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Leslie Kim's avatar

Leslie Kim

Low Energy Enthusiasts

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 398 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    255
    minutes
    spent exercising
  • up to
    70
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    5
    lightbulbs
    replaced
  • up to
    640
    minutes
    being mindful
  • up to
    18
    more servings
    of fruits and vegetables

Leslie's Actions

Action Track: Healing & Renewal

More Fruits And Veggies

I will eat a heart healthy diet by adding 1 cups of fruits and vegetables each day to achieve at least 4 cups per day.

COMPLETED 11
DAILY ACTIONS

Action Track: Healing & Renewal

Go for a Daily Walk

Walkable Cities

I will take a walk for 30 minutes each day and take note of the infrastructure that makes walking more or less enjoyable, accessible, and possible.

COMPLETED 8
DAILY ACTIONS

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.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Land Sinks

Learn about Temperate Forests

Temperate Forest Restoration

I will spend at least 60 minutes learning more about the environmental services provided by and the environmental issues affecting temperate forests.

Completed
One-Time Action

Land Sinks

Forest-Friendly Foods 1

Tropical Forest Restoration

I will spend at least 30 minutes researching the impact of my diet to see how it contributes to deforestation.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Electricity

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.

Completed
One-Time Action

Electricity

Choose LED Bulbs

LED Lighting

I will replace 5 incandescent lightbulb(s) with Energy Star-certified LED bulbs, saving up to $14 per fixture per year.

Completed
One-Time Action

Transportation

Purchase a Carbon Offset

Efficient Aviation

If I buy a plane ticket, I will purchase a carbon offset.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Keep Track of Wasted Food

Reduced Food Waste

I will keep a daily log of food I throw away during Drawdown Ecochallenge, either because it went bad before I ate it, I put too much on my plate, or it was scraps from food preparation.

COMPLETED 11
DAILY ACTIONS

Action Track: Healing & Renewal

Eat Mindfully

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

COMPLETED 13
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed


  • Leslie Kim's avatar
    Leslie Kim 6/03/2021 6:24 AM
    Eco Friendly Transportation:
    After starting the Drawdown EcoChallenge, I think that I changed my view on transportation completely. I was never someone who enjoyed traveling by car, yet found myself taking the car almost everywhere. Even when public transportation is really conveniently set up in Korea, I think that I had been drawn to taking the car around my neighborhood because of how easily accessible it was for me. When I needed to go somewhere, even as close as 10-15 minutes by car, either my parents would drive me or I would drive myself. I don't think that I gave taking public transportation a second thought, especially since the bus stations are kind of far of a walk from my apartment complex. However, this quarter I challenged myself to go on a walk for at least 30 minutes each day. When I did that, I found myself building the habit of walking to and from my gym (which is usually the only place I go on a day to day basis!). Once walking became a habit, 30 minutes of just walking around the neighborhood didn't seem like a long time or a long distance to walk at all. Then I thought to myself, if I can walk for 30 minutes, I can definitely walk for 10-15 minutes to a bus stop to take public transportation to the place I need to go. This kind of thinking helped me increase the number of times I took the bus instead of the car greatly. I also found out that there are certain electric buses that go around my neighborhood. Though it doesn't always go to the place I need to go, it still has quite a few stops that are nearby and useful for me. I started riding those buses more frequently as well! Now, I find these electric buses to be not only convenient, but also quieter and very pleasing to ride since the sides of the buses feel like big windows (it allows me to see more of the outdoor scenery!). I think that I am building a good habit of finding a more sustainable mode of transportation and also improving my health since taking public transportation usually also equates to more time spent walking. I want to continue to keep it my goal to try and walk to as many places as possible, and when it is too far to walk, take public transportation rather than the car. 

    Below are pictures of the electric bus that I often take! 

    • Abriana Martinez's avatar
      Abriana Martinez 6/03/2021 8:20 AM
      Hi Leslie,
      So happy to hear that you are utilizing public transportation more often and also taking longer walks. I'm also guilty of using a car to get to places that are 15 minutes away. Especially during the pandemic I started to use the bus left often because I wanted to avoid getting in contact with people in fear of bringing the virus home to my sister who is immunocompromised. I'm so glad you enjoy riding the bus and enjoy the view of your surroundings while on the bus. I think taking walks is great way to slow down and not be caught up in the faced paced working environment of today. Oftentimes I feel I will take my car to travel to my local grocery store instead of walking because I tell myself that I could be getting work done at home than wasting 30 minutes to walk to and from the grocery store. I also enjoy walking and taking in the outdoor scenery because it gives me a break from all things school and work related. You have motivated to take more walks because that is something I haven't been doing much of lately. 
      -Abriana

  • Leslie Kim's avatar
    Leslie Kim 6/01/2021 11:40 AM
    Update on the "learn about temperate forests" task/reflection: 

    As I was taking a walk around my neighborhood last week, I noticed that someone had ordered for the clearing of trees that surround my neighborhood/apartment complex. Though I am not sure if this was due to a governmental order of trying to cut down trees in order to replace them with new ones as part of their "Green New Deal", I was enraged at how they had chosen to cut down so many large trees. Most of these trees had been in place for over 10 years, and were the homes for a lot of different birds and wildlife. Looking at how they had cut the trees (all of them at similar heights) it also made me wonder if they had cut these trees to then sell them for profit. Regardless of the reason for cutting these trees down, I felt that it was unacceptable. 
    Then, earlier today, I saw them cutting down the trees again, but this time since they were in action, I was able to walk up to the man giving orders and make a complaint about what they were doing. I asked them why they were cutting these trees down and if they had ever given it a second thought. To my surprise, these men who were carrying out the action did not know the reason behind the process either. They were just completing the job given to them. When I continued to complain to them about how this was not only going to impact the environment and the air quality, but also going to look unaesthetic for our neighborhood, they told me that they would look into what they could do to help. However, I did not find their replies to be promising of a change to the project of clearing trees. 
    What worries me now is that this cutting down of trees is an ongoing project that my city seems to be pursuing... I am determined to look into the reason for this project, and find a way to voice my opinion of how they should stop the process before the city starts to look barren. I am aware that a single voice may not have much power, but we all have to start somewhere. I feel that as a citizen, it is my right and my responsibility to speak up to this matter!

    Below are some pictures to show how serious the problem is...
  • Reflection Question
    Action Track: Healing & Renewal Go for a Daily Walk
    What have you noticed on your daily walks? What have you enjoyed? What infrastructure changes could make your walks more enjoyable or possible?

    Leslie Kim's avatar
    Leslie Kim 5/24/2021 10:11 AM
    Today, I walked for 30 minutes total (15 minutes to the gym and 15 back). I have really been appreciating the chance that I get to walk outdoors, especially since the weather has been warming up and I usually don't get to spend much time outside especially with the pandemic situation right now. Today, during my walk I noticed how lush and green the trees have become lately. Just last two weeks or so I felt that the leaves were just starting to grow, but today the trees were very green and covered with leaves. Seeing this just made me appreciate nature. It also made me want to work harder to try and conserve what we have now. 
    As I crossed the street to outside my neighborhood, the first thing that I saw was construction going on on the sidewalk and roads. This was really frustrating for me because the road and sidewalks had been perfectly normal and well-functioning. Yet, they were tearing the existing sidewalk apart to put in new bricks as part of the "renovation program". Sadly, the only reason they are doing this is because there is money from the government that is meant to be spent on improving the city that is leftover, and they have to somehow find a way use that up. Not only was the area dusty, but they were running two huge excavators to help with the project. I felt that this was a non-productive and costly project that only adds to the CO2 output. After seeing this happen over and over, I am determined to find a way to put in a request for a better use of the government's funds for my local city. 
    On a brighter note, here are some pictures of the beautiful tree I saw! 
  • Reflection Question
    Electricity Calculate the carbon footprint of my household
    After you determined your carbon footprint, did you see what different choices you can make in order to reduce it?

    Leslie Kim's avatar
    Leslie Kim 5/24/2021 9:51 AM
    Through this activity, I learned that on average my household (of 3 members) produce around 4.41 tons of CO2 each month. I honestly don't know if I can even start to understand how much of an impact that is. However, I am hopeful that I can help reduce this amount at least a little bit with the recent changes that I have been implementing. Firstly, I have been cutting down on my meat intake the past couple of months. In the past, I was someone who had to have a meat based meal at least once a day. However, ever since August of 2020 I first started to have a more plant-based diet. This choice initially began because of my desire to eat healthier. My diet consisted of completely plant-based meals with the exception of having meat/seafood 1-2 times a week. After a couple months of that, I had bounced back a little bit during the months of February-March. After starting this EcoChallenge project and learning more about my carbon footprint however, I have decided to return to my plant-based meals and have been working at it since. For the past month, I only had a meat-based meal 3-4 times. Secondly, I have been feeling that air travel is probably what leads to the greatest CO2 output for me. I will work on traveling less, especially if it is for leisure, and be more conscious of my impacts when I do have to inevitably fly. Lastly, I have changed my mode of transportation around my neighborhood completely since the start of this EcoChallenge. Most of my daily outings consist of my trip to the local gym and I have purposely changed my gym to a location that I can walk to. Nowadays, I not only get extra exercise and time outdoors during the walk to and from the gym (which lasts around 30 minutes) but also have reduced the number of times I have to drive. If I have to go anywhere else to run an errand/meet others, I have always taken public transportation. Since public transportation is so well connected here in Korea, I often find it easier and faster to travel that way. Recently, my city has started to implement electric buses and I have been enjoying taking that around. It not only is just as convenient as any other bus, but it also makes me feel good because this bus is 100% electricity based and does not use gasoline to run. 

  • Leslie Kim's avatar
    Leslie Kim 5/24/2021 9:23 AM
    Learn about temperate forests: 
    Through this EcoChallenge task, I challenged myself to not only learn about the importance of restoring temperate forests but also research more about deforestation and its impacts as well. What recently sparked my interest in taking on this challenge was what happened in South Korea due to the choice of the government (or President). In January of this year, the Korean government has announced, under the order of the president, this Green New Deal Plan that will help Korea achieve its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. This is not only a lofty goal, but their declaration that they will cut down a 1/3 of the existing forests in certain regions in Korea to plant 3,000,000,000 new trees seemed to have created a lot of uproar and upset many Korean citizens. I honestly hadn't known much about this plan or paid much attention to it when it was first declared. However, after learning more about the climate crisis and paying more attention to our environmental impacts over the course of the past eight weeks, I started to really question this policy decision. How is it that cutting down existing trees, that are much older and bigger, and replacing them with new trees going to make things carbon neutral? Moreover, a week or so ago, a family friend of mine told me that she recently visited a forest that she often goes to for work/volunteer. Until last month, it was fully crowded with large trees, most of which were over 30-40 years old. However, this last time that she visited the same location, she almost couldn't recognize it because of how they cut down almost every tree in sight. She told me that it was so bad to the point that she was now scared of the possibility of a landslide damaging the nearby neighborhoods since there no longer are any trees to help combat that issue. This enraged me and I still cannot understand the reason they had to cut down so many trees in the first place. When I researched South Korea and their deforestation rates, I found that around 63.5% of Korea is forested as of now. Hopefully this percentage does not go down... Why couldn't we have found other places to plant trees, maybe amid cities or sub-urban areas, instead of cutting existing ones and re-planting them? I am aware that there is little that we can do about the trees that are already cut down. I am also aware that they are planting new trees in its place. However, I still firmly believe that this new deal plan is not the right way to go about making Korea carbon neutral and will continue to follow this issue to see how things improve/change.
    While doing this EcoChallenge task, I was shocked to learn that "over the course of history, 99 percent of temperate forests have been altered in some way". This not only emphasized to me how humans and their choices have really left an indelible impact on the environment and that we need to change something now to hopefully improve or at least mitigate the devastation we will have to face in our near future. I did see some hope, however, in that temperate forests are dynamic systems that are able to recover fully even if that may require a very long time - even centuries. This makes me think that it may not be possible to erase the impacts of human destruction and human choices on our environment such as the temperate forests. This will certainly not be possible to recover in my lifetime. However, restoration is a solution that is better than nothing. I believe that what we can do now is reduce the stress we put on these temperate forests and not push them beyond their capacity for resilience. We should also continue to work towards better restoration efforts and best of all, continue to protect these forests. 
  • Reflection Question
    Transportation Purchase a Carbon Offset
    A round-trip flight from New York City to Los Angeles emits just over 1.5 tons of CO2—per person. That’s a lot of carbon! What can you do to reduce the number of flights you take per year?

    Leslie Kim's avatar
    Leslie Kim 5/24/2021 8:32 AM
    As someone who attends UCLA but is from (and has family in) South Korea, I have inevitably taken a lot of flights to and from LA to Seoul. I recently learned that a one way trip from LAX to ICN is 5980 miles long, almost double the distance of a round-trip flight from New York City to Los Angeles. That would mean that each round trip for me would be around 6 tons of CO2 emitted. This is insane to think about. I remember that during my first year at UCLA, I took advantage of every chance I had to go home. I ended up flying home and back during winter break, summer break, and even spring break (despite how short of a break it was). This would've meant that in that year, from air travel alone, I would've emitted 9 tons of CO2, maybe even more from those flights. Fortunately, I have cut down on the number of times that I fly back home to once per year after my first year at UCLA. Recently, I haven't had the chance to travel by air (but also cut down on traveling by car as well) because of the pandemic. This EcoChallenge really was eye-opening and meaningful because I suspect that a lot of times it will be inevitable for me to take a flight. However, now that I am aware of how damaging plane rides are to my carbon footprint/impacts on the environment, I think that I will be conscious of my choices of when I really have to fly back home or when I can choose to stay in place. I can also be more conscious so that rather than having my parents visit me in the States (meaning two people traveling by air), I can be the one that goes home (only one person traveling by air). I will also now try to buy carbon offsets every time that I need to travel by air. If it is inevitable that I have to travel by air, I think that the least I can do is try to take an action where I can also help the environment. 
  • Reflection Question
    Electricity Choose LED Bulbs
    Changing lightbulbs is an excellent first step toward energy efficiency! What's next for you?

    Leslie Kim's avatar
    Leslie Kim 5/24/2021 8:00 AM
    I learned by reading Michael's post about how he installed low-flow shower heads that such an option for conserving water exists. Before this, I had no idea that such options existed but now that I am aware, I want this to be the next step for me. I know that I am someone that likes to take long showers and often take baths as well. I also am aware that I often waste a lot of time and water standing under the shower as I take my sweet time. I want to challenge myself to change this. Recently, with my increased awareness of the amount of water I waste, I have been limiting my time spent showering to under 15 minutes (I used to spend an average of 30 minutes or longer each day). I realized that if I don't think about other thoughts and only focus on showering, I can easily cut down the time and water spent. On top of this, I think that if we change our existing shower heads to low-flow ones, my family and I can reduce our water use even more. Being mindful about the actions I make have also made me more thankful about all the things I took for granted, such as electricity (lightbulbs) and clean water. I now want to reduce my harmful impacts to our environment and start taking action, no matter how big or small that can be, to be more sustainable. Hopefully conserving water is a next step for change/improving my home!

  • Leslie Kim's avatar
    Leslie Kim 5/24/2021 7:48 AM
    Having lived in the same house for the past 22 years, a lot of our devices at home tend to be old and therefore less energy efficient. This included the light bulbs at our house. I think that with the exception of the room that I usually study in, which we had changed to LED bulbs back when I was in high school because of how much brighter it is, all the rest of the rooms still had incandescent light bulbs. Before this, I don't think that I ever thought to ask my parents to change the light bulbs in our house because that would mean that we would have to call over construction workers to re-install the lights. However, while we were in the need to fix our window at home that didn't open, I thought that it would be the perfect time to ask to change all the bulbs in our house to LED bulbs since we would already have the construction worker visiting. Through this challenge I learned that not only are LED bulbs longer lasting and brighter, they are more energy efficient. I read that LED bulbs use "more that 75% less energy than incandescent lighting" and really urged my parents to go for this change. We did end up changing the lights for all 5 room in our house and as a result we have been enjoying brighter light and a reduced electricity cost! We also spend less time and money on having to buy new bulbs and changing them out. I remember that since I am the most flexible out of my family and have long arms, I was always tasked with changing out the bulbs. This was not only tiring but also time consuming because the light in our living room for example, had 8 incandescent light bulbs attached to it. Now there is no need for that!
    This challenge has made me aware that even something very small like light bulbs can change our energy use and carbon output. Despite how much I enjoyed turning on all the lights at home and keeping things as bright as possible, I didn't pay attention to the changes that I could make. Going from incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs has been really helpful and also has been a very pleasing change. In the past, I liked turning on all 3 sets of lights in our living room (main light with the 8 bulbs and two side lights), for example, because it was not bright enough. These days, I only have to turn on 1 light (rather than 3) because the LED bulb is so much brighter. Moreover, my family and I turn on the living room light a lot less because the kitchen light (and my mom and I spend the most time here when we are at home) is bright enough to seep into the living room. I think that in the future, if I am ever in a place where I have to change the lights of a home or help someone do so, I will definitely advocate for them to change to LED lighting!
    (This is my bedroom with the newly changed LED lights!)
  • Reflection Question
    Food, Agriculture, and Land Use Keep Track of Wasted Food
    An average American throws out about 240 lbs of food per year. The average family of four spends $1,500 a year on food that they throw out. Where would you rather use this money?

    Leslie Kim's avatar
    Leslie Kim 5/24/2021 7:20 AM
    I have noticed that my family of just 3 produces so much food waste. We also spend so much on groceries each week that often goes to waste because we couldn't consume them in time. I think that I would rather use that money either doing something that would be productive for me - for example using that to buy access to a local gym to help myself get healthier, or using that money to start a new hobby. Another possible place that I see that money going is actually donating to charity or to organizations that are doing good to our world and our environment. If I am spending that much already but that money is going to go to waste, I would instead really want it to go to good use. Reading this data, I feel that I would much rather buy less food and save that money than spend it on all the groceries that I "think" I can finish eating up each week. 

  • Leslie Kim's avatar
    Leslie Kim 5/24/2021 7:14 AM
    After starting the Project Drawdown EcoChallenge and having the chance to think more mindfully about each and every action that I take, the first thing that really struck me as needing to change was the amount of food waste that my family was making. Unlike the kitchen/food waste system in the States where you can grind away most food wastes at the sink, here in Korea you still have to collect all the food waste and throw it out manually in the collective food waste bin located outside the apartment complex. Because of this way of throwing out the food waste, I was able to visually see how much waste we were producing. Before this challenge, I don't think that I paid much attention to this, since I was never the one responsible for throwing out the food waste. It therefore really was this challenge that made me pay attention to not only the amount of waste we produce, but also the contents of it. I noticed that a lot of our food waste comes from 1) left-over, uneaten food scraps and 2) peels of fruit. 
    My family in general love food and love trying different recipes. When we cook at home we also tend to naturally cook more than what we can eat in one meal. I realized that my desire to eat something new or something different each day was adding largely to this problem. Therefore, I decided that what I can do to reduce our waste is to simplify my meals. After deciding to do so, for a little over a month now, I have been portioning my food and sticking to having the similarly structured meal each day. I have also chosen a specific amount of food that I will have for each meal so I don't leave any left-overs. This has also helped me start a practice of meal-prepping. For example, now if I cook a rice-cooker full of rice, I will portion it into 1-meal sizes and put it in the fridge to eat throughout the week. I noticed that one rice-cooker size portion divided up lasts me 4-5 days and after I started doing this, I haven't thrown away any rice. Also, choosing how much I will eat helped me not only reduce the amount of waste, but also made me healthier since I rarely over eat nowadays. I also buy less food in bunk, especially produce that tends to go bad quickly. 
    We also cut down on our fruit intake and purchases as a family. In the past, we would buy all different kinds of fruit from the grocery store maybe twice a week. This wouldn't have been as big a problem if we didn't waste any of them, but because we were buying fruit so frequently a lot of it started going bad and we also produced so much food waste from the peels. These days, we have changed our habits. Around a month ago, we started purchasing from a local vendor instead of going to the grocery store. We also changed the types of fruit we bought a little bit. In the past, we used to buy a lot of Korean melons, oranges, Korean grapes (which you usually don't eat the peel), bananas, etc. These were fruits that inevitably produce a lot of food waste since you can't eat the peel. More recently, I noticed that we gravitate towards fruits that you can eat whole such as tomatoes (cherry tomatoes too), apples, and blueberries. This has also made me healthier because I am taking in less sugar each day from the fruits (in the past I believe I was eating too much fruits). 
    Overall, I noticed our food waste bag go from 1.5-2 full containers each day to around 0.5 full containers these days. I feel that this is a huge improvement and want to continue to make less waste, especially since this not only helps our environment but also helps make me healthier!