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Audrey Goodman

Low Energy Enthusiasts

"Climate change is driven by emissions produced by humans, and it is us humans who must make urgent and immediate changes to fight the climate crisis. We burn fossil fuels, chop down forests, and contribute to rising temperatures, extreme weather, long wildfire seasons, and negative impacts on health. If we act today, we can slow climate change and allow for future generations to appreciate what we call our home."

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 326 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    1
    documentaries
    watched
  • up to
    245
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    8
    meatless or vegan meals
    consumed

Audrey's Actions

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Reduce Animal Products

Plant-Rich Diets

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

COMPLETED 3
DAILY ACTIONS

Land Sinks

Research Peatlands

Peatland Protection and Rewetting

I will spend 30 minutes researching the environmental benefits of peatlands and what is being done around the world to conserve and restore them.

Completed
One-Time Action

Coastal, Ocean, and Engineered Sinks

Learn about Biochar

Biochar Production

I will spend 30 minute(s) learning about biochar and how it can help sequester carbon.

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 1
DAILY ACTION

Transportation

Research and Consider Switching to a Hybrid or Electric Vehicle

Electric Cars, Hybrid Cars

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 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

Action Track: Healing & Renewal

Eat Mindfully

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

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Action Track: Building Resilience

Support Nutrient Management

Nutrient Management

I will research and support local farmers who have made the decision to not use synthetic nitrogen fertilizers.

Completed
One-Time Action

Feed

  • Reflection Question
    Action Track: Healing & Renewal Eat Mindfully
    Mindful eating is healthier for us than eating with distractions. How does your eating experience differ when practicing mindfulness?

    Audrey Goodman's avatar
    Audrey Goodman 5/22/2021 4:55 PM
    In this challenge, I focused on eating my meals without distractions such as my phone, computer, TV, or newspaper, also known as mindful eating, which is a healthier way to eat. With the food insecurity that exists, it is disheartening to read that approximately a third of the world’s food is never eaten. Not only is this a shame because of the many people across the world who do not have enough food, but also it means that the land and resources used and greenhouse gases emitted in producing this food were unnecessary and a waste. Resources such as seeds, water, energy, land, fertilizer, labor, and financial capital all go down the drain when the food goes uneaten, and contributes to about 8% of global emissions. For these reasons, interventions to reduce food loss and waste are important, both in low-income and high-income countries. In low-income countries, food waste is often unintentional, with food rotting on farms or spoiling during storage and distribution. Improvements in the infrastructure used for storage, processing, and transportation can help reduce this food waste. In comparison, in high-income countries food waste tends to be willful by retailers and consumers, who reject food that is not up to their standard quality, as well as who buy and serve too much food. This type of food waste can be targeted with interventions that promote national food waste policies and encourage change.

    Mindful eating is one way to reduce food waste as an individual, as well as help improve eating habits in general. By eating mindfully, I am able to understand better when I am full, as I am not distracted, and also encourages me to eat slower which helps with digestion. In my research about mindful eating, I found that it is important and helpful to help focus and try to experience the flavor, texture and taste of the food that I am eating. By meal prepping and avoiding eating directly out of the container, this can also help me eat more mindfully. The idea of mindfulness, not only in eating, is to be fully aware of what is happening within and around you at a certain moment in time. During this challenge, I made an effort to be more mindful. Today, I ate breakfast on my balcony. It was really peaceful and relaxing to start my morning by sitting outside, with the birds chirping and the sun shining. After going on a hike, my roommates and I all came back and ate lunch together. For the most part, we’ll eat lunch on our own times, which often means I look at my phone during lunch and am not eating mindfully. However, it was really nice to sit and chat with my roommates during lunch, and I noticed I ate much slower and appreciated the food more. Finally, for dinner, my roommates and I decided to all make dinner together and put our phones away for the time, appreciating each other’s company. I have begun to incorporate mindful eating into my everyday life more often, because I do notice that I eat slower, appreciate and notice the flavor of my food, and don’t feel attached to my phone at all times.

    Below is the view from my balcony, where we have a little table and a beautiful view of campus and Royce Hall! It's not a bad spot at all to practice mindful eating.


    • Nora Clarkowski's avatar
      Nora Clarkowski 5/23/2021 4:19 PM
      Nice work Audrey!

      Hearing that approximately a third of the world’s food is never eaten, I am left feeling a bit guilt of how much I take food for granted. Although I have been working on practicing mindful eating through this class, I still catch myself snacking while studying or watching a show with no thought of what I am eating, or honestly if I am even hungry. I have also recently been trying to eat more meals outside like you did with your breakfast on your balcony. Feeling the fresh air while eating mindfully adds a new level to the experience. This makes me not only grateful for the food in front of me, but the environment I am in and the nice weather I am lucky to experience here in LA.

      As a freshmen at UCLA, I have a meal plan with meal swipes. Each quarter this year, I have ended up with a lot of leftover swipes that just go back to the school. Although this is good in that the food is not wasted, I also wish that there was a better way for me to use the swipes/ money for a better cause. I have done some research into ways to give my swipes out to those in need and came across "Swipe out Hunger." "Swipe out Hunger" was founded in 2010 by UCLA students who wanted to find a way to do something better with their leftover meal swipes. According to their website, "We implement and support commonsense and innovative solutions to campus hunger, including our flagship program, “The Swipe Drive,” where students with extra dining hall meal swipes can donate them to their peers." I think this is such a great idea and a much better way to use up my swipes than to just waste them on extra pints of ice cream or fruit that I don't need anyway. After gaining more education on this topic and about "Swipe out Hunger," I see myself donating to this cause in the future. 

      Making dinner with your friends and enjoying a meal together sounds so nice! In the past when my friends and I have made a fun dinner together and all helped to cook it has been such a fun experience. Not only do I think it helps to build relationships/ friendships, but cooking with people creates a more mindful space for everyone involved, especially when phones and other distractions and put away and all that is there is the food and each others company. This summer I hope to be able to do this with some of my friends from home when I visit them!
  • Reflection Question
    Electricity Watch a Video about Methane Digesters
    What does your vision of a sustainable community look like? What would need to be changed in order for such vision to become reality?

    Audrey Goodman's avatar
    Audrey Goodman 5/22/2021 4:07 PM
    In this challenge, I watched a video about methane digesters, also known as anaerobic digesters, and also did further research on these digesters, considering how they can contribute to a more sustainable community. Methane digesters help control decomposition of organic waste, converting methane emissions into biogas and digestate. This was very interesting to learn about, as it was something I did not have a knowledge of previously. Methane digesters are an important alternative, as agricultural, industrial, and human digestion processes create an ongoing and growing amount of organic refuse. This type of waste and emissions lead to the release of methane gases during decomposition, which is detrimental to the environment, as methane can create a warming effect that is 34 times stronger than carbon dioxide over a period of one hundred years. I was surprised by just how significant this is. Methane digestion, on the other hand, uses the power of microbes to transform scraps into two products mentioned above, biogas and digestate. Biogas is an alternative fuel and energy source that can be used to replace dirty fossil fuels for heating and electricity generation. Additionally, if biogas is cleaned of contaminants, it can also be used in vehicles that typically use natural gas. Digestate is a nutrient-rich fertilizer that can be used to replace fossil fuel-based fertilizers, and it also contributes to the improvement of soil health. The digestion process of anaerobic digesters can continue constantly, as long as feedstock supplies are sustained and the microbes have their needs met. I watched a video on how Michigan State is trying to meet the university’s growing energy needs, but also wants to reduce the negative environmental consequences of power generation. To reach this goal, they are working on a project with an anaerobic digester, and I think it is a project that many other schools and institutions could follow.

    Anaerobic digesters contribute to the idea and vision of a sustainable community. In a sustainable community, I envision a community in which the people all work together to strive for good health, a high quality of life, and maintenance of the environment. It requires acknowledgement of the relationships between the economy, environment, and social issues, and the goal to support the local resources that exist in the community and minimize waste. I think there are many different aspects that contribute to a sustainable community, especially with the research I have done so far about the climate crisis, environmental concerns, and actions that can be taken to reduce our carbon footprint. A sustainable community requires the majority of the community to be committed to action, both on an individual level as well as an institutional level. Being sustainable does not mean individuals have to compromise their ways of life, and there can still be innovation and creation by big industries, but it requires the effort to protect our natural environment as well as human and ecological health. Below is a picture of the local community garden in my hometown, which I think is one small step that can be taken to reach a goal of being a sustainable community, although my hometown still has a ways to go.

  • Reflection Question
    Industry Practice the 5 R's
    What are some more "R's" you could add to your daily practice to reduce your waste?

    Audrey Goodman's avatar
    Audrey Goodman 5/22/2021 3:20 PM
    In this challenge, I learned about and practiced the “5 Rs”, which include refusing, reducing, reusing, repurposing, and recycling, and help reduce waste in many more ways than simply recycling. In fact, recycling is actually considered the last resort step, as the recycling infrastructure we currently have is actually quite limited. Therefore it is important to follow the other Rs in order to help the environment and reduce the amount of waste we produce. Producing new products from recovered materials is a good step and better than producing new things from scratch, as it requires fewer raw resources and less energy, but it is not possible for all products and still requires energy. Since waste production has multiplied tenfold over the last 100 years and is continuing to increase, likely to double again by 2025, we must take action now. Although the collection, transport, and processing of recycling are largely powered by fossil fuels, recycling does help reduce extraction, minimize other pollutants, and create jobs.

    In terms of the 5 Rs, I recognized things I am already doing as well as learned new ways to reduce my waste. One of the big things I think I could improve on is refusing what I don’t need. I will often take freebies and other things just because I don’t want to say no or because I think, “why not?”, but these things often just go to waste. If I can prevent waste from entering my home in the first place, this greatly helps reduce my overall waste. I have become better recently about reducing what I do need by letting go of household items that are no longer of use. Recently, my family moved and got rid of many things we had been holding on to for years, making many trips to donation centers and having a yard sale. As my mom is moving into her new house, she is trying to focus on only keeping things she will truly use, and I have been working to do the same. Reusing is one of the Rs that I think I do well with. I try to avoid disposables, using reusable grocery bags, reusable water bottles, reusable metal straws, and other things in order to avoid disposable alternatives. During my research, one of the things that I have not thought of was reusable cutlery, which is something I am definitely going to look into. Recycling and composting are good ways to avoid things going straight to landfills, although it is important to be aware of the true process of recycling, which is something I definitely learned more about during this challenge.

    Below is a picture of my reusable grocery bags, water bottle that I always take with me, and straws, all permanent alternatives to plastic options! My roommates and I also wash and reuse glass containers that we have bought from the store (such as from pasta sauce or a pickle jar), taking off the labels and using them to store leftovers or as coffee mugs.


    • Caitlin Tanji's avatar
      Caitlin Tanji 5/24/2021 2:07 AM
      Hi Audrey! I enjoyed reading your post about the “5 Rs.” I actually didn’t know that the 5 Rs were refusing, reducing, reusing, repurposing, and recycling. I do remember learning about the 3 Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle) in elementary school. I think it’s great that schools discuss sustainability, but my school would heavily emphasize recycling so I was pretty shocked when you mentioned that recycling must be viewed as the last option. Instead, we should consider the other 4 Rs first. You mentioned that a step you would like to take is refusing what you don’t need and getting rid of old items in your house. Similarly, I recently donated three bags of clothes to be reused by other people, but if I had more creative abilities and time, I think it would be a great idea to upcycle clothes or repurpose them for other household items! Last quarter, I hosted a philanthropy event for a UCLA organization where we braided old t-shirts to create dog toys for a local animal shelter. If you have any other ideas on how to repurpose t-shirts, please let me know! I also did my senior capstone project on the cost of fast fashion and researched the environmental impacts of the fashion industry. I was very shocked to learn about how fashion contributes to textile waste and pollution. In addition to repurposing such as creating dog toys from old t-shirts, I think limiting purchases would definitely help. In addition, I think reusing is one of the easiest Rs to do. Instead of using disposable items, I use my hydroflask, bring my own metal straw, and bring my own reusable bags. I think these are obvious reusable items, so I want to go an extra step and think of other items that I could replace. For example, I want to look into reusable napkins and reduce my ziploc usage. I remember seeing Tamar bring her own reusable produce bags to the grocery store, so I plan to sew my own fabric bags and use them, too! I think this is a great idea, but I just didn’t know it was something people did. Therefore, I believe awareness and educating others about the 5Rs and sustainable alternatives would reduce the amount of plastic waste produced.
  • Reflection Question
    Land Sinks 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?

    Audrey Goodman's avatar
    Audrey Goodman 5/21/2021 5:27 PM
    In this challenge, I spent time researching the environmental benfits of peatlands and why it is important to conserve and restore them. This was a very interesting challenge for me, because I did not know much about peatlands at all and their importance to the ecosystem. Peatlands are made of peat, which is a substance that is made of dead and decomposing plant matter, developing over hundreds or thousands of years as wetland vegetation decays beneath a living layer of flora and in the near absence of oxygen. I was shocked to find out that although these ecosystems only cover approximately 3% of the earth’s land area, they are second only to oceans in the amount of carbon they store. Peatlands are a powerful way to manage the global greenhouse gases we are experiencing, due to their role as carbon sinks. However, due to their extremely high carbon content, they can become powerful greenhouse chimneys if disrupted, which is why it is so important to protect them through land preservation and fire prevention. Once the peat is degraded, it only takes a few years to release all of the greenhouse gases it has stored, as once exposed to air, the carbon it contains gets oxidized into carbon dioxide. This is one of the main reasons why conservation of these areas is so essential.

    It is important to note that 85% of the world’s peatlands are still intact. However, we must preserve these ecosystems due to how essential they are. Peatlands contribute to preserving global biodiversity, provide safe drinking water, minimize flood risk, and help reduce emissions that are contributing to the climate crisis. They provide vital ecosystem services, regulating water flows to reduce the risk of flooding and drought and preventing seawater intrusion. They also contribute to supplying food, fiber and other local products that help sustain local economies. Finally, they help preserve important ecological and archaeological information such as pollen records and human artifacts. In my research, I found that much of Indonesia’s peatlands are being drained in order to be replaced with palm oil or pulp and paper plantations. Forestry, farming, and fuel-extraction are threats to the carbon-rich peatlands. As a consumer, it is important to be aware of what is in the products I am buying and consuming, and make a conscious effort to avoid products such as palm oil. Supporting peatland conservation and restoration can also contribute to significant emissions reductions. I also found out that peatland covers 20% of Scotland’s lands, but 80% of Scotland’s peatlands are degraded in some way. I’ve traveled to Scotland before, and didn’t even realize how important these ecosystems were. Below is a picture of a peatland in Scotland, an area that I traveled through when studying abroad.
  • Reflection Question
    Transportation 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?

    Audrey Goodman's avatar
    Audrey Goodman 5/21/2021 4:22 PM
    In this challenge, I spent time researching and considering why a hybrid or electric vehicle would be beneficial for certain lifestyles. I actually thought this challenge was very interesting, as although I am not currently looking to buy a car, my mom just bought a car and this was an influential factor in her decision. As she was considering what type of car to get, I helped research and weigh the possible options, looking into hybrid and electric vehicles. This research further emphasized how hybrid and electric vehicles help reduce or even eliminate exhaust emissions, leading to improved public health and benefits to the environment. When my mom finally decided on which car she was going to buy, she chose a hybrid vehicle, as it is very fuel-efficient but still is practical for doing road trips for work conferences and such.

    I learned that the first electric vehicle prototype was built in 1828, which surprised me, since internal combustion engines have been so dominant until recent years. However, the challenge with electric vehicles is to make a good, lightweight, durable battery that has a decent range. The idea of “range anxiety” plagues many people who are considering purchasing electric cars, as it did with my mom, as there is some concern about how far the car can go on a single charge, especially for people who need to drive many miles for things such as work. I was impressed to learn that there are more than one million electric vehicles on the road in the United States, and this number is just going to continue to increase, which will help the atmosphere. This is because in comparison to gasoline-powered vehicles, emissions drop by 50% if the power comes from the conventional grid and drop by 95% if powered by solar energy. Auto and oil business models are being threatened by electric vehicles, due to the fact that electric vehicles are simpler to make, have fewer moving parts, and require little maintenance and no fossil fuels.

    When I purchase a car some time in the future, I will definitely consider a hybrid or electric vehicle if it makes sense with my lifestyle. These cars help the environment by reducing emissions, because they can be powered by electricity from renewable sources, in comparison with gas which is produced through extraction and transportation processes. Additionally, the large battery inside the electric car can be recycled. This leads to improvement in public health, which will impact my future career as a pediatrician as I will undoubtedly see the effects of pollution in my practice. An electric car can also reduce or even go as far as eliminate fuel costs, and with the gas prices exceptionally high recently, this is an important thing to consider. Finally, electric vehicles also provide the opportunity to become energy independent, as people can even install a rooftop solar installation to charge their vehicle. Below is a picture of the hybrid car my mom bought (a car is necessary in her lifestyle, and she was forced to buy a new car after someone totaled her old car in a crash), and she’s already noticed how much money she has saved on gas!

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

    Audrey Goodman's avatar
    Audrey Goodman 5/11/2021 5:13 PM
    In this challenge, I will spend time learning about biochar and how it can help sequester carbon, which is something I do not have a lot of background knowledge on. Biochar is a substance that is made by burning biomass through a process called pyrolysis, and during this process, organic materials are burned with very little oxygen. This leads to the retention of most of the feedstock’s carbon, and the biochar can be buried for sequestration of carbon as well as enrich the soil. Reading about biochar was very interesting, as I learned this process of pyrolysis was actually used in ancient Amazonia. The waste disposal method was to bury and burn, as the wastes were baked beneath a layer of soil to produce a charcoal soil, what we now call biochar, that was rich in carbon. The name for this soil was terra preta soil, and nowadays it covers approximately 10% of the Amazon basin and is responsible for retaining impressive amounts of carbon. I had not previously heard of this process and it was extremely interesting to learn about just how effective biochar is at retaining carbon, as commonly-made waste material, such as peanut shells, rice straw, and wood scraps, can all be made into biochar. Throughout the baking process, gas and oil are separated from carbon-rich soils. It was also promising to discover the potential biochar provides for both agriculture and the atmosphere.

    Biochar is not only useful for the sequestration of carbon, but can also be used to enrich soil and contribute to agriculture. In terms of carbon, when biomass is decomposed on the earth’s surface, carbon and methane are released into the atmosphere. In comparison, the carbon in biochar can be held for centuries, even up to 1000 years, in the soil, leading to a great delay in the return of the carbon to the atmosphere. For these reasons, it is thought that biochar could theoretically sequester billions of tons of carbon dioxide every year, which would significantly make a difference. In terms of other benefits that biochar can provide, there is evidence that biochar can also contribute to improvements in soil structure, soil pH, soil water-holding capacity, and nutrient levels. Due to the way it alters the soil structure, it also can reduce the amount of fertilizer runoff in agricultural lands. This man-made soil is not only like a carbon sink, but reduces the risk of decreased crop yield during dry seasons. I have researched the effects of nitrogen fertilizer in another challenge, which tend to be negative, and biochar can help decrease the need for these chemical fertilizers containing nitrogen and phosphorus. Nitrogen and sulfur are more likely to be retained in terra preta soil, also reducing emissions. Other environmental benefits include the contribution of reestablishment of vegetation on sterile ground, and inhibition of the growth of molds or mildews. Overall, it is now evident to me how much biochar could make a difference on our environment, and I am looking forward to researching more ways in which we can encourage the use of biochar in agriculture. I also did some research on how accessible biochar is, and it was interesting to see you can easily go to your local Home Depot or Target to buy biochar if you are planning on planting new plants.

  • Reflection Question
    Action Track: Building Resilience Support Nutrient Management
    How does environmental quality influence your sense of community?

    Audrey Goodman's avatar
    Audrey Goodman 5/10/2021 1:18 PM
    In this challenge, I will research and support local farmers who have made the decision to not use synthetic nitrogen fertilizers. While doing my research, I discovered how impactful the use of nitrogen fertilizers is on our environment. Nitrogen fertilizers are often used in agricultural systems because they improve the productive capacity, as crops take up the synthetic nitrogen and then increase the growth and yield. However, the use of nitrogen fertilizers, although beneficial at times for farmers, can lead to many negative consequences. These issues include the chemical destruction of organic matter in soil, the seeping of nitrogen into waterways, which can create algal blooms and oxygen-depleted oceanic dead zones, as well as major fish kills, and contribution to global warming, as the bacteria in the soil can convert nitrate fertilizers into nitrous oxide. This nitrous oxide is 298 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in its warming effect, showing how significant this can be. I was unaware of these effects that nitrogen fertilizers had on the environment, making me realize how curbing these emissions and reducing the energy-intensive fertilizer production is another way we can help take steps to slow the climate crisis that is occurring.

    The article I read discussed there are “four Rs” to more efficiently manage the nitrogen that is used as fertilizer, and these steps can help with the overuse of nitrogen fertilizers. The first solution is to find the right source, which means to focus on matching fertilizer choices with plant needs. The next step is to fertilize at the right time and right place, meaning that it is important to manage fertilizer applications and if using nitrogen fertilizers, deliver the nitrogen when and where the crop demand is the highest. Finally, it is important to fertilize at the right rate, and take steps to avoid over-application of fertilizers as “insurance” for crop success. These steps do not require farmers to undertake a new practice or install a new technology, instead encouraging farmers to reduce their inputs, which is a manageable request. Additionally, with education, assistance, incentives, and regulation, adoption of these practices can be accelerated. However, the solution that will make the most impact to nutritional management is rotational, regenerative land practices that will eliminate most need for synthetic nitrogen. This solution is difficult to enforce today, as farmers are often looking for the greatest outputs. If fertilizer overuse was reduced on a total of 380-817 million hectares of farmland by 2050, compared to the estimated 139 million hectares currently, it may be possible to avoid nitrous oxide emissions that equal 2.3-12.1 gigatons of carbon dioxide. These numbers, seemingly massive, were very impressive to me, yet when I think about just how much farmland exists, and the amount of carbon dioxide emissions currently, it is something that could be plausible if farmers invested in this idea. Actual investment would not be required; in fact, farmers could save $23-70.8 billion from reducing their fertilizer costs.

    The identity of individuals is often influenced by where they reside, and when an individual’s identity is linked to their community, they are more likely to engage in environmentally responsible behaviors. This is probably because the environment directly affects health status and plays a role in quality of life. Attending things like local farmers markets, where you can buy locally grown foods without nitrogen fertilizers, also allow individuals to build relationships with those at the farmers market and strengthen the sense of community. I went to a local farmers market, and had much more meaningful interactions with the people there than those at the grocery store. Below is a picture of what my friends and I purchased at the farmers market. Encouraging acts of sustainability is easier when you have a strong sense of community.


    • Ricky Ma's avatar
      Ricky Ma 5/11/2021 1:15 AM
      Hello Audrey!

      GREAT post! Wow truly outstanding. You did a very good job and I learned a lot about nitrogen, fertilizer use, and land practices. I wished I read this before completing my eco-challenge where I planted a tree! This would have made me more conscious of my actions. The fact that nitrous oxide is 298 times more powerful than CO2 in terms of the warming effect blows my mind. This is absolutely nuts and I cannot believe that these nitrogen fertilizers are not banned yet. Without it, would humanity starve? Is this the reason why this type of fertilizer is needed?  Without it, our world would suffer and starve to death?  It is really cool all of the solution that you listed within your second paragraph. I think that this information definitely needs to be spread as many people are just not aware of the consequences nor solutions available. I feel that farmers genuinely don't know about the harms of nitrogen fertilizer and if they do, they do not know what steps to take to go around it. Teaching and doing outreach will allow us to reach a wide variety of farmers or just regular people who want to plant stuff! For example, this is something that I wish I had known before I planted my plant or tree. I am not sure of what fertilizer I used nor, do I think I did anything to curb the effects of improper fertilizer use. I did not think of the implications that you mentioned about going to the farmers market! I love going there and I will continue going there. It is truly a whole community that is beautiful and heartwarming. Your statement about community and sustainability cannot be more correct. Beautiful statement. Great job!


  • Reflection Question
    Food, Agriculture, and Land Use Reduce Animal Products
    Why do people in richer countries eat more meat than people in other places? How does eating more meat affect our bodies, our planet, and other people?

    Audrey Goodman's avatar
    Audrey Goodman 4/17/2021 2:38 PM
    In this challenge, I will enjoy 2-3 meatless or vegan meals each day of the challenge. Plant-based diets and foods are things that make such a big difference, as a reduced demand for meat also reduces land clearing, burping cattle, fertilizer use, and greenhouse gas emissions. These all contribute to the climate crisis that humans have caused on the planet. If people gradually shift to a more plant-based diet, this will reduce the demand for meat, which will lead to the reduction in all mentioned above. It is interesting to consider that if cattle were their own nation, they would be the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Although I’ve heard this fact before, it is always astonishing to me and makes me realize just how many emissions are produced.

    Not only are plant-based diets better for the environment, but they also benefit the personal lives of the individual. It has been shown that plant-based diets contribute to lower rates of chronic disease. Eating more plants supports your immune system, reducing inflammation and allowing you to better absorb nutrients from your food. I’ve noticed that when I base my meals around plants, such as incorporating a lot of veggies into my meals, I often feel better and have more energy. Although I am not a vegetarian and do eat meat occasionally, I feel healthier and know that I am supporting my long-term health when I eat a mainly plant-based diet. However, it is important to note that eating and diet is heavily influenced by personal preferences and one’s culture. In developed countries, the amount of meat consumed is much higher, due to the higher demand of meat as individuals can afford to purchase meat. The cost of producing meat products is higher when compared to a plant-based diet, limiting those who can afford to purchase meat.

    In order to help make a difference in the environment, a wide range of policies will be necessary, with the possibility of restricting certain foods or guiding food choices with incentives. If we hope to be able to feed everyone within the planetary boundaries, it will require a change in agricultural practices and great efforts to reduce food loss. In one of the articles I read, it stated that in 2018 in the United STates, each person ate on average 222 pounds of red meat and poultry, which is a very impressive amount. By making changes in our diets, I think there could be great improvements in both the environment and in individual personal lives.
    In the photo attached, I included some of my favorite food items that I eat on a daily basis - lots of veggies! - as well as tofu that I usually eat instead of meat. I toss it all in the air fryer and it makes a delicious plant-based meal! I want to continue to find new ways to incorporate a variety of food into my diet, without depending on meat.

    • Audrey Goodman's avatar
      Audrey Goodman 4/17/2021 2:44 PM
      I realized my photo didn't attach in my original post, but here it is!

  • Audrey Goodman's avatar
    Audrey Goodman 4/10/2021 1:35 PM
    Entering my last quarter here at UCLA, I had one open spot for a class that didn’t need to meet any requirements for graduation. I decided on this writing class, as writing has never been one of my top strengths and I wanted to strive to improve my writing abilities. I was not sure what this class would entail, but the theme of climate change in relation to our future careers was a topic that I believe will greatly contribute to my future endeavors, as well as something that is very interesting and relevant today. Already in the first two weeks of this course, I have learned a lot of small details about the climate crisis that I was not aware of and have realized the small changes in my life that I can make to reduce my own personal carbon footprint. I think the Project Drawdown Eco Challenges are an engaging way to encourage people, including me, to think about the different ways in their life that they can make a change to help the environment, while holding people accountable for the steps they are making towards progress.

    I am here because I want to challenge myself to actually make a difference. There are often opportunities where I can make a small change, but don’t do it because of convenience or forgetfulness. After reading the articles about climate change and the consequences it will bring (and has already begun causing), as well as listening to Greta Thunberg’s talk and watching the video on how Tamar embraces a zero waste lifestyle, I am inspired to take action now. If we don’t take action today, there will not be a future for humans on this planet, which is why I want to do what I can to make a difference. I hope to be a physician in my future, and one of the reasons I am choosing this career is because I care about making a difference and helping others. I don’t only want to help others in my workplace, but in all aspects of my life. I want to build good habits that will reduce my carbon footprint, that I can share and pass on to those around me, and to make the planet inhabitable for future generations. Here’s a picture of my family (before COVID), which is very large but also who I am all very close with. I want future generations to be able to have great big families and get to explore the world like we are able to.