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October 7 - October 28, 2020
Kate McGrath's avatar

Kate McGrath

Community Team

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 823 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    19
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    260
    minutes
    spent learning

Kate's Actions

Water

Get Involved in the Water Justice Movement

Do at Home

I will spend at least 30 minutes using the resources provided to learn about water justice and find out how I can get involved in local initiatives.

COMPLETED 3
DAILY ACTIONS

Water

Mulch the Base of Trees and Plants

Do at Home

I will prevent water runoff and increase absorbency by mulching the base of plants and trees at my home or work.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Simplicity

Core Values

Do at Home

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

Nature

Explore My Area

I will explore at least one new hiking trail or nature walk in my area.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Energy

Calculate the Carbon Footprint of my Household

Do at Home

I will calculate the carbon emissions associated with my household and consider how different lifestyle choices could reduce our carbon footprint and our impact on the environment.

Completed
One-Time Action

Transportation

Improve a Bus Stop

I will improve a bus stop in my neighborhood by posting the stop schedule, adding seating or shelter, adding art or flowers, picking up litter, or some other small improvement.

Completed
One-Time Action

Health

Happiness

Do at Home

I will write down three things every day that I am grateful for, or send one email every day thanking or praising someone.

COMPLETED 13
DAILY ACTIONS

Simplicity

De-Clutter My Home

Do at Home

I will de-clutter, clean, and donate or recycle unneeded items in my home.

COMPLETED 11
DAILY ACTIONS

Energy

Power Down the Computer

Do at Home

I will power down my computer and monitor when not using it for more than 2 hours, saving up to (1.1) lbs of CO2 each day that I do this.

COMPLETED 17
DAILY ACTIONS

Waste

Tour a Waste Management Facility

Do at Home

I will spend at least 60 minute(s) touring (virtually or in person) a local dump/transfer station, material recovery facility, and/or landfill to learn about our local waste and waste recovery streams.

Completed
One-Time Action

Simplicity

Family Game Hour

Do at Home

I will spend quality time with family and friends by playing low-tech game(s) and/or through the spirit of imagination.

Completed
One-Time Action

Simplicity

Needs Vs. Wants

Do at Home

I will adopt a "Needs Vs. Wants" approach and only buy things I need.

COMPLETED 16
DAILY ACTIONS

Waste

Learn About & Practice Sustainable Fashion

Do at Home

I will spend 60 minutes learning about sustainable fashion and begin trying to practice it in my own life.

Completed
One-Time Action

Feed

  • Reflection Question
    Simplicity Core Values
    What are your top 3-5 core values? How did you narrow it down to those as being your core values?

    Kate McGrath's avatar
    Kate McGrath 10/28/2020 7:08 PM
    My top core values seem to include: hospitality, learning new things and orderliness.  Of course there are many more, but these are three that seem to be lacking lately and really make me feel like I'm failing when I don't work at them.  So these are the values give some exercise for now.  How did I come to this?  Rather than doing as the article suggested, I just thought about what made me feel bad at the end of the day, and what I needed to change to increase a sense of connection and peace.  It actually really has helped because in the days since I determined this I have felt less overwhelm and more direction when it comes to free time.
  • Reflection Question
    Simplicity De-Clutter My Home
    How can you prevent yourself from accumulating more things in the future?

    Kate McGrath's avatar
    Kate McGrath 10/28/2020 7:02 PM
    This is oh so hard- especially when you have children.  I need to stop impulse buying and stick to the idea of only getting needs, not things I want.  I also need to be certain I check what I have, and try to use what we own before I buy new things.  I need to buy items that can have multiple uses (the right water proof hiking boots can double as snow boots in our climate).  Also, perhaps I will encourage family members to give a lesson, a membership or an experience in place of one toy (that way it can be a gentler, more gradual family culture change rather than a demand). Finally, each of my two children has a subscription box that comes each month - one for STEAM and one for culture and cooking.  But after this year, perhaps we will take a break and try to be creative with all the skills (and supplies) accumulated this year!  Lastly, when we get clothes that a child dislikes, there is no use in having them clutter the closet.  I would like to find them a new home sooner rather than waiting for them to outgrow the garment before we sent in on to the next kid who might enjoy it more.

  • Kate McGrath's avatar
    Kate McGrath 10/28/2020 6:47 PM
    Thanks people's ecochallenge for the opportunity to participate on your community team! I learned a lot and will be taking away new habits for my everyday life. Keep up the good work!
  • Reflection Question
    Water Mulch the Base of Trees and Plants
    Where are your nearest natural bodies of water? How might they be affected by runoff?

    Kate McGrath's avatar
    Kate McGrath 10/28/2020 6:45 PM
    My nearest body of water is the the Herring Run, which runs into Baltimore Harbor and then to the Chesapeake Bay.  During my research I found that stormwater runoff is probably the biggest area that needs to be addressed in this region because, while the bacteria levels have been improving, the water health is still being dragged down by the runoff.
  • Reflection Question
    Energy Calculate the Carbon Footprint of my Household
    After you determined your carbon footprint, did you see what different choices you can make in order to reduce it?

    Kate McGrath's avatar
    Kate McGrath 10/27/2020 8:23 PM
    One thing I learned while researching fast fashion is that a garment's carbon foot print is decreased by 25% every year it is worn.  So wearing clothes until I've actually worn them out is one step.  Then my goal will be to find a creative way to reuse worn out clothes. I'm going to try my hand at a rag rug for my kids' play room.  Also, I realized I need to consolidate my car trips, shop local and walk when possible.
  • Reflection Question
    Simplicity Family Game Hour
    How does being playful with others enrich your life?

    Kate McGrath's avatar
    Kate McGrath 10/27/2020 8:13 PM
    This was my six year old son's favorite eco challenge task.  Being playful enriches my life, but with kids- it's a need.  I can get so busy (often taking care of our stuff) that I don't play with my children as I should.  They need it, and soon it will be too late and they will stop asking me to play with them.
  • Reflection Question
    Waste Learn About & Practice Sustainable Fashion
    How can you express your personality, creativity, and values in ways that don't require fast fashion or buying more clothes and accessories?

    Kate McGrath's avatar
    Kate McGrath 10/27/2020 8:09 PM
    When I was starting out as a young professional, I didn't have money for clothes so I hit up thrift stores and found creative ways to reuse things from friends and family members closets. When I had kids, I didn't make time to shop this way, and there was increasing affluence as careers progressed, so I started ordering things online- yes from sustainable sources as often as possible, but it stole my style.  This challenge has helped me remember how much more I used to get complimented on my style.  I used to pride myself in being able to wear things other people didn't want to and "make it work".  Spending time revisiting the problem of fast fashion has reminded me that thrifting is really best for my style and the environment! and I am excited to teach my daughter, who also loves clothes, that this is the best way for her, too.
  • Reflection Question
    Simplicity Needs Vs. Wants
    How is creativity a necessary ingredient for practicing simplicity?

    Kate McGrath's avatar
    Kate McGrath 10/27/2020 7:59 PM
    At first, I thought this would be easy.  Then it was hard.  But then we hit a groove.  Instead of running out to get new ingredients, we adjusted the recipe and substituted things we had- and we have eaten just as well, if not better.  We made Halloween costumes from our closet and looked at things already in the craft supplies to do at as party activities.  One night I really wanted something sweet to eat, but instead of getting ice cream we made a dessert of oats and chocolate from the pantry that was just as delicious.  My kid has made 2 new toys from the recycle bin "supplies".  My husband and I have really enjoyed to opportunity to be creative that this challenge had given us and we will definitely continue these practices in the future.  Oh yeah, and we haven't thrown away any food in the last three weeks!
  • Reflection Question
    Energy Power Down the Computer
    What are other easy things you could do to save energy and reduce your environmental footprint?

    Kate McGrath's avatar
    Kate McGrath 10/15/2020 12:36 PM
    What an easy way to save energy!  I've decided to start unplugging my coffee pot and toaster when I am done using them in the morning, too.  I've also been more cognoscente of my use of lights.  Perhaps my next easy step is to train my children to so the same!

  • Kate McGrath's avatar
    Kate McGrath 10/13/2020 6:19 PM
    I am really enjoying the challenge to become more disciplined in some of my habits.  I'm thankful for the community team for those of us who didn't have another team to join!