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Eleonora Krasteva's avatar

Eleonora Krasteva

VANIER Sustainability-in-Action

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 472 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    59
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    6
    locally sourced meals
    consumed
  • up to
    45
    meatless or vegan meals
    consumed
  • up to
    3
    people
    helped
  • up to
    4
    trees
    planted
  • up to
    5
    hours
    volunteered

Eleonora's Actions

Land Sinks

Plant Trees

Temperate Forest Restoration

I will plant 3 tree(s) in my community, public parks, or backyard.

Completed
One-Time Action

Coastal, Ocean, and Engineered Sinks

Restore Wetlands

Coastal Wetland Restoration

I will volunteer 5 hours with a wetland restoration project in my region.

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Justice for the Whole Community

Give a Microloan

Sustainable Intensification for Smallholders

I will give 5 microloan(s) to women who need help starting a business.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Smaller Portions

Reduced Food Waste

I will use smaller plates and/or serve smaller portions when dishing out food.

COMPLETED 8
DAILY ACTIONS

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Reduce Animal Products

Plant-Rich Diets

I will enjoy 4 meatless or vegan meal(s) each day of the challenge.

COMPLETED 11
DAILY ACTIONS

Action Track: Justice for the Whole Community

Learn about the Legacy of Redlining

Multiple Solutions

I will spend at least 20 minutes learning about the legacy of redlining and how city planning and environmental justice issues are interconnected.

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Justice for the Whole Community

Learn about 'Green Gentrification'

Multiple Solutions

I will spend at least 20 minutes learning about green gentrification and how it relates to city planning for climate action.

Completed
One-Time Action

Industry

Find a Local Climate-Friendly Supermarket

Refrigerant Management

I will explore the interactive map in the links below to find a supermarket that does not use HFC refrigerants near my home.

Completed
One-Time Action

Industry

Practice the 5 R's

Recycling

I will Practice the "5 Rs" — refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose, and recycle — to reduce my waste more than I can with just recycling alone.

COMPLETED 9
DAILY ACTIONS

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Support Local Food Systems

Plant-Rich Diets

I will source 1 percent of my food from local producers each day. This could include signing up for a local CSA, buying from a farmer's market, visiting a food co-op, foraging with a local group, or growing my own ingredients.

COMPLETED 6
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed


  • Eleonora Krasteva's avatar
    Eleonora Krasteva 12/01/2020 11:44 PM
    For this final post, I would like to reflect on the past couple of weeks where I had tested myself to the max. A big part of the actions I chose to partake were a one-time action or a time invested into research. Due to COVID and many other complications that have resulted in current events, it was very difficult to find activities to join or initiate. I was limited to the space of my own house and neighborhood. For the beginning of this challenge, it did not necessarily feel as something productive or that really challenged my views. But once I started investing myself more into the actions that consisted of researching or investing in smaller businesses or as simple as signing a petition, I found myself developing the habit of doing these activities every Sunday, not for this blog but for myself only. I had invested quite an amount in organizations like KIVA and had even gotten in touch with some of the people whom my money got to. As it was a one-time action I could not count it again, but writing it down in the comments section served just as well. I am aware that towards the end of this challenge I was becoming less and less frequent in my visits to the site not because I stopped doing those actions, but because I was not doing it for the purpose of a grade anymore therefore on most days I would completely forget to write here as well. On another note, as I was already pescatarian, challenging myself by also cutting fish out of my diet, really pushed me to take that final step that has been slowing me down for so long. Overall, I find this challenge to have been very helpful to me and will for sure keep practicing and adapting more actions into my lifestyle! 

  • Eleonora Krasteva's avatar
    Eleonora Krasteva 10/14/2020 11:31 AM
    My friend initiated a small community over the last summer where each week we decide on a location near the river or a lake in the Montreal region and the island as well, and we would go to collect trash and clean up the space so it is more enjoyable for people and the animals around. I went to 5 of those meetings since most of the time they were during my working hours. The places I attended were 2x Lachine canal and LaSalle rapids, and a lake in a park in Saint Catherine. The weather recently has been very rainy so we were not able to do much work but on good days like today we make the most of it! 

  • Eleonora Krasteva's avatar
    Eleonora Krasteva 10/14/2020 11:22 AM
    For the duration of these 10 weeks, I've made it a habit to take walks everyday after work. Since I finish work at 4:30 on most days and live by the river, it's very convenient for me to simply walk by the biking alley. At first I was doing it alone but this week on some days my family comes with me and on other some friends who live close by (we keep the 2m distance). Yesterday, we did 16km round-trip from our house to the park in the neighborhood next to ours. It was a good time to catch up on our lives but I prefer going alone because since we are all working from home we spend a lot of time around each other so the walks are my chance for peace and quiet. Even when the 10 weeks are over I will continue to take these daily walks as long as the weather permits it. 

  • Eleonora Krasteva's avatar
    Eleonora Krasteva 10/12/2020 10:53 AM
    Over the past couple of weeks I have tried going completely vegetarian and on some days even attempting to not consume any animal products at all! I have been pescatarian for a little over a year now but I am aware that fish and dairy is also part of the environmental damage caused by the food industry. I had set for myself as a goal to do 4 full weeks where I wouldn't be consuming any type of meat or animal products for 4 days. I don't think I would be able to do it for every day of the week that's why I am starting slowly. I kept the journal on my phone as it was easier to write down and keep track of;

    4 WEEK CHALLENGE

    Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
    (Mon; Wed; Thu; Sun)

    WEEK 1:
    - Avocado toast with maple syrup and coffee with almond milk
    - Pasta with tomato sauce and spinach and Greek salad
    - Spinach soup and moussaka with vegan yogurt

    WEEK 2:
    - Avocado toast with maple syrup and coffee with almond milk
    - Shakshuka with a toast
    - Burger with baked potatoes and salad
    * Bread - usually we never buy bread to begin with we always make our own at home so the only thing I changed was using soya milk instead of regular one
    * Burger - beyond meat vegan patty, lettuce, tomato, avocado, salt, pepper, hot sauce, homemade sweet-sour sauce, vegan mayo, ketchup, pickles

    WEEK 3:
    - Avocado toast with maple syrup and coffee with almond milk
    - Burrito
    * paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, avocado, beans, tomatoes, mushroom, onion, garlic, cabbage, flour tortillas
    - Lentil soup with toast and Greek salad

    WEEK 4:
    - Vegan yogurt with with dried fruits and maple syrup
    - Potatoes stuffed with vegan cream cheese and vegetables
    - Vegan chickpea curry
    * recipe: https://hurrythefoodup.com/vegan-chickpea-curry-ready/

    Feedback: 
    Overall the challenge was hard but attainable. It wasn't too difficult as long as you are invested and willing to put in the time to cook. I usually eat the same breakfast all the time when I have the time to eat one since I am never hungry in the morning. Since I would buy the ingredients for the meals I included above, I would eat them a couple of times through out the 4 weeks to use up all of the groceries. The hardest part for me was cutting off yogurt and feta cheese. Those are the only animal products I am very attached to and can't live without. All of the meals I usually prepare have one or the other. The vegan yogurt wasn't that bad but it doesn't come close to the one I am used to. I eat Bulgarian or Balkan yogurt which is very different from the ones most people are used to here. It is not sweet or a desert. We put it in soups, rice, moussaka and also make drinks from it. That was the only factor preventing me from fully indulging in the challenge. Another aspect of it was that I didn't always have the time to cook or energy. My parents cook a lot and they have adapted to my lifestyle without meat so when they prepare food for them they just cook the meat separately so I can eat the meals as well. But this was too much even for them. There was a lot of leftovers when both I and them cook. They cannot eat without meat or animal products and even when I did smaller portions only for myself it was very little ingredients used to the point where it was a waste of the rest if I did not use them right away. 

    In general, I will continue to do this challenge a couple of days a week since I found it very interesting and good for my health. I felt more energized even after a bigger meal whereas usually I would need to take a nap after. 

  • Eleonora Krasteva's avatar
    Eleonora Krasteva 9/20/2020 3:20 PM
    Reedling & Gentrification
    In the 1990s, the American government started to support homeownership and created a color-coded map to show which neighborhoods were best fit for investments. The regions were classified by desirability which also happened to reflect the ethnic and racial demographics of those areas. Neighborhoods with immigrants from Japan, Middle East, Eastern Europe or/and Black minorities, were determined the least desirable for investments. Whilst predominantly white neighborhoods were given the highest grades (green and bleu) portraying their safety and desirability compared to the "hazardous" low-class ones. This made investments in green and bleu zones increase drastically, creating an enormous gap in the funds given to minority and low income family regions and those of white American communities.

    This racialized system of investment is called Reedling. It promotes racial segregation and white flight to the suburbs as well as solidifying wage gap between races and ethnicities. 

    Previously red/orange-lined areas, now undergo Gentrification, which implies a demographic and economic shift in historically disinvested neighborhoods. In other words, a white flux aimed to benefit off of the low rates in the gentrified regions, forces their previous residents (minorities) to leave or be separated all while the blue/green areas continue to increase and still exclude other racial and ethnic minorities. 

    These racist strategies of segregation have been so deeply rooted in our economic and social systems, that they are still highly prevalent today. 

  • Eleonora Krasteva's avatar
    Eleonora Krasteva 9/20/2020 2:52 PM
    For my part of the DRAWDOWN ECOCHALLENGE, I researched and made a couple of micro loans. I have always been interested in investments towards small, sustainable and independent businesses but have never had the funds to do it. Thanks to this challenge, I have found the means to help those businesses even just a little. Below I will insert information on the 3 investments I did. All of them are of 25$. It's a low risk investment through a field partner. 

    Field partners are local non-profit organizations, microfinance institutions, schools, and social enterprises, working in communities to vet borrowers, disburse loans, collect repayments, provide services and administer loans on the ground in general. Many provide services alongside their loans, such as entrepreneurial training or financial literacy development.  
    • Costa Rica - Coffee Seedlings 
    Alexander Antonio wants the loan to buy coffee seedlings as well as the necessary soil amendments, fertilizer, and inputs to plant and maintain the plants. He hopes to make the most of his land with this and be able to get a better-quality product. This loan is overseen by a field partner of KIVA called the Foundation for the Development of Southern Communities (FUDECOSUR) which is dedicated to economically empowering its clients by providing credit and training programs that help improve living conditions for micro-entrepreneurs and their children across Southern Costa Rica. 
    • Costa Rica - Corn Crops 
    Leonel wishes to request a new loan. He is 55 years old and married. Leonel lives with his wife and son, who are his top priority. The loan will be used to buy supplies, soil amendments, and fertilizers necessary to tend and maintain the corn crops on which his household depends. This loan is also overseen by FUDECOSUR. 
    • Vietnam - Sanitary Latrine 
    Nga is 45 years old, married and has three children. She is a hard-working woman who earns a living by farming in a rural area in Quang Binh. She has requested a loan to build a sanitary latrine, which will contribute to improving the health of her family as well as environmental protection. This loan is overseen by QBWDF. This is a social fund dedicated to increasing health and sanitation in poor communities in Vietnam through the construction of household latrines. QBWDF provides loans to low-income women to pay for the material and labor costs of constructing these latrines. Using funding from Kiva, QBWDF will be able to provide loans to women living in Le Thuy and Quang Ninh, the districts in Vietnam with the highest need for improvements in sanitation, through construction of household latrines.

    These are only the descriptions of my loans. If you want more details on loan rates, repayment rate stats, length of loans or general information on the process, I have a Google Doc that I wouldn't mind sharing :)