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EMILY INIGUEZ's avatar

EMILY INIGUEZ

Low Energy Enthusiasts

"Let's conserve our world and make it our ideal home. "

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 336 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    1
    donations
    made
  • up to
    180
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    8
    meatless or vegan meals
    consumed
  • up to
    660
    minutes
    being mindful
  • up to
    5
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    3
    more servings
    of fruits and vegetables

EMILY's Actions

Action Track: Building Resilience

Support Indigenous Peoples' Land Management

Indigenous Peoples' Forest Tenure

I will donate to Native American Rights Fund, which protects tribal natural resources and environmental rights and promotes Native American Human Rights.

Completed
One-Time Action

Electricity

Invite a friend to calculate the carbon footprint of their household

Individual actions are important, but people and organizations working together can make a real impact. I will share a carbon calculator with a friend and invite them to calculate the carbon footprint of their household.

Completed
One-Time Action

Coastal, Ocean, and Engineered Sinks

Smart Seafood Choices

Ocean Farming

I will visit seafoodwatch.org or download the app and commit to making better seafood choices for a healthier ocean.

Completed
One-Time Action

Industry

Recycle Everything I Can

Recycling

Contamination prevents what is recyclable from being recycled. I will research and recycle all materials that are accepted by local haulers or drop stations in my community, making sure to not contaminate recyclables with non-recyclables.

COMPLETED 1
DAILY ACTION

Industry

Learn About & Practice Sustainable Fashion

Multiple Industry Solutions

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

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Industry

Reduce Single-Use Disposables

Bioplastics

I will avoid buying and using 5 single-use plastics and instead replace them with durable options.

COMPLETED 1
DAILY ACTION

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Composting

Composting, Reduced Food Waste

I will start a compost bin where I live.

Uncompleted
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 4
DAILY ACTIONS

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

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.

COMPLETED 1
DAILY ACTION

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

Feed


  • EMILY INIGUEZ's avatar
    EMILY INIGUEZ 5/24/2021 8:59 PM
    Distracted eating has been so common in our society today that up until this challenge, I was unaware of how much of a difference eating with social media made on the enjoyment I had for my meals. I think that I had never noticed how big of a problem my distracted eating was as I practically saw everyone else eat with the company of their smartphones, tablets, Netflix, and the countless other sources of distractions that we face today. The pace of our lives has gotten so fast that it seems indulgent to even take time out of your day to eat without the distractors. It seems like our culture praises an individual’s ability to multitask and it is considered virtuous to be ‘productive’ during our meals. I recently read a journal piece that listed 7 steps to reduce distracted eating where the smallest step was to “pick ONE meal or snack daily that you will commit to eating without TV, your phone, a book, or while driving.” This was a helpful tip for me as I was able to start small after being used to a lifestyle in which most of my meals were accompanied by an episode on Netflix. In fact, I noticed some substantial improvements in my overall meal experiences! I was able to taste more for one! Yeah, I know that sounds bizarre, but my salmon and quinoa meal pictured below was way more enjoyable. My senses seemed to be more alert and I was completely focused on the heat, aroma, and deliciousness of even my simplest meals. I noticed that I was able to taste more because all of my attention was completely directed at my food and eating experience whereas before, I would have to split my attention between work or shows with each of my meals while I ate as quickly as possible. Also, I was better able to learn what I liked and did not like. That must also sound very strange, but before, I thought that I absolutely disliked cilantro. I tried it when I was quite small, and recently, when I made some tacos that incorporated cilantro as a topping, I discovered that cilantro was not nearly as bad as I once thought it to be. My opinion on cilantro just changed because I paid more attention to the flavor profile that it added to my meal, and it turns out that I quite enjoy cilantro now! That being said, mindfully eating pointed my body toward balanced meals where I was not filling my brain with background noise. 






  • Reflection Question
    Action Track: Building Resilience Support Indigenous Peoples' Land Management
    Indigenous speaker and activist Winona LaDuke says that, "most indigenous ceremonies, if you look to their essence, are about the restoration of balance — they are a reaffirmation of our relationship to creation. That is our intent: to restore, and then to retain balance and honor our part in creation." Why is balance important to sustainability?

    EMILY INIGUEZ's avatar
    EMILY INIGUEZ 5/24/2021 7:51 PM
    After reading through all the resources listed under this challenge, I began to reflect on the importance that indegenous communities play on the frontline of resistance. In order to better answer this discussion question, I must touch on the fact that indegenous and community owned lands represent about 18% of all land area, including at least 1.2 billion acres of forest, containing 37.7 billion tons of carbon stock. As such, indegenous land management conserves biodiversity, maintains a range of ecosystem services, safeguards rich cultures and traditional ways of life, and responds to the needs of the most vulnerable. Because of their dynamic roles in the maintenance of the environment’s natural lands and resources, there is a balance that the indegenous peoples convey in their care for the environment. In using almost a quarter of the world’s land surface and managing 11 of its forests, indegenous peoples “maintain 80 percent of the planet’s biodiversity in, or adjacent to, 85 percent of the world’s protected areas'' which further elaborates on the balance that should exist between us residing in this world we call home, and our human ability to respect our home and reduce our emissions. Further, because it is noted that indegenous communities are able to manage and maintain most of the land they tend for, it is crucial that we too see the world through the viewpoint and perspective of many creatures or objects such as rocks, water, and clouds. If we adopt such a perspective, we will be able to adapt to the changing environment and make changes that will balance and maintain the ecosystem we have. Thus, taking care of our planet means that we properly manage our natural resources. 

    Overall, environmental sustainability is based on the rate of renewable energy generated, pollution creation and the elimination of non-renewable resources. Resources need time to regenerate if they’re to be sustainable, so ensuring we’re contributing back what we take is at the core of environmental sustainability and what constitutes the balance needed in sustainable action. Sustainability is impacted by three interconnected pillars- social, environmental, and economic sustainability. Such pillars are also referred to as people, people, and profits. Each factor affects all the others and is affected by each in return. Below is an image of my donation to the Native American Rights Fund. 




    • Alice Ma's avatar
      Alice Ma 6/01/2021 2:50 AM
      Hi Emily! It’s amazing to see that you were able to donate to the Native American Rights Fund and support their mission! Reading your post made me do some reflecting on my relationship with the land I live on. When I first saw the percentage of 80% in the biodiversity that indigenous peoples protect and maintain, I was shocked. Indigenous communities who have lived on their lands for countless generations and have cultivated a true connection with their lands are truly one of the best leaders when it comes to combating climate change and environmental harm. 

      Also, what you mentioned about how indigenous peoples seek to understand the natural world from the perspective of creatures and objects was a really interesting point to consider. From my viewpoint, I have always thought that the lifestyles and resources we as humans use are all built on extractive principles. Whether that is cutting down trees, mining for minerals, extracting coal, oil, or natural gas, overfishing, or more, the common theme that drives our societies is over-extraction and overuse of our resources. And that is definitely not the mentality that indigenous groups have towards their lands. It seems like in mainstream society and culture, the norm is to seek the highest profit no matter the consequences. Yet, here we are facing the consequences of climate change. 

      Also, I love what you said about giving back what we take to ensure that we have sustainability. I think the three spheres of sustainability are so important to consider because we cannot achieve true sustainability without meeting the requirements of all three. At the same time, we cannot expect to be able to meet any of the three without considering all of them in conjunction with each other. On a personal level, I always wonder if there is more we can be doing to enact positive change and sustainability. Oftentimes when I think about the changes we need to implement to combat climate change, I think of institutional changes that exist within the corporate or governmental sphere which seems so far removed from what I can do on the day-to-day. However, I think these EcoChallenges and this class as a whole have given me so many tools to use to be more sustainable at a personal level while also pushing for institutional changes. 
  • Reflection Question
    Electricity Invite a friend to calculate the carbon footprint of their household
    What kinds of discussions did you have, or are you hoping to have with friends about climate change?

    EMILY INIGUEZ's avatar
    EMILY INIGUEZ 5/24/2021 3:52 PM
    When I shared the Carbon Footprint Calculator with my friend, she was stoked to calculate her average monthly carbon emissions as she said that she had never before calculated her household emissions. She mentioned that she was actually not sure about what her emissions meant and how her carbon footprint could impact her life! Thanks to this course, I was able to deliberately explain what impact her household emissions made to our planet and how she may possibly improve her overall footprint. Carbon emissions are the release of carbon into the atmosphere and to talk about carbon emissions is to talk of greenhouse gas emissions which are the main contributors to climate change. I explained that greenhouse emissions are often calculated as carbon dioxide equivalents which is what is referred to as carbon emissions when discussing global warming as well as the greenhouse effect. Because the industrial revolution has increased the burning of fossil fuels, the increase of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, and thus, the rapid increase of global warming is directly correlated with such events. Humans play a particular role in the emissions of CO2 as when we extract, refine, transport, and burn fossil fuels like coal, natural gas, and oil, we release extra carbon and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. We also cut down large expanses of CO2- absorbing trees to make way for agriculture and new developments, or collect lumber to create new products. The way that we can offset carbon is through a process called sequestration where we can find ways to negate the carbon that is being emitted. 

    The Carbon footprint calculator that I shared with my friend mentioned that “the type of electricity you use to power your home has an impact on your carbon footprint.” My friend mentioned that she and her 3 other roommates do not purchase renewable electricity which means that her CO2 emissions would be about 4.37 tons each month. However, she mentioned that if her household made a switch to renewable electricity, the CO2 emissions would decrease to 4.09 tons every month which was a substantial difference. As a result of the emission calculator, she said that she would look into purchasing a renewable electricity source in order to offset at least a portion of the carbon emissions created. Below is a screenshot of my friend’s carbon emission calculation.


  • Reflection Question
    Coastal, Ocean, and Engineered Sinks Smart Seafood Choices
    Many states and countries have advisories on eating fish. Find out what is advised for your region. Do you think your diet choices fall within these guidelines? What steps do you need to take to make sure that they do?

    EMILY INIGUEZ's avatar
    EMILY INIGUEZ 5/05/2021 6:13 PM
    After browsing through the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch website, I was fascinated by the amount of refinement for species that were classified as the best choice, certified, good alternative, or species that should be avoided.  When I selected the category for best choices, I was redirected to types of seafood that were recommended to be purchased or considered first as those are considered well managed, caught, or farmed in ways that are considered to be most sustainable due to the little harm caused to habitat or other wildlife when such "best choice" species are harvested. The category which listed certified recommendations is certified products that are equivalent to a Seafood Watch Good Alternative or better. Finally, both the good alternative and avoid categories featured species of sealife which raise concerns on the manner by which they are caught and farmed and may additionally be overfished or caught in ways that harm other marine life as well as the environment. 

    As an avid pescetarian myself, the seafood watch site made it feel so easy and convenient to select seafood that would be the best and ethical choice which is something that always concerned me when I picked up any type of fish from local grocery stores. With 274 total options for seafood that are considered "best choice", I was quite surprised that the seafood I already select as part of my normal diet was included. I find that I eat quite a bit of whiteleg shrimp, which I used to make a shrimp mac n' cheese in the photo below. I was able to view the details of this organism through the site and discovered that they are famed for using a technique called an indoor flowthrough raceway. Although these shrimp are not wild-caught, the U.S. farming industry operates on a small scale which means their environmental impacts are minor. In addition, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has four listed projects that their faculty and researchers are currently working on which include the farmed salmon project in chile as "farmed salmon is one of the most popular and valuable fish on the market, however, 64% is rated Avoid by seafood watch." This means that salmon constitute a crucial and important organism of the sea that constitutes for the increases of bacterial diseases and sea lice parasites due to the current farming industry methods is it harvested under. If these unsustainable farming methods continue, there will be even more nutrient runoff into the sea which will affect all organisms including humans. A state of homeostasis in the sea is critical to our survival as the sea provides a great amount of temperature equilibrium which creates a cooling effect and maintains the biological cycle intact. However, when the equilibrium of the sea is disrupted due to industries such as salmon farming, we threaten the lives of many organisms.

    • Audrey Goodman's avatar
      Audrey Goodman 5/11/2021 5:35 PM
      Hi Emily! I really enjoyed reading your response, and also found it very interesting the different classifications for species as best choice, certified, good alternative, or species that should be avoided. I think this is a good, simple way to educate consumers on the types of seafood they are purchasing, and could be implemented by sharing with consumers which category the food they are purchasing falls into. However, I could see how companies would want to avoid this, as it would likely stop some people from buying certain goods. Although I am not a fan of seafood myself, your shrimp mac n’ cheese looked tasty, and it’s awesome that it was also classified as “best choice”. I also thought it was interesting to read that salmon are often rated “avoid” by seafood watch, as salmon seems like such a common type of fish that people eat. The importance of salmon to the ecosystem is evident in your explanation, and I think it is likely something many people are not aware of. I think encouraging others to learn about these labels and educating themselves on the foods and products that are being purchased is one way to make a difference.

    • EMILY INIGUEZ's avatar
      EMILY INIGUEZ 5/05/2021 7:04 PM

  • EMILY INIGUEZ's avatar
    EMILY INIGUEZ 4/18/2021 7:27 PM
    My why:

    One of the most nostalgia-filled elements in my life has always been the sea. It may sound cliche that I associate the sea and the ocean as a capsule of beautiful memories, but the reality is that I experienced some of the most meaningful family moments by the sea. When I was younger, my mother and I would escape the heat every summer weekend with a quick trip to our local beach. I remember all the evenings when my mother and I would stand by the shore during sunset letting the ocean water kiss our toes. Standing tall, she would always quietly instruct me to close my eyes and let all of the tension or negativity around me swim far into the ocean (where I would never meet it again). I would then open my eyes and feel an immediate sense of serenity and harmony fill my young heart. My young soul believed that the ocean, and the memories that I had because of it, would never cease.

    During my time at UCLA, my eyes finally opened to the reality of the matter concerning the actual limits that we, humans, were (and are) posing on the survival and longevity of the sea. After signing up and completing a course on marine biology here at UCLA, I became plagued with eco-anxiety concerning the amount of danger that our sea is in. I was always aware of the threats that plastic made on the survival of the organisms in the ocean, and did my part to mitigate the number of plastics I was using, however, after the course, I understood that the threat was much greater and more horrendous than what I previously understood. I began to delve further into research to understand what was going on and how climate change impacted our oceans' survival, but I found myself filled with more anxiety than before. In order to actively participate in a reduction of carbon and excess nutrient dump into the sea, I became a pescetarian, and I began to incorporate more vegan and sustainable products in my everyday routine. At the time, I was not aware that a platform such as  Drawdown Ecochallenge existed and I had even considered creating a community on social media where I could inform others on how to mitigate their negative impact on the climate crisis. To my surprise, this English course, which I had initially enrolled in as a means to fulfill a pre-health requirement, became my saving grace. Although we have only navigated through this course for almost a month, I feel that I have learned so much already, and have found a sense of community within the course and this eco-challenge platform. I truly believe that we have the power to save our planet, and of course, our oceans (which hold so much sentimental value to me, and are crucial to the survival of our species). That is WHY I am so passionate and sentimental about this project and will continue to be a user even after the course ends.

    Below I have attached a picture of my youngest brother having the time of his life on the sand at one of my family's favorite beaches in Mexico (pre-COVID pandemic). I want to ensure that he can continue to enjoy the sand beneath his toes and the ocean water splashing at his face for years to come, but the only way I can do that is by making the necessary changes to help mitigate the effects of the climate crisis and spread as much awareness and information concerning the climate crisis to others.
  • 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?

    EMILY INIGUEZ's avatar
    EMILY INIGUEZ 3/31/2021 12:31 AM
    My eating experience changed when I actively practiced mindfulness when eating as I was better able to appreciate the food that was on my plate and savor it more than I would have if I was distracted with my phone or laptop. I additionally noticed that I felt more satisfied after my mindful meal and I was better able to concentrate on the tasks that I had planned to complete after my meal! 
  • Reflection Question
    Food, Agriculture, and Land Use More Fruits And Veggies
    How does eating more fruits and vegetables and less meat positively affect yourself, other people, and our planet?

    EMILY INIGUEZ's avatar
    EMILY INIGUEZ 3/31/2021 12:26 AM
    Eating more fruits and vegetables as well as less meat positively affects me, others, and my planet, as such entails the reduced consumption of primary predators. By consuming less meat and dairy-based products, we are reducing the amount of energy removed from the top of the ecological pyramid, which has already been stripped by the mass removal of high energy top-tier predators by unethical farming. Thus, we help conserve energy allocation to the top of the pyramid when we do not eat meat and dairy, which allows for the ecological cycle to continue to flow and keep humans, primary produces, and predators in a state of energy equilibrium. In addition, consuming more fruits and vegetables allows for us to naturally intake vitamins which are essential to our livelihood and health! 
  • 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?

    EMILY INIGUEZ's avatar
    EMILY INIGUEZ 3/31/2021 12:20 AM
    People in richer countries may eat more meat than people in other countries as they have more access and investment in harvest practices, which although detrimental to the environment, produce large quantities of products such as meat and dairy. In addition, there are larger amounts of money invested in meat factories by the richer countries which produce greater and less nutrient-rich quality amounts of product. In comparison, other less developed areas may not have the equipment and pesticides which afford the production of mass quantities of dairy and meat, which raises the price of the products they yield (although such products may be less detrimental to human health).