets, we moved far from PLNU and into a "car dependent" neighborhood. I love cheese, eggs, occasional bacon for breakfast, and my housemates aren't vegan so I eat what they cook.  I still receive too much stuff into our household and thus end up "recycling" lots of stuff; i.e., I don't "refuse" enough or work hard enough to reduce packaging. I still have lots of work to do, and some of my choices have mixed impacts, some good, some bad.

    My point: work at it steadily, and make improvements where and as you can. We can do some things in the short run, and make more significant choices over the longer run.  Finally, ask the businesses that make our products, and our elected officials to help make this easier!
  • Harry Watkins 3/11/2018 7:38 PM
    It is always a challenge to keep on working my commitments when I'm "on vacation". My hope is that habits formed will carry me through changes in my schedule. How about you?

    • Katie Hibbard 3/13/2018 3:33 PM
      I stayed pretty true to my sustainability goals except one night I felt it was respectful to have some red meat. In the end I wish that I hadn't but that okay, always room for improvement! 
  • Harry Watkins 2/11/2018 7:49 AM
    On Saturday morning, Alondra, Michelle and Rima joined me to plant our class garden. We planted Romaine and Bibb lettuce, chard, snow peas, spinach, broccoli, yellow crooked neck squash, some watermelon radishes from seed, a cherry tomato, and some blue Namesia flowers. Then we had lunch at the Living Room. Fun!

    • Michelle Picca 2/11/2018 3:45 PM
      I had so much fun! Thank you for sharing this experience with us!

    • Katie Hibbard 2/11/2018 12:37 PM
      No way you are all awesome!! I cannot wait to see everything grow! Hopefully with this rain we are about to have!!
  • Harry Watkins 2/11/2018 7:42 AM
    On Wednesday, I cleared our class garden plot of old plants, weeds, etc., fertilized the soil with an organic, locally produced fertilizer and added some compost. While class members were invited to participate, I was alone on working on it.

    • Katie Hibbard 2/11/2018 12:36 PM
      I have also shared solo time in the community garden! Although sometimes we are excited for others to join us and help, God is saying have a little solo time I think. Being the head of SEAA Club I have had to embrace this(:
  • Harry Watkins 2/04/2018 3:17 PM
    As we postponed the campus garden planting to next Saturday, I spent this Saturday morning cleaning up and replanting four raised bed 4x10 foot planters with veggies for the Spring. We have hotter weather here in Spring Valley (it has been more than 80 degrees for 10 days!) than found on the coast, so I combined Winter veggies with Spring/summer veggies. I'm trying another round of broccoli - a fast maturing variety that bears in 55 days, a lot of salad greens - lettuces, kale, chard - shielded by some shade cloth, some yellow crook necked squash, and three different tomato plants - two variety of cherry tomatoes and a heirloom mid-sized variety. We also have some beets which I separated, and some nice Anaheim peppers. I added some compost and organic fertilizer to the soil and worked in some beneficial fungi and bacteria to facilitate root health and nutrient uptake. Watered it all and said a prayer of thanksgiving for the opportunity! It was fun getting my hands dirty!
  • Harry Watkins 1/28/2018 11:54 AM
    Yesterday I attended the Climate Mobilization Coalition's event and "march" at the Civic Center downtown, with my wife Carol, and my housemates, Lee and Juanita. Frankly, it was a bit depressing, as only 60 or so folks showed up (including several of you guys - thanks!)  The contrast to the Women's march the previous weekend (37,000 + people) was profound. Several reasons were given for the low turnout including "march fatigue", and the failure/unwillingness of the local press or other climate action groups (e.g., 350sd.org, or the Sierra Club) to promote the event on their respective websites.  One reason given by the other climate groups was not wanting to dilute their own activities. This is worth discussing in class - how can a small engaged NGO like the CMC get traction?