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April 1 - April 30, 2021
Carrie Menard's avatar

Carrie Menard

FAACC Tree Huggers

"Improving my own health and well-being by improving the health and well-being of the environment."

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 2,200 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    2
    advocacy actions
    completed
  • up to
    3
    donations
    made
  • up to
    821
    minutes
    spent exercising
  • up to
    445
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    50
    meatless or vegan meals
    consumed
  • up to
    910
    minutes
    being mindful
  • up to
    63
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • up to
    1
    people
    helped
  • up to
    1
    public officials or leaders
    contacted
  • up to
    6
    trees
    planted

Carrie's Actions

Action Track: Accelerating Solutions

Support Indigenous Peoples' Land Management

Indigenous Peoples' Forest Tenure

I will donate to Native American Rights Fund, which protects tribal natural resources and environmental rights and promotes Native American Human Rights.

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Accelerating Solutions

Research and Advocate for High-Speed Rail

High-Speed Rail

I will spend at least 20 minutes researching and advocating for a comprehensive high speed rail network in my country/region.

Completed
One-Time Action

Electricity

Choose Renewable Energy or Purchase Renewable Energy Credits

Onshore Wind Turbines, Utility-Scale Solar Photovoltaics

I will sign up for my utility company's clean/renewable energy option. If my utility does not offer one, I will purchase Renewable Energy Credits to match my usage.

Completed
One-Time Action

Land Sinks

Plant Trees

Temperate Forest Restoration

I will plant 6 tree(s) in my community, public parks, or backyard.

Completed
One-Time Action

Land Sinks

Research Peatlands

Peatland Protection and Rewetting

I will spend 20 minutes researching the environmental benefits of peatlands and what is being done around the world to conserve and restore them.

Completed
One-Time Action

Land Sinks

Forest-Friendly Foods 1

Tropical Forest Restoration

I will spend at least 15 minutes researching the impact of my diet to see how it contributes to deforestation.

Completed
One-Time Action

Health and Education

Learn about the Need for Family Planning

Health and Education

I will spend at least 20 minutes learning more about the need for family planning globally.

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Accelerating Solutions

Advocate For More Packaging Options

Multiple Industry Solutions

I will advocate for alternatives to single-use packaging at local grocery stores, markets, at work, or on campus.

Completed
One-Time Action

Transportation

Explore Other Transportation Solutions

All Transportation Solutions

I will spend at least 20 minutes researching other Drawdown Transportation Solutions.

Completed
One-Time Action

Transportation

Conduct Virtual Meetings

Telepresence

I will encourage my office to hold meetings virtually whenever possible instead of requiring travel.

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Climate Resilience

Local Perennial Biomass

Perennial Biomass Production

I will spend at least 20 minutes finding out if anyone is working on perennial biomass projects in my region and how I can get involved.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Support Nutrient Management

Nutrient Management

I will research and support local farmers who have made the decision to not use synthetic nitrogen fertilizers.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Learn More about Regenerative Agriculture

Conservation Agriculture, Regenerative Annual Cropping

I will spend at least 25 minutes learning about the need for more regenerative agriculture.

Completed
One-Time Action

Electricity

Support Microgeneration in Low Income Countries

Small Hydropower, Micro Wind Turbines, Microgrids

I will make a donation to a nonprofit that installs microgeneration in low income countries.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Is Hemp Good for the Planet?

I will spend 20-30 minutes researching whether hemp is as environmentally friendly as it's been touted to be. My goal is to be more informed, rather than going based off information from people who may be biased.

Completed
One-Time Action

Health and Education

Support Businesses Owned by Women, BIPOC, or Immigrants

Sustainable Intensification for Smallholders

I will spend 30 minutes researching businesses owned by women, immigrants, and Black, Indigenous, and people of color that I can support when shopping.

Completed
One-Time Action

Coastal, Ocean, and Engineered Sinks

Smart Seafood Choices

Ocean Farming

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

Completed
One-Time Action

Coastal, Ocean, and Engineered Sinks

Learn about Biochar

Biochar Production

I will spend 30 minute(s) learning about biochar and how it can help sequester carbon.

Completed
One-Time Action

Industry

Learn About & Practice Sustainable Fashion

Multiple Industry Solutions

I will learn about sustainable fashion and begin trying to practice it in my own life.

Completed
One-Time Action

Industry

Properly Dispose of Refrigerants

Refrigerant Management

I will spend at least 15 minutes learning how to properly dispose of my refrigerator, freezer, and other refrigerants at the end of their useful lives.

Completed
One-Time Action

Industry

Research the Climate Impact of Refrigerants

Refrigerant Management

I will spend 30 minute(s) learning about the climate impact of refrigerants and what climate-friendly refrigerants are by using the links below.

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Climate Resilience

Learn More about Silvopasture

Silvopasture

I will spend at least 30 minutes watching videos and/or reading about the environmental benefits of silvopasture.

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Climate Resilience

Learn More about Biomass

Biomass Power

I will spend at least 30 minutes learning more about the energy generation potential of biomass.

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Accelerating Solutions

Support Companies Leading in Green Energy

Utility-Scale Solar Photovoltaics, Distributed Solar Photovoltaics

I will use my spending power to reward companies leading in creating or purchasing green energy and incentivize others to invest more in green energy.

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Accelerating Solutions

Communicate With My Elected Officials

Onshore Wind Turbines, Offshore Wind Turbines

I will write or call 1 elected official(s) telling them not to support fossil fuel subsidies and instead support wind energy generation.

Completed
One-Time Action

Health and Education

Help Students Overcome Health Barriers

Health and Education

I will donate 1 Femme Kit(s) to help people who menstruate overcome health and sanitation barriers to being able to attend school.

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Climate Resilience

Learn about 'Green Gentrification'

Multiple Solutions

I will spend at least 30 minutes learning about green gentrification and how it relates to city planning for climate action.

Completed
One-Time Action

Transportation

Go for a Daily Walk

Walkable Cities

I will take a walk for 20 minutes each day and take note of the infrastructure that makes walking more or less enjoyable, accessible, and possible.

COMPLETED 30
DAILY ACTIONS

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Reduce Animal Products

Plant-Rich Diets

I will enjoy 1 meatless or vegan meal(s) each day of the challenge.

COMPLETED 30
DAILY ACTIONS

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Eat Mindfully

I will eat all of my meals without distractions, e.g., phone, computer, TV, or newspaper.

COMPLETED 30
DAILY ACTIONS

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Keep Track of Wasted Food

Reduced Food Waste

I will keep a daily log of food I throw away during Earth Month Ecochallenge, either because it went bad before I ate it, I put too much on my plate, or it was scraps from food preparation.

COMPLETED 30
DAILY ACTIONS

Land Sinks

Explore My Area

Sometimes protecting nature requires feeling connected to nature. I will invest 60 minutes in exploring and appreciating a natural area in my region, whether a forest, wetland, coastal area, or somewhere else.

Completed
One-Time Action

Industry

Find a Local Climate-Friendly Supermarket

Refrigerant Management

I will explore the interactive map in the links below to find a supermarket that does not use HFC refrigerants near my home.

Completed
One-Time Action

Electricity

Calculate My Carbon Footprint

All Drawdown Solutions

I will calculate the greenhouse gas emissions associated with my household and consider how different lifestyle choices could reduce my negative impact on the environment.

Completed
One-Time Action

Feed


  • Carrie Menard's avatar
    Carrie Menard 4/30/2021 3:55 PM
    And it comes to an end! I'm very proud of the commitment I made to the challenge. I completed all of my daily actions every day, and finished every one-time action on my dashboard. I really feel as though I've learned a lot, and by having spent a full 30 days on this, I've hopefully built some habits that will last. But I think I'm eating breakfast tomorrow with my phone in hand!
  • Reflection Question
    Food, Agriculture, and Land Use Reduce Animal Products
    Why do people in richer countries eat more meat than people in other places? How does eating more meat affect our bodies, our planet, and other people?

    Carrie Menard's avatar
    Carrie Menard 4/30/2021 1:58 PM
    People in richer countries have more access to meat, and are more able to afford to purchase it. I think that part of our culture, especially when it comes to restaurants, makes it seem as though eating meat -- and especially beef or seafood -- is a luxury, and who doesn't want to have a little luxury in their lives? I eat beef very infrequently and seafood never. (Beef is a choice, seafood I just HATE.) But I do eat more than my fair share of chicken, and not sustainably raised chicken at that. I don't believe that lean meats like chicken have an ill effect on our health, but factory farming of chickens isn't the healthiest. I've been making a conscious effort to eat more vegetarian meals. I'd gotten out of the habit of eating beans when I was on keto, and I am thrilled to have them back in my diet.
  • Reflection Question
    Food, Agriculture, and Land Use Keep Track of Wasted Food
    An average American throws out about 240 lbs of food per year. The average family of four spends $1,500 a year on food that they throw out. How would you rather use this money?

    Carrie Menard's avatar
    Carrie Menard 4/30/2021 1:53 PM
    I kept a log of how much food was wasted by either my husband or I this month. I did not track the boys' waste. I don't always know what they throw out, and they are wild cards. The older one wastes very little -- he's a vacuum cleaner. The younger one doesn't eat anything, but I have to give him ample food because he's underweight. 

    My husband and I didn't do too badly. There was about $12 worth of food that we intended to eat that went bad before we got to it. Most of our waste was the parts of the food I never intended to eat, such as peels, cores, shells, and the like. Other than a few meat scraps during the month, all of our food waste went into our compost bin, not into the trash.

    Would I rather have $144 than throw that out? Of course! But this month has absolutely helped me with meal planning with the food we have at the forefront.
  • Reflection Question
    Action Track: Accelerating Solutions Research and Advocate for High-Speed Rail
    What are the factors that influence your choice of transportation? These can include things like money, time, and convenience, as well as perceptions of danger or safety. What would need to change for you to regularly choose more climate-friendly options?

    Carrie Menard's avatar
    Carrie Menard 4/30/2021 1:48 PM
    In our area, the only option for public transportation is the Glens Falls bus system, which has very limited use. To get to the nearest bus pickup, the amount of time I would spend walking would take me longer than driving to work. For trips to the Albany area, there is a commuter bus, but it has very limited hours. Likewise, the train station isn't close, and only comes through once or twice a day.

    One of the options that was suggested in one of the articles I read was that perhaps independently driven "pods" could be linked together on highways. This is something that my husband has been daydreaming about for years, and seems like it could be a viable option for the United States. We have an extensive highway system, but our sprawling population makes it economically difficult to have public transportation that is accessible to everyone.
  • Reflection Question
    Industry Research the Climate Impact of Refrigerants
    What did you learn about the climate impact of refrigerants? How do supermarkets contribute to this impact?

    Carrie Menard's avatar
    Carrie Menard 4/30/2021 1:09 PM
    Even the HFC which we adopted in an attempt to combat the environmental impacts of HCFCs and CFCs are causing global warming. There are natural refrigerants that can mitigate this, and as of 2019, were supposed to be phased in. I'm not sure if that happened, given everything else that started in 2019.

    Grocery stores obviously use more refrigeration than your average consumer. Aldi has a remarkably high score for their actions to reduce emissions. Target had the third highest score (behind Whole Foods, which we don't have without a drive), and the parent company that owns Hannaford was rated fourth.

  • Carrie Menard's avatar
    Carrie Menard 4/29/2021 4:26 PM
    More contradictions... We want to do the right thing and compost more, so we've invested in a kitchen composter to supplement our backyard composting. I also wanted to make it more reasonable to wash and reuse ziploc bags and our silicone bags, so I bought a frame for drying the bags. But making these purchases is not exactly sustainable -- the composter has tons of plastic in the housing. The bag frame is metal, so that's okay. But those of these products were purchased online, so they've been overly packaged and shipped. (And those silicone bags I referred to? Same thing!) 
  • Reflection Question
    Action Track: Accelerating Solutions Support Indigenous Peoples' Land Management
    Indigenous speaker and activist Winona LaDuke says that, "most indigenous ceremonies, if you look to their essence, are about the restoration of balance — they are a reaffirmation of our relationship to creation. That is our intent: to restore, and then to retain balance and honor our part in creation." Why is balance important to sustainability?

    Carrie Menard's avatar
    Carrie Menard 4/29/2021 8:35 AM
    The needs of the people cannot be sacrificed for the needs of the earth, and vice versa. For too long, our culture has gone to far in the direction of sacrificing the needs of the earth in favor of the needs -- scratch that, desires -- of the people. The eco-footprint assessment I did showed me that even all the efforts my family makes are not enough to balance the needs of the earth with what our family consumes. There are certainly things we LIKE that we don't NEED that would improve this. My husband no longer commutes -- do we still need two cars? 

    So we need something between Joni Mitchell's "They paved paradise, put up a parking lot" and Talking Heads' "If this is paradise, I wish a had a lawnmower....Once there were parking lots, now there's a peaceful oasis."

  • Carrie Menard's avatar
    Carrie Menard 4/28/2021 4:32 PM
    Oh my gosh, only two days left! I can't believe how much I've taken out of this challenge. We even ordered an electric kitchen composter that will process bioplastics. It's through a kickstarter sort of thing, so hopefully we don't get ripped off. Cross your fingers for us!
  • Reflection Question
    Electricity Choose Renewable Energy or Purchase Renewable Energy Credits
    Your utility company is able to tell you your average energy usage. Ask them how your energy usage compares to others in your ZIP code, region, and/or state. What other steps can you take each day to reduce your electricity usage?

    Carrie Menard's avatar
    Carrie Menard 4/28/2021 2:37 PM
    Our energy usage this year is higher than usual -- surprise! With all four of us working and schooling from home, and the majority of our entertainment taking place on screens of some sort, we're using all sorts of electricity. Until we're out of the pandemic, I'm okay with this.

    We are careful about lights, use power strips to turn off our computer peripherals when we're not using them, and use Energy Star devices whenever possible. 
  • Reflection Question
    Health and Education Learn about the Need for Family Planning
    What did you learn about the need for family planning? How do the needs of different people in different places compare to each other?

    Carrie Menard's avatar
    Carrie Menard 4/28/2021 1:47 PM
    I was astounded to read that even in the United States, 45% of pregnancies are unintended. Of course, medically speaking, the US may as well be a third world country.

    But as much as I complain, somewhat in jest here, I truly do recognize that women in other countries have it so much worse. In less developed nations, women and girls often have limited access to education, are pushed into marriages young, and have no resources for family planning.