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April 1 - April 30, 2021

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  • April Teer's avatar
    April Teer 4/30/2021 4:41 PM
    I have really enjoyed this EchoChallenge and have learned so much.  I see myself keeping my daily activities going.  I will also continue to learn about  how my family can be more sustainable on our small farm.  



  • 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.
  • Reflection Question
    Action Track: Accelerating Solutions Express My Support For Walkable Cities
    How could better walking infrastructure make your city both more enjoyable and more equitable?

    Bert Rawert's avatar
    Bert Rawert 4/30/2021 9:49 AM
    Walking is good for the body, mind, ans spirit!  It's also good for the environment as it eliminates car emissions.
  • Reflection Question
    Industry Research Cement Alternatives
    Concrete is a good example of a material that most of us encounter every day, but its carbon footprint may not be obvious. What other everyday materials might have a large carbon footprint? How can you find out more?

    Bert Rawert's avatar
    Bert Rawert 4/30/2021 9:40 AM
    I suspect most metals have a high carbon footprint because of the amount of energy needed in the smelting process.  I'd like to know which metals are better/worse from a carbon perspective.  I'm also curious about the mining processes and which ones are more/less destructive.
  • Reflection Question
    Industry Practice the 5 R's
    What are some more "R's" you could add to your daily practice to reduce your waste?

    Bert Rawert's avatar
    Bert Rawert 4/30/2021 9:39 AM
    I recently found out greasy pizza boxes are accepted for recycling by my curbside waste/recycling company!  My children also love to "reuse" some of our recycling for crafts, but we also reuse plastic tubs as food containers.
  • Reflection Question
    Land Sinks Explore My Area
    How can spending more time outdoors enhance your sense of place -- your deep knowledge of and appreciation for your surroundings?

    Bert Rawert's avatar
    Bert Rawert 4/30/2021 9:32 AM
    Going outdoors is essential for me - especially after a long stretch of videoconferencing meetings.  It's good for my eyes to look at things far away, my lungs to breathe fresh air, my body to physically move, and my soul to know life is not limited to a rectangle of pixels!