Muxi You

ENST 246 : Environmental Activism

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 445 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    674
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    80
    minutes
    spent exercising
  • up to
    240
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • up to
    20
    miles
    travelled by bike
  • up to
    10
    zero-waste meals
    consumed
  • up to
    20
    miles
    not traveled by car
  • up to
    140
    gallons of water
    have been saved
  • up to
    60
    minutes
    spent learning

Challenges

Waste

Carry my Trash

I will carry all of my unrecyclable, non-compostable trash with me to raise my awareness of how much I send to the landfill.

COMPLETED 10 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

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 7 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Energy

Switch to Cold Water

I will switch to washing my clothes in cold water, saving up to 1,600 lbs of CO2 over the course of the next year.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Water

5-Minute Showers

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

COMPLETED 7 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Food

Smart Seafood Choices

I will visit seafoodwatch.org or download the app and commit to making better seafood choices for a healthier ocean.

COMPLETED 6 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Food

Zero-Waste Cooking

I will cook 1 meal(s) with zero-waste each day

COMPLETED 10 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Nature

Practice Gratitude for Earth

I will spend 20 minute(s) each day outside, practicing gratitude (prayer, meditation, journaling, etc.) for Earth and the nature surrounding me.

COMPLETED 8 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Food

Join a Local CSA

I will sign up for a local CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture).

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Nature

Go for a Daily Walk

I will take a 20-minute walk outside each day.

COMPLETED 4 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Transportation

Go by Bike

I will commute by bike 10 mile(s) each day and avoid sending up to 0.0 lbs of CO2 into Earth's atmosphere.

COMPLETED 2 OF 90
DAILY CHALLENGE

Feed


  • Muxi You 3/07/2019 11:05 AM
    EcoChallenges Week 4
    Muxi You Due 3/7/19
    Word Counts: 643
     
    The EcoChallenges I have picked for this week is “go by bike” and “go for a daily walk”, which are not challenging at all because I selected them only because I need a challenge from the transportation/ nature category and there is no specific a suitable challenge for me to take at this point. (I do not drive, and only live 5 minutes walking distance from the classroom, there is also no need for public transportation in the recent year.) 
     
    Although the two selected daily challenges are pretty much already involved in my daily life, the provided reading links of the articles of transportation and the value of walking in the nature are still interesting. Especially when I saw that “Half of all trips are three miles or less, but fewer than 2 percent of those trips are made by bicycle, while 72 percent of them are driven”. And this just makes no rational sense for people who concern about the environment, but it is understandable from a cultural perspective when ones believe that cars are among one of their most basic life components and drive them as drinking a bottle of water. 
    My earlier experiences with bikes and cars, are slightly different from the mainstream culture in the some of the developed countries. On the one hand, I also grow up in a city and my parents use cars as vehicles once I got memory, but I have spent most of my time living in the boarding schools, so I may only sit in cars during weekends or holidays. Moreover, the transportation system in Beijing has gotten better as I grow up, in additional to the fact that Chinese people are only allowed to drive after 18, so I have learned and more get used to public transportation systems (subways and buses) as a teenager (13- 18). And there were a few years when the government try to encourage the citizens to use more public transportation system, so they keep the price of the transportation system super low (2 RMB, which is slightly more than a quarter to move any place available in the city). So, it was common for the young people to travel by subways even if they are rich. I also loved to spend time outdoor as a kid, so I always have the preferences of biking, because it is the cheapest, quickest and easiest method to get moving in a short distance. Thus, the culture that heavily relaying on cars as the major vehicle may seem a little bit no sense for me, even though I appreciate the efficacy of increases in productivity that cars have bring the Americans in the history, I still believe that it is not a great sustainable culture to keep in a longer time, and large scale. From my perspective, I feel that the driving age for Americans is slightly too young to spread out this culture.
     
    The one time challenges I have chosen for this week is “watch a documentary about food sovereignty”. I watched Food Inc and learned about the food producing system in a Capitalism society. I love this film because it gives a more overall review of the producing process instead of focusing on a certain type of food. And even if I have separately read sources of plants and animals producing process, this is the first time I put them together and think about the in-between relationship as well as the food culture we are in. As we are grown up learning to have a favor eating meat, not much education has been done on the producing process of our daily consumption, which is an area that I feel some future cultural wise revolution or regulation is needed, guiding people to eat more sustainably without much awareness, just like how subway systems can be coded into one’s daily habitat using the low price guiding strategy.

  • Muxi You 2/28/2019 9:55 AM
    Week 3 Ecochallenges _Muxi You
    Word Count: 680 words
     
    This week my new selecting challenges are Happiness, 5 minutes shower, Practice Gratitude for Earth, join a local CSA and switch to the cold water. Among these challenges, I felt that the hardest one is the 5 minutes shower. I have timed the time I usually spent in the shower, and it actually started from around 12~ 15 minutes, with my needs to get both my hair and my body clean. For a while I wonder this 5-minutes-interval may only work for men with shorter hair, and I really doubt if 5 minutes is really gonna get a woman’s hair clean. However, as I have tried more times and think more carefully about each second that I am spending in the shower (cut down the “warm water resting moments”), I figured that my shower time started to shorten to around 8 minutes. And in fact, although it is really hard to cut down the total time into 5 minutes, I can actually turn off the water while it is not necessary, and it is definitely possible to get a “5 minutes running water shower”. To be honest, I am not so comfortable yet with this change, but I accept the idea of this challenge and hope that I can continue doing this throughout my life (wow that is a huge claim). Another challenge that I really loved for this week is the “Happiness” challenge when it encourages me to keep a “gratitude journal”. And I found this very helpful. I have kept some sort of journal from time to time before this challenge, but sometimes my moods are great and sometimes they are like, terrible. So, my journals were also like, sometimes complaining about some daily issues or writing stuff blaming myself to get rid of my unhappiness. However, this challenge changed my idea of recording oneself. And I have tried my best to only write down encouraging things, or even mediocre things with a good motion. It has only been one week so far thus nothing solid can be told, but I do feel better than before, and I feel more beloved every time I write down sentences and thank myself for what I have done. I started to view this method as “solar mental energy” where oneself can gain power by some daily simplest things for free, instead of spending a great amount of money to companies and “buying happiness”. It may actually hard to maintain this as a forever habitat for me, but at least I will keep on doing this on campus to better regulate my emotion and keep up my mental health. The third daily challenge is “practice gratitude for earth”, as a student who is majoring in environmental stuffs in my past three years, and always spending time with outdoorsy people, I feel that I maintain a good connection with the nature. And it was not hard for me to find a place in the wild and enjoy it and set my minds free. I spent one night on the lawns outside McDonnell hall, and just sit there and watch the stars. It was a very clear night, and I could see the stars shinning, or staying. And the airplanes flying through the sky. Then I figured out there are probably too much airplane out there in the sky since I have frequently seen moving shinning objects. But that was not the most important thing at the moment. The most important imagination at that night was me picturing the tree near me with the night sky, and I have dreamed of the tree being a seaweed (looking from the ground view), which flowing (by wind) in a dark black ocean (sky). With that silence and my music in mind, I lied down there, feeling that I am sleeping yet at the same time being so conscious. Similar enjoyments happen in the grave near Smith when I was thinking about the life and the death, near the tunnel in front of the gym picturing an adventure of our wild ancestors conquering the caves, or just in the Olin science building regarding human’s creations of buildings also as “part of nature” which has been manipulated by the species’ ideology. As for the one-time challenges, I went to the farmer market again this Wednesday, and have been somehow familiar with the structure out there now. I chatted with the farmers and figuring out the way they formed this market and the stories behind their way of living. Then I came back and sign up for the local CSA where it shows a lot of details about local farmers, and their exact situations. Learning previously from another Economic class, I really love the idea of shopping locally, and I am a firm supporter now for this claim. Right now, I do not only shop locally in the Lewisburg, but also when I am back home in Beijing. I have already developed this enthusiasm for finding the most freshy and local foods producing by small farmers to support this more sustainable way of living. And the last one-time of challenges I have done this week is actually the easiest – just to switch to the cold water, and can save up to 90% energy ! I was not been aware of this before and always used the warm/ cold setting. It is an easy switch which I may actually talk to my friends, like, “by the way, do you know if you can just simply switch that…”? Yeah, overall saying I enjoy the challenges this week!

    • Andrew Stuhl 3/01/2019 10:07 AM
      This is an amazing journal, Muxi! I totally appreciate your honesty and hard work to challenge yourself to achieve 5 min showers! Yes, there must be differences in time required given body size and how people wear their hair and what products they require to get clean. But shutting off the water while sudsing up is key! I also LOVED your descriptions of getting outside and letting your mind wander to a creative place where you thought of the past, of the sky, of life and death. Nature is so magical in that way that it brings thoughts to us without much of our own internal prompting! 
  • Reflection Question
    Nature Practice Gratitude for Earth
    Kathleen Dean Moore says that a sense of gratitude leads to a sense of moral obligation. Do you agree? How do we cultivate a sense of gratitude as individuals, and as a society?

    Muxi You 2/27/2019 8:37 AM
    I somehow agree with this thought and think that having a sense of gratitude can keep one humble as a human being. And thus making one not too "anthropocentric", which is harming the environment.
  • Reflection Question
    Water 5-Minute Showers
    Five minute showers are an impressive step toward reducing your water footprint. What is the next step you can take?

    Muxi You 2/27/2019 8:28 AM
    No shower today. Last day was ~ 10 minutes, but not always with a running water. Plan to time my shower next time.
  • Reflection Question
    Waste Carry my Trash
    What one thing could you do right away to reduce your waste?

    Muxi You 2/27/2019 8:27 AM
    carrying my only trashes daily: usually snack bags (chips/ energy bars) and is aware of food waste (an eaten apple). Trying for the composing.
  • Reflection Question
    Food Zero-Waste Cooking
    In North America, up to 65% of food waste happens at the consumer level. Chef Steven Satterfield advocates for utilizing every part of a vegetable. How can you incorporate using an entire vegetable, including the skins, tops, and stalks during your next meal prep?

    Muxi You 2/27/2019 8:25 AM
    no food waste today. :) . 

    • Nevia Selmon 2/27/2019 8:38 PM
      You got this. I believe in you! Keep up the great work with all of your challenges. 
  • Reflection Question
    Food Smart Seafood Choices
    Many states and countries have advisories on eating fish. Find out what is advised for your region. Do you think your diet choices fall within these guidelines? What steps do you need to take to make sure that they do?

    Muxi You 2/27/2019 8:23 AM
    I have learned that the following choices are the best for PA:

    Arctic Char (farmed)
    Barramundi (US & Vietnam farmed)
    Bass (US hooks and lines, farmed)
    Bluefish (US handlines)
    Catfish (US)
    Clams, Cockles, Mussels
    Crab: King, Snow & Tanner (AK)
    Croaker: Atlantic (beach seines)
    Lionfish (US)
    Mahi Mahi (US handlines)
    Oysters (farmed & Canada)
    Prawn (Canada & US)
    Rockfish (AK, CA, OR & WA)
    Salmon (New Zealand)
    Scallops (farmed)
    Seaweed (farmed)
    Shrimp (US farmed)
    Swordfish (Canada & US buoy, handlines, harpoons)
    Tilapia (Canada, Ecuador, Peru & US)
    Trout: Rainbow/Steelhead (US farmed)
    Tuna: Albacore (trolls, pole and lines)
    Tuna: Skipjack (Pacific trolls, pole and lines)
  • Reflection Question
    Health Happiness
    How does/can practicing gratitude keep you centered and motivated to work for a better world?

    Muxi You 2/27/2019 8:18 AM
    I am more aware of my relationship with my family and friends! And I am more appreciate about what I have achieved daily, in stead of complaining myself on what I have done wrong, then carry the bad motion to the next day.

  • Muxi You 2/21/2019 10:09 AM
    Word Count: 630
    The challenges I chose to achieve this week is whole food diet, carry my trash, smart seafood choices, and try a new way to prep. And personally, I found them not hard to accomplished since I have already stopped eating any meat and try to buy foods from local farmer market/ regional market in general from a few months ago. But I still learned a lot from related resource links provided by EcoChallenge website. For example, I did not pay much attention to legumes previously, not now I plan to add more black beans, chickpeas, lentils and pinto beans to my shopping list in order to eat healthier. I also plan to try more whole grains instead of a white rice based diet. I also pay more attention on the amount of nuts and tofu I intake, which I did not carefully measured previously. As for the trash carrying, since I have been aware of my trashes since a few months ago, it was not so hard to do, but somehow tricky because carrying food wastes is actually very smelly. And that was the moment I really think to put “composing” in my future calendar, since food wastes are actually a large part in trashes. They are not easy to collected in a larger scale and actually costs a lot to burn because of the water inside them. But the problem with composing right now for me is that I do not know if I am allowed to use any outdoor place on campus to compose. Yet I plan to ask sustainability center for help in the near future when I do the composing challenge in my fourth week. My third challenge is smart seafood choices challenge. It is currently not really for me since I have quitted meat but learning about them is still super exciting since I can give advices to my friends and families. Having understood the overfishing problems we have in many areas in the world, I started to pay attention to the labels that are available on our food sources in the markets. And a great selection of fish will have a label saying that it is from a sustainable fishing area, or it is even better if it is purposely organic raised.  I love the “seafood watch” website shared in the links and found it extremely helpful. The information shared in the website is easy to find, reliable, short and concise. And in the future, I may consider adding some salmon (and calm?) into my diet (have not decided yet) because they seem to be a good option to balance nutrition needs and also not harming the environment (since I chose not to eat meat for the environmental reason). But still, I will ensure that my food is from a reliable source. For the one-time challenge, food preparation, I found it somehow challenging considering the limited time and resources available for me as a student but canning still inspiring me and let me to rethink about our daily seasonings in cooking, since all of them creates a great amount of container trashes under current economy system. To fix that, I try to buy seasonings from local farmer market who is willing to reuse their containers, and I have tried to make a sauce by my own (although it is not so tasty, it is actually not so bad). To conclude my week, I found trash carry activity is not sustainable since it is only for awareness but not a long-term profiting activity. And the food prep challenge is also hard considering the time that one may spend to accomplish it. But other than those, I love the challenges I take this week and I am glad to see my changes in a personal level.