April 4 - April 25, 2018
150

Sarah Duffer

Asheville High School!

" To empower myself and my community to identify, communicate, and practice concrete actions that reverse climate change. "

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 1,250 This Week
  • 2,777 Total

Challenges

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Buildings and Cities

Online Energy Audit

Multiple Solutions

I will complete an online energy audit of my home, office, or dorm room and identify my next steps for saving energy.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Food

Contact your Elected Officials

#23 Farmland Restoration

I will contact 2 elected officials to voice my opinion on the importance of restoring farmland in my region, including both public and private land.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Land Use

Advocate for Forest Protection

#38 Forest Protection

I will contact 3 congress people or representatives to advocate for public policy that protects forests and the enforcement of existing anti-logging laws.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Materials

Eliminate Toxic Plastics

#47 Bioplastic

I will avoid buying toxic plastics, including polycarbonate, polystyrene and polyvinyl and instead replace them with bioplastic or durable options.

COMPLETED 9 OF 22
DAILY CHALLENGE

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Transport

Use Muscle Power

#49 Cars

I will cut my car trip mileage by only taking necessary trips, and I will only use muscle-powered transportation for all other trips.

COMPLETED 8 OF 22
DAILY CHALLENGE

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Women and Girls

Support Women-Owned Businesses

#62 Women Smallholders

I will support women-owned businesses when I shop this month.

COMPLETED 0 OF 22
DAILY CHALLENGE

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Buildings and Cities

Choose LED Bulbs

#33 LED Lighting (Household)

I will replace 20 incandescent lightbulb(s) with Energy Star-certified LED bulbs, saving up to $14 per fixture per year.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Materials

Recycle Everything I Can

#55 Household Recycling

I will recycle all materials that are accepted by local haulers or drop stations in my community.

COMPLETED 9 OF 22
DAILY CHALLENGE

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Land Use

Learn about Temperate Forests

#12 Temperate Forests

I will spend at least 20 minutes learning more about the environmental services provided by and the environmental issues affecting temperate forests.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Electricity Generation

Learn More About Geothermal Energy

#18 Geothermal

I will spend at least 30 minutes learning more about the energy generation potential of geothermal energy and consider investing in this technology.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Electricity Generation

Learn More about Biomass

#34 Biomass

I will spend at least 30 minutes learning more about the energy generation potential of biomass.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Electricity Generation

Watch a Video about Methane Digesters

#30 Methane Digesters (large), #64 Methane Digesters (small)

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

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Materials

Go Paperless

#70 Recycled Paper

I will reduce the amount of paper mail that I receive by opting into paperless billing and subscriptions.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Transport

Test Drive an Electric Bike

#69 Electric Bikes

I will test drive an electric bike at a local distributor to see if it makes sense to use one in place of my car, or to extend the area I can cover by bike.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Food

Zero-waste Cooking

#3 Reduced Food Waste

I will cook 1 meal(s) with zero-waste each day.

COMPLETED 17 OF 22
DAILY CHALLENGE

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Food

Keep Track of Wasted Food

#3 Reduced Food Waste

I will keep a daily log of food I throw away during the EcoChallenge, either because it went bad before I ate it, I put too much on my plate, or it was scraps from food preparation.

COMPLETED 19 OF 22
DAILY CHALLENGE

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Food

Reduce Animal Products

#4 Plant-Rich Diet

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

COMPLETED 22 OF 22
DAILY CHALLENGE

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Transport

Research and Consider Switching to a Hybrid or Electric Vehicle

#26 Electric Vehicles

I will spend at least 30 minutes researching and weighing my options to see if a hybrid or electric vehicle makes sense for my lifestyle.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Materials

Share Bioplastic Disposal Tips

#47 Bioplastic

I will spend at least 30 minutes researching how to properly dispose of bioplastics in my city and share this information with 50 friends, family and/or colleagues.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Materials

Properly Dispose of Refrigerants

#1 Refrigerant Management

I will spend at least 30 minutes learning how to properly dispose of my refrigerator, freezer, and other refrigerants at the end of their useful lives.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Land Use

Forest-Friendly Foods 1

#5 Tropical Forests

I will spend at least 30 minutes researching the impact of my diet to see how it contributes to deforestation.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Buildings and Cities

Express My Support

#59 Bike Infrastructure

I will find out who in my city makes decisions that impact bike routes and express my support for better biking infrastructure.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Buildings and Cities

Express My Support

#54 Walkable Cities

I will find out who in my city makes decisions that impact neighborhood walkability and express my support for better walking infrastructure.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Women and Girls

Start a Social Media Campaign

#6 Educating Girls

I will share stats on gender inequity in education with my social media feed to raise awareness.

COMPLETED 16 OF 22
DAILY CHALLENGE

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Food

Learn More about Regenerative Agriculture

#11 Regenerative Agriculture

I will spend at least 30 minutes learning about the need for more regenerative agriculture.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Food

Learn More about Silvopasture

#9 Silvopasture

I will spend at least 30 minutes watching videos and/or reading about the environmental benefits of silvopasture.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Food

Learn the Truth About Expiration Dates

#3 Reduced Food Waste

I will spend at least 30 minutes learning how to differentiate between sell by, use by, and best by dates.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

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Electricity Generation

Communicate With My Elected Officials

#2 Wind Turbines (Onshore)

I will write or call 5 elected official(s) telling them not to support fossil fuel subsidies and instead support wind energy generation.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Feed

  • Sarah Duffer 4/25/2018 12:49 PM
    I completed your online energy audit and it said that my home uses more energy than the most efficient homes in my neighborhood but Duke Progress Energy reports to me that my house is one of the most efficient. Your audit did not specify the heat source. I burn 100% Bioheat which may not increase the efficiency of my home, but it does decrease my carbon footprint and has eliminated my dependence on fossil fuels for home heating. That makes me sleep easier at night. 

    I'm always on the lookout for ways to save energy... because energy efficiency is money in the bank and carbon out of the atmosphere!
  • Sarah Duffer 4/25/2018 12:10 PM
    ASHEVILLE HIGH SCHOOL YOU ARE SO AMAZING! This week has been so difficult and today we banded together and worked toward a common cause that benefits our school, our community, and our planet. You are truly the most inspiring group of students. Please continue to give this project a final push this evening. 
  • Sarah Duffer 4/25/2018 11:41 AM
    This EcoChallenge require a great deal of research. I think, moving forward, I need to spend more time researching women=owned businesses.  In my town there many women who have side jobs making pottery, jewelry, doing hair, selling chicken eggs, etc. So finding women who provide the goods and/or services I need is going to be t he critical first step. 
  • Sarah Duffer 4/25/2018 10:30 AM
    I actually practice the 5 Rs: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose... and then Recycle.

    It's easier to refuse stuff than to deal with it once it's in your possession. Living a simpler life that isn't focused on STUFF but instead focused on RELATIONSHIPS is my definition of wealth. I'm blessed that I get to work with high schoolers and with a faculty that I truly love. 

    I'm a big fan of repairing stuff before replacing it... makes sense and cents! 

    Repurposing is often a fun challenge! You get to use your brain to creatively find a new purpose for something you otherwise would have trashed. Yay for upcycling. 
  • Sarah Duffer 4/25/2018 10:26 AM
    I LOVE WALKING in neighborhoods! You never know who you're going to see and talk to or what natural beauty is waiting to be seen in yards. I really enjoy seeing what people are going with their yards or gardens. So many people in Asheville neighborhoods garden as a past time and the fruits of their labor puts smiles on my face. I also appreciate that when I walk, I see things that I don't see while on a bike or definitely not in my car. 

    Just this weekend, while in a fog of losing yet another student to senseless gun violence, I took a hike on the mountains to see trail. There are several sections that I really enjoy this time of year because of the bubbling brooks and wildflowers. I ran into a neighbor who lived next to me when I was a child. Together we hiked and talked for nearly an hour. Catching up with Jean Ye, hearing and sharing our lives' ups and downs, helped brighten my mood and reminded me that even in the midst of enormous loss, relationships matter. 


  • Sarah Duffer 4/25/2018 10:19 AM
    This rainforest food ecochallenge was kinda devastating to me... it forced me to come to terms with some consumption habits that I really love. For example, I really enjoy my $3.29/bag Cafe Bustello coffee every morning. I have now finished off the last of my beloved Bustello and have bought rainforest certified (look for the frog) coffee. I'll do the same with another habit... chocolate


    I am also SHOCKED by how much prepackaged food has Palm Oil. Last week an AP student, Peyton, and I gave blood side by side with the American Red Cross. Peyton and I looked over every snack they offered and EACH ONE had palm oil in it! UGH! 

    Seeing how palm oil is in everything gives me another reason to make more snack food at home... I'll see health and economic benefits as well. 
  • Sarah Duffer 4/25/2018 10:09 AM
    Single use items really burn me up. I try to practice the 5 R's whenever I can... which start with REFUSING single-use items which are often plastics. I make a point to bring my own plate, cup, and dining ware to events I know I'll be eating at (thank you AHS PTO, shout out to the DeBruhl family reunion!). I don't use vegetable bags at the grocery store... I mean it's okay for veggies to touch... they'll touch on the cutting board, in the wok, and in my stomach! 

    Prepackaged produce is one my of my greatest sources of plastic single use items. I can do better of selecting the unpacked broccoli instead of the plastic wrapped one... or just opting away completely from prepackaged produce. 
  • Sarah Duffer 4/25/2018 10:05 AM
    I think my food and beverage choices likely have the greatest shifted impact elsewhere. I learned that my daily coffee habit it likely a cause of tropical deforestation (so sad to empty the last of my Cafe Bustello) so I have switched to rainforest certified coffee. This choice will cost me more money... so I can see myself decreasing my daily habit which will help my bank account and carbon emissions. 

    There are so many activities in American culture, like driving a car, that have negative externalities associated with them. So I live close to work, plan trips to reduce driving, and try to walk, bike, and carpool whenever I can. 
  • Sarah Duffer 4/25/2018 9:52 AM
    Asheville is so fortunate to have many small scale, sustainable farms that focus on soil health, reducing soil erosion while decreasing or eliminating the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Even our local grocery retailer, Ingles, is going a better job of sourcing produce and meats locally. 


  • Sarah Duffer 4/25/2018 9:49 AM
    After researching the differences in best by, use by, and sell by dates I have greatly reduced the amount of food I've tossed in the trash or the compost bin. 

    I'd rather spend money on fun things like travel, clothes, going out with friends and family, etc. Even spending money on repairs and upgrades around my house are better than wasting money and food to the trash can and the compost bin. 

    Reducing food waste is the #3 solution to drawing down our carbon emissions... this is a solution that every single person on this planet can practice every single day.