April 3 - April 24, 2019

Lauren Kottwitz

HR Climate Coolers

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 1,241 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    867
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    22
    meatless or vegan meals
    consumed
  • up to
    5
    public officials or leaders
    contacted
  • up to
    722
    miles
    travelled by bus
  • up to
    6
    lightbulbs
    replaced
  • up to
    2
    donations
    made
  • up to
    722
    miles
    not traveled by car
  • up to
    240
    minutes
    spent learning

Challenges

Transport

Purchase a Carbon Offset

#43 Airplanes

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

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Land Use

Support Indigenous Peoples' Land Management

#39 Indigenous Peoples' Land Management

I will donate to The Nature Conservancy, which works with Indigenous Peoples to secure land tenure and resource rights, support improved governance and local institutions, assist in natural resource mapping, planning and management; and strengthen livelihoods and sustainable economic development.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Buildings and Cities

Research Heat Pumps

#42 Heat Pumps

I will spend at least 30 minutes researching heat pumps to see if installing one makes sense for my home/building.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Buildings and Cities

Research Retrofitting Incentives

#80 Retrofitting

I will spend at least 30 minutes finding out if my city, region, or state offers incentives for retrofitting existing buildings.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Buildings and Cities

Choose LED Bulbs

#33 LED Lighting (Household)

I will replace 6 incandescent lightbulb(s) with Energy Star-certified LED bulbs, saving up to $14 per fixture per year.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Buildings and Cities

Plan to Insulate

#31 Insulation

I will find out how to make my home more energy efficient through better insulation and weatherization.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Women and Girls

Research Barriers to Participation and Representation

#6 Educating Girls, #7 Family Planning, #62 Women Smallholders

I will spend at least 30 minutes learning more about the barriers to women's equal participation and representation around the world.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Food

Learn More about Silvopasture

#9 Silvopasture

I will spend at least 60 minutes watching videos and/or reading about the environmental benefits of silvopasture.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Action Track: Social Justice

Learn about Local Indigenous Practices

#39 Indigenous Peoples' Land Management

I will spend at least 30 minutes learning how local indigenous tribes are caring for the land by attending a training, workshop, or presentation.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Electricity Generation

Learn More about Wave and Tidal Energy

#29 Wave and Tidal

I will spend at least 60 minutes learning more about the energy generation potential of wave and tidal energy.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Action Track: Social Justice

Advocate for Forest Protection

#38 Forest Protection

I will contact 5 congress people or representatives to advocate for public policy that protects forests and the enforcement of existing anti-logging laws.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Food

Reduce Animal Products

#4 Plant-Rich Diet

I will enjoy 1 meatless or vegan meal(s) each day of the challenge.

COMPLETED 22 OF 22
DAILY CHALLENGE

Transport

Use Public Transit

#37 Mass Transit

I will use public transit 38 mile(s) per day and avoid sending up to 15.52 lbs of CO2 into Earth's atmosphere.

COMPLETED 19 OF 22
DAILY CHALLENGE

Land Use

Buy Bamboo

#35 Bamboo

When they are available, I will purchase products made from bamboo instead of wood, plastic, or metal.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Materials

Recycle Everything I Can

#55 Household Recycling

I will recycle all materials that are accepted by local haulers or drop stations in my community.

COMPLETED 22 OF 22
DAILY CHALLENGE

Food

Composting

#60 Composting, #3 Reduced Food Waste

I will start a compost bin where I live.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Action Track: Social Justice

Fund Family Planning

#7 Family Planning

I will donate to supply a community with reproductive health supplies.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Feed

  • Reflection Question
    Transport Use Public Transit
    How has your access to various kinds of transporation throughout your life influenced your current attitudes about transportation and your transportation behavior?

    Lauren Kottwitz 4/24/2019 2:30 PM
    I grew up with cars. That's it. There was no public transportation in Covington, and even now only has a couple of lines running through it. So, I grew up yearning to drive, then learning to drive, in order to escape. Cars represent freedom to me, and to many Americans. The feeling of not being beholden to anyone else is freeing. 

    I started riding the bus out of necessity when I was accepted to Cornish in downtown Seattle where there is an infamous lack of easy or affordable parking. And I realized then that I liked it most of the time. Not having to deal with idiot drivers, not having to pay attention to the road at all, it's nice. But there are terrible things about public transportation too - primarily other humans and their bad behavior. Smelly people, loud talkers, rude young folks who refuse to move their stuff, etc. 

    I think I will probably always prefer to drive if I can. It's a deeply-held love. But luckily for the planet, driving is only getting more and more expensive and frustrating. :)
  • Reflection Question
    Materials Recycle Everything I Can
    How could you incorporate other "R's" -- reduce, reuse, refuse, repair, repurpose, etc. -- into your lifestyle? How does considering implementing these "R's" make you feel?

    Lauren Kottwitz 4/24/2019 2:25 PM
    I am a millennial, so I grew up with the [then three, now five] "Rs." It was part of my general public education. So I've been a reduce/reuse/recycler forever. What I could definitely do is incorporate more repurposing into my life. Old containers become new containers, old sheets become new rags, etc. I don't do as much of that as I could, or would like to, so I'm going to start. It doesn't make me feel any particular way, really. I would feel proud, but dampening that pride is an overwhelming concern that it simply isn't enough.
  • Reflection Question
    Transport Purchase a Carbon Offset
    A round-trip flight from New York City to Los Angeles emits just over 1.5 tons of CO2. What can you do to reduce the number of flights you take per year?

    Lauren Kottwitz 4/24/2019 8:28 AM
    I was shocked and awed at how affordable purchasing this offset was for my upcoming trip to LA. $15 round-trip! That's cheaper than it is to check a bag!

    Anyway - I don't fly often. Mostly because I'm too poor to travel extensively, secondarily because I HATE flying and am terrified of it. So I am already doing a pretty good job of minimizing the number of flights I take. However, were I to find myself in a position that required a lot of travel, purchasing offsets like this is a really affordable way to curb the effects of it. And, because of my crippling fear of flying, I would always try to find some way to attend virtually instead. Technology has come a long way. There are fewer and fewer reasons for business to *require* in-person interaction. Skype is a beautiful thing.

    If I was the queen of the world, offsets would be part of the cost of every plane, train and bus ticket and would go into a fund for curbing climate change. Like a tax, except the money would actually go towards good stuff.

    Offset.png 23.93 KB
  • Reflection Question
    Food Composting
    Producing food that goes uneaten squanders many resources—seeds, water, energy, land, fertilizer, hours of labor, financial capital. Which of these kinds of waste most motivates you to change your behavior regarding food waste? Why?

    Lauren Kottwitz 4/24/2019 7:42 AM

    Honestly, thinking about starving people motivates me most. There are people, children, in this country, in this state, in my neighborhood who don't have enough to eat. When food waste happens, not only are we wasting the food itself, but every resource that brought that food to our home - resources that could otherwise have been spent feeding people who don't have enough to eat. It's immoral to waste food, especially when it is due to simply hoarding more than what we need.

  • Lauren Kottwitz 4/24/2019 7:37 AM
    Last night I finally started my compost "bin" which, for me, is not a bin but a pile. I don't have the money for a special bin, and I don't have wood to build myself one. So, I opted for a spot in my lawn between some other plants to kind of hide it. It's small and pretty straightforward, and my roommate had just mowed the lawn so we had a bunch of "green material" already. I just had to figure out the brown material situation. For now the balance is a little off. I can only prune so many bushes before I'm just killing bushes needlessly. But I added our spent/old birdseed and shredded up some cardboard.
  • Reflection Question
    Land Use 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?

    Lauren Kottwitz 4/22/2019 3:46 PM
    The natural world is the most amazing thing. The experiences I have had in nature, with nature, viewing nature, have been the best of my life. Nature can make you feel humble and prideful, larger and smaller than you are. It can make you feel whole again when you are sure you've been permanently sapped by humanity. It can show you miracles. It provides the most brilliant mirror to our lives and the struggles therein. Nature IS balance, in its purest form.

    We must protect it, it is the least we can do to repay god or the gods or whatever higher power there may or may not be for allowing us to experience its wonders. 
  • Reflection Question
    Buildings and Cities Research Heat Pumps
    Why is taking action on climate change important to you? Why do you care?

    Lauren Kottwitz 4/22/2019 3:40 PM
    The natural world is the most amazing thing. The experiences I have had in nature, with nature, viewing nature, have been the best of my life. Nature can make you feel humble and prideful, larger and smaller than you are. It can make you feel whole again when you are sure you've been permanently sapped by humanity. It can show you miracles. It provides the most brilliant mirror to our lives and the struggles therein. 

    We must protect it, it is the least we can do to repay god or the gods or whatever higher power there may or may not be for allowing us to experience its wonders.
  • Reflection Question
    Buildings and Cities Plan to Insulate
    What are some of the benefits of making your home more energy efficient?

    Lauren Kottwitz 4/22/2019 3:27 PM
    Well, the way to get other people to get into it is the monetary aspect. It can save you a boatload of money in a fairly short amount of time. When the windows are solid and the seams have been sealed, less warm air escapes, and less warm air is created to replace that which escapes. 

    Ultimately, the figures on emissions are really interesting to look at though - "If 54 percent of existing residential and commercial buildings install insulation, 8.3 gigatons of emissions can be avoided at an implementation cost of $3.7 trillion. Over thirty years, net savings could be $2.5 trillion. However, insulation measures can last one hundred years or more, realizing lifetime savings in excess of $4.2 trillion."

  • Reflection Question
    Buildings and Cities Research Retrofitting Incentives
    How can you share what you have learned in your research with others?

    Lauren Kottwitz 4/22/2019 3:17 PM
    I'm already planning on talking with my landlord about some of the financial incentives available to making minor changes. Even if all he does is replace our oil heat pump with an electric one will net him a sizeable rebate.
  • Reflection Question
    Buildings and Cities Choose LED Bulbs
    Changing lightbulbs is an excellent first step toward energy efficiency! What's next for you?

    Lauren Kottwitz 4/22/2019 3:12 PM
    I changed out all of my bedroom lightbulbs this weekend. I don't love the new, extremely white glow but I'm sure i'll get used to it.