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HARRISON CHU's avatar

HARRISON CHU

Low Energy Enthusiasts

"Practice sustainability"

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 566 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    104
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    525
    minutes
    spent exercising
  • up to
    240
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    360
    minutes
    being mindful

HARRISON's Actions

Coastal, Ocean, and Engineered Sinks

Learn about Biochar

Biochar Production

I will spend 60 minute(s) learning about biochar and how it can help sequester carbon.

Completed
One-Time Action

Land Sinks

Forest-Friendly Foods 1

Tropical Forest Restoration

I will spend at least 60 minutes researching the impact of my diet to see how it contributes to deforestation.

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Building Resilience

Learn More about Regenerative Agriculture

Conservation Agriculture, Regenerative Annual Cropping

I will spend at least 60 minutes learning about the need for more regenerative agriculture.

Completed
One-Time Action

Buildings

Plan to Insulate

Insulation

I will find out how to make my home more energy efficient through better insulation and weatherization.

Completed
One-Time Action

Industry

Learn About & Practice Sustainable Fashion

Multiple Industry Solutions

I will learn about sustainable fashion and begin trying to practice it in my own life.

Completed
One-Time Action

Transportation

Stay on the Ground

Telepresence, High-Speed Rail

Instead of traveling by plane, I will find an alternative way to accomplish the goals of an upcoming trip (i.e. telepresence, vacation locally).

Completed
One-Time Action

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Composting

Composting, Reduced Food Waste

I will start a compost bin where I live.

Completed
One-Time Action

Electricity

Calculate the carbon footprint of my household

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

Action Track: Healing & Renewal

Go for a Daily Walk

Walkable Cities

I will take a walk for 30 minutes each day and take note of the infrastructure that makes walking more or less enjoyable, accessible, and possible.

COMPLETED 6
DAILY ACTIONS

Action Track: Healing & Renewal

Eat Mindfully

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

COMPLETED 6
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed

  • Reflection Question
    Coastal, Ocean, and Engineered Sinks Learn about Biochar
    Can biochar provide additional benefits besides sequestering carbon?

    HARRISON CHU's avatar
    HARRISON CHU 5/22/2021 4:46 PM
    "Biochar is a charcoal-like substance that's made by burning organic material from agricultural and forestry wastes in a controlled process called pyrolysis." Materials like wood chips and dead plants are burned with little oxygen so that they release only small amounts of contaminating fumes. This creates a form of carbon which doesn't easily release into the atmosphere. The energy created during this process can also be utilized as renewable energy. Biochar is much better at converting carbon into a stable form and is also much cleaner than other charcoal forms. Some ways that biochar can help improve soil quality are enhancing structure, increasing water retention and aggregation, decreasing acidity, reducing nitrous oxide emissions, improving porosity, regulating nitrogen leaching, improving electrical conductivity, and improving microbial properties. It also is helpful in composting because it reduces emissions and prevents the loss of nutrients in the material being composted. Biochar's process can help sequester a billion tons of carbon annually and keep it in the soil for centuries.  Some other benefits of this process are decreased ground water pollution, lower cost of water filtration, reduced amounts of waste, and higher profitability for farmers. It also reduces the need for chemical fertilizers which helps to improve soil fertility and stimulate plant growth. This process can be used alongside regenerative agriculture to benefit agriculture and the environment. 
  • Reflection Question
    Land Sinks Forest-Friendly Foods 1
    How is your diet currently impacting deforestation? What can you do to decrease your negative impact and increase your positive impact?

    HARRISON CHU's avatar
    HARRISON CHU 5/21/2021 12:14 AM
    One part of my diet which greatly contributes to deforestation is palm oil. The production of palm oil causes deforestation in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Africa. In one year, Indonesia lost around 8,000 square miles of rainforest to palm production and this seems to be a normal trend which does not look like it will slow down anytime soon. The production of this food also destroys the orangutan habitat, which kills much of the population. One way to increase my positive impact would be to avoid consuming palm oil whenever possible. Since it is included in many processed foods, I can avoid eating processed foods and focus on eating more fresh alternatives. Another food that I consume daily is coffee. However, I realized this contributes heavily to deforestation. Drinking 3 cups of coffee a day needs at least 18 coffee trees to sustain the habit. This means many native forest trees and plants need to be removed in order to plant 18 coffee trees to supply the coffee you drink. A few ways to decrease my negative impact through coffee drinking would be to pay more attention to the labels on the coffee. For example, shade grown means it was grown within the forest and it was likely less destructive to native plants. Rainforest alliance certifications also mean that coffee farms were educated on environmentally friendly ways to grow coffee. Lastly, meat, dairy, and eggs are very detrimental to the environment as well. A lot of land is needed to grow crops that will be feed to livestock, which greatly contributes to deforestation. About 80% of deforestation in Brazil is due to cattle ranching and 29% of deforestation in the Amazon can be tied to agriculture as well. In order to make a more positive impact on the environment, I can eat more plant based options instead of these. This will not only be much more eco-friendly, but also much healthier for myself as well.

    • Audrey Goodman's avatar
      Audrey Goodman 5/21/2021 5:37 PM
      Hi Harrison! Before taking this class and doing research on consumption and the environment, I was not aware of how many different things palm oil was in and the impact that palm oil production has on the environment. The effects and deforestation that occurs from palm oil production continue to contribute to the climate crisis we are experiencing. I found it very interesting when you mentioned that drinking 3 cups of coffee a day needs at least 18 coffee trees; this number was shocking to me. Although I am not a coffee drinker, many of my friends and people I know drink multiple cups of coffee a day, likely not often looking at the labels to see where the coffee is from. Educating ourselves about what areas that products are grown are most sustainable and environmentally friendly is a good way to make a difference and make a change in your life. I have also tried to eat more plant-based food, as cattle ranching is a huge contributor of greenhouse gases and emissions. Like you mentioned, it is not only more eco-friendly, but also tends to be healthier, and improves my everyday life.
  • Reflection Question
    Action Track: Building Resilience Learn More about Regenerative Agriculture
    Clean air, clean water and healthy food are just three reasons to care about regenerative agriculture. What are some other reasons? How could/does regenerative agriculture positively impact you and your community?

    HARRISON CHU's avatar
    HARRISON CHU 5/20/2021 11:52 PM
    It was very intriguing learning about regenerative agriculture and all of its benefits. Regenerative agricultural practices include no tillage, diverse cover crops, in farm fertility (no external nutrients), no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, and multiple crop rotations. All of these practices contribute to increasing carbon-rich soil organic matter. This leads to deeper roots, better nutrient uptake, increased water retention, pest resistant plants, and compounding soil fertility. Farms which utilize these methods have seen a 4-6% increase in soil carbon levels which adds up to around 25-60 tons of carbon per acre of land. As much as 50% of the carbon in earth's soils has been released over time and regenerative agriculture is one way to reverse that trend. It not only contributes to cleaner air/water and healthy food, but also improved financial states for farmers. These methods also help improve ecosystems by improving biodiversity. In California, some researchers are using insects and biodegradable chemicals instead of pesticides to improve soil health. Regenerative agriculture impacts myself and my community by providing healthy food, sustainable farming methods, and cleaner air and water.

    • Caitlin Tanji's avatar
      Caitlin Tanji 5/24/2021 2:34 AM
       Hi Harrison! I agree that it was very intriguing to learn about regenerative agricultural practices. I never heard about it before, even though I live nearby a watercress farm back home in Hawai’i. I think it’s great that regenerative agriculture increases biodiversity, enriches soil, increases farming yield, and results in better health for farming communities. In addition, you mentioned that no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers are used in regenerative agriculture, which I think is a great benefit! After reading about the benefits of regenerative agriculture, it made me wonder if local farms in Hawai’i use modern or regenerative techniques. I read an article that farms in Hawai’i practice regenerative agriculture to maintain indigenous farming techniques. Agriculture and land is sacred in Hawai’i, so it makes sense that it’s a priority to create thriving ecosystems and not use toxic chemicals that would damage the soil and spread diseases. The health of the soil is crucial to provide food for the people on the islands. Clearly, regenerative agriculture plays a key role in reversing climate change and is more profitable than conventional agricultural methods in my opinion. I hope more farms in the future adopt these practices. A quote from Jane Goodall on the Food Security Hawai’i website stated that “someday we shall look back on this dark era of agriculture and shake our heads. How could we have ever believed that it was a good idea to grow our food with poisons.” It’s wild to think industries believe sacrificing healthy land and soil is worth it. Food security is also at risk if conventional agricultural practices continue. I read online that 90% of food is imported, so if the supply chain is disrupted, the food reservoir in Hawai’i would only last the island three to ten days. This is very disturbing and shocking to me. Without healthy soil, food supply and imports would drastically be affected, and I doubt Hawai’i would be the first priority. We would have no access to other resources, unlike connected mainland states. Overall, there are so many benefits to shifting to regenerative agriculture so we can prevent vulnerabilities to communities and produce food efficiently. We must care for our land so it can sustain crops for our future generations. 

    • Neha Joshi's avatar
      Neha Joshi 5/23/2021 12:16 AM
      Hi Harrison!
      Regenerative agriculture sounds amazing! I hope that more farms adopt these practices. I really like the idea of restoring Earth’s natural resources rather than taking away from the soil or the environment. I recently read that nearly a third of the world’s topsoil is incredibly degraded. If current farming practices continue, the UN estimates that complete degradation will occur in 60 years. This is really scary to think about. It’s really important to restore soil health because it affects crop health as well. The Rodale Institute states, “Regenerative prioritizes soil health while simultaneously encompassing high standards for animal welfare and worker fairness. The idea is to create farm systems that work in harmony with nature to improve quality of life for every creature involved.” 

      A farmer named Gabe Brown adopted regenerative practices on his farm in North Dakota. He found that organic matter and rainwater uptake tripled and he was able to manage 5x the number of cattle he previously could. A 2013 study found that regenerative farming can accommodate more cattle and also lower rates of cow mortality. Allan Savory, often regarded as the pioneer of regenerative agriculture presented a Ted Talk where he said that the only way to reverse climate change is by raising livestock. This increases soil carbon sequestration. This solution also minimizes the damage caused by tillage and other inorganic fertilizers while improving biodiversity and crop health. Moreover, it makes the topsoil more aerated and dense. However, other researchers say that regardless of these claims, we need to stop eating as much meat. 

      I read another news story about a family who regenerated damaged land outside of LA and turned it into a farm! I believe they inspired the film The Biggest Little Farm. 

      Furthermore, in 2018, the state government of Andhra Pradesh in India created a plan to convert 8 million hectares of land from traditional agriculture methodology to zero- budget natural farming by 2024. They will stop synthetic chemical agriculture in the state. I am excited to learn about how this project pans out!
  • Reflection Question
    Buildings Plan to Insulate
    What are some of the benefits of making your home more energy efficient?

    HARRISON CHU's avatar
    HARRISON CHU 5/20/2021 11:19 PM
    It was very interesting to learn about home insulation and how it affects energy efficiency. In order to maintain a comfortable room temperature, we use 25-60% more energy just to heat or cool a home depending on how well insulated it is. Better insulation can reduce heat exchange, save energy, and avoid emissions. It is best for a building's thermal layer to cover all sides of the building (floor, walls, roof) and be continuous. The more gaps and cracks there are in the thermal layer, the less effective it will be. The EPA estimates that people can save about 15% on heating and cooling costs by sealing their homes and adding continuous insulation throughout the building. Not only does better insulation make your home more energy efficient, but it also reduces external noise levels, keeps out pollen, dust, and pests, controls humidity, and decreases the chance of ice dams forming on the roof in cold climates. Right now, around 90% of homes in the US are under-insulated. Insulating a home and making it more energy efficient not only helps mitigate the effects of climate change, but also makes for a more comfortable living experience. I definitely noticed the difference good insulation makes when I moved to Westwood. Back at home, new windows and thick walls help to insulate the house and maintain comfortable temperatures without exerting much excess energy. In my apartment here, the inside temperature would change much more drastically depending on the climate outside. The windows were not sealed very tightly and the walls were super thin. I had to turn on the heater or air conditioner constantly to keep the temperature comfortable. This led to wasted energy that could have been saved if correct insulation had been installed in the first place. When purchasing or renting future living spaces, I will definitely make sure the insulation is up to par as it will not only save me money but also lead to lower overall emissions and carbon footprint.
  • Reflection Question
    Industry 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?

    HARRISON CHU's avatar
    HARRISON CHU 5/06/2021 11:06 PM
    Out of the seven main forms of sustainable fashion, I practice three of these in my own life. I thrift secondhand clothing, pass clothes onto others when I cannot use it anymore, and purchased from brands that have fair and ethical supply chains. Thrifting is not only sustainable, but also a very fun and engaging way to acquire more clothing. Searching through racks and racks of used clothes can be tiring and tedious, but only makes it all the more rewarding when you find a piece that fits your size and taste. I sometimes go to thrift stores with friends and we all take time to sift through the clothes that are available. Since it is more taxing than regular shopping, you also end up buying less, which is definitely a good habit to have. Not to mention the price is generally much cheaper than buying new clothes. I have found several pieces throughout the past few years that I really enjoy, including a camera tripod that I've used many times now. I also try to share my clothes with others. Sometimes a friend needs a type of clothing that I have in my closet already. Lending it to them prevents them from purchasing the item new and contributing to the carbon footprint of fashion. Also, if I grow out of anything, I pass it down to my two younger brothers so that they can continue to use the clothes instead of discarding them. Lastly, I try to limit my spending to brands that are more eco and ethically-conscious. Supporting brands that are careless in terms of ethics and sustainability is very irresponsible and only adds to the problem. Patagonia is one example of an eco-conscious brand I purchase clothes from. These three strategies have allowed me to express my personality, creativity, and values in sustainable manners. Below I have a photo of my wearing my Patagonia sweater while hiking at Yosemite. Although it was definitely on the expensive end, I don't mind spending a few extra dollars supporting ethical and sustainable fashion practices.

    • Katherine Jordak's avatar
      Katherine Jordak 5/09/2021 11:06 AM
      Hi Harrison! Thank you for sharing about alternatives to fast fashion. I also love thrift shopping, and I really appreciate how popular it is these days. A lot of people on social media/youtube are really into thrift shopping, which I think is ultimately very beneficial for promoting a more sustainable culture. If people thought poorly of thrift shopping, I know I would definitely be wayyy less likely to do it. I think you also make a great point that having to go through so many clothes to find the pieces you really like actually results in you buying less clothing. It also helps that these stores are not trying to market so many different tops and bottoms by putting them on mannequins all around the store. And thrift shopping really is so much more affordable than buying clothes at traditional stores. 

      I also looove Patagonia. Their products are just so useful and last for sooo long. If you haven't heard of Worn Wear, I highly recommend looking into that website. It is second hand Patagonia, which usually is still in great condition but is cheaper than buying it new. It also reduces the waste of people throwing away clothes they don't wear anymore. 
  • Reflection Question
    Transportation Stay on the Ground
    What was your process like for restructuring your trip? How can you avoid more air travel in the future?

    HARRISON CHU's avatar
    HARRISON CHU 5/06/2021 10:38 PM
    Ever since I entered college, I have seen my family much less than when I was in high school. In my first 2 years at UCLA, I also did not have a car and most of my friends also did not have cars. Therefore, it was near impossible to visit home without flying. I ended up flying home for every break that we had, which definitely increased my carbon footprint by alot. However, after my sophomore year, I was able to get a car and bring it to UCLA. Ever since then, I have not flown home to the Bay Area. Instead, I carpool with a few friends who also live in the area and make the 6 hour drive through California. Even though it takes a bit more effort on my part and takes an extra hour or two, it is definitely worth it when considering the differences in climate impact the two options have. Taking several friends with me each time also exponentially lowers our combined carbon footprint as they would be flying home if we did not drive. Even when I am not going home, I try to plan my travels so that I can drive to each destination instead of flying there. For example, I have driven to Utah, Arizona, Yosemite, Portland, Seattle, and San Diego over the last couple years. My friends and I could have flown to these destinations to save time and hassle, but driving was definitely the more sustainable choice. Along the way, we were also able to enjoy seeing the different environments that exist in near these places. Learning that air travel accounts for at least 2.5% of annual carbon emissions especially makes me want to avoid airplanes. It was quite interesting to see Peter's breakdown of emissions as air travel dominated his carbon footprint. This shows that even if you try to eat sustainably as often as possible, flying frequently completely defeats the progress you make with food. I also learned that "planes emit mono-nitrogen oxides into the upper troposphere, form contrails, and seed cirrus clouds with aerosols from fuel combustion. These three effects enhance warming in the short term." When Peter stopped flying, his total emissions dropped far below the average individual. This shows how influential lifestyle changes like this can benefit the environment. Until a more sustainable way to fly is invented, I will try to avoid air travel as much as possible in the future. If jet fuel can be sourced sustainably, this would greatly decrease the footprint of air travel. I will also try to utilize telecommunications technology as much as possible to reduce the amount of travel I will do in the future. This photo below is scenery from near Big Sur on PCH. My friends and I stopped here on the way back to the Bay Area to admire the sunset and the ocean view. This is just one great example of the benefits of avoiding air travel. We were able to appreciate the environment up close and personal while on our way home. 
  • Reflection Question
    Food, Agriculture, and Land Use Composting
    Producing food that goes uneaten squanders many resources—seeds, water, energy, land, fertilizer, hours of labor, financial capital. Which of these kinds of waste most motivates you to change your behavior regarding food waste? Why?

    HARRISON CHU's avatar
    HARRISON CHU 5/05/2021 11:52 PM
    Water and energy waste most motivate me to change my behavior regarding food waste. After seeing California go through a long drought and witnessing all of the dried up fields in the middle of California made me realize how important water is to humans. Through some research, I also learned that certain areas of the world suffer from excessive water use. Many companies are now making sustainable water management a main priority in their sustainable endeavors. Energy waste also alarms me because of how large the climate footprint of the energy industry has. Most of our energy comes from non-renewable resources and is therefore not sustainable. I also learned that if organic or biodegradable waste ends up in the landfill, a lack of oxygen causes it to produce methane, a greenhouse gas much more potent than carbon dioxide. Composting that type of waste instead allows the material to convert into stable soil carbon and retain the original water and nutrients of the waste matter. This process can actually be used to grow gardens and fields instead of poisoning the atmosphere. At home, my parents composted all of our organic waste, so I grew up with this practice as a kid. However, my apartments in Los Angeles do not have composting bins to use so I stopped composting in college. But after learning more about the consequences of throwing organic waste into the landfill, I have decided to start composting again. I set up a compost bin in my apartment and have encouraged my apartment-mates to throw their organic waste in this separate bin instead. This allows them to also be more aware of their waste management and in turn create less organic waste. Once the bin is full, I will compost the waste in the small garden outside of my apartment. This way, all of our organic waste can be used to benefit the environment instead of contributing to the climate crisis. 

    • Ricky Ma's avatar
      Ricky Ma 5/08/2021 7:28 PM
      Hello Harrison!

      I really loved reading your response. I am so happy to read about what you learned in terms of living a more sustainable lifestyle. Good job on taking initiative and doing the research that you did in order to educate yourself. This action will go a long way and I hope that you will find ways to implement it into your own life. For my eco-challenge, I also researched specifically bioplastics and how to properly dispose of them. While reading your response, I realized that there were many parallels. Specifically, the part where you talked about biodegradable and organic molecules. Within my research, I also learned how the landfill is never the sustainable option! This is because when you put in biodegradable things into the landfill, nothing sustainable comes out of it as it is not recycled nor composted. That is why it is important to dispose of bioplastics properly. If you don't already know, bioplastics should almost always be disposed of at industrial composting facilities as it is there where the resources and conditions are met for the composting of these bioplastics. However, some bioplastics are compostable at home which you can figure out by looking at the labels on the packaging. I really liked how you talked about composting and your efforts to compost! This is something that I also hope to do sometime in the future. I commend you for getting your roommates to do it as well. It is incredibly important to spread the word of our sustainable practices and knowledge. In that way, we serve as the catalyst for change within our friends and family as well. This is what people need to start doing in order to create a greener earth. As I saw with my friends when I told them about what I learned and what I read with your roommates, teaching other people is pivotal in creating a greener and more sustainable Earth.  Maybe something that we can do is to start going into groupchats or groupmes and spreading the word. This way we can impact and influence a multitude of people and hopefully start a chain reaction. The power of shock is incredibly powerful. Show everyone the destruction they are doing to the Earth and people will hopefully respond accordingly. Good job with the work and keep on going!

    • HARRISON CHU's avatar
      HARRISON CHU 5/06/2021 10:39 PM
  • Reflection Question
    Electricity 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?

    HARRISON CHU's avatar
    HARRISON CHU 4/25/2021 5:04 PM
    I learned that the carbon footprint of my household is around 5.69 tons of CO2e every month, which is much higher than the average household.  It was interesting to see how different factors such as household size, ground transportation methods, air transportation, electricity sources, and types of food affected the overall carbon footprint of my household. In order to reduce the number of short car trips taken within a few mile radius of my house, my family has started to walk and bike more regularly instead of taking a car. This has not only contributed to decreasing our overall carbon footprint but also allows for an appreciation of the natural environment around us. We also only fly to travel destinations around once or twice a year as a family. Besides those trips, we usually drive if the destination is within around 10 hours of our home. Since we know that traveling by plane is very damaging to the environment, we try to plan most of our trips to be traveled by car instead. In terms of food that we eat, my mom has taken a huge initiative to buy and cook less meat and instead increase the amount of vegetables, fish, and fruit that we consume. The production of beef and pork definitely contributes heavily to our carbon footprint so cutting down on foods like those has been a great start to living more sustainably. One area I would like to learn more about is sourcing renewable electricity. I believe that over time, this strategy would not only be much better for the environment, but also probably save us money down the line. I want to research whether or not installing solar panels would be feasible and what would need to be done in order to accomplish this. I would want to know how much of an initial investment it is and how much it would decrease our collective carbon footprint. In my future home, I would like to have a circular energy system where I have a renewable energy source that powers my use so that I do not have to pay power companies for non-renewable energy sources. 



    • ALEXA KASSELS's avatar
      ALEXA KASSELS 4/26/2021 7:52 AM
      Hi Harrison,

      I am interested in how many people live in your household and if you all have cars? It seems like the carbon calculator greatly factors in the number of people in your household. I was personally surprised that the calculator did not ask us more detailed questions about our lifestyles. I think it is amazing your family is starting to walk and bike more rather than take cars. I  would love to do the same but it is difficult because I am from a very rural town where the nearest shopping center is 3 miles away from my house. There is not really anywhere to go within walking distance of my house. I think for my situation that it is best to just try and reduce the amount of trips that I take to stores and try to finish all of my errands in the same outing. My family also takes around one trip per year that requires flying. My parents have large trucks that use a large amount of gas and they have begun getting smaller rentals cars for our road trips because they use less gas. I applaud your mom for actively trying to buy and cook less meat. It is not only better for the environment, but it is also healthier for your family. I am curious what your favorite meatless dishes are that she has made. I would like to incorporate more tofu into my diet, and I would love to find some tasty recipes. My boyfriend's mom makes delicious tofu stir fries with vegetables from the farmer's market. Luckily, I have wonderful local fruits available to me because I live in such a rural area. I am looking forward to peach and nectarine season this summer!

      In regards to solar panels, they are a large investment, but some counties allow you to file for a tax reduction once you switch to renewable energy. Solar panels would definitely help reduce your carbon footprint, but I understand that they are difficult to afford. I think a major problem in our world right now is that switching to solar energy costs a lot of money. I hope that in the next few years, our society finds a way to make this switch more affordable. 

    • Suraj Doshi's avatar
      Suraj Doshi 4/25/2021 7:21 PM
      Hi Harrison, thanks for sharing. I like how you began by relating the fact that your family’s carbon footprint is higher than the average, something that I just failed to mention in my post. It was nice to see that your family has already started to begin trying to lower their carbon footprint by walking and biking places instead of taking the car. Small steps like this over a community can lead us to a better future and your family’s actions will hopefully inspire others to start their journey into a zero-waste lifestyle. I like how you mentioned that beyond just trying to save the environment, walking and such has also led to a better appreciation for nature. I think this is a slept-upon benefit of trying to go for a zero-waste lifestyle. In our age, constantly being on the screen or in cars on the go makes us miss the beauty around us and we often take it for granted. In my personal life, I have realized that the world we live in is very serene and lets me disconnect and forget about my responsibilities for a blissful moment. The active measures you and your family are taking additionally in terms of groceries is also inspiring. I think that we should inform more people about the benefits of eating less meat and show them the health benefits and the environmental benefits to persuade them to start eating less red meats. I also think that renewable energy sources are the answer to global improvement for our climate crisis. Like you mentioned, it would not only help save the environment, but would also be beneficial financially in the long term. I think some individuals sway away from it due to the upfront costs of the solar panels and the initial installation, however, with the right information to show them that in the long term, they would save money, I think they would go for it. I like how you talked about the future and what you would want in your house. I have similar aspirations, just thinking about my personal financials and for the environment as well. I too need to do more research in this area to figure out how else to better prep myself for a zero-waste lifestyle and what more I can do to help the environment in my own capacity.

  • Reflection Question
    Action Track: Healing & Renewal 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?

    HARRISON CHU's avatar
    HARRISON CHU 4/21/2021 11:15 PM
    I have gone on a walk/run 5 days per week for the last 3 weeks. Usually, I go through campus or general westwood area. I learned that "walking as part of everyday travel is as effective asstructured workouts for improving health." During quarantine, my exercise decreased significantly, so by going on all these walks and runs my goal is to take better care of my muscles and cardio. Getting into better cardiovascular shape has also allowed me to start doing more structured workouts with weights as well. These walks and workouts have greatly increased my general productivity and heightened my average mood through the days. I feel much healthier and more energized after these exercise routines. I noticed that the UCLA campus is really nice for walks and runs because it has wide, paved walkways that alternate between flat and hilly ground. This allows for a harder workout and works out a variety of muscles. There is also alot of grass area which is softer to walk on and nice to hangout at during my walk. The buildings and trees also provide shade at times when it is very hot. In Westwood, the walkways are smaller and many times are not paved as nicely. I think extending sidewalks to be slightly larger and making sure they are paved would definitely make my walks more enjoyable. Also, some streets are very loud and the air is congested because so many cars pass through at any given moment. If more people made an effort to walk to their close destinations this would greatly decrease the number of cars driving around in Westwood. One question I have is how does daily exercise affect mental health.

  • HARRISON CHU's avatar
    HARRISON CHU 4/21/2021 10:49 PM
    I would like to participate in Drawdown Ecochallenge to help preserve the natural environment around us as best as possible. I want to take everyday actions that reduce my carbon footprint and align with sustainable practices. This is a photo of Half Dome at Yosemite that I took last year. Yosemite has been hit with intense wildfires that have grown worse and worse over the years due to increased temperatures and dry weather. This is one specific ecosystem that I would like to help preserve.