My first week of the challenge went fairly well, over the course of the entire week I only drank a beverage out of a paper cup one time. It was the day the challenge started, and I did not think about what I was doing until I had placed my order. I have decided that I cannot completely eliminate plastic bottles from my day to day life on campus, because I often use meal exchanges and get milk as my beverage, and that comes in a plastic bottle. Instead, I am going to try to reduce the number of beverages I drink from plastic bottles. I learned that carrying a water bottle and a coffee mug with me all the time is not difficult. I think this next week will be slightly harder, because as a college student I often eat foods that are convenient, and fresh foods take slightly more prep time.
I chose to do the Food and Water Earth Month Challenge, because I want to learn how to eat in a sustainable way. I feel that I will challenged over the course of this month, because convenient food and drink options are usually not sustainable, or packaged sustainably. I am looking forward to making changes that I can incorporate into my everyday life, and I am looking forward to seeing which aspect of the challenge will remain a part of my life for the longest amount of time. For the first week I will use only reusable containers for my drinks. I am a frequent coffee drinker, so I will always have a coffee mug in my bag. I also drink a fair amount of drinks from paper cups, but during this week I will avoid the paper cup, and drink out of a reusable water bottle instead. For the second week I will buy fresh food, because it comes in less packaging. The third week I will make my own snacks, and carry them in reusable containers, because I often eat prepackaged snacks. For the final week I will not eat red meat. I will be doing these challenges cumulatively, to reduce my impact as much as possible.
I was drawn to the area of food and water, because I have noticed that I consume a lot of food and drinks that come in disposable packaging that cannot be recycled. I also take long showers, I plan on timing my showers during earth month, and working towards bathing more efficiently. To cut down on the amount of food wrappers that I throw away on a monthly basis, I will buy food in bulk, and put a small amount in reusable containers, instead of buying single serve snacks. Whole Foods will be a helpful resource, because they offer a wide variety of foods in bulk, as well as eco-friendly containers. I drink a lot of coffee, often from paper cups that cannot be recycled, during this month I will always have a reusable coffee cup in my backpack. The coffee shops on campus as well as Starbucks on High, will allow me to use a reusable coffee cup, and Starbucks will even give me a discount when I use my own cup. This will help me reduce my impact, because I will be sending less waste to the landfill. Every morning I eat a prepackaged granola bar, and then throw the wrapper in the trash, during earth month I will make my own granola bars, using recipes from allrecipes.com. This site is great because it offers a wide variety of recipes, and I will be able to look through all those that sound appealing, and then determine which ones could be made most efficiently. I use plastic silverware often, because it is convenient, but during earth month I will purchase metal silverware and use that instead. I will reduce my food waste during earth month through purchasing only the food I need for each week, instead of buying too much, and having to throw some of it away. I will always bring one of my reusable shopping bags with me when I go grocery shopping or go to Target, so I do not have an excess of plastic bags. I will purchase foods that are locally grown, so that I am eating foods that are in season, and were not transported from across the country or across the world. I will use www.cuesa.org to determine which fruits are in season in my area, this will help me support local agriculture, and I will be getting more nutrients, because the produce will be fresher. I will go to Lucky’s Market to get local produce, because they are dedicated to supporting local agriculture. I will reduce the amount of frozen meals I eat, by making my own meals instead, this will be reduce the amount of packaging that I send to the landfill. I will reduce my water usage by turning off the faucet when I brush my teeth, instead of letting the water run for the entire time I am brushing, I will al I will eat more fruits and vegetables, and less meat because more waste is created through producing meat, than produce. I will use healthland.time.com to find ways to eat in a more sustainable way. I will stop throwing away coffee filters everyday by switching to a reusable coffee filter. I will ask my mom to stop sending me food from home, because she often sends me foods that I could buy here, and thus I would be reducing emissions caused by transportation. I will use the website www.globalstewards.org throughout this month because this website is full of simple ways to be greener, that are inexpensive.
I chose to do my Columbus To-Do list project on Metro Parks, Trails, and Nature Preserves. The first location that I visited was the Franklin Park Conservatory, I visited on March 4th, with my mother, because there was an exhibit featuring orchids at the conservatory. My mother’s favorite plant is the orchid, and we had been planning on visiting the unique plant exhibit since winter break. The majority of the orchids were housed in the conservatory’s central green house, the palm court. In the palm court there were a wide array of colors and sizes of orchids, however all of the orchids had the same trademark flower shape. Franklin Park always arranges there exhibits beautifully, the orchids were in hanging baskets, framing a small gazebo, and used as accents in the permanent beds. The use of orchids in a variety of manners highlighted their beauty and poise. My mother and I also walked through the biomes that are housed at the conservatory, my favorite biome has always been the rainforest biome. Upon entering the rainforest, guests are greeted by a Koi pond surrounded by tropical plants. In the center of the room stands a tall blown glass structure, created by Dale Chihuly. The sculpture looks like a flame shooting up from the center of the room, and the reds, and oranges of the piece, enhance the tropical colors of the plants. The rainforest biome is currently the temporary home for a wide variety of butterflies from all over the world. The butterflies were emerging from their chrysalises while we were visiting the conservatory, and colors of both the butterflies and their chrysalises were breathtaking. The butterflies will make the biome even more gorgeous