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Melissa Hinten's avatar

Melissa Hinten


Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 410 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    meatless or vegan meals
  • up to
    public officials or leaders

Melissa's Actions

Action Track: Healing & Renewal

Eat Mindfully

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


Action Track: Justice for the Whole Community

Express My Support For Walkable Cities

Walkable Cities

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

One-Time Action


Reduce Animal Products

Plant-Rich Diets

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



  • Reflection Question
    Action Track: Justice for the Whole Community Express My Support For Walkable Cities
    How could better walking infrastructure make your city both more enjoyable and more equitable?

    Melissa Hinten's avatar
    Melissa Hinten 4/24/2020 6:12 AM
    Knoxville has a lack of sidewalks outside of the older central business district.  As the city developed and expanded into the suburbs, and due to the hilly topography, sidewalks were not included in many of the neighborhoods. This was the case for a lot of cities that developed during the age of automobiles as opposed to older cities that developed around pedestrians.  
    Adding sidewalks to Knoxville would make the city more human-scale and walkable.  If anyone has ever tried to walk along Kingston Pike they will know that the city is auto-mobile scale and not human-scale.  Sidewalks will make the city accessible for citizens that do not have acces to automobiles, it will reduce GHG emissions, increase physical activity and improve social connections within the city.  

    • Gretchen Hagle's avatar
      Gretchen Hagle 3/10/2021 1:51 PM
      Hi Melissa, I am in another Drawdown Ecochallenge group and wanted to reach out to you or someone in your group about a Tree Planting initiative your group may be interested in.  It is in conjunction with Tennessee Environmental Council and Green Interchange and we are looking for partners for a massive tree giveaway event. Since planting trees is one of the actions on Drawdown, this could be a way for your group to earn points and help the community.  Here is a link with more info  You can reach me at if you want more details and/or if there is someone specific in your group I should talk to.   Thanks so much!  Gretchen 

  • Melissa Hinten's avatar
    Melissa Hinten 4/24/2020 6:00 AM
    In January the City of Knoxville approved $1.6M to expand sidewalks and create two new bus shelters, while the motivation for doing this was for safety and accessibility and in doing so it will also make Knoxville more sustainable.  More sidewalks create a more walkable city and can reduce the use of automobiles.  Sidewalks provide accessibility by giving everyone the opportunity to access work, school, home, and businesses safely without the need to rely on an automobile. It will also make accessing the public bus system safer. Through the City of Knoxville's Sidewalk Study website ( citizens can read about existing sidewalk infrastructure and proposed and needed infrastructure.  Citizens can also make their voices heard by contacting the city or completing a survey at the website, which also includes an interactive map showing the sidewalk infrastructure. 

  • Melissa Hinten's avatar
    Melissa Hinten 4/14/2020 5:22 AM
    I did not eat two plant based meals is day - it was Easter and I had the traditional Easter dinner which included meat, but I cannot go back and select one of my previous days that was plant-based so I am fudging a little.  
  • Reflection Question
    Food 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?

    Melissa Hinten's avatar
    Melissa Hinten 4/14/2020 5:20 AM
    The more expendable income that I country has the more people will eat meat.  It is much more complicated than that and involves lobbying by the industrial food system and government policy that make raising meat in an industrial setting cheaper than grown on a smaller-scale in a more traditional setting.  Eating meat used to be considered a luxury because it takes a lot of time and energy and resources to raise livestock but through mass/industrial production meat has become cheaper and people have more income to spend on meat. Plus there is the cultural aspect off it too - meat is on every menu in restaurants so it has become the norm to eat meat. But this system is slowly changing to incorporate more plant based foods!  

  • Melissa Hinten's avatar
    Melissa Hinten 3/30/2020 5:51 AM
    I have not been as diligent or consistent with my daily challenge of eating less meat and dairy for the past month, but now I am ready to get back on track and finish out the challenge strong and hopefully develop healthier and more sustainable habits.

  • Melissa Hinten's avatar
    Melissa Hinten 2/08/2020 7:59 AM
    My two meatless or vegan meals per day challenge is going well so far.  I forgot to log in to my challenge earlier this week but I started my challenge on Monday, February 3 and I plan to do the challenge for 21 days.  I have been successful at not eating meat, but I need to work on cutting out more dairy products too.