Lori Gates


"Live responsibly on planet Earth. Give back to my community. "

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 752 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    spent learning

Lori's Actions


Research Cement Alternatives

#36 Alternative Cement

I will spend at least 30 minutes researching cement alternatives that reduce the carbon footprint of concrete.

One-Time Action


Research and Consider Switching to a Hybrid or Electric Vehicle

#26 Electric Vehicles

I will spend at least 60 minutes researching and weighing my options to see if a hybrid or electric vehicle makes sense for my lifestyle.

One-Time Action


Learn About & Practice Sustainable Fashion

Multiple Materials Solutions

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

One-Time Action


Learn More about Regenerative Agriculture

#11 Regenerative Agriculture

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

One-Time Action


Learn More about Silvopasture

#9 Silvopasture

I will spend at least 45 minutes watching videos and/or reading about the environmental benefits of silvopasture.

One-Time Action


Support pollinators

Take an action to support our planet's pollinators. Learn about bees and butterflies. Make your yard more attractive to pollinators by planting native plants or reducing chemicals. Sign up for the Backyard Habitats Certification program. Share what you've learned.

One-Time Action


Support Organic Growing Methods

#65 Nutrient Management

I will buy organic cotton and foods grown without the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers.



Watch 'The Story of Plastics' movie

This movie is recently released and talks about how plastics got to be as prevalent as it is now, and how plastic use is driven by the producers, not the consumer.

One-Time Action


Learn the Truth About Expiration Dates

#3 Reduced Food Waste

I will spend at least 15 minutes learning how to differentiate between sell by, use by, and best by dates.

One-Time Action

Electricity Generation

Learn about Roof Top Solar

I attended a 1 1/2 hour online presentation on rooftop solar thru Solar Oregon. I attended so I could learn more about what it takes to put in solar panels, about how much it costs, and other information.

One-Time Action

Women and Girls

Research Barriers to Participation and Representation

#6 Educating Girls, #7 Family Planning, #62 Women Smallholders

I will spend at least 30 minutes learning more about the barriers to women's equal participation and representation around the world.

One-Time Action


Protect our watershed - learn and do

The Tualatin watershed is crucial to our community's well-being. Learn more about the conservation and restoration activities of the past and present that are ensuring the health of our watershed. Pick an action from the following options: 1) Switch to organic or slow-release fertilizers, 2) Replace a non-permeable surface with a permeable one, 3) Always pick up after pets (if you notice a location, park, or greenspace with a pet waste problem, find a way to improve the disposal infrastructure), 4) Plant tough/hardy plants that require little or no extra water/fertilizer, 5) Use roof water or greywater in the garden instead of having it run directly to the street or down the drain.

One-Time Action



The history of recycling programs is complex. Much of the confusion about what is and isn't recyclable started decades ago. Take some time time to learn about the evolution of plastic recycling efforts. Click 'learn more' for suggested videos and articles.

One-Time Action


Keep Track of Wasted Food

#3 Reduced Food Waste

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


Land Use

Research Peatlands

#13 Peatlands

I will spend 15 minutes researching the environmental benefits of peatlands and what is being done around the world to conserve and restore them.

One-Time Action


  • Reflection Question
    Land Use Research Peatlands
    Much of Indonesia's peatlands have been drained so they could be replaced with palm oil or pulp and paper plantations. How can you make choices that help to protect peatlands, even if you live far away from one?

    Lori Gates 5/22/2020 12:34 PM
    I can help protect peatlands by not purchasing products with palm oil. I can also purchase paper that is made from recycled material, or is made from alternate materials such as straw, bamboo, or hemp.  I can also try to go as paperless as possible, including refusing to buy disposable paper products (paper napkins, paper towels).   There are also ways that I can help promote and publicize alternatives to paper products, and I can learn how to support organizations that will help to protect peatlands.  

  • Lori Gates 5/18/2020 3:29 PM
    Those of you who like to go for walks, if you live near Hillsboro, OR you should come and visit Noble Woods Park.  Its so beautiful there with all the tall trees and forest setting, and currently there are several native plants flowering, This include 2 types of roses (pink and white), orange trumpet honeysuckle, and several others. This is a popular park for dog walkers, and just walkers in general (no bikes are allowed), but the number of people go down alot when its rainy like today. In this stressful world with all the strains on the environment, this local nature park is one of the places I go to destress, breathe deeply and enjoy being outside in nature.
    20200515_orangeTrumpetHoneysuckle.jpg 2.04 MB
  • Reflection Question
    Transport Research and Consider Switching to a Hybrid or Electric Vehicle
    Reducing (or eliminating) exhaust emissions and improving public health are two benefits of green vehicles. What other motivators inspire you to consider switching to a more fuel-efficient vehicle?

    Lori Gates 5/16/2020 6:05 PM
    One of the reasons I want a green vehicle is to use less of our limited supply of oil.  I'll also have less of a guilty conscience when I travel by car.  Another motivation is to be able to show people that living greener is doable.  The more people see that it can be done, the more likely people will adopt green habits.

    • Lori Gates 5/18/2020 1:33 PM
      I have loved my Toyota Prius but it is time for an all-electric. Jane, I'm glad you like your Nissan Leaf. I am considering the Chevy Bolt. Also wondering about the Kia Niro or the Hyundai Kona. The next steps are some test drives but I'm not feeling ready to get out and about yet.

    • Jane Burch-Pesses 5/17/2020 11:08 AM
      It can be done!  I love my Nissan Leaf (though if I were buying this year instead of in 2015, I might buy the Chevy Bolt).
  • Reflection Question
    Women and Girls Research Barriers to Participation and Representation
    What are some of the barriers that exist to women's equal participation and/or representation in your community?

    Lori Gates 5/16/2020 6:00 PM
    Interesting question, so I did a little reading. One article said women are less likely to get loans to start businesses, that women lack testosterone and therefore may be less likely to take risks, and that women may have less confidence.  I've also read that women are more likely to get passed over for promotions.  In my last job, most of the lower paying jobs were women but most of the managerial jobs were men.  When I was growing up decades ago, women did not get offered any sports until it became law. The girls could be "cheerleaders" but they couldn't play sports.

    • Jane Burch-Pesses 5/17/2020 11:13 AM
      What's interesting to me is how barriers can drop when attitudes change.  It used to be that boys did better on average on standardized testing in math and girls did better on average on standardized testing in reading. When it became clear that weak math skills were keeping girls from choosing science careers, and then it became unacceptable to say, "Girls are not good at math," the gap between boys and girls in standardized testing in math shrank hugely.  (I'm not sure there is a gap anymore.)  Yet, I have not heard about the gap in reading going away.  Can't help but wonder why.
  • Reflection Question
    Materials Research Cement Alternatives
    Concrete is a good example of a material that most of us encounter every day, but its carbon footprint may not be obvious. What other everyday materials might have a large carbon footprint? How can you find out more?

    Lori Gates 5/07/2020 12:09 PM
    Well my first thought was that metal likely has a large carbon footprint because it has to be mined. I also wondered about glass, since we use it so much for windows. To learn more you can always use my friend Google.  :-)   Here is just one interesting article I found which compared carbon footprints of various metals and compared different types of synthetic materials such as plastics and resins: https://www.chizel.io/blogs/energy-consumption-carbon-footprint-of-different-materials/

  • Lori Gates 5/07/2020 11:02 AM
    20200507_095439[1].jpg 5.46 MB
    This is a corner of my backyard where I have some native flowers blooming. This morning I watched a hummingbird and some bees feeding off the flowers. Its satisfying to know I am helping the pollinators.

    • Jane Burch-Pesses 5/09/2020 9:31 AM
      You are very welcome!  This is the kind of sharing that I really enjoy!  Not everyone is into native plants (sad to say).

    • Lori Gates 5/08/2020 7:13 PM
      Thank you, Jane, for the heads up on geum. I was worried about it when I saw how quickly it spread, but I didn't see any warnings about it in my books. But I'll keep the prickles in mind.

    • Jane Burch-Pesses 5/08/2020 8:47 AM
      Hi, Lori. Thanks for the info!  I used to have geum but when it goes to seed the prickles are small, very sharp and multitudinous!  So unpleasant that I pulled it out.  I probably should have planted it in a more out of the way place.  Loved the flowers, though.  I haven't planted fringe cup yet, but would like to. 

      I like Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast a lot.  It's more of a field guide and not all the plants listed are native because they also list plants that have naturalized.

      I also have a large reference book on native plants but I am more interested in what people are growing and how they like them.  In Nature's Best Hope he is not listing native plants but talking about what they do for us and their importance - very interesting.

    • Lori Gates 5/07/2020 8:09 PM
      The flowers in the front that are yellow are geum. I likely planted the first one, but they have spread over the wetter parts of my backyard and I like that. The plants behind the geum that have creamish flowers are fringecup. Those don't seem to spread. The tall bush is a native blue elderberry, it grew tall in just a few years. It has cream flowers that are just barely beginning to form. The plant in the far back that is almost as high as the fence is a black twinberry. You can't tell in the photo as the flowers are fading, but it has yellow flowers that the pollinators really like. 

      Thanks for the book reference, Jane. My favorite reference book for native plants is "Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast" by Pojar and Mackinnon. It has color photos and besides telling you all about the plant and its growing conditions, it also tells you how the native peoples used the plant in their daily lives.

    • Jane Burch-Pesses 5/07/2020 12:28 PM
      What are the names of your native flowers?  I love native plants. you might enjoy reading Nature's Best Hope.  He talks a lot about native plants.

  • Lori Gates 5/03/2020 3:19 PM
    I recently watched an online seminar about rooftop solar that was hosted by Solar Oregon. http://solaroregon.org/  This is a non-profit that provides resources to help people adopt solar. The seminar was very useful and told me what things to consider when choosing a system. I learned I should have a 'newer' roof to install it on. Since my roof is 30 years old, I need to replace my roof before I get rooftop panels. There is an interesting seminar on June 4th I am looking forward to that talks about solar shingles, which combines solar with the roofing material itself.
  • Reflection Question
    Food Learn the Truth About Expiration Dates
    How does knowing the difference between use by, sell by, and best by dates empower you to make better decisions?

    Lori Gates 5/03/2020 12:29 PM
    Knowing the difference between 'use by', 'sell by' and 'best by' lets me reduce food waste. Instead of throwing away food that is beyond any of those dates, I can now realize that except for infant formula, they are not safety dates. The food may still be nutritious and safe to eat. It just may be beyond peak freshness. If the food is older I need to use my eyes and nose to help determine if I should eat the food.
  • Reflection Question
    Food Support Organic Growing Methods
    It is often said that “you can’t feed the world with just organic food.” What is your response to that statement?

    Lori Gates 5/02/2020 7:06 PM
    My response to that statement is that the law of supply and demand will apply here. Producers are seeing that more and more people are requesting their food to be organic, therefore more organic food is available now than there was even a few years ago.  People are realizing the problems that chemicals are causing their food systems.

    • Jane Burch-Pesses 5/03/2020 10:30 AM
      Small scale organic farmers can feed lots of people and make a living.  They definitely won't get rich, but for many people this kind of farming is a calling, not just a job.

    • Jane Burch-Pesses 5/03/2020 10:29 AM
      I think that is often said by traditional large scale commercial farmers.  The analyses that I have read state that, not only can it be done, it creates employment.  What traditional large scale commercial farmers mean is, you can't make as much money per acre with organic farming, precisely because it requires more employees instead of more toxic chemicals.
  • Reflection Question
    Food 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?

    Lori Gates 4/29/2020 2:31 PM
    Regenerative agriculture keeps the soil healthier which prevents erosion.  It helps the soil retain moisture and nutrients and support life. This brings animals, birds, insects, etc to the land. The soil also is able to store carbon from the air, which reduces global warming.