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Natasha Markarian's avatar

Natasha Markarian

VANIER Sustainability-in-Action

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 592 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    430
    minutes
    spent exercising
  • up to
    35
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    5
    lightbulbs
    replaced
  • up to
    15
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • up to
    29
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill

Natasha's Actions

Action Track: Healing & Renewal

Explore My Area

Sometimes protecting nature requires feeling connected to nature. I will invest 35 minutes in exploring and appreciating a natural area in my region, whether a forest, wetland, coastal area, or somewhere else.

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

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Composting

Composting, Reduced Food Waste

I will start a compost bin where I live.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Learn the Truth About Expiration Dates

Reduced Food Waste

I will spend at least 8 minutes learning how to differentiate between sell by, use by, and best by dates.

Completed
One-Time Action

Land Sinks

Buy Bamboo

Bamboo Production

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

Completed
One-Time Action

Health and Education

Learn about the Need for Family Planning

Health and Education

I will spend at least 10 minutes learning more about the need for family planning globally.

Completed
One-Time Action

Land Sinks

Forest-Friendly Foods 2

Tropical Forest Restoration

I will replace or remove the palm oil, coffee, and cocoa products in my current diet that are known to contribute to deforestation.

COMPLETED 9
DAILY ACTIONS

Industry

Reduce Single-Use Disposables

Bioplastics

I will avoid buying and using 2 single-use plastics and instead replace them with durable options.

COMPLETED 9
DAILY ACTIONS

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 10
DAILY ACTIONS

Transportation

Go for a Daily Walk

Walkable Cities

I will take a walk for 60 minutes each day and take note of the infrastructure that makes walking more or less enjoyable, accessible, and possible.

COMPLETED 10
DAILY ACTIONS

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 10
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed


  • Natasha Markarian's avatar
    Natasha Markarian 11/24/2020 4:32 PM
    This week I have place an emphasis on cutting down the amount of animal products I consume. I don't eat dairy products but I do consume eggs and meat and i've tried to reduce my intake.
    I make 2/3 meals vegan to make the change more gradual. 
    I searched up a bunch of quick easy vegan recipes that I can make between my classes for energy.
    Im planning to do this for quite some time to see how it makes me feel and gradually alter my eating habits. 

  • Natasha Markarian's avatar
    Natasha Markarian 11/22/2020 6:43 PM
    Ive been putting an effort to walk, take the bus, metro, and commute whenever I need to go somewhere. I go on walks with my friends in order to catch up and, whenever I have labs or exam to do at school I always take the bus or metro to go to Vanier which is on average 1-2 a week. 

  • Natasha Markarian's avatar
    Natasha Markarian 11/22/2020 6:35 PM
    This week I tried to understand food expiration dates and the truth behind them. 
    Food expiration dates aren’t necessarily about food safety. Manufacturers put “best if used by _____” dates on their products to let grocery stores and consumers know how long their products are expected to maintain the best taste. Perishable products are usually safe to consume beyond their “best by” date if they’ve been handled and stored properly. A tip that I learned is to store eggs and milk at the very back of the fridge because that’s where its coldest, it stops them from going bad faster. 

  • Natasha Markarian's avatar
    Natasha Markarian 11/19/2020 4:10 PM
    sustainable acts that I’ve been employing in my daily life :
    • Practicing the 5 Rs
    • Donating items 
    • Use a reusable water bottle
    • Reducing my food waste by using smaller portions. 
    • Reusable straws,  cutlery, dishes 
    • Walking, using public transportation 
    • Educating myself about sustainable topics whenever I can 
    • Reducing intake of meat/dairy products 
    • Avoiding single use plastics 
    • Using a reusable cotton mask 
    • Learning about sustainable brands and companies 


  • Natasha Markarian's avatar
    Natasha Markarian 11/11/2020 11:22 AM
    One of my objectives was to buy bamboo products instead of metal or wood materials. I recently bought reusable bamboo cutlery for my lunches. I wanted to know exactly why bamboo was more sustainable than wood, plastic or metal, so I did a little bit of research. 
    An interesting fact is that bamboo is actually a grass and not a tree!
    Bamboo is actually extremely beneficial to the environment, with its ability absorb carbon dioxide and produce 35% more oxygen than trees. Bamboo can grow very quickly, on average 3-4 feet per day , and there’s no need for fertilizers, pesticides of much water which makes it a lot more sustainable than other materials. 


  • Natasha Markarian's avatar
    Natasha Markarian 11/11/2020 11:00 AM
    This week I tried to learn about family planning:
    My first thoughts were what is family planning? And how does it benefit our environment?
    Family planning the practice of controlling the number of children in a family as well as widening the intervals between the children’s births. This could be controlled by the use of contraceptive. 
    There are a lot of benefits to this, throughout my research on this topic I found that planned pregnancies spaced two or more years apart result in healthier babies and fewer medical problems for the woman. 

    Also limiting the number of children in a family means more resources for each child and more time for the parents to dedicate to each child. Which improves the well-being and psychological state of the child. Planning for a child will help you avoid the social, health, and financial problems you face if an unplanned pregnancy happens. 

    So what does this mean for our environment? 
    Family planning means that most families tend to be on the smaller side, this results in reduced demands on resources that could potentially damage the environment, for example smaller families don’t use as many cars (CO2 emissions), consume a smaller amount of food (CO2 and CH4 emissions), tend to live in smaller houses or apartments (less CO2 emissions) etc. 
    It also straightens the communities ability to adapt as well as reduces maternal and child mortality rates. 

  • Natasha Markarian's avatar
    Natasha Markarian 10/28/2020 11:31 AM
    These past few weeks I've been serving myself smaller portions of food to avoid food waste and there's many benefits to this not only just for the environment but also for our health.

    It makes you eat only what you need instead of over consuming food and feeling excessively full which is unhealthy. When you eat you should stop once you're not hungry anymore and this can be difficult when there's too much on your plate, you might feel the need to eat more quickly. Additionally you might overeat before the signal from your brain reaches your stomach to tell you to stop (receptors found in the stomach are activated when the stomach is filled, the brain is signaled to stop from the vagus nerve). 

    Other than biological health benefits eating smaller portions stops a lot of food from going into the trash which would be wasteful, worst case scenario if you accidentally serve yourself too big of a portion you can always keep it as a leftover if it can be preserved or if you can compost it. 

  • Natasha Markarian's avatar
    Natasha Markarian 10/28/2020 11:18 AM
    These past weeks I've tried to avoid single used plastics, I always use a reusable water bottle so avoiding disposable plastic bottles weren't a challenge for me, but packaging that comes from snacks/protein bars was a big challenge. When I have labs to do at school with very short breaks it's very practical for me to have something quick to eat for energy. So I had to find alternate options that avoid the wrapping which is a single use plastic. I try to buy snacks that come in a recyclable packaging or zero packaging to avoid this problem (tip bring a reusable bag when going to the grocery store to place fruits like bananas and apples to avoid those clear plastic bags, many sustainable companies sell very lightweight washable linen bags for fruits and veggies that have their weight on a tag outside the bag). before the pandemic I could always go to a bulk store and get peanut or almond butter in a mason jar that I could reuse (just pre-measure mason jar and write the weight on it with a sharpie to make it easier for cashier). Its always fun to challenge ourselves and try new things!

  • Natasha Markarian's avatar
    Natasha Markarian 10/28/2020 11:03 AM
    I took a short walk around my neighbourhood today and tried to think about the different ways that would improve the environment. Whether it was about decreasing pollution as well as making the area more aesthetically pleasing. There's not necessarily any hiking trails but there's a good bicycle path that I can use when I go on walks. I think that planting more trees, greenery, and flowers can not only decrease pollution but also make the surrounding look a lot nicer. It can increase the overall well-being and quality of life for those who live in the surrounding area. 

  • Natasha Markarian's avatar
    Natasha Markarian 10/14/2020 8:11 AM
    this week I wanted to replace or entirely remove the palm oil, coffee, and cocoa products in my current diet that are known to contribute to deforestation. I already don't consume coffee so that was an easy checkmark, I avoided palm oil by checking the ingredients on any kind of food that I ate this week. I normally use olive oil to cook but I found out that it was not that environmentally friendly since it causes soil erosion and other unfavourable things for the environment.    the most environmentally friendly oil is one that is organic, fair-trade, unrefined, and cold pressed (according to clarify green.com). I ended up using a small amount of organic coconut oil. 

    • Eleonora Krasteva's avatar
      Eleonora Krasteva 10/14/2020 11:37 AM
      Wow that was very informative! Do you know if there is any environmental-friendly coffee brands or suppliers that are also budget friendly? I will certainly watch out for my cooking ingredients but coffee I don't think I will survive without...