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Eden Hougardy's avatar

Eden Hougardy

West Coast NDA

"I am hoping to learn about and create new healthy habits in order to reduce my carbon footprint."

POINTS TOTAL

  • 35 TODAY
  • 255 THIS WEEK
  • 316 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    1.0
    Carbon Footprint
    Calculated
  • UP TO
    90
    minutes
    spent learning
  • UP TO
    6.0
    plastic bottles
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    13
    single-use bags
    not sent to the landfill

Eden's actions

Biodiversity + Wildlife

Invest in Nature

A healthy world needs both our daily actions and support from larger systems. I will spend 20 minutes learning about how I can use my investments and savings to advance environmental sustainability.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Freshwater + Oceans

Keep my showers under 7 minutes

I chose this action because I do shower a lot, but I would like to keep my freshwater consumption down. I will set a timer on my watch, and this will encourage me to be more conscientious about my water usage.

COMPLETED 10
DAILY ACTIONS

Climate + Air

Calculate My Carbon Impact

Carbon emissions can show up in many surprising ways in our life. I will calculate the carbon emissions associated with my household and consider how lifestyle changes could reduce the carbon footprint and impacts on the environment.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Biodiversity + Wildlife

Use Reusable Bags

Plastic bags can be mistaken for food by many wild animals and can end up in habitats that harm wildlife. I will not accept any disposable bags when making purchases, including produce bags.

COMPLETED 6
DAILY ACTIONS

Freshwater + Oceans

Learn About Water Justice in My Area

I will spend at least 10 minutes a day using the resources provided to learn about water justice and find out how I can get involved in local initiatives.

COMPLETED 5
DAILY ACTIONS

Freshwater + Oceans

Use a Reusable Water Bottle

Itr's estimated over a billion water bottles are thrown away each year. Even if they were recycled, that still uses energy and resources from the earth. I will use a reusable bottle and stop purchasing bottled water, saving 1 disposable plastic bottle(s) a day.

COMPLETED 6
DAILY ACTIONS

Action Track: Community

Join a Cleanup Effort

I will organize or participate in a trash pickup at a local river, beach, or natural body of water.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Land + Forests

Borrow Before I Buy

Why buy something I will only use once or a few times if someone nearby has it for me to borrow, and why not share something I have that someone may only need a few times a year? To reduce my consumption and waste, I will create or support the sharing economy with friends, family, colleagues or neighbors.

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?


  • Eden Hougardy's avatar
    Eden Hougardy 4/11/2024 3:07 PM
    I learned that the PAJARO VALLEY WATER MANAGEMENT AGENCY offers a Residential Graywater System Rebate depending on the application being approved or not. This program has potential for water often used once to be used again in a more purposeful way. As of right now, households can get up to $400 by installing a system that redirects their graywater from their “clothes washing machines, showers, bathtubs, and bathroom sinks.” This can help relieve the excess water down the drain to outdoor landscapes, for it can be reused again. Moreover, diverting from the sewer or septic system to be used for landscape irrigation as explained by The Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency. Assuming this process is accepted and goes smoothly, it may be an opportunity for households to become more conscious about water waste. It would be awesome if this program gained more notoriety around the world because according to the University of Idaho, “35 gallons of greywater per day” based on data around 10 years ago. In addition, the PV water website also provides insight on some of the water conservation challenges rural residents face in the Pajaro Basin. While the “average usage for the City of Watsonville
    is about 99 gallons per person per day,” data shows that outside water usage is on average 15 gallons a day. For those in rural areas a graywater system is efficient assuming residents have more space to install and land that can soak up extra water. While household size affects water usage amounts, property size and plant amounts also impact the amount of water households use.

  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Freshwater + Oceans Learn About Water Justice in My Area
    Who is affected by polluted water or a lack of access to water in your region? How are they affected?

    Eden Hougardy's avatar
    Eden Hougardy 4/09/2024 11:23 AM

    In Watsonville, there is a non-profit called the Community Water Center (CWC), which was established in 2006. Interestingly, it was initiated in 2004 by Laurel Firestone, an attorney, who received the Equal Justice Works Fellowship to start the Rural Poverty Water Project. Firestone then collaborated with others and it turned into a larger movement to bring safe water to communities through “education, organizing, and advocacy.” The Community Water Center discovered high levels of arsenic, nitrates, Chromium-6, and 1,2,3-TCP contamination in the Central Coast, where Watsonville is located. Some people are paying as much as 10% of their income towards water. I researched some more water contaminant levels on a personal level, and I compared the apartment in Watsonville to my parents house. Despite not knowing the exact dates of the data, it is an average over 9 years, and it is still insightful. On the central Coast, “the City of Watsonville received $1.1million for a multi-benefit ecosystem and watershed restoration project that improves water quality, native habitat and regional resilience to climate change at Middle Struve Slough”. With the help of this funding, hopefully low-income communities being the most affected by environmental pollution can hope to see benefits because they “cannot qualify for funding to address the problem and are often left with a bill for water they cannot drink.” The CWC aims to create positive change, as it has “partnered with allies and impacted communities to pass the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund (SB 200)..” since “more than 300 communities without safe water in California” according to the CWC website. With that in mind, the website https://watersavingtips.org/act/indoor-water-tips/ is really useful and I hope to form a new habit of trying to catch the water I use to rinse dishes to water a plant or garden. The website also says I can reuse the water for cleaning, but I will need to think about that.



  • Eden Hougardy's avatar
    Eden Hougardy 4/08/2024 3:07 PM
    Considering this is the first time participating, it is going okay. Some of the material I am learning about makes me really sad yet informative. For example, while learning about water supplies I learned that according to WaterAid " 0.1% of the income of someone [from a developed country] earning the minimum wage ,compared to "[a person living in Madagascar who is] reliant on a tanker truck for their water supply would spend as much as 45% of their daily income on water to get just the recommended daily minimum supply." This was shocking to me because it highlights how unfair politics impact water accessibility. I found this quote so sad, surprising, and disappointing. It is unfair that those who are struggling are further forgotten and taken advantage of by those who possess more power. The article explains that this is done so by "“dispossessing (un)registered users by violent appropriation; through delegitimizing claims embedded in legislation; or through market mechanisms.” In summary, the term socio-environmental problem can be used to produce more action towards achieving water justice because it looks at the water distribution problems differently. This term draws from the fact that 'the management of water resources lies with the governments." According to the United Nations, water justice helps contribute to our overall "health, education, economic and environmental progress." There is evidence from a 2012 study by WHO that for every $1 invested to improve water sanitation, there was a $5.5 global economic return. An ideal scenario might look like a common understanding of how water justice benefits us all.


  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Climate + Air Calculate My Carbon Impact
    Where in your life do you emit the most carbon? What change are you willing to make in your daily life to reduce this output?

    Eden Hougardy's avatar
    Eden Hougardy 4/08/2024 2:18 PM
    Consumption is where I emit the most carbon at 2.9 ton, then travel is the next highest at 1.8 ton. Some changes to help reduce this carbon output that I learned about and am optimistic I can change are these top four: walking or biking more, avoiding domestic travel, asking for electric car rentals, and eating more vegetarian meals.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Land + Forests Borrow Before I Buy
    How did you participate in the sharing economy? (Consider posting a photo!) What are the benefits of a sharing economy? How could a sharing economy change the dynamics you have with friends, family and/or neighbors?

    Eden Hougardy's avatar
    Eden Hougardy 4/08/2024 11:15 AM
    I shared a car with my family, so during longer trip I used a hybrid car, which consumed less gas. Instead of buying a new car, I traded temporarily. This made it so the regular gas guzzling car was taken on small trips to town, while the hybrid was used for a road trip. I was fortunate to have the option to do so, and it was more economically friendly and slightly less environmentally damaging.

    • Lily Nauta's avatar
      Lily Nauta 4/12/2024 7:47 AM
      Travel also makes up the majority of my carbon footprint. When I think of environmentally conscious actions, it's not often that I focus on driving. I guess I think of it as a necessity in a city that isn't very pedestrian or bike-friendly. I also want to reduce my carbon footprint by using public transportation and walking regardless though!
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Biodiversity + Wildlife Use Reusable Bags
    How difficult was this challenge for you? What made it easy or difficult?

    Eden Hougardy's avatar
    Eden Hougardy 4/08/2024 11:12 AM
    It was difficult because I had to form a system where I still have bags in my car after I go shopping. I don't always return the empty bags to my car, so I am unprepared for the next time I shop. I learned that if I use all the bags in the car, I forget to replenish the bags in my car. The trick is to have too many bags in my car. As well as, it is safe to assume to overestimate how much shopping I plan to do because this will help me not run out of bags just in case I plan on shopping for more items.