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Garrett Ku's avatar

Garrett Ku

ENST 246: Spring 2022

POINTS TOTAL

  • 0 TODAY
  • 0 THIS WEEK
  • 1,085 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    20
    miles
    not traveled by car
  • UP TO
    21
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • UP TO
    1
    documentary
    watched
  • UP TO
    1
    energy audit
    conducted
  • UP TO
    476
    minutes
    spent exercising
  • UP TO
    12
    conversations
    with people
  • UP TO
    170
    minutes
    spent learning
  • UP TO
    8
    meatless or vegan meals
    consumed
  • UP TO
    465
    minutes
    being mindful
  • UP TO
    4
    neighbors
    met
  • UP TO
    476
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • UP TO
    7
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    595
    minutes
    of additional sleep
  • UP TO
    20
    miles
    traveled by foot
  • UP TO
    520
    gallons of water
    have been saved

Garrett's actions

Health

Healthy Sleep

Effectively working for sustainability requires self care! I will commit to getting 45 more minute(s) of sleep each night to achieve at least 7 hours per night.

COMPLETED 13
DAILY ACTIONS

Nature

Go for a Daily Walk

I will take a 15-minute walk outside each day.

COMPLETED 31
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Meet My Neighbors

I will meet 1 new neighbor(s) each day.

COMPLETED 7
DAILY ACTIONS

Water

5-Minute Showers

I will save up to 20 gallons (75 L) of water each day by taking 5-minute showers.

COMPLETED 26
DAILY ACTIONS

Waste

Use Reusable Bags

If at all possible, I will not accept any disposable bags when making purchases.

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Talk To My Friends and Classmates

I will decide which social or environmental issue in my community is most important to me and tell 4 friends and/or classmates each day about the issue.

COMPLETED 7
DAILY ACTIONS

Waste

Find Local Recycling Depots

I will find out where to recycle the recyclable items that I can't put in recycling dumpsters or my curbside bin.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Community

Host A Watch Party

I will host a watch party to screen a documentary about an issue that matters to me.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Community

LEARN ABOUT TRANS, FEMME, AND NONBINARY EXPERIENCES

I will spend 20 minutes learning about the experiences of trans, femme, and/or nonbinary people.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Food

Watch a Documentary about Food Sovereignty

I will watch 1 documentary(ies) about food sovereignty: the right of local peoples to control their own food systems including markets, ecological resources, food cultures and production methods.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Food

Reduce Animal Products

I will enjoy 3 meatless meal(s) and/or 3 vegan meal(s) each day this week.

COMPLETED 13
DAILY ACTIONS

Health

Learn More about Food Apartheid

What can lack of access to nutritious food affect a community? How can having access to nutritious food help a community become more resilient?

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Energy

Online Energy Audit

I will complete an online energy audit of my home, office, or dorm room and identify my next steps for saving energy.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Transportation

Walk Instead

I will walk 1 mile(s) each day instead of driving and avoid sending up to (___) lbs of CO2 into Earth's atmosphere.

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Waste

RESEARCH LOCAL WASTE SITES

I will spend 20 minutes finding out where landfills and/or toxic waste sites are situated in my region and which communities are most impacted by these sites.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Energy

Adjust the Thermostat

I will adjust my thermostat down 2 degrees from usual when I use the heat, and up 2 degrees when I use air conditioning.

COMPLETED 26
DAILY ACTIONS

Simplicity

Core Values

We may find more meaning and joy in life when our actions are aligned with our personal values. I will determine what my top 3-5 core values are so that I can better align my actions with them.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Simplicity

Meditate

I will meditate or create a moment of silence for 15 minute(s) each day to reflect on things important to me.

COMPLETED 31
DAILY ACTIONS

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?


  • Garrett Ku's avatar
    Garrett Ku 2/16/2022 12:21 PM
    For me this week’s set of challenges was more difficult for me to select.  Transportation in particular presented quite a few different problems. To begin with as a college student who doesn’t own a car I felt like that most of the challenges in transportation didn’t apply to me. At the beginning of this challenge I said that I would actively try to avoid choosing things that I already do. So for instance I wouldn’t choose to not run the sink while brushing my teeth because I don’t do that anyways. This is where the problem arose. Because I don’t have a car on campus I never drive anywhere anyways so most of my options were extremely limited. I ended up choosing the action which involved walking everywhere. The problem is since I do this all of the time anyway should I really count it as a challenge? I’ve been racking my brain trying to come up with something that would be a good addition to the challenge to actually make it more meaningful to me. I’ve decided that I’m going to encourage myself and my friends to take less trips to the store. This would most likely entail buying more stuff to last through the whole week or month etc. I think this ties in nicely with the next challenge that I chose which was to use less or no disposable one time use bags. In my room I’ve got probably four or five tote bags that are just lying around. It would be the easiest thing to just grab them when I go out shopping to save two or three disposable bags. In fact if I go grocery shopping with my friends I could give them some of those bags to use for themselves. I suppose I could even let them borrow them if I don’t go with them. Other than that my only other concern for this week were my one time challenges. This week we had to pick two and wanted to pick one from transportation and one from trash. However, once again I found difficulties in finding picking something from transportation. A lot of them have to do with car sharing or planes which again I have to reiterate I don’t have a car and I don’t see myself flying soon. So this week I choose to learn about the landfills in the area and what to do with the recyclables that I can’t recycle. I assume this means things like plastic bags. Other than that I think my other actions are still going well. Five minute showers are a breeze now and I’m pretty sure at this point I’m well under the mark. Something I’ve been meaning to try is walking meditation, I don’t know if I’m quite there yet but it is on my to do list at some point before the challenge ends. The thermostat has remained at 68 degrees and I still feel the need to open my window to let in cold air, so I’ve had no trouble on that front.


    • Michael Hardyway's avatar
      Michael Hardyway 2/27/2022 11:45 AM
      Garrett this journal is very honest and that is amazing! I myself do not have a car is you are right, the transportation part is one of the easier things. Something I try to do is not get rides as often when I can leave some time earlier and enjoy the nature and fresh air as a bonus. But also, I sometimes drive my teammates car's places like locally, and this step is just something I found myself becoming a habit of so breaking it was difficult as well but it so small and not a necessity in my life, this is how I saw it when giving this up. It is great to hear you have learned about eh local landfills. I am new to the area so this is something I would not mind as well. It is always great to know about where you are living. Keep up the great work!

  • Garrett Ku's avatar
    Garrett Ku 2/09/2022 7:38 AM
    The Ecochallenge is still going pretty well. The biggest problem with the first two challenges I’ve selected is now that sometimes it’s really cold outside when I go to take my walks and I don’t really want to go. However, this problem is diminishing and will continue to diminish as spring comes closer and closer. At this point the meditation has become second nature to me and it’s really nice just sitting on my bed after each class taking a few minutes to gather my thoughts and refocus my attention to something else. I think that reading that article on mindfulness and meditation last week has really help me to enjoy this challenge in particular and I do feel less stressed than before though it might also just be a placebo type effect, I’m honestly not too sure. The two new challenges I picked for this week are reducing the thermostat by 2 degrees and taking five-minute showers. To begin with the thermostat change has been pretty easy. For whatever reason in the wintertime Bucknell only lets you have heat on and they use an excessive amount in my opinion. As someone who’s always liked the room to be colder reducing the heat out put by two degrees has been really easy. However, when springtime rolls around and temperatures start to get up I anticipate that reducing the air conditioning by two degrees may be something I’m more hesitant to do. Especially since I live on the top floor I’m much closer to direct sunlight than other people and my room will probably get substantially hotter. Taking five minute showers has been a much more significant deviation from what I’m used to when compared to every other challenge I’ve selected thus far. When I first started, I just wanted to gauge how long a quick shower would take me. When I took it I thought I took about five minutes but it turned out to actually be around seven and a half. That meant for an already quick shower I had to reduce the time by two and a half minutes. Now as soon as I hit the water, I don’t enjoy the warmth or anything I just get straight to washing off. Now I’m right around five minutes for my showers, sometimes a little more and sometimes a little less. I think this challenge is the hardest in the winter just because I really like to enjoy the warm water when it’s cold out, but again when spring comes by I think I’ll have an easier time doing it. For my one-time action I decided to choose the online energy audit. I think that I do my best to save energy, but I’m still interested in how much power I’m using and what possible ways there are to possibly save it. I’m pretty curious how this will work honestly. I’d like to imagine it somehow can calculate how much power you’re using based off of a serious of questions, but I’m honestly unsure of how that actually works.


    • Brock Hoehn's avatar
      Brock Hoehn 2/18/2022 9:55 AM
      I really resonate with your hate of the cold. I have lived in Philadelphia for my entire life, and I can truthfully say that it is somehow significantly colder a mere 2-hour drive north to Lewisburg. The cold has been the main obstacle for my daily walk as well. Some of my close friends have been meditating daily, and they really seem to see the benefits. I have always wanted to try it, but it is just something I have never been able to force myself to do. After hearing about your experience, I will definitely give it a try. I also tried the thermostat challenge as well, and I really don’t think anyone can sense a change as small as 2 degrees. Thus, it really feels like a free challenge that saves the environment. The shower challenge has also been the most difficult challenge for me too. I also like to get in the shower and just take a while to warm up. The 5-minute shower doesn’t leave any real room to enjoy the shower which sucks because a morning shower is often what gets me out of bed. Just as you said, the winter has had a serious effect on the difficulty of some of these challenges. Some challenges like the thermostat will be more difficult in the spring and others like the shower and walk will be more difficult in the winter. I guess the only real way to address this is to just accept that we will have to make sacrifices to help the environment. Obviously, these sacrifices are small in comparison to the ones we will actually have to make to save this planet, so it has been really good practice to get myself into the mindset needed. I just need to take pride in some of these sacrifices because they truly are impactful.

    • Andrew Stuhl's avatar
      Andrew Stuhl 2/15/2022 10:02 AM
      Appreciate this reflection Garrett! Good work on reducing your showers to 5 min! One important thing: each Journal entry should make reference to one of the 'resources' you read for this week's challenges -- but I don't see any references here. Can you revise and resubmit it to me by email?

  • Garrett Ku's avatar
    Garrett Ku 2/02/2022 8:46 AM
    So far, I think the eco-challenge is going quite well. The two challenges I picked were to go on a walk everyday and to meditate every day. My one-time challenge is to determine my core values and what means a lot to me. Although the two daily challenges I selected aren’t very difficult I figured that since they are going to be present throughout the entirety of the challenge it’s probably better to start easy and slowly make my way up towards challenges that are more difficult. My end goal is hopefully in the last week I’ll pick some daily challenges that are difficult and hopefully change the way I live my life. Something like the whole week meat free is what I’d like to work towards. The daily walks have been a nice little exercise. The thing about them is that although technically walking to and from class could count, I tend to listen to music while I do. For the challenge I’ve been walking at night without listening to music. I’ve been enjoying these walks as there’s less, people, less distractions, and more time to just observe and listen to the environment around me. I do use my phone to time myself, but that’s the only time I use technology on my walks. Meditation has been a bit weird for me. I don’t exactly know what I’m supposed to be doing or thinking about, so it has been a relaxing time, but I’m not sure I’m doing it in the optimum way. I know it sounds weird to talk about the best way to meditate and it’s even somewhat counterintuitive, but it’s how I felt. Reading through the website listed under learn more it’s nice to see I’m doing some things right and some things wrong. Funnily enough they talk about how the mindset is important and thinking that you’re doing it wrong and beating yourself up about it is apparently quite common. Another thing they mention is how easy it is for your mind to wander to other subjects and how it’s important to note them, but to try to regain focus on your breathing, emotions etc. I picked 15 minutes to meditate which in hindsight, for someone with no experience like myself, might be a long time. However, the way I’ve been using it is taking 5-10 minutes after each class I have to recompose myself and mentally get ready for whatever it is that comes next. Something helpful that they recommend is guided meditation and a quick Google and YouTube search shows thousands of results, so I may just need to try that if I still find my mind elsewhere. Finally, I think that the core values one time action is a good one to establish exactly what I want to get out of this challenge. For example, if one my values is community, maybe I’ll volunteer at the Bucknell farm this springtime. It’s almost another way of meditating and focusing on what matters most to me. In summary, I think the challenges are going well so far, but I only have two daily challenges. I guess check back with me in four weeks.