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Catherine Dee's avatar

Catherine Dee

VANIER Sustainability-in-Action

""Ever small action makes a difference""

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 1,114 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    1
    documentaries
    watched
  • up to
    1
    donations
    made
  • up to
    895
    minutes
    spent exercising
  • up to
    70
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    48
    locally sourced meals
    consumed
  • up to
    1
    people
    helped
  • up to
    450
    gallons of water
    have been saved

Catherine's Actions

Industry

Research the Climate Impact of Refrigerants

Refrigerant Management

I will spend 25 minute(s) learning about the climate impact of refrigerants and what climate-friendly refrigerants are by using the links below.

Completed
One-Time Action

Land Sinks

Forest-Friendly Foods 2

Tropical Forest Restoration

I will replace or remove the palm oil, coffee, and cocoa products in my current diet that are known to contribute to deforestation.

COMPLETED 14
DAILY ACTIONS

Health and Education

Help Students Overcome Health Barriers

Health and Education

I will donate 1 Femme Kit(s) to help people who menstruate overcome health and sanitation barriers to being able to attend school.

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Justice for the Whole Community

Learn about Local Indigenous Practices

Indigenous Peoples' Forest Tenure

I will spend at least 25 minutes learning how local indigenous tribes are caring for the land by participating in a training, workshop, or presentation.

Completed
One-Time Action

Coastal, Ocean, and Engineered Sinks

Learn about Biochar

Biochar Production

I will spend 20 minute(s) learning about biochar and how it can help sequester carbon.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Support Local Food Systems

Plant-Rich Diets

I will source 40 percent of my food from local producers each day. This could include signing up for a local CSA, buying from a farmer's market, visiting a food co-op, foraging with a local group, or growing my own ingredients.

COMPLETED 22
DAILY ACTIONS

Transportation

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 24
DAILY ACTIONS

Buildings

Install a Low-Flow Showerhead

Low-Flow Fixtures

I will save up to 15 gallons (56 L) of water a day or 450 gallons (1,680 L) a month by installing a low-flow showerhead.

Completed
One-Time Action

Electricity

Watch a Video about Methane Digesters

Methane Digesters

I will watch a video about methane digesters (also commonly known as anaerobic digesters).

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 14
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed


  • Catherine Dee's avatar
    Catherine Dee 11/26/2020 10:19 AM
         As for my final post, I'd like to share my reflections during my experience in participating in the EcoChallenge. I personally really enjoyed this activity!! I find it is a great way to engage people and motivate them do to activities that better the environment and population. I also really enjoyed this website and found it well organised, easy to manipulate and fun to operate! Furthermore, the fact that we can be part of a team and see what others are accomplishing while being able to view their experience is really uplifting en encouraging as well, and I think this activity should be promoted for our school at Vanier since I don't think it only pertains to the Sustainability course. I believe anyone could participate in this challenge! Even my sister wants to sign up and she doesn't even go to our school.  
         The one daily action I was most proud of accomplishing is reducing the three foods that cause the most deforestation: coffee, cocoa and palm oil. In fact, I've been going a little over a month now without coffee and I think I will continue this for as long as I can! I do not have the urge to consume it whatsoever and I'm very proud of that. Another daily action I was really proud of achieving was trying to follow the 5Rs: refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose, and recycle. My family and I have been trying to be creative in reducing our waste ever since I started this action and we've been getting better and finding ways to do so! However, something I would have liked to improve on is saying no more often. I tend to still have a hard time refusing when someone wants to order out a few times a week since I've fallen into the trap of liking to indulge on take-out. I think part of this reason may be because of the situation we are in with COVID-19. I find when it comes to cooking, especially for supper, we've become more susceptible to ordering out. Besides this I feel quite satisfied with the actions and knowledge I was able to gain during this challenge! 
         Finally, I'd just like to congratulate everyone on doing an amazing job! Again, this was a really fun activity to do with the class and being part of a team made it really enjoyable!  
         
         


  • Catherine Dee's avatar
    Catherine Dee 11/25/2020 10:23 AM
    So far this week is difficult for me to apply some of my daily actions since my father went into surgery Monday, therefore my sister and I have been taking turns in caring for him. 
  • Reflection Question
    Industry Research the Climate Impact of Refrigerants
    What did you learn about the climate impact of refrigerants? How do supermarkets contribute to this impact?

    Catherine Dee's avatar
    Catherine Dee 11/22/2020 2:04 PM
    This week I learned on the impact of refrigerants. I did not know how harmful it is to our planet. Refrigerants contain gases including HFCs which is a man-made fluorinated greenhouse gas that damages and depletes the ozone layer. The leakage of these gases causes a lot of damage, but also the refrigerants found in refrigerators and air-conditioners consume a lot of energy which increase CO2 emissions and contribute to the climate change and global warming. 

    Supermarkets contribute to this impact because they are one of the biggest consumers of refrigerants. They use refrigerants in order to keep their refrigerators cool enough for the goods and products they sell. 

  • Catherine Dee's avatar
    Catherine Dee 11/16/2020 11:35 AM
    Update on my coffee consumption:

    I haven't had coffee in over a month! The first 2 weeks were the hardest. Especially first thing in the morning. It was so part of my everyday routine that stopping completely was very hard... I would also get migraines and headaches and thought that coffee was the only thing that I needed to have energy. I thus replaced my morning coffees with tea for a couple of weeks, but now I don't even need tea, and I don't crave caffeine whatsoever! I might have tea once or twice a week but I find that my body and mind don't need caffeine for energy now. I also don't feel the downsides of coffee anymore which is the biggest plus-side of it all. I use to feel so shaky after drinking a cup and then a few hours later I'd feel extremely tired and would need another refill. However, now I feel like my energy lasts throughout the day and I'm so happy that I'm not dependant on coffee anymore. 

  • Catherine Dee's avatar
    Catherine Dee 10/28/2020 10:34 AM
    Update on my action of eating more local foods:

    These past few weeks have been going well for this action. My breakfasts and lunches seem to be the easiest when it comes to eating locally. We really try to focus on buying as much produce and food items from Quebec as possible. If we can't find a certain item from Quebec we try to find ones that come from elsewhere in Canada. It's not as close but better than buying foods coming from outside the country! 

    We also turned strictly to a Canadian oat milk now since before we were alternating between almond milk and the milk we are now drinking. We realised the almond milk had a much greater environmental impact than the oat milk, especially with the fact that almonds don't grow in Canada. 

  • Catherine Dee's avatar
    Catherine Dee 10/17/2020 9:25 AM
    Here's a little update on my action of removing palm oil, coffee and cocoa from my diet:

    I found that a few times this week was harder to avoid palm oil than normal. My mom made apple pie where she uses Crisco for the crust which contains palm oil and I didn't want to not eat her pie because I felt bad for saying no and I honestly was craving her famous apple pie! So I allowed myself to have a slice every day for 3 days now. We also don't consume any dairy products so for our butter we use a vegan margarine which also contains palm oil. I don't consume a lot of margarine anyways but we sometimes cook with it. So I decided to go to the grocery store with my mom to see if there are any alternatives to the margarine we buy. Unfortunately we noticed that most margarines contain palm oil. The options that do not contain any are obviously butter and also coconut oil. We already buy coconut oil but are not as big of a fan depending on what we use it for.. But I am now on a mission to find a margarine that does not contain any palm oil!!

    • Catherine Dee's avatar
      Catherine Dee 10/19/2020 7:47 PM
      We looked at the ingredients for Earth Balance at our grocery store and it contains palm oil unfortunately.. But I would definitely be interested in the olive oil spread you mentioned. 

      Thank you! 

    • Richard Klopp's avatar
      Richard Klopp 10/19/2020 1:10 PM
      Try Earth Balance...

    • Richard Klopp's avatar
      Richard Klopp 10/19/2020 1:10 PM
      If you are not OK with using local, organic butter, maybe you can try an olive oil spread. I can try to find you a product that I used in the past if you are interested.

  • Catherine Dee's avatar
    Catherine Dee 10/10/2020 11:49 AM
    I'm taking up a new challenge this week of removing palm oil, coffee and cocoa from my diet which contributes to the major deforestations on this planet. I think for me the hardest one to remove and replace is coffee! I realised that I was already not consuming many products with palm oil in it, and cocoa I can live without! However, coffee used to be a staple in my morning routines and to get my day going. So I've been trying to replace my coffee with black tea and so far this week I've only had coffee twice on the days I've been really struggling to wake up! Therefore, I will try to stick with my black tea as much as possible and hopefully my body will adapt to having less and less coffee :). 

  • Catherine Dee's avatar
    Catherine Dee 10/08/2020 7:02 AM
    This week one of the actions I decided to take-on is to donate a Femme Kit to a girl in need in Twaweza, Africa where menstruation is seen as taboo and dirty. Women and girls are prevented to go to school and activities when they are menstruating, so these Femme Kits include sustainable and reusable menstruation products for them to feel safe and healthy during their period, while being able to do daily their daily activities. 

    This action might not be the most environmentally friendly since if these products need to be shipped to Africa, it creates a big carbon footprint. However, as a woman, I understand the struggle of menstruating and can't imagine living in a community that bans something that happens naturally to us and that we cannot control. Therefore, I wanted to do something to help these girls and women, even if it's only a small gesture. 

    Also, when I talked about it to my sister she thought it was a great idea and her too decided to chip-in and donate a Femme Kit as well!! :) 
  • 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?

    Catherine Dee's avatar
    Catherine Dee 10/03/2020 1:13 PM
    One of my actions is to try to walk 30 minutes a day while observing my surroundings and I am lucky to live in an area that makes walking and cycling very possible and enjoyable. There are bike paths, sidewalks and even paths on the pavement that are sectioned off for pedestrians to walk along side the bike paths. Moreover, the roads in my neighbourhood are also quite wide which makes it safe and easy to walk without constantly worrying about upcoming vehicles. Therefore, for the area I live in, I do not think changes to the infrastructures would be needed. 
  • Reflection Question
    Coastal, Ocean, and Engineered Sinks Learn about Biochar
    Can biochar provide additional benefits besides sequestering carbon?

    Catherine Dee's avatar
    Catherine Dee 9/24/2020 9:58 AM
    Today I learned about Biochar which does provide additional benefits other than sequestering carbon: 
    • It can improve the quality of soil and make it more rich in nutrients and more fertile
    • By enriching the soils which in turn mitigates the climate change, reduces the need for chemical fertilisers which reduces greenhouse gas emissions
    • It produces clean and renewable energy during its production process which can be used as an alternative to burning fossil fuels
    • It reduces groundwater pollution
    • It contributes to food security by increasing crop yields and retaining water in areas that are more susceptible to drought