April 3 - April 24, 2019

Mari-Lynn Flaig

Comerica Bank

"My mission is to reduce my carbon footprint while finding more reasons to bike to work everyday."

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 645 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    meatless or vegan meals
  • up to
    travelled by bike
  • up to
    gallons of water
    have been saved
  • up to
    spent learning


Land Use

Forest-Friendly Foods 2

#5 Tropical Forests

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


Buildings and Cities

Go by Bike

#59 Bike Infrastructure

I will commute by bike 7 mile(s) per day and avoid sending up to 4.2 lbs of CO2 into Earth's atmosphere.



Install a Toilet Bank

#46 Water Saving - Home

I will reduce the amount of water flushed and save up to 11 gallons (41 L) of water per day by installing a toilet tank bank.

One-Time Challenge


Install a Low-Flow Showerhead

#46 Water Saving - Home

I will save up to 15 gallons (56 L) of water a day by installing a low-flow showerhead.

One-Time Challenge


Research Cement Alternatives

#36 Alternative Cement

I will spend at least 120 minutes researching cement alternatives that reduce the carbon footprint of concrete.

One-Time Challenge


Reduce Animal Products

#4 Plant-Rich Diet

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



  • Mari-Lynn Flaig 4/12/2019 6:19 AM
    We are still debating whether to use shells or aggregate, and still getting quotes. I am surprised at the differences in prices between the different providers of concrete, aggregate and seashells. By the way, seashells should be cheapest, but they are not always quoted as cheapest. I wonder if it is due to our region.
  • Reflection Question
    Materials Install a Low-Flow Showerhead
    What would a sustainable water future in your region look like? What needs to change?

    Mari-Lynn Flaig 4/04/2019 9:32 AM
    I installed the low flow device inside the showerhead in my son's bathroom. it looks a lot like a washer. Since I had the day off, it was done when no one was around. I'm waiting to see if he realizes something is different.

    I'm hoping he won't. Stay tuned.

    • Mari-Lynn Flaig 4/18/2019 7:13 AM
      He still has not noticed the shower head change, but he did notice the toilet tank bank. He thought the toilet was broken.

  • Mari-Lynn Flaig 4/04/2019 9:30 AM
    Since we agree to NOT plow our driveway in the winter, we've come to an agreement that a seashell driveway would be a nice way to cheaply replace the broken concrete we have now. We just have to decide what to do with the concrete, so it does not end up in a landfill.

    • Jingwen Li 4/18/2019 8:58 AM
      I was thinking about that too! But I have never heard of using seashell. There is a building in Midtown Detroit called "Green Garage", they have a "Green Alley" that use certain material to reduce flooding. That probably wont help with the handling of concrete, but it's really cool way to handle it as much as I can remember. Need to go back and learn about it again.
  • Reflection Question
    Materials Research Cement Alternatives
    Concrete is a good example of a material that most of us encounter every day, but may its carbon footprint is not obvious. What other everyday materials might have a large carbon footprint? How can you find out more?

    Mari-Lynn Flaig 3/28/2019 9:54 AM
    My husband and I have been discussing what to use to replace the broken cement driveway that was damaged during construction of our new house. I've found that using crushed seashells is a very cheap alternative, helps the water drain from the driveway better, and can give some traction in the winter. The problem is with snow plowing. it's not recommended in those areas, but we don't plow our driveway to begin with. We are still searching for alternatives, so if you have any experience, please feel free to share!
  • Reflection Question
    Materials Install a Toilet Bank
    How can your region/household prepare for changing water situations in order to become more resilient?

    Mari-Lynn Flaig 3/22/2019 11:20 AM
    I chose the install a water tank bank for this challenge. All you have to do is find a brick and fit it in the tank. My parents did that a long time ago and it worked to reduce the water consumption in the house. I'm hoping to get a water bill prior to putting the brick in so that I can compare bill to bill to see what the reduction amount really is.

    • Jingwen Li 4/18/2019 8:59 AM
      I thought about it but never did it just afraid it will break the water tank. I think I might start with a bottle of water.
  • Reflection Question
    Land Use Forest-Friendly Foods 2
    How difficult or easy was it to change your diet?

    Mari-Lynn Flaig 3/22/2019 11:18 AM
    I chose eliminating coffee and cocoa from my diet as one of my tasks this time. This challenge will probably be the hardest one for me to complete. I love chocolate and I was told that coffee is a natural anti inflammatory and it does take down the swelling in my feet if I drink a half cup of black coffee in the morning.
  • Reflection Question
    Food Reduce Animal Products
    In your opinion, what contributes to people in North America eating more meat than any other countries? What does this say about North American values and ways of living?

    Mari-Lynn Flaig 3/21/2019 11:28 AM
    In my opinion, everything we do in this culture is associate with status. Eating beef and pork often are two symbols of status. It means you have the earning  capacity to "eat well". With the price of beef as it is, it's an expensive venture, yet people are still willing to pay for it. I think we should put more emphasis on health in terms of status, so that we will eat better. How do you change a culture to accept the new idea? Here, it would be extensive marketing and media. I think this is why you see more and more exercise and healthy eating commercials, because people actually want to change.
  • Reflection Question
    Buildings and Cities Go by Bike
    How does using human-powered transportation make you feel compared to using other methods of transportation?

    Mari-Lynn Flaig 3/21/2019 11:23 AM
    When I bike to work and get home, I feel like I've done something healthy, important and fun. I love riding past others in cars that are stuck in traffic. I feel better because it gives me time to work off the stress I have from work. Most important, I sleep and eat better when I can bike to work.

  • Mari-Lynn Flaig 3/20/2019 4:37 AM
     I needed an incentive to get biking to work this spring. Let's see if this helps!