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Jasmin Carranza's avatar

Jasmin Carranza

Bruins For a Just Transition

"Hi, I'm Jasmin! I'm a pre-psychology major, and I'm currently a first-year undergrad at UCLA. I'm looking forward to learning more about the climate crisis and its solutions!"

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 662 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    332
    minutes
    being mindful
  • up to
    18
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    630
    minutes
    spent exercising
  • up to
    19
    more servings
    of fruits and vegetables
  • up to
    120
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • up to
    60
    minutes
    spent learning

Jasmin's Actions

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

More Fruits And Veggies

I will eat a heart healthy diet by adding 2 cups of fruits and vegetables each day to achieve at least 4 cups per day.

COMPLETED 7
DAILY ACTIONS

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Smaller Portions

Reduced Food Waste

I will use smaller plates and/or serve smaller portions when dishing out food.

COMPLETED 7
DAILY ACTIONS

Industry

Reduce Single-Use Disposables

Bioplastics

I will avoid buying and using 3 single-use plastics and instead replace them with durable options.

COMPLETED 8
DAILY ACTIONS

Land Sinks

Explore My Area

Sometimes protecting nature requires feeling connected to nature. I will invest 30 minutes in exploring and appreciating a natural area in my region, whether a forest, wetland, coastal area, or somewhere else.

Completed
One-Time Action

Industry

Practice the 5 R's

Recycling

I will Practice the "5 Rs" — refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose, and recycle — to reduce my waste more than I can with just recycling alone.

COMPLETED 11
DAILY ACTIONS

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Eat Mindfully

I will eat all of my meals without distractions, e.g., phone, computer, TV, or newspaper.

COMPLETED 15
DAILY ACTIONS

Health and Education

Research Barriers to Participation and Representation

Health and Education

I will spend at least 20 minutes learning more about the barriers to women's equal participation and representation around the world.

Completed
One-Time Action

Transportation

Go for a Daily Walk

Walkable Cities

I will take a walk for 45 minutes each day and take note of the infrastructure that makes walking more or less enjoyable, accessible, and possible.

COMPLETED 11
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed

  • Reflection Question
    Industry Reduce Single-Use Disposables
    What single-use items (e.g. straws, coffee cups, vegetable bags, plastic bags) do you regularly use? What could be substituted instead?

    Jasmin Carranza's avatar
    Jasmin Carranza 5/13/2022 8:13 PM
    Ever since I got to UCLA I have been using plastic forks and spoons a lot. Since every take-out place has them out for students to grab I stack up on them to make it easier for me. I use them while I’m eating fruit in my dorm, when I make a cup of noodles, or when I get a salad from The Study. However, I know that these plastic forks and spoons are as bad as plastic water bottles and plastic bags. I am guilty of having actual silverware in my dorm and having them to the side this whole year just because plastic forks and spoons are more convenient to use. With plastic spoons and forks, I don’t have to constantly wash them or simply worry about cleaning them and putting them away. This however isn’t an excuse to continue using plastic silverware and I can substitute them with actual non-plastic silverware, which I already have. It will be a challenge since it’s easier to use plastic ones but it is something that I will do from now on for the sake of our environment. A way to make it easier for me to stop using plastic utensils is to remind myself that I already don’t use plastic straws anymore because of my love for turtles. Not using plastic forks and spoons should be a habit I will not struggle with that much if tell myself that I’m not getting a straw so why a fork or spoon. 

    Another single-use item that I sometimes use is plastic bags, mainly when I go to Target. Although I have tote bags, which is what I can substitute them with, I don’t put any effort into using them because I know that Target will provide bags. However, I do want to stop using plastic bags since it’s bad for the environment, and I have reduced the amount of bags that I use when I do go. Now, I will simply challenge myself to start bringing a reusable bag rather than reducing the amount of plastic bags I’m using at the store.

  • Reflection Question
    Food, Agriculture, and Land Use Smaller Portions
    While dishing food out, we tend to load our plates with more than we need. Using smaller plates helps to mitigate this. Aside from the environmental benefits, what other benefits might come from eating/serving smaller portions?

    Jasmin Carranza's avatar
    Jasmin Carranza 5/13/2022 7:52 PM
    Aside from environmental benefits from eating/serving smaller portions is weight control and improved digestion. Recently I decided to start going to the gym again to get some exercise going and to also lose weight while also eating smaller portions. I caught myself eating junk food every night with friends whether that was chips or candy. Eventually, all those calories caught up to me and I started realizing a slight change in my weight. Aside from binge eating at night, there’s endless food in the dining halls which makes it difficult to control what you eat without getting a plate of everything I would also get more than I could eat and feel bad about knowing that the food was going to waste when someone else could have gotten that plate. Or also overeating and feeling sick to my stomach just because of how good the dessert looked. However, I wanted to change my ways because I didn’t want to continue gaining weight and play role in the “freshman 15” that I always heard about. Though I knew this would be challenging since I had gotten used to eating more meals here, I knew it wouldn’t be impossible. I would also like to give recognition to this EcoChallenge because I didn’t want it to be an action that I wasn’t genuinely taking part in. It’s been a month since I decided to eat smaller portions while also eating more fruits and vegetables. This has made me more energized and hasn’t made me feel lousy. It’s also made me save money that I would have spent on snacks. Dining halls here already serve small portions of what they give so that has made it easier for me to not overeat and I’ve seen a change in my eating habits and weight already which is truly amazing. Although it may be hard at first to transition into eating less while also watching your calorie intake, it’s a great benefit to yourself and the environment because food isn’t going to waste. 
  • Reflection Question
    Food, Agriculture, and Land Use More Fruits And Veggies
    How does eating more fruits and vegetables and less meat positively affect yourself, other people, and our planet?

    Jasmin Carranza's avatar
    Jasmin Carranza 5/13/2022 5:40 PM
    Eating more fruits and vegetables affects me in a positive way because it’s good for my health and simply because of all the vitamins you can get. Eating more fruits and vegetables can also be a good way to improve your health while eating less meat. Research has also shown that people who eat red meat are at an increased risk of death from heart disease, stroke, or diabetes. Processed meats also increase the risk of death from these diseases. Thus, cutting meat consumption is a way to tackle the climate crisis and benefits you in a good way. If we reduce the level of meat in our diets and shift to a more plant-based diet it can essentially reduce climate change. Eating meat generates as many greenhouse emissions as all cars and other automobiles. A bid percentage of greenhouse gases come from agriculture, deforestation, and other land-use changes. Therefore meat drives climate change in two ways: first, through cows' emission of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and second, by destroying forests. Eating more plant-based foods can help reduce the methane being generated from collective waste. If we decide to eat fewer meals with meat or dairy each week, we can have a huge impact on our collective health and the health of the planet.

    Raising animals to produce food for human consumption has a major impact on the planet. Reducing our meat consumption improves the lives of many animals at factory farms and shifting to more humane and sustainable proteins that have the potential to put an end to many cruel industrial farming practices. Reducing our consumption of meat and eating more vegetables could make a significant dent in the carbon reductions. Therefore, eating more fruits and vegetables and less meat positively impacts the environment and yourself and is the most significant action you can take to help our environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation. 


  • Reflection Question
    Transportation Go for a Daily Walk
    What have you noticed on your daily walks? What have you enjoyed? What infrastructure changes could make your walks more enjoyable or possible?

    Jasmin Carranza's avatar
    Jasmin Carranza 4/10/2022 6:47 PM
    When going on my daily walk, I noticed feeling better afterward. I do a lot of walking on campus, and I would walk on the treadmill when I go to the gym, but this walk was more enjoyable because I wanted to and was at my time, not when I had to. While going on my daily walk today, I also noticed more people taking the bus rather than walking. This could be for an indefinite reason, such as having to travel far or not being capable of walking for an extended time. Although this may not be important, it was one of the few observations I made. Along with this, I noticed that there wasn’t much space to walk on the sidewalks; there are more roads than sidewalks, making it challenging to walk nonstop because of all the stoplights. 

    However, I did enjoy being able to walk with a friend and talk about many things as we walked to our destination. I think many prefer traveling by car because it’s more convenient and you get to the place faster, but I feel kike we sometimes take walking for granted because we get to enjoy our surroundings and environment more. I also enjoyed being at peace while walking, which you can’t get while driving a car because of traffic and whatnot. Although I enjoyed walking, roads can be changed so that people, not only me, enjoy their walks more when they decide to walk around their neighborhood. The “Walkable Cities” article made me realize that Los Angeles might not be as privileged when it comes to walking because of all the roads and traffic and the lack of walkability. The article stated that cities such as New York and Barcelona have “effective measures to increase walkability,” which could be convenient for cities such as Los Angeles. Having more places to walk would be more suitable for those that wanna have daily walks nearby rather than having to go far to find a perfect location that can also be peaceful. 


    • Jake Hawley's avatar
      Jake Hawley 4/11/2022 10:20 AM
      Hello Jasmin,
      I am also taking on the Eco challenge regarding going on more walks. I liked your comments related to walking in that it gives the opportunity to think about the world around you. Of course, walking is good for the body but it is also great for the mind. I enjoyed your observations about the conditions for individuals trying to walk and the lack of space in a lot of areas. I find this to be true also as many of the sidewalks are either in disarray or there has been construction that has limited the amount of walking space available. It appears to me that many city planners have prioritized building space over walking space and it shows on our sidewalks. You make a great point about being able to socialize with friends while walking, I find myself calling people on the phone when I am not walking with someone. I think walking is a great time to evaluate your priority while still maintaining physical exercise. It is absolutely imperative to repair and preserve our walking space in an effort to keep people motivated to go outside. Our world is becoming inside-focused with jobs and schools and I feel it is incredibly important to preserve our ability to walk outside. I enjoyed reading your post and look forward to reading more in the future!
  • 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?

    Jasmin Carranza's avatar
    Jasmin Carranza 4/10/2022 6:18 PM
    The 5 R’s: reuse, reduce, recycle, refuse, rot. 
    For as long as I can remember, I have been reusing and refusing for various reasons and a long time. According to “The 5 R’s of Zero Waste: A practical guide,” the first step to refusing is saying no to disposables such as straws. I have mentioned that I don’t use straws (refuse) because of my turtles because it’s not good for the environment, turtles, and many other sea animals. Although I will continue not to use straws, I will challenge myself to stop using plastic and disposable bags. This can be hard when I go to the grocery store, but I can solve this by bringing a tote bag with me, which may be difficult because I would have to remind myself to get a reusable bag. Aside from that being one of the “R’s” in my daily practice, I also reuse; I do this by using my hydro flask rather than constantly buying plastic water bottles. I preferred using a reusable bottle because I always knew it was terrible for the environment and easier to carry around and refill. However, I have recently been putting items in the compost bin ever since I got to UCLA. I never knew the difference between recycling and composting (rot), but I learned how to differentiate between the two. Since UCLA’s take-out places have compostable containers, I’ve been able to practice this “R” more.

    Although I have been reusing and refusing, I would like to incorporate some more “R’s” into my daily practice to reduce my waste. Even though I recycle at times, I would like to put more effort into putting items in the recycling bin rather than just putting them in the trash bin because I’m not as mindful about it. Growing up, I have always heard my teachers and other adults “reuse, reduce, and recycle,” and although I have been putting some effort into some of these, I will challenge myself to practice some other “R’s” more than I usually do. 

    • Alexandra Perez's avatar
      Alexandra Perez 4/10/2022 9:46 PM
      Hi Jasmin, 

      Since attending UCLA, I have also started using a hydro flask rather than plastic water bottles to reduce the number of plastic bottles and straws I use on a daily basis. Although it's a slight change in our daily lives, I know I have reduced my plastic waste significantly since I stopped using water bottles approximately four years ago. I also appreciate you mentioning how you learned the difference between compost and recycling, as I recently did as well. Placing the correct items in the compost bin potentially reduces overall food waste, which is the action item I chose. This idea of reducing food waste can also relate back to recycling which can lead to a decrease in carbon dioxide, which is the outcome of reducing the amount of food going to landfills when it should not be. Throwing these items in the proper bins allows easier access for someone else to possibly rummage through them to make sure it does belong in the landfill rather than being redistributed. Compost bins can continue assisting in reducing the amount of food wrongfully going to landfills when people in need can still eat it. If wrongfully placed, although it is also sorted, it makes it more challenging to catch wrongfully placed food items. Putting each item in the correct recycle, trash, and compost is essential. Food waste is a significant CO2 contributor due to the extensive resources, including land needed to grow food to sustain our population successfully. The use of compost bins should be used more widely with the clear examples above the containers on the UCLA campus to make it easier not only for individuals but for those in charge of sorting it. The difference between trash, compost, and recycling may not be evident for communities as it is a new concept, but with time that can change. It can lead to significant differences, which is essential if we want to continue living on this earth. In my post, I mentioned attending Nourish LA, which is an organization that redistributes food to underserved communities. This organization can possibly try also to raise awareness about the importance of recycling as many community members do not understand the why. 
  • Reflection Question
    Food, Agriculture, and Land Use Eat Mindfully
    Mindful eating is healthier for us than eating with distractions. How does your eating experience differ when practicing mindfulness?

    Jasmin Carranza's avatar
    Jasmin Carranza 4/10/2022 5:18 PM
    I have gotten into the habit of being on my phone while eating my food, whether watching a show on Netflix or being on TikTok. Although I enjoy watching my show and, at times, having a friend to watch Netflix with, it isn’t as nice as when I have someone to talk to while eating lunch or dinner. I think that this generation has gotten caught up with technology that we don’t know when is enough. Now, if you watch a video or a show while eating, you’re referred to as an “iPad kid” because children nowadays are seen using their parent's phones or tablets to watch their cartoon shows. Because we’re distracted by a screen while eating, I believe that you can’t properly enjoy eating your food as you would if you were at peace and had no distractions. According to Harvard Health Publishing, it may not be in your best favor to be distracted while eating because it can lead to you gaining weight since you won’t be paying attention to the portions of food you’re consuming. Therefore, mindful eating has a better outcome because you’ll be paying attention to how much food you’re putting into your mouth, and that way, you can also make a healthier choice on what to eat. 

    Due to my challenge, today, I ate breakfast with no distractions, which felt relaxing and nice not having a screen aside to enjoy my food. Because we don’t have the same experience with food every day, it is best not to take it for granted and enjoy the moment. My goal is to use my phone, IPad, or laptop less while eating so that way I get to enjoy this individual experience with no distractions. To make it easier, I will be setting a timer for 20 minutes to know how long to go on without using my phone to watch a show, as suggested by one of the articles I read, “7 ways to practice mindful eating”. I hope to continue to practice mindful eating as it is more peaceful and enjoyable. 

    • Tess Fleser's avatar
      Tess Fleser 4/11/2022 10:58 AM
      First of all, I want to say that your breakfast looks amazing and is making me super hungry. I also really appreciated your take on mindful eating. I have found that putting more thought and care into my eating and my eating practices has helped in numerous ways. I definitely agree that mindful eating can help you make better and healthier choices, and I also think that it can help us reduce our waste. For one of my challenges I was recording the amount of food waste I produced, and this inadvertently made me eat a lot more mindfully. Since I was aware of how much waste I was producing I was more mindful choosing my plates at dinning halls. This meant that I took my time looking at the options and selecting my portions. I ended up eating more balanced meals that I enjoyed more, producing much less food waste, and feeling better afterwards since I wouldn't end up overeating to try to finish my plates. I definitely think putting your phone away with eating was an awesome challenge, but sometimes eating with distractions such as friends or family can enhance mindful eating practices if you talk about it and work on it together.

    • Max Weisberg's avatar
      Max Weisberg 4/10/2022 5:37 PM
      It's crazy because the 20 minutes feels so long. We're so addicted that we can't even enjoy a meal without some kind of stimulation that our phone brings us. I've tried to implement this in a different way as I do my best to not look at my phone for 30 minutes after I wake up. This has helped me get out of bed and get my day started much faster, but it's really difficult. I find myself jumping out of my shoes to see who texted me last night and what all my friends are up to. 

  • Jasmin Carranza's avatar
    Jasmin Carranza 4/01/2022 6:50 PM
    Four years ago, my parents bought me a pet turtle which I ended up losing while cleaning its tank. As funny as it may sound, I was disappointed about losing Frederick, my turtle, after he “crawled” away. Not only was I upset about losing him, but I was worried about where he ended up being. About two years ago, I bought a new turtle that I was happy to have, but I questioned myself because although I love having turtles as pets, I never did anything to help their species and environment. So, after losing my first turtle and buying a new one, I wanted to change some things and do something that could help turtles. Ever since I have stopped using plastic straws because straws kill turtles simply because turtles are negatively affected by straws. Out of respect for my love of turtles, I started using reusable straws and carrying a hydro flask around with me. 

    However, I haven’t put much thought or effort into taking another step of trying to help turtles' environment. I know the importance of trying to reduce ocean pollution, and I would like to do something about it now. I know this class will expose me to ways to help our environment. I want turtles and other sea animals to have a better future. Cutting down on plastic will make it easier for pollution to end and simply also clean up my community!

    My turtle is my “why”; he’s the reason I want to start helping clean up the ocean environment. Every little bit counts, and it’s as easy as telling your server you don’t need a straw at the restaurant or bringing your own cup to a coffee shop. I joined this challenge to expand my knowledge on ways to help out our environment and find ways to make a difference with the help of my teammates, even if it’s a slight difference. Our generation and future generations should be more considerate of our environment and surroundings in order to make it a better place, and I know with my help, it is a step forward in doing that. 


    • Alexandra Perez's avatar
      Alexandra Perez 4/03/2022 12:09 PM
      Hello Jasmin, 

      I also love turtles and personally own a tortoise. Seeing how greatly sea animals are being affected, illustrated by the increase in mortality rates by plastic straws and other trash is very unfortunate and disappointing, to say the least. I agree with your closing statement that our generation is very selfish and needs to start thinking about others, including animals such as Andrew also described. I believe a great step our society has made was putting a price on plastic bags at the grocery store and increasing the use of reusable straws and water bottles as Andrew also mentioned, but we still need to create a larger difference to see longer-lasting effects for the sea animals. I look forward to working with you to make a better environment for sea animals. 

    • Andrew Cao's avatar
      Andrew Cao 4/01/2022 9:04 PM
      Hi Jasmin,

      Your post really resonated with me because pollution is something that I am passionate about reducing. As you mentioned, doing something as simple as using reusable straws and a hydro flask can greatly reduce pollution and it is an action that many people can commit to. I also appreciate how you mentioned your pet turtle and how others are also affected by our actions. Many times, people forget that animals also suffer from human actions and it is important to remain mindful that life is very interconnected and the issue of climate change has consequences for everything that inhabits the planet.