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Jake Hawley's avatar

Jake Hawley

Bruins For a Just Transition

"My name is Jake and I am looking forward to learning how to live a more eco-friendly life"

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 236 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    not traveled by car
  • up to
    traveled by carpool
  • up to
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    spent exercising
  • up to
    more servings
    of fruits and vegetables

Jake's Actions


Try Carpooling


I will commute by carpool 25 mile(s) per day and avoid sending up to (___) lbs of CO2 into Earth's atmosphere.



Reduce Single-Use Disposables


I will avoid buying and using 2 single-use plastics and instead replace them with durable options.



Upgrade My Windows


I will upgrade the windows or weatherstripping in my home or office to reduce air leaks and save on energy costs.

One-Time Action

Action Track: Healing & Renewal

More Fruits And Veggies

I will eat a heart healthy diet by adding 2 cups of fruits and vegetables each day to achieve at least 4 cups per day.


Action Track: Healing & Renewal

Go for a Daily Walk

Walkable Cities

I will take a walk for 15 minutes each day and take note of the infrastructure that makes walking more or less enjoyable, accessible, and possible.



Calculate the carbon footprint of my household

I will calculate the carbon emissions associated with my household and consider how different lifestyle choices could reduce our carbon footprint and our impact on the environment.

One-Time Action


  • Reflection Question
    Transportation Try Carpooling
    List some of the places you frequent often (work, grocery store, natural areas). Could you choose one or two days a week to schedule driving with a friend, neighbor or co-worker to these places?

    Jake Hawley's avatar
    Jake Hawley 4/11/2022 9:24 AM
    I have to admit that I would rarely drive others around for the first four years of driving. All of my driving primarily consisted of driving myself to school and work and more often than not that would be by myself. I enjoyed the peace and quiet of driving by myself and many times that would be my only time away from others. I could listen to music or just sit quietly and think about whatever was on my mind. Living in southern California everyone drives and I always assumed that was the right thing to do. Paul Hawken has started to change my mind in his book Drawdown, stating "Just 10 percent of Americans commuted jointly, despite efforts to encourage ridesharing as a way to address traffic congestion and air quality" (Hawken 145). People in Califonia struggle with things that inconvenience them. The idea of ridesharing would involve being at the liberty of someone else's driving or needing to make another stop to pick someone up. The assumption many individuals in Califonia are making is that if everyone just drives themselves then we get there when we get there, but at least it will be how I want to get there. What many people don't understand is that in the long run, ridesharing is the solution to traffic and with fewer cars, on the road, everyone will get to their destination faster. Many individuals are stuck in an older way of thinking from a time when there was little to no traffic and a drive to UCLA certainly did not take over an hour. My wife is a master's student at USC and I am a student at UCLA together we are carpooling to school multiple days per week. We are trying to cut down on our fuel use while also getting to spend more time together. It is important to change the narrative around ridesharing from one of selfishness to one of productivity. If you carpool you are able to socialize with other people or if you are using public transportation you are able to read while on the bus or train. Los Angeles is a driving culture, our movies, television shows, and personality is tied into what we drive around. We must break the cultural expectations that in order to be successful you must dive your own car. Ridesharing benefits the many elements of human existence, the key at least in California is to break the cultural stigma around not having your own car.

    • Arteen Abrishami's avatar
      Arteen Abrishami 4/11/2022 11:57 AM
      Hi Jake,

      My first thoughts upon reading your piece were that the rising gas prices are definitely helping us, as a society, to become much more open to the possibility of ride-sharing and carpooling simply due to the costs associated with not doing so. I have never been a person who asks my friends for gas money just for driving them around, and I definitely have the expectation that they wouldn't either, but it's definitely a good practice to have, if not just to be fiscally conscious. 

      As for the environmental impact, I always see the carpool lanes, and I do frequently drive with friends and family (less so recently, as I've been more and more on my own), and I also definitely find that I enjoy my times driving alone just with my own self, my own thoughts, all that stuff, and obviously music. It's a very peaceful meditative practice. Still, I can't help but think that when you have four people in your car, that is actually the direct equivalent of four people driving separately in four cars, burning four times as much gas.

      This is why on long road trips, I always make sure to carpool, if also to split the cost (which is where I break my rule - when the gas tank runs empty on the trip), and obviously, also, to use the the carpool lane. 

      I definitely feel that the carpool lane is a great incentive, but on the short term, on much shorter drives, I do feel that there is less incentive to ride share, so I do believe that there is definitely something that we could do about that.

      Otherwise, I do agree with you that people like the freedom of their own car. It's really nice to have. But if you don't, for whatever reason, that's also okay too. It just makes it harder on yourself, but obviously there's workarounds, as Professor Christensen has obviously found.
  • Reflection Question
    Industry Reduce Single-Use Disposables
    What single-use items (e.g. straws, coffee cups, vegetable bags, plastic bags) do you regularly use? What could be substituted instead?

    Jake Hawley's avatar
    Jake Hawley 4/11/2022 9:00 AM
    I am someone who for years loved to use single-use plastic bottles. I would go to the grocery store and pick us the 32 pack for my grandparents and me on a regular schedule. In the past year, I have made the effort to switch from single-use plastic bottles to reusable Nalgene bottles. My original thought was that everyone used single-use plastic bottles and therefore it was ok for me to use them as well. Every movie theater, amusement park, and birthday party would all be using single-use plastic bottles and I believe that it had no impact on the world or our way of life. I honestly thought that if so many people were doing it then it couldn't possibly be bad. After reading the article on Bioplastic in Paul Hawken's book Drawdown I have started to realize just how much a polluter Bioplastic is. Hawken states "We estimate the total production of plastics to grow from 311 million tons in 2014 to at least 792 million tons by 2050" (Hawken 169). The scary fact about the plastic crisis is that even with all the information we have the production of plastic will continue to increase. My 32 pack of plastic bottles is a minuscule number in comparison to the ramping up of production-related plastic products around the world. How can a country struggle to find clean water even be concerned with the container used to carry it? The fact is that world plastic production will only reduce if humans are willing to stop buying products that are contained using plastic. Western society is built around convenience and one thing about plastic is that it is convenient. You can walk into any grocery store and find lunch or dinner or even fruits and vegetables neatly packaged in single-serving plastic containers. Convenience is undoubtedly the number one factor driving the production of plastic. There is hope for a change as I have noticed many establishments installing refill stations for water bottles that fill so much faster than a traditional water fountain. Small implementations are the key to teaching people that they do not have to sacrifice convenience for the health of the planet. Ramping down plastic production and giving people options when switching will certainly help the overall problem. I just hope we can move quickly enough!

    • Christopher Calvin Freking's avatar
      Christopher Calvin Freking 4/11/2022 12:42 PM
      Hey Jake,

      I love your insight into the consumerist nature behind plastic. The use of plastic, in a sense, is a big convenience to individual consumers. It’s so easy to walk into the convenience store and buy a plastic bottle of soda to enjoy and toss – which I admit is a guilty pleasure of mine. In a way, it’s so ingrained into our lives – if I tried to live a day of my life without using single-use plastics, I’m sure I could get by without buying a bottle of soda or anything along those lines – but what about buying something like a pack of raw chicken at the grocery store? I’m not sure what alternative ways there are for me to acquire things like those without the use of plastic.

      These thoughts have led me to evaluate how the use of plastic is not only a reflection of individual consumerism, but also a reflection of the choices of corporations. My grocery store could probably start selling raw meat wrapped in a recyclable parchment paper of sorts – but what incentive do they have to do so? For them, plastic is cheap, easily-acquirable, and industry standard. Perhaps government incentives such as bans on plastic could help with this industry change, but again – what incentive do they have to do so? It may not be profitable in the short term, but it’s absolutely worth doing so for the long-term environment – which I think many fail to recognize.

      Here in California, we have a “ban” on plastic store grocery bags. I quote “ban” in quotation marks because instead, grocery stores charge a whopping $0.10 for each reusable plastic bag they use to bag your groceries – which many people toss anyway. When I buy $30 worth of groceries and don’t have my tote bag around, I don’t find the $0.10 to be an effective deterrent in not using grocery bags. Furthermore, I’ve noticed that many of these grocery stores still don’t carry paper bags. I question the effectiveness of legislation on environmental concerns such as the use of plastic, but continue to make my best efforts in ensuring I avoid using them.

    • Varun Hariharan's avatar
      Varun Hariharan 4/11/2022 11:02 AM
      Hey Jake,
      It’s great to hear that you’ve found ways to cut down on your consumption of single-use plastics. I do agree with you about just how scary the side-effects of disposable plastic is and that the best way for us individuals to make change is to stop buying them so that the producers don’t have as much incentive to make them. Microplastic particles have been found in the fish that we consume for a few years now, so I wasn’t terribly surprised when just last month, for the first time, a study published findings showing that 80% of people’s blood they tested showed measurable quantities of microplastic. ( It is quite sad to see such a beautiful world be ruined for the sake of minor enhancements to our convenience, especially when there are plenty of alternatives out there. Your use of reusable bottles is a perfect example of those alternatives. One particular example of an alternative that Paul Hawken mentioned in Drawdown is the use of bamboo, which I believe could serve as a great replacement for many materials filling our oceans and landfills.
      Bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world, some species of which are capable of growing one meter a day. Because of its rapid growth, bamboo is “capable of sequestering seventy-five to three hundred tons of carbon per acre over a lifetime” (Hawken 117). These attributes make it a sustainable, biodegradable, and versatile material. It has a higher tensile strength than steel, and because bamboo is in the same family as grass, Poaceae, it is even more water resistant and resilient than hardwoods. The major drawback of bamboo is that it has posed ecological problems in the past, invasively spreading over ecosystems and causing detrimental effects to the native species. Care must be taken to prevent this sort of outbreak. I believe that if we can contain bamboo populations while finding a way to effectively harvest and use it, it can serve as a cheaper and more eco-friendly substitute for plastics, metals, wood products like paper, and even concrete. This would lead to significant reductions in carbon emissions, plastic disposal, and reduced fossil fuel usage to produce the plastic.
  • Reflection Question
    Buildings Upgrade My Windows
    How does improving your home's (or office's) energy efficiency help you better live out your values?

    Jake Hawley's avatar
    Jake Hawley 4/10/2022 8:16 PM
    Upgrade my windows,
    Around six months ago I started a new job as an apartment manager of a 21 unit building in Torrance California. I quickly noticed that the windows on our building were surely older than I am. They were single pane and leaked water into the units at the slightest hint of a drizzle. I was able to convince the management company I work for to replace all of the windows in the building with better, more energy-efficient windows. The process was completed last week and the tenants could not be happier! I interpreted the situation as something that needed immediate attention for the planet and our tenants' comfort. Hawken states "A single pane of clear glass may have a U-value of 1.2 to 1.3. With two panes and space between them, the windows U-value drops to 0.5 to 0.7". (Hawken 96). U-value corresponds directly to the efficiency of the windows and more importantly the ability of the windows to keep the units cool or keep them hot. Replacing the windows in 21 units cost the company I work for roughly $60,000 dollars yet the high price tag is still worth the energy savings. Replacing windows with energy-efficient double-paned glass will end up saving the company money in the long run while maintaining a positive report with the tenants. The tenents would love to do their part in conserving energy but the cost of the windows is always going to be the issue between doing something yourself and waiting for the management to do it. It feels amazing to make the tenants happy and know that you are helping to reduce the heating and cooling costs of the building at the same time!

  • Jake Hawley's avatar
    Jake Hawley 4/03/2022 2:38 PM
    My “why” comes from a desire to do something greater than myself. I am currently 24 years old, and my decisions have revolved around what is best for me for the majority of my life. What am I going to eat or where am I going to go? It is hard as a younger individual to look past your actions and into something that can benefit the world around you. I had always thought that the actions of one person indeed were not affecting the environment, and I could essentially do whatever I pleased, and everything would be ok. As I am getting a bit older, I realize that all of my actions have consequences, not just my efforts but coupled with the actions of others. All of our collective decisions work to create the problems surrounding climate change, which is why we joined the challenge. I want to do my part to become part of the solution and hopefully encourage others to join. Changing your actions is the first step, but to develop actual change, you must inspire others to join. The first action I picked is calculating the carbon footprint of my house. I chose this action because I am interested in seeing how my emissions relate to those around me and hopefully finding some helpful information about what I can be doing better. The second action I chose is to eat more fruits and vegetables. I believe it is essential to take care of your health first, as increasing your longevity means more time to spread a positive message. I am interested in seeing how the challenge goes, and hopefully, we can make some changes for the better.

    • Kevin Quach's avatar
      Kevin Quach 4/03/2022 8:23 PM
      Hi Jake, I'm glad that you've come to this realization for the benefit of the world as have I. We are all capable of contributing even in our smallest efforts, however, it all comes down to whether to choose to act just as you mentioned. If we all decided to change some sort of action, we may be able to see some real change. In my efforts to help reduce the impacts of climate change, I chose to walk more and use reusable water bottles. Walking instead of driving will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions--and help my health and fitness. I think that we have to continue to bring awareness and act in order to see a change in our world.