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ENST 246: Fall 2020 Feed

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  • Aiden Perry's avatar
    Aiden Perry 12/10/2020 9:37 PM
    Fresh air and movement are good for our entire being and can help us think more clearly and creatively. How does taking a walk each day affect yourself and/or your work?
    I feel like a shell of myself when I find a pocket of being uninspired. I think a major contributing factor to that happening in when I miss the opportunity to do something so small, yet impactful. I found myself at the peak of my bodily-kinesthetics my freshman year. This led to me writing some of the best poetry I have ever written. Unfortunately since then I have noticed that I do not maintain the same physical regimen and I have noticed that my spoken word writing took a bit of a hit. With that being said, I believe that taking a weak each day directly impacts clarity and creativity. I think that the two really cannot operate without each other. 
    In North America, up to 65% of food waste happens at the consumer level. Chef Steven Satterfield advocates for using every part of a vegetable. How can you incorporate using an entire vegetable (including the skins, tops, stalks, etc.) during your next meal prep?
    To be completely honest, I eat the whole vegetable because I more or less have no idea what else to do with it. I have a lot to learn about cooking. I am very much so a novice. So, I pretty much just do my best to make it taste good. I think one way I eat all my food is by sticking to what I know. I know that I adore every part of the broccoli. So, I frequently will make broccoli something that I frequently get while grocery shopping. Then from there I pretty much just chop it up and throw all of that into some boiling water.
    Half of all trips made in the US are three miles or less; 72% of them are driven. Does this statistic describe your own transportation habits? If so, how might you incorporate more muscle-powered transportation in your daily life?
    The more I think about my transportation habits at Bucknell, I come to think that this may accurately describe my habits. Outside of work I really do know drive much while I am at school, especially during the pandemic. But the times I did drive were places on Rt. 15. There really isn't much skating that can be done on the highway. However, everything I really need is within three miles or less. I think that I could maybe familiarize myself with the less popular roads and looking into where the rail trail leads out of. I am just relatively new to skating. Once I get some more time under my belt I'll be more confident and be more willing to travel farther distances. 

  • Aiden Perry's avatar
    Aiden Perry 12/10/2020 6:34 PM
    I think that one challenge I actually did well was the transportation challenge. Reflecting back on the challenge I feel a little oxymoronic. The job that I worked throughout the first semester was a delivery driver. I worked roughly 20 hours each week. This was roughly 200 miles driving each week. I got this job after I first selected the driving challenge. But How successfully can I do this challenge when I am doing the antithesis of what the challenge entails? I had to come to terms with this. I knew that I needed to provide for myself while I was at school and frankly this was the only job I applied to that I heard back from with good news. Looking back I now realize that I should have picked different challenge, as it was instructed to do, but I unfortunately cannot change that now. So, I reflect. 
    Whenever I had a short drive, I almost always elected to skate or to walk. I am very happy that I found an interest in skating. I think that was the main catalyst to whatever 'success' I found with this challenge. I have been snowboarding for a little over ten years now so it was a easy transition for me. Thankfully, I was not discouraged by wipe out after wipe out. This positive connotation that I had formed with this specific mode of transportation made this challenge not only easily completable but enjoyable. I looked forward to having to run errands or taking a trip to a local business on market street. Even the times that it got cold I still tried to avoid driving when I could. 
    This challenge definitely helped me lower my ecological footprint the most. I never ended up throwing away that much food, which was another challenge that I worked on. I think that when looking at successes and failures of this specific challenge I can look back and say that the amount I avoided driving, hopefully balanced out the driving I had to do for work. I know that I was driving a lot for work so to be able to get some time out from behind the wheel was actually quite nice. It was definitely more of a challenge when the weather started to get colder. Knowing that my car was either in the lot behind my dorm or down the street, made it a little more difficult to keep skating and walking around places. But I did really want to be able to complete this to the best of my ability. Also, my ecological footprint from driving for work absolutely needed something to offset it. I felt that I was able to find a happy medium with skating. I do wish that I could find another job so that I could continue to reduce my ecological foot print. I think that I have formed a good habit with skating. I do not think that would falter if I did find a job that I didn't have to drive around so much.  

  • Aiden Perry's avatar
    Aiden Perry 12/10/2020 6:00 PM
    At this point in the eco challenge I felt that that one thing that was challenging me was making sure that I was cooking no-waste meals. I have never really had to cook for myself in the past. The occasional midnight snack, or romantic evening, was really the only time I found myself cooking. And unfortunately the latter did not last very long. My mother, for better or worse, made most of the meals in my life. So, when it came to be my responsibility I felt rather unprepared. My roommates offered help with there limited experiences, but it ultimately was a huge learning curve. Through this point there were a couple of nights where my eyes were indeed bigger than my stomach and I totally over estimated. I think one thing I failed to really consider was heating up left-overs. This would still be considered a no-waste meal because I didn't actually throw it out. Looking back on it the only time I ever really did eat left-overs was when it was food that I ordered.  I was always excited to keep working on this challenge. I felt that as a young adult it was a skill that I deemed necessary. It is not a financially responsible decision to order food every night, so I must learn how to properly prepare food for myself. It was something that I was always cognizant of. I hated throwing away unfinished food or food that I let go bad because I bought too much. I wish the experience came at a lower price; but it allowed space for me to grow. I also think that if more people were cognizant of the amount of food they were making then there would be a great ecological impact being made. The issue of over-indulgence is pressing especially in America. I think the hyper-capitalistic mentality this country has recently fostered has only aided in this  glutinous way of living.  
    At this point I was having a hard time taking time to just go for a walk, or even skate, to just get outside. I frequently, and especially this semester, found taking proper care of myself dropped lower and lower on my priority list. It was actually draining to do something as simple and beneficial for myself. What made this even more problematic was I chose this challenge as an easy goal for me to accomplish. I knew that if I picked this I could look back on each day and say that I at least accomplished that. It was rather disappointing to know that I really couldn't even do that. Taking a walk everyday should be something that isn't exhausting. However, not everything is as it seems. I was able to get outside of myself occasionally and take a nice stroll or just skate around aimlessly. I do wish that I was more inclined to take these simple walks for myself, and I hope that it is something that I can make something like that a simple addition to my daily routine. 

  • Danielle Zilkha's avatar
    Danielle Zilkha 9/28/2020 9:49 PM
    Danielle Zilkha 
    Journal 6
    ENST 246

    For this past weeks challenges, I struggled the most with trying to go for daily walks and adopting a “needs vs. wants” lifestyle approach. I managed to get myself to go on about one walk for 30 minutes and then I got bored. The other days I am truthfully not even sure that going for a walk even crossed my mind until seeing it each night on the EcoChallenge website. Regarding  adopting a “needs vs. wants” lifestyle approach, I am not surprised that I was generally very bad at this. This happens whenever I go to the supermarket, I buy food and other unnecessary items (like a new cooking pan, a pretty candle, different brands of the same food). On the bright side, I do try to avoid products that are sold in unnecessary packaging that are bad for the environment and difficult to dispose of. The community challenge I picked was to offer help to at least one person each day. This challenge was gladly not something that I had to consciously think about to do because I realized that I help people more than I thought. Especially regarding small things like turning off one of my roommates bedroom lights, doing one my roommates dishes when they are in a rush, refilling the Brita Filter, picking up my friends from class, etc. The challenge for this past week that I did best with was choosing organic ingredients. Almost each day I had at least one meal using organic ingredients. Now when I go food shopping, I read the product labels in addition to looking for the least expensive. After last week, I now only buy organic eggs, turkey bacon, chicken, and beef.
    For this current week, the challenges I chose are: signing up to vote (completed that!), preserving water by taking five minute showers, driving less, and spending a few minutes learning about toxic chemicals that can be found in cleaning products. I have already started learning about toxic chemicals that can be found in cleaning products because after researching how to clean our carpet, I learned that it is important to let the room air out since many carpet cleaners contain chemicals that are unhealthy to breathe in.  A challenge that I usually would have difficulty with but have gotten so much better is taking shorter showers. I live with five other people and our hot water does not last very long so that also forces me to take pretty quick showers. 

    • Courtney Sellig's avatar
      Courtney Sellig 9/29/2020 8:20 AM
      Hi Dani! I loved reading your post and hearing about all of your daily challenges! I appreciate that  you are so open about some of the challenges you have encountered with the overall Eco-Challenge, such as going on daily walks and identifying needs vs wants. Although I did not select either of those for my daily challenges, I tend to struggle with those tasks as well. I do enjoy going on walks every so often, but knowing the difference between needs and wants can sometimes be difficult. I also find myself buying things at the grocery store that at the moment I think I may need, but then it sits in the cabinet for weeks without being touched. It is awesome that you are using organic ingredients too! I took this on as a challenge too, and I have been wanting to go to the Lewisburg Farmers Market! I went all the time last year, but havent had the chance to go this year! I enjoyed reading about your challenges from this past week as well. I also included taking 5 minute showers as a new daily task. This wasn’t as difficult for me as I expected, especially after hearing all of the environmental benefits, plus living with roommates and having the hot water issue! Learning about toxic chemicals is definitely super important as well, and I would love to educate myself on this topic. I hope everything else with the Eco-Challenge has been going well, and I wish you luck with the last week!


  • Brian Miller's avatar
    Brian Miller 9/28/2020 5:08 PM
    For the last week of adding on to my Eco-challenge I have some new daily and one time actions that i feel are perfect to complete the unit and set up my new still of living for the future. Beginning with my first one time action of volunteering during the challenge. Luckily this has already been a large part of my life as out team prides itself on making sure it gives back to the community. Last week we helped to clean the woodlands running by the Bucknell Driving Range. The entire team removed easily over a thousand golf balls from the restoration site in order to encourage as much wildlife growth as possible. Another action that we are completing this week is to clean up trash in the local area.  These two acts along with countless others we will take undertake in the future is one of the best ways to give back and also spend time with the team!

    Another one time challenge that I chose as my final one is a minor variation to the challenge of insulating water pipes in order to limit the time it takes for water to heat up, The goal is to limit the waiting between turning the water on and actually taking a shower. Instead I will work on immediately hopping in the cold shower especially since it will eliminate this process all together. In addition, using the shower before and allowing that to heat up allows for the water in the sink to already be heated when I need hot water to come out. This combination of only doing actions requiring hot water from the sink after showering makes it so I will never have to wait for the water of the sink to heat up. Overall, this variation of simplifying insulating the pipes that I use everyday allows for the same result of an action that is not accessible in my current living arrangement.

    The two daily challenges that I chose for the week are actions that easily coincide with one another. The two actions are going for walks and watching the sunset or sunrise each and every day. I have always enjoyed watching the sunset especially throughout my life but I am able to enjoy the sunrise more now that I have to get up early to go to practice. Walking home from early morning practice to watch the sunrise has been a new part of my life that i have found very enjoyable. It is always a great feeling to see the sunrise as your day is beginning and completing it with the sunset. Walking home from places such as the library of practice allow me to get the walk in each day while also enjoying two of natures greatest sights. All in all, I have thoroughly enjoyed the Eco-Challenge unit and it has definitely allowed me to gain new insight on how to change my life in many minor ways to have a large impact on the footprint I leave on the globe.


    • Maggie Hopkins's avatar
      Maggie Hopkins 9/30/2020 5:34 PM
      Hi Brian! I really enjoyed reading your journal and I’m glad that the challenges went well. I loved reading about your volunteer work with your team. That’s so fun that you all can spend that time together while making such a positive impact on the community. With everything going on right now it’s especially important for the community to come together so it’s really great that you all are making that a priority. I was also really interested in how you are working to use as little hot water as possible. When I was looking at the challenges I remember seeing the ones about replacing pipes to be more efficient or waste less water, but I figured I would not be able to do those while at school. I know I tend to wait for the water to heat up without really thinking about what a waste it is. I’ve been trying to take shorter showers as one of my challenges, so this is something I’ll have to try as well. I also really appreciated what you said about watching the sunrise and sunset. I liked how you mentioned that it was nice to be able to start and end your day with those. This is a small thing that can be easy to overlook during a busy day, so it’s great that you got to appreciate both while being outside. Since I’ve been back at school I don’t usually wake up early enough for the sunrise so maybe I’ll have to do that one day! 

  • Maggie Hopkins's avatar
    Maggie Hopkins 9/28/2020 8:44 AM
    My challenges this week went pretty well. For a daily challenge I chose to take 5 minute showers. This was easier than I had anticipated, as I found I already take fairly quick showers. It seems like a small thing I can easily keep in mind in the future, which can add up to make a big difference. One of the things I did to gauge the amount of time which was suggested on the website was to bring in a speaker to listen to music (https://www.watercalculator.org/posts/shower-bath/). This way you can tell by how many songs have played about how long you have showered. I will definitely keep doing this in the future. My other daily challenge was to sleep one more hour each night. This one was more difficult as I had a lot of work last week. I tried to keep in mind my challenge from last week which was to limit social media, and not go on my phone before bed. I read about how the blue light from our phones can affect the circadian rhythms of sleeping because they keep your mind more in focus and alert. This suppresses melatonin and makes it more difficult to fall asleep (https://online.nursing.georgetown.edu/blog/sleeping-well-in-the-digital-age/). The nights I was able to not go on my phone before bed I did notice a difference in how easy it was to fall asleep, so I will try to keep doing this in the future.
      One of my one time challenges was to learn about food apartheid. This is something I did not previously have very much knowledge on, so I was interested to learn about it because of how prevalent it is today. I read about “food deserts” which are areas in which people do not have sufficient access to good quality food. In an interview with Karen Washingotn, who is fighting for food justice, she explains how the movement itself will become a desert if more young people do not get involved. More young people must get involved in the farming itself in order to change the system from within (https://www.guernicamag.com/karen-washington-its-not-a-food-desert-its-food-apartheid/). I also found it interesting how connected this movement is with the more well known movements of racial injustice. The role that food insecurity plays within these issues is something which needs more attention because of how severe the consequences can be. 
    My other one time action was to learn more about renewable energy. I read that currently, electricity production gives rise to 25% of heat-trapping emissions globally. This statistic is definitely concerning. It reminded me of the recent clock that was put up in New York which gives the amount of remaining time before global warming becomes irreversible. These numbers are very alarming and show the immediate need for change to be made. One article describes the solution as have several aspects, including enhancing efficiency, shifting production, and improving the system (https://www.drawdown.org/sectors/electricity). This includes many changes that need to be made, such as reducing the demand itself for electricity from large buildings and industries, shifting to thermal energy, or creating new, flexible grids to improve the balance of electricity supply with the demand. Given the damage electricity production is currently producing, these changes need to be implemented widely. 

    • Carrie Loomis's avatar
      Carrie Loomis 10/05/2020 2:59 PM
      Hey Maggie! 
      It was really cool to read the tips that you got from the resources you read. I also took up the challenge of taking shorter showers and also used listening to music to time myself. Good for you for making the change to not going on your phone before bed. That can be especially hard nowadays because with everything being online, its easy to entirely surround yourself with screens and light. It is even harder at school when the schoolwork, which is often online, keeps piling up. It is really interesting that the blue light can affect the way that our bodies release melatonin and learn to relax. I definitely want to look into this further ( and try to put it into practice) as well. 
      Food apartheid is a really important issue to learn about. I also chose the challenge to learn about food apartheid this week. It is really interesting to see the kind of power that our generation as “young people” seem to have over different social and political movements. Before this week, I had never considered urban farming as a solution for food inequality. 
      It is really scary to read about the amount that energy production contributes to global emissions. We use so much energy in a day and it is so easy to forget to do things like turning off the lights, even though it is such an easy task. It is also really interesting to hear you talk about improving efficiency as a way to lower electricity related emissions. Overall, you seem to be really pushing yourself through self-education! 

  • Matt Golden's avatar
    Matt Golden 9/22/2020 5:58 AM
    Moving onto the third week of the eco-challenge, I wanted to move away from challenges that put me outside and focus on educating myself about environmental challenges and making myself a better person to those around me. For this week, I selected helping others and reduce single use disposables for my daily actions. Helping Others I found to be quite easy once you wrap your mind around the concept of trying to find a friend in need. While some of my helping includes driving my friends downhill or giving them advice, I do have one example that I'm more proud of. One of my friends was having a rough evening and needed someone to talk to. It was after 3 am and I was really exhausted, but I knew that she could really use my advice, so I decided to stay up and talk it out. We wound up having a great conversation that I never would've initiated if my intention was not to help her through her dilemma, So having this challenge in mind really helped me get the most out of the moment, and do all I could to make sure she was feeling ok. Reducing single use disposables has been a fun one for me, as there's so many items I use in my daily routine that only gets used once before going into the garbage. While it's easy to avoid obvious items like packaging, doing this challenge has made me think of all the little things we use with no disdain for the environment. In fact, starting up this challenge inspired me to get a recyclable toothbrush and composter for my room at college. Also this challenge has also demonstrated to me the inefficiencies of recycling, as much of what we hope to be recycled never makes it. Finally, my one time action for the week was learn about trans, femme and nonbinary experiences. For me, I knew it was a topic I needed to inform myself better on, as its something I can't relate to the experience. I watched this one documentary on youtube that discussed the non-binary spectrum and what it means to not identify as either gender. Watching the documentary, I was put in my feels for a moment, when it brought up this one young kid who ended their life after being bullied for wearing a dress to a school field trip. I think it is such a tragedy when our children have to suffer from the ignorance of generations past. So I'm glad I took the time this week to educate myself more on this topic, and hope to one day break the generational curse permanently on gender & sexuality for my children's generation. 

    • Molly Paine's avatar
      Molly Paine 9/28/2020 4:34 PM
      Hey Matt! I really enjoyed reading your journal response this week. I thought the challenges that you choose were super impactful and definitely some things that I would love to try out. I am especially impressed by your efforts to better understand the experiences of trans, femme, and nonbinary people. I too need to work on this and better educate myself to understand their experiences and be able to help and mold a more accepting and open next generation. I think it is so important for everyone to be educated on this topic because you are completely right that people shouldn’t have to suffer from the ignorance of past generations. It is up to us to do everything that we can to be educated and informed so that we can give the next generation all of the information that they need and raise them in a world that is caring and accepting. I really love that you took on this challenge! I also think it is super cool that you decided to start changing the way you live in your dorm room to try and reduce or eliminate single use plastics and other disposable items. I really like what you said about noticing the little things. I often don’t think of something like my toothbrush as being single use because I do use it for an extended period of time before throwing it out and replacing it. But if you think about the things in your life that you will eventually throw away and replace consistently, it is definitely one of them and I think that doing things like buying a recyclable toothbrush are a great way to try and cut back on that. I am definitely going to look into doing this! I also want to say that it sounds like you are a great friend to talk with your friend past 3AM and I am sure she really appreciates that you did that.

    • Andrew Stuhl's avatar
      Andrew Stuhl 9/25/2020 8:22 AM
      Whoa Matt! What a powerful journal entry. You're an amazing friend to be there for someone in a time of need, that's incredible. And good for you too to do some self-education and feel the suffering of another on a personal level. You're really showing a lot of empathy and compassion!

  • Keith Langkan's avatar
    Keith Langkan 9/21/2020 11:45 PM
    One challenge from this week was just keeping track of all the various tasks to make sure I accomplish. I find that the tasks which involve consuming less or consuming differently are more simple than active goals, although they tend to be much more fulfilling. For example every time I brush my teeth or use a computer I remember my respective tasks. I also try to practice meditation intermittently. It’s hard to keep up with some of these tasks with certain Covid restrictions as well. Some are difficult to quantify, such as how many miles I haven’t driven. Well, it’s hard to intentionally think about miles I made sure not to drive, although I do keep in mind to keep errands for all one trip. 

    One barrier that I didn’t expect was sourcing meals from my local farmers market, which is what keeps me from completing all my tasks every day. I get my meal plan through bucknell so I don’t find myself getting food from the farmer’s market, and it conflicts with my goal of driving less. In another challenge, I figured I would attempt to intentionally cut some meat out of my diet. I didn’t have any moral objections to eating meat before this challenge, but I did know of its impact on the environment. The problem is that I really enjoy eating meat, and it’s going to be a lifestyle change to remove that from my meals intentionally. I have been thinking a lot about meat consumption lately, and I really wish there was an alternative to the most common way of farming it. 

    Although it isn’t a specific goal from this project, I’ve been consuming less every time I get food. I reuse the same plastic bag keeping this challenge in mind. I make sure to only get servings that I know I’ll eat and reduce the number of containers I request. I feel like it’s in the spirit of the challenge to do things like this. Other challenges I feel like I will have an easier time working into my life, like registering to vote and now I know how easy it is to set up my annual health check up. 

    One thing that seems to be difficult at least lately is connecting to my community. I’d like to find a way to organize with my community. Especially with environmental and social events coming to the forefront of public attention, I’d like to bring together people who can support each other and have a common goal. The pandemic has left people feeling pretty alone and isolated, and I think that environmental concerns have also been pushed to the wayside because of it unfortunately. I think a united front is the way forward. Taking a look at a lot of the community challenges, they aren’t as easy as they seem. Being aware of the changes needed to make a difference can also weigh heavy on the mind. I think many people subconsciously trust that science or some leader will save everyone, but as long as everyone is thinking that I feel like people won’t take environmental issues seriously. 



    • Molly Paine's avatar
      Molly Paine 9/28/2020 4:33 PM
      Hey Keith! I really enjoyed reading your journal entry this week. There were several things that I related to that I wanted to mention to you.  I too have been trying to source more of my meals from the local farmer’s market and have found it to be a challenge of sorts. It’s always tough to fit time into your day to actually go and I have struggled with this a bit. I have also, like you, tried to cut back on my diving time and have found that it conflicts with the concept of going to the farmer’s market. One thing that I have found that works for me is to walk to the farmer’s market (it is about a mile and a half down the rail trail and then take a right), and then have someone pick me up or catch a ride home with a friend that is already there once I have my groceries. That way you are only driving one way and you are carpooling. Although it’s not cutting out driving all together, it’s a step in the right direction which is always a good thing in my opinion. I also related to what you said about connecting with your community during this global pandemic. I too have felt alone and isolated at many points during the pandemic and I think that it has definitely made it difficult to motivate myself to focus on environmental issues. I agree that some people feel as though the responsibility of saving the planet falls to the scientists and I think that this is a really dangerous mindset for people to have. It is up to the people to put pressure on politicians who are counting on our vote and ask them to implement policies that will benefit and help clean up our planet. It’s always easier said than done but hopefully going forward we are able to gather more in person which will make it harder for politicians to ignore. 

    • Andrew Stuhl's avatar
      Andrew Stuhl 9/25/2020 8:20 AM
      Agree! There are so many pressing needs / issues in American society / public discourse going on simultaneously, and somehow climate crisis has dropped a bit off the 'front page' so to speak. There are lots of great environmental groups working actively in our community and on campus! I know you've heard of GND Lewisburg -- have you heard of Climate Reality Project as well? 

  • Emily  Haas's avatar
    Emily Haas 9/21/2020 9:08 PM
    Although it is becoming more difficult to keep up with all of my daily and one time challenges, and I sometimes am not able to complete all of my daily challenges each day, I have noticed that I am more environmentally conscious than I have ever been. Just learning about the different actions, I can do to reduce my ecological footprint, and reading the different resources listed on the Eco Challenge website have helped me to make more sustainable decisions and actions. The daily challenges I chose for this past week were conserve toilet water and drive less. The one-time challenges I chose were learn about renewable energy and sign up to vote. I struggled a lot with the drive less challenge because I live downtown and most of my friend’s live in the apartments so I drive a lot to the apartments. However, a few days this week, instead of driving to the apartments, I decided to leave a few minutes earlier and walk. I actually really enjoyed walking instead of driving and thought it helped to clear my mind and put me in a good mood, especially when it was sunny outside. I was surprised by how much of an impact walking over driving had on my day, as it not only improved my mood, but also made me feel better because I was walking more and getting more exercise. The conserve toilet water daily action was also challenging. I actually did not even realize how much water is used when you flush the toilet, so just learning about those statistics under the resources listed for that action opened my eyes to the different ways I can conserve water daily. However, I was to really able to do this challenge following their recommendations listed under the resources because the main recommendation is to not flush the toilet after every time you use it. As I share a bathroom with other people, that is currently not something I can do. However, having this as a daily challenge has made me more aware of the water I unconscious waste every day, such as when I brush my teeth or wash dishes, and has made more conservative of the water I use in general. The one-time challenge of learning about renewable energy resources was surprising and interesting to learn about. I didn’t realize how many renewable energy sources are available in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania has several available sources of renewable energy, which include solar, geothermal, wind, hydropower and biomass. I did not realize that geothermal energy was even an option in Pennsylvania, so it was interesting to find out that that is an available renewable energy resource, even though geothermal electricity is currently not a practical option in Pennsylvania. The one-time challenge of registering to vote in Pennsylvania was an action I would have done regardless of the Eco Challenge, but having it be part of my Eco Challenge actions made me more aware of how much politics influences environmental policy and how important it is to vote for leaders who will prioritize sustainability. 

    The main barriers I face in making these daily lifestyle changes permanent are time, the weather, and living with other people. In terms of driving less, walking biking really is more time consuming, and although I can definitely make more time to walk instead of drive more often, sometimes it is just more convenient to drive, such as when it is raining or snowing. Additionally, I really am not a cold weather person and although I am really enjoying walking more now, I know that once it starts to get colder outside, I probably won’t walk as much as I am now, especially if the ground is icy. I also do not like to walk alone at night, so if I know I am going to be at the apartments until late at night, even though I go over during the day, I will probably drive there so that I don’t have to walk home at night later. In terms of conserving toilet water, I would definitely try to conserve toilet water more if I lived alone, but while I am still at Bucknell, I probably will not be able to recommended actions listed under the resources.  

    I am probably less willing to make these lifestyle changes permanent just because I think there are more barriers I face in being able to do them every day. However, I do want to make more efforts to drive less and hope to continue this action. 


    • Andrew Stuhl's avatar
      Andrew Stuhl 9/25/2020 8:18 AM
      Yay for walking to class and just walking in general! I totally resonate with the uplift you experience just from walking v driving.

    • Annie Maley's avatar
      Annie Maley 9/25/2020 11:49 AM
      It seems like you’re really getting a lot out of the challenge Emily! I totally resonate with some of the difficulties you felt in this week’s challenges. I chose to use a reusable water bottle as one of my challenges, but I saw the toilet challenge on the water page. After doing a water audit using one of the resources, I was also shocked by how much water toilets waste! But similar to you, I live in a shared apartment and so I chose not to pick that challenge for the time being. Additionally, I have also really enjoyed walking more instead of driving. As someone who also lives in the senior apartments I understand how it can be a hike at times, but I too feel more relaxed and at ease after walking instead of driving. One thing I’ve been challenging myself to do that has made my walks even better is taking that 10-15 minutes to call my mom or sister to catch up. Things can get pretty hectic and busy at Bucknell, so using the outdoor walk to connect with loved ones off campus is something I’d suggest trying if you’re up for it! I really relate to your comments about voting and environmentalism. I too would have registered to vote here no matter what, but the eco challenge has made me much more aware of issues happening in the environment around me. I respect how honest you are about keeping some actions after the challenge, while also being aware that not all of them will fit into your lifestyle. Given everything happening at Bucknell right now, I think you are totally justified in your desire to drive back to the apartments at night instead of walk (I do the same!). Great job on the challenge, your dedication and thoughtfulness really show through this journal entry. Good luck with the rest of the challenge! 

      -Annie 


  • 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!