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Ethan Barlow's avatar

Ethan Barlow


Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 1,250 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    spent learning
  • up to
    meatless or vegan meals
  • up to

Ethan's Actions

Land Use

Plant Trees

Temperate Forest Restoration

I will plant 12 tree(s) in my community, public parks, or backyard.

One-Time Action

Electricity Generation

Learn More about Biomass

Biomass Power

I will spend at least 120 minutes learning more about the energy generation potential of biomass.

One-Time Action


Reduce Animal Products

Plant-Rich Diets

I will enjoy 2 meatless or vegan meal(s) each day of the challenge.



  • Ethan Barlow's avatar
    Ethan Barlow 3/23/2020 4:26 PM

    I completed the one-time challenge, "Plant Trees." To do this, I volunteered for Trees Knoxville to plant trees in Victor Ashe Park (2/8/20) and in Lonsdale Community (2/22/20). In total, I volunteered for 5 hours. I submitted these hours and had them verified with the Center for Leadership & Service. This challenge was a success because I helped to adorn my community with urban tree canopy and to increase carbon sequestration in Knoxville. My role was to work with an urban forester, digging holes for the trees and getting them in the ground. The trick is to make sure the holes are not too deep/shallow and to clip the metal wiring around the trees' soil once they're in the ground to free the soil. Over all, it's backbreaking work, but very rewarding. Several years from now, I'll be able to go back and see how they've grown since then, knowing that I helped plant them.
  • Reflection Question
    Land Use Plant Trees
    How is planting trees good for your mental, physical, and spiritual health?

    Ethan Barlow's avatar
    Ethan Barlow 3/23/2020 2:48 PM
    From a mental standpoint, planting trees is a very healthy activity. Most of us Americans have moved away from agricultural lifestyles and don't know how to grow our own food, but when we plant trees, we get to give rather than just take and consume. It's mentally healthy to get outside and get your hands dirty. But I can also attest to the fact that planting trees can be back-breaking work when they are already twice as tall as you. With Trees Knoxville, I got some physical exercise and, of course, some much-needed vitamin D from the sun. Not to mention, trees help supply our oxygen, so that's also pretty important. Some people probably also see tree planting as a way to connect with nature and to serve a higher purpose.

  • Ethan Barlow's avatar
    Ethan Barlow 3/23/2020 2:27 PM
    Although supplies are getting a little sparse now, I'm still enjoying great substitutes for meat meals. Eating meatless meals means I have to be less lazy in the kitchen. Rather than just boiling some hot dogs in a pan, I actually put some effort into my meals, which provides me with more variety as a result. For lunch today, I made a great smoothie: frozen strawberries, frozen blueberries, banana, almond milk, honey, yogurt, oats, and vanilla. I really recommend it!

  • Ethan Barlow's avatar
    Ethan Barlow 3/23/2020 2:16 PM
    I've completed the 2 meatless meals / day challenge for over 21 days, and because of that I've realized it's totally possible for me to switch to an all-plant diet. The less I eat meat, the more I get tired of it. Chicken, beef, and pork just don't seem as appetizing any more. Yeah, so I might become all-vegetarian soon.

  • Ethan Barlow's avatar
    Ethan Barlow 3/01/2020 6:29 AM
    I have not eaten a meatless burger before, but a lot of people recommend them. Plus, scientists are only getting better and better at mimicking the real thing. I'm definitely going to give it a try. 

  • Ethan Barlow's avatar
    Ethan Barlow 2/29/2020 7:51 AM
    Probably my favorite substitute for meat is a smoothie. You get so much more variety, it's healthier, and the environmental impacts are fewer.
  • Reflection Question
    Food 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?

    Ethan Barlow's avatar
    Ethan Barlow 2/28/2020 8:17 AM
    People in richer countries eat more meat because they have more money, and meat costs more than produce like fruits or vegetables. If you look back at the Middle Ages, poor people rarely ate meat, but the rich had diets mostly of meat, which was seen as a luxury then.

    However, a lot of meat, like bacon, is high in fat and calories. Plus, when people eat lots of meat, they're less likely to get their nutrition from fruits and vegetables, which we need for a healthy diet. 

    Furthermore, raising livestock has a larger ecological footprint than crops do. With high greenhouse emissions, they accelerate climate change.

    Also, in America, with our high demand for meat, we are putting economic pressure on farmers to raise more livestock. This takes lots of land. And that causes farmers to disrupt existing ecosystems by modifying landscapes and displacing the organisms living there.

  • Ethan Barlow's avatar
    Ethan Barlow 2/28/2020 7:59 AM
    I've eaten over 60 meatless meals and lost about 4 or 5 pounds (fat, I hope). I'm going to keep it going as long as I can!