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NSC Earth Week Challenge 2020 Feed

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  • Addie Carns's avatar
    Addie Carns 5/03/2020 9:52 AM
    It hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be to eat less meat, I'm finding that more and more often I opt for vegetarian options. It's difficult for me to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables because I have Crohn's and a lot of food allergies, so I have a lot of intolerances. I had a major Crohn's episode about 6 or 7 years ago and ever since then I've had a lot of fear about certain types of foods possibly pushing me into a flare. Over the last year or so I've been pushing myself to get out of my comfort zone of "safe foods" and try a wider variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and even trying the occasional vegetable raw (My "safe foods" are thoroughly cooked). I only just recently started eating hot sauce and salsa again! I am so happy that I've been able to safely expand my food options, because there are so many things that I've missed, but didn't even know I was missing them. I've turned a bunch of those fears into joy, and am slowly starting to love food again.
  • Reflection Question
    Simplicity Track my Purchases
    What have you noticed about your purchases? Where are you inclined to make shifts, if any?

    Addie Carns's avatar
    Addie Carns 5/03/2020 9:35 AM
    I've been budgeting regularly for many years now, but I seem to always have just enough to pay for my bills and necessities and a little bit of entertainment. I talked to a financial advisor at my credit union about budgeting, and I am on the right track. One shift that I made after that meeting was to have money moved from my checking to my savings automatically each time I get a paycheck, and make my budgets off of the leftover amount. That way, it's as if I never had that money to begin with. I'm not able to sock away as much as I would like to right now, but it's slowly growing. Soon I will be done paying off my car and student loans, and then I will be able to increase my bimonthly savings transfer. 

    Looking at how some of these different challenges affect each other, I've realized how much money I currently spend on my car, when I only regularly drive 3 days a week. I am hoping that once the Northgate lightrail station opens, and once I get comfortable with longer and all-weather rides on my E-bike, that I'll be able to sell my car. It's still really nice to be able to get out of town occasionally or go up to a trailhead, but with some advanced planning that can be done without a car as well.

  • Reflection Question
    Food Weekly Meal Planning
    An average American throws out about 240 lbs of food per year. The average family of four in the US spends $1,500 a year on food that they throw out. Does this surprise you? Where would you rather use this money?

    Addie Carns's avatar
    Addie Carns 5/03/2020 9:30 AM
    I'm trying to save money for a downpayment on a house (which in Seattle sort of feels like an unobtainable goal, but we'll see). I've always done basic weekly meal planning but I just recently started planning out roughly 2 weeks at a time, ever since the stay at home order was put in place. The trick I've found has been trying to find items that can be used across several different types of meals. One of the struggles I've faced in meal planning is that I live with someone who's tastes are quite a bit different from my own, so shopping for 2 different types of meals seems to lead to more waste in general without careful planning. 

    One of the things I'm realizing about a lot of the challenges I've picked is that depending on your approach, you can save money, but certain things also cost more when you pay the "true price" --supporting local agriculture is an example. It speaks to the need for both bottom up and top down approach to sustainability. Individuals being involved and making the right choices (consumer habits, transportation lifestyle, etc), community support, and strong leadership that implement progressive policy that supports small and large businesses that practice sustainability all have different parts to play. Ultimately, it seems like we won't get the policy if we don't demand it.
  • Reflection Question
    Health Eliminate Toxic Plastics
    What single-use items (e.g. straws, coffee cups, vegetable bags, plastic bags) do you regularly use? What could be substituted instead?

    Addie Carns's avatar
    Addie Carns 5/03/2020 9:14 AM
    Mostly wrappers for food items and product packaging. There are lots of other disposable but not exactly single-use plastics that I have noticed. Shampoo bottles, thread spools (used to be wooden!) To-go food containers. Then there's things like cell phone cases that don't universally fit, so when you need a new cell phone you need a new case. Electronics in general seem like a huge source of bad waste, especially considering the ore mining that is required for lots of the internal components. 

    But that is definitely the one that is hardest for me to figure out how to fully curb is plastics associated with the packaging on food products. (Also, floss.)
  • Reflection Question
    Water 5-Minute Showers
    Name some of the human activities impacting the health of water systems, both locally (your watershed) and globally (freshwater and oceans). What can you do to improve the health of water systems?

    Annie Kelley-Kamp's avatar
    Annie Kelley-Kamp 5/02/2020 8:24 PM
    I am so proud of these 5 minute showers! I need to get more consistent but these feel like a big achievement. I think the next step I should take to reduce my water footprint is to make sure I turn on and off the water right when I need it/am done with it, and make sure I don't get distracted and let it run. I might think about starting my shower before its all the way warm, as sometimes it can take a while to warm up and i hate wasting all that water.

  • Mari Acob-Nash's avatar
    Mari Acob-Nash 5/02/2020 8:30 AM
    Planted more seeds yesterday. Rain is in store for the weekend so this should help the germination! Looking forward to a walk in the springtime rain. Air is fresh! 
  • Reflection Question
    Simplicity Meditate
    What would you like to invest more time in reflecting on?

    Annie Kelley-Kamp's avatar
    Annie Kelley-Kamp 5/01/2020 2:39 PM
    I think it is so important and powerful to reflect on what is important to you and how you demonstrate that in your life. What do you love? What makes you feel accomplished? What do you want to leave behind? I want to invest more time in reflecting on these things and how I can prioritize those things in my life.

  • Annie Kelley-Kamp's avatar
    Annie Kelley-Kamp 5/01/2020 2:37 PM
    It is amazing how just 3 min of silence can actually give you a sense of calm. I always feel like things need to be huge to have an impact, even though I learn over and over again that small changes can make a big difference!

  • Anh Dang's avatar
    Anh Dang 5/01/2020 1:56 PM

    I Switched to Cold Water When I Use The Washing Machine.
  • Reflection Question
    Simplicity Limit Social Media
    Social media can keep us connected with loved ones, make us laugh, and help us to learn new things. It can also create echo chambers and take more time than we realize or intend to give. After completing this action for a few days, how do you feel? What do you notice?

    Courtney Schneider's avatar
    Courtney Schneider 4/30/2020 10:57 AM
    I feel less overwhelmed. Given the COVID situation, I am significantly less anxious when I spend less time engaged in social media. It also allows me to be more present in my current surrounding, allowing for my mind to wind up/down at the appropriate times during the day.