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Madison Hutts's avatar

Madison Hutts

UTKSUST

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 440 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    60
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    72
    meatless or vegan meals
    consumed

Madison's Actions

Materials

Properly Dispose of Refrigerants

Refrigerant Management

I will spend at least 60 minutes learning how to properly dispose of my refrigerator, freezer, and other refrigerants at the end of their useful lives.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Reduce Animal Products

Plant-Rich Diets

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

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

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  • Madison Hutts's avatar
    Madison Hutts 4/28/2020 7:13 AM
    Now that my Eco-Challenge is wrapping up, it gives me time to reflect on how it went and the impact it had. I think it was incredibly valuable to see the impact that the entire team had. Sometimes it feels like my impact is so small, but seeing how it collectively paid off as a group was amazing. Each person had different goals that achieved different things but with the same collective purpose of benefiting the environment and the surrounding community. Imagine if every person in America set one or two goals, what an impact that would be! As of right now, I have checked in for over 70 meatless meals. To know that because of the goals I've set have personally contributed to reducing my carbon footprint in over 70 facets is awesome! It encourages me to continue to add and achieve eco-challenge goals in the future.

  • Madison Hutts's avatar
    Madison Hutts 4/22/2020 3:34 PM
    For my one-time challenge, I spent about an hour and a half learning how to properly dispose of my refrigerator, freezer, and other refrigerants at the end of their useful lives. What I liked most about completing this challenge was that it I did not just sit down and learn about it at one time, but rather because I used a refrigerated at least once a day (or sometimes more if I’m hungry), I thought about this task and researched it on many separate occasions. While there are many scholarly and academic articles covering refrigerator disposal, the one I found most helpful was more of a casual blog. In “Refrigerator Recycling: A Tale of Two Fridges,” the author informed me that more than 9.4 million fridges and freezers reach the end of their useful life in the US each year, while only 10% of them are managed under the EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal partnership. In fact, I asked my parents what we did with our last refrigerator and they didn’t even know but figured the installation people just took it to the dump. One of the reasons that such a small percentage is properly recycled is because there are only 28 refrigerator recycling centers in only 28 states. The reason this is such a shocking statistic is because refrigerators and freezers differ from most household appliances because they contain refrigerants and blowing agents, incredibly powerful GHGs. On top of that they contain something called polyurethane foam, which is another GHG contributor. But wait, there’s more. The most shocking of all statistic is that “a single refrigerator can contain the climate equivalent of driving an SUV for an entire year and up to 8 cubic feet of foam” (Triple Pundit).
     
    A second article that I found incredibly relevant to me as a college student was one posted by Junk King titled “How to Dispose of Mini-Fridge Appliances.” I myself have a mini fridge, as do most college dorm rooms and many college students in general. The problem with them is that their useful life is rather small. Instead of taking them to the dump, Junk King recommends to first reach out to scrap metal recyclers. This is the first move in sustainable disposal because it emphasizes the recycling component. Rather than calling the whole thing trash, it’s beneficial to break down the parts and let others use them so they don’t have to buy new parts themselves. Sometimes one can even get money for them. Second, he recommends to repair them. But thirdly, if the first two options are unattainable, he recommends recycling them with a industry professional (such as Junk King). These professionals fully remove and recycle any salvageable plastics or metal, crush and ship any of the glass to further recycling plants, remove and reuse compressors, distil salvageable oils and dispose of refrigerant damaged oils, remove the thermostats that may contain mercury and sent them to certified handlers, and ship the polyurethane foam to local “waste-to-energy” incinerators which use the energy to create electricity and send it back to the recycling plant’s grid.
     
    Lastly, the EPA provides a great guide on disposing of refrigerants. Essentially, it’s always best to consult with a professional and to NEVER simply throw them away. Lastly, educating people is the best way to see to it that improvements are made regarding refrigeration disposal.
     
    https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/ConstrAndDemo_EquipDisposal.pdf
  • Reflection Question
    Materials Properly Dispose of Refrigerants
    How do you address your own feelings of concern, fear or despair about climate change?

    Madison Hutts's avatar
    Madison Hutts 4/22/2020 3:04 PM
    My biggest struggle in facing climate change is that the words "climate change" are so often met with a stiff arm, especially in the south. Many people are very quick (and abrasive) to say that climate change does not exist. Thus, it makes me very fearful that I am alone in caring. However, in attempts to address these feelings of concern, I have decided to get educated. And as I've learned more, I've found out that one of the greatest ways to combat climate change is to get people educated. Woohoo! This has been encouraging to me because the more I know, the more I can help and the more I can share with other people. I've already had a number of opportunities to share facts and statistics with people.
  • 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?

    Madison Hutts's avatar
    Madison Hutts 4/22/2020 3:00 PM
    In my sustainability classes this semester, I have learned a great deal about the Global North and the Global South. Using this information, it's easy to apply why people in rich countries eat more meat than people in other places. The Global North (rich/developed countries) tends to exploit the Global South (poorer/less developed countries) simply because they can and because it's more economically profitable for them. Thus, many countries in the Global South end up being our SUPPLIERS for meat while the Global North are the CONSUMERS. Culturally, eating meat is also a sign of power and wealth, as one is able to afford the fine pieces as opposed to grown vegetables and lentils. Additionally, eating meat affects our bodies, planet, and other people in various ways. Meat positively affects our bodies as it is a source of protein, but it's becoming more and more clear that there are ample ways to provide protein substitution. A detriment of meat is that it requires immense amounts of waters to process and make; also the farming of meat is often a great methane producer (cows *sigh*). Eating meat positively impacts other people but providing jobs, but negatively affects by adverse cultural views and harming shared space.

  • Madison Hutts's avatar
    Madison Hutts 4/22/2020 2:46 PM
    My daily challenges have been going really well! In fact, eating 2 meatless meals a day has actually become so a part of my daily routine that its not really something I think about. I've even taken this approach to not just meals, but snacks and desserts as well. My family has a very, very big sweet tooth, and ice cream has always been a staple food product in our household. Until about two weeks ago, I had never really thought about how my vegan meal replacement could influence my dessert intake as well. So, the last time my family order our groceries, I added some vegan ice cream desserts to the cart as well. My family usually eats the Ben & Jerry's brand, so that was the kind I bought. My family does not prioritize eating vegan meals; therefore I didn't even tell them that it was vegan. But, they  ate it and agreed it was just as good. We've since cleared the carton, so I've attached a picture of the flavors we got in case anyone wants to try! The chocolate caramel cluster was my favorite.


  • Madison Hutts's avatar
    Madison Hutts 2/20/2020 7:51 AM
    I've started buying frozen veggie sausages which has been really helpful to have on hand so that I can combat not having options/skipping meals


  • Madison Hutts's avatar
    Madison Hutts 2/17/2020 1:20 PM
    My challenge is going well! I've realized that it's actually quite easy to substitute meals to be a plant-rich diet. My biggest struggle with that, however, is not having meatless meals on hand, so just not eating or forgetting to eat. I've had to become more intentional about prioritizing my meals and thinking ahead. With enough repetition, I'm hoping it'll just become habit.