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Dayanira Monge's avatar

Dayanira Monge

Low Energy Enthusiasts

"My goal is to cherish the world we have around us. To truly enjoy each wave that crashes on the shore, each sunset that paints the sky, and each plant that contributes to the beauty of our earth. Most importantly, I hope to learn new ways to improve my way of life so that I can lessen my carbon footprint so that we can enjoy our earth for a little longer :,)"

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 486 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    1
    donations
    made
  • up to
    220
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    290
    minutes
    being mindful
  • up to
    1
    people
    helped
  • up to
    9
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill

Dayanira's Actions

Industry

Reduce Single-Use Disposables

Bioplastics

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

COMPLETED 3
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.

Completed
One-Time Action

Transportation

Learn about Carbon Offsets

I will visit Tradewater’s website to learn more about carbon offsets, and why they are a necessary solution in combating a climate crisis.

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Building Resilience

Learn More about Regenerative Agriculture

Conservation Agriculture, Regenerative Annual Cropping

I will spend at least 60 minutes learning about the need for more regenerative agriculture.

Completed
One-Time Action

Health and Education

Help Students Overcome Health Barriers

Health and Education

I will donate 10 Femme Kit(s) to help people who menstruate overcome health and sanitation barriers to being able to attend school.

Completed
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 7
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 7
DAILY ACTIONS

Health and Education

Learn about the Need for Family Planning

Health and Education

I will spend at least 60 minutes learning more about the need for family planning globally.

Completed
One-Time Action

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  • Reflection Question
    Action Track: Building Resilience Learn More about Regenerative Agriculture
    Clean air, clean water and healthy food are just three reasons to care about regenerative agriculture. What are some other reasons? How could/does regenerative agriculture positively impact you and your community?

    Dayanira Monge's avatar
    Dayanira Monge 6/02/2021 2:30 PM
    In a Tedtalk given by Charles Massy, he discusses the ways in which regenerative farming can help heal the planet and help aid the human health crisis. Prior to learning more about this issue, I did not know the importance of incorporating regenerative farming techniques into our agriculture, let alone did I know about the effects industrial farming has on our environment as a whole.

    And although prioritizing clean air, water, and healthy food are all good reasons as to why we should care about this issue, but it is also important to understand the ways in which regenerative farming aids our environment and health. Because supply and demand for produce is always increasing, industrial farmers have resorted to using pesticides and other chemicals to treat their soil. In return this has created a codependency within the plants and the soil in which they can no longer grow without the help of additional chemicals. So how does this affect us? Currently, we are in the middle of the anthropocene period in which there has been an increase in diseases due to the decline in nutrients found within our fruits and vegetables. Our immune systems are also in decline. An orange from today's era does not have the same nutritional value as an orange from twenty years ago.

    Soil does not hold its value unless properly taken care of.  Many places that once were used for agriculture have lost their value because the soil no longer held nutrients to grow anything planted on them. Because of industrial farming, more and more agricultural spaces are turning into deserts, directly affecting our ecosystem. In ecological literacy, there are five main components that must be sustained if we plan on healing our planet: Solar function, the water cycle, soil nutrient cycle, dynamic ecosystem communities, and human-social interactions. By disrupting one, all the rest will be affected. Regenerative agriculture aims at regulation carbon levels in order to not disrupt the chain, thus helping heal the land rather than destroy it. 

    Agriculture also affects us on a genetic level. If more CO2 gasses are released into the air because of industrial farming, our future generations will be affected even before they leave their mother's wombs. Pregnant women will only be able to supply their infants with breastmilk that contain these environmental toxins. Food that lack nutrients will also affect and alter the dynamic of our gut microbiome.

    I think regenerative agriculture will help reduce the amount of CO2 gasses and provide is with quality produce. Within my community, regenerative agriculture could possibly help diminish the amount of unnourished children since their mothers will provide breastmilk that is not heavily contaminated with these toxins. 
  • Reflection Question
    Transportation Learn about Carbon Offsets
    What are some attributes of an offset that you should consider before purchasing them?

    Dayanira Monge's avatar
    Dayanira Monge 6/01/2021 12:19 AM
    It is no secret that human activity is the cause to many of our environmental issues. Several methods of transportation, such as cars and airplanes, release a significant amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses that pollute the air. In fact a lot of our daily actions, cough cough online shopping, also increase our carbon footprint, so what can we do to solve this issue?

    In attempt to destroy greenhouse gasses before they are released into the atmosphere, several organizations have created carbon offsets as a form of trade. You purchase offsets according to your carbon footprint  and projects dedicated to this issue collect and destroy potent greenhouse gasses around the world, ensuring that they will not be released into the atmosphere. These projects are funded with money that they receive from people who purchase carbon offset credits from them. 

    However, there are several factors that one should consider before purchasing  an offset. There are many different types of projects out there that also aim at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. From projects aiming at forest conservation  to the collection of refrigerants, it is important to find a project that best resonates with your personal goals and beliefs. According to Tradewater prior to purchasing carbon offset credits, one should consider the verification, responsibility conduct, ease, additionality, and verification of the project you are considering. 

  • Reflection Question
    Industry Reduce Single-Use Disposables
    What single-use items (e.g. straws, coffee cups, vegetable bags, plastic bags) do you regularly use? What could be substituted instead?

    Dayanira Monge's avatar
    Dayanira Monge 5/31/2021 5:40 PM
    Prior to attending UCLA, I was never truly conscious about the amount of single use products that I was using. I would simply consume coffee in plastic containers, ask for straws at every restaurant I went to, and would opt for disposable plates and cups because I was too lazy to do the dishes. My acts of selfishness were influenced by convenience and my own ignorance is the reason why so many sea creatures have had their homes polluted with plastic and other garbage. 

    Although my time living on the hill was cut short, I did notice that my lifestyle and the choices I was making changed. Whether it was peer pressure or the desire to understand the hype, I purchased a blue hydro flask from the UCLA store and no longer purchased bottled water. Instead I would refill my hydro at any water fountain near me. In the beginning, my roommates and I would alternate turns to purchase cases of bottled water but eventually we upgraded to a Brita, which not only eliminated the struggle of carry water cases up two flights of stairs (our elevator did not work) but it also helped us reduce the amount of waste we were producing. If you've lived on the hill, or simply walked on campus, you know that trashcans are sprinkled around campus because UCLA has a goal of becoming zero waste. These trashcans are divided into recyclables, compost, and trash. Beforehand, I never took the time to separate my trash and properly dispose of it, but coming to UCLA held me more accountable. I was constantly sorting out the trash in my dorm because I wanted to make sure that everything was disposed of correctly. As I mentioned before, I am a HUGE coffee addict and the fact that we had a Starbucks within walking distance of campus did not alleviate this issue. To make matters worse, Starbucks would frequently have happy hours every Thursday and my friend and I would always made time to go. It took me a whole quarter to finally make the switch. I purchased a venti size tumbler from Starbucks and would request to have my drinks made in that cup rather than in a disposable one.  Doing this, reduced the amount of single use plastics that I was using and it made me feel slightly less guilty about my waste.

    But then Covid hit. Regulations were placed in many stores and Starbucks was no longer allowing you to bring in your reusable cup. Although we were forced to use single use containers (rightfully so), this goes to show how being zero waste is not accessible to everyone. I acknowledge that I am privileged enough to afford a venti size reusable cup from Starbucks or even a Brita filtering system, but not everyone can afford to make those choices. However, it doesn't hurt to try. I am constantly encouraging my family members to not drink bottled water or to use reusable bags instead of plastic ones. And although this change is small, doing something is better than contributing to the issue. 

    • Hector Acosta's avatar
      Hector Acosta 6/02/2021 11:56 PM
      Hello Dayanira,
      Much like you, I did not stop to think about all of the waste I was creating and using prior to attending UCLA. If I am being honest, I would eat out a lot instead of cooking or eating the food made at home. This meant that every time I would eat out, I was adding at least one more wasted plate and cup to the masses. Looking back, I can now recognize how all the plastic containers, straws, and cups add up and end up in landfills or in our oceans. I have stopped purchasing any form of non reusable tableware now. I have also realized that it is laziness when choosing to grab and throw away a plate instead of washing the same one. As an avid coffee and energy drink enthusiast, I also have dealt with the daily plastic cups filling my car and eventually ending up in the trash can with any other trash in my car. Before attending UCLA, I would never separate my trash, but since I have been here, I do my best to make use of all the trash cans the campus has supplied.
      I did not grow up with a lot of money, so buying venti cups to take with me to Starbucks or Dutch Bros seemed like a waste of money. Learning about toxic emissions, landfill waste, and ocean deposits has steered my mind into thinking they are not a waste though. One piece of trash can make all the difference for an animal facing life or death. I can now say I own a tumbler and metal straws to take with me on my coffee runs. In regards to buying reusable items like straws or cups, I know that it is a tough transition to make, especially when someone is in a financially tough situation. This is because restaurants and game parks often give these items away for free, so many do not feel the need to change. But, when looking at the world in as a whole, it can be easily seen that every person making this change will result in a healthier planet all around.

    • Suraj Doshi's avatar
      Suraj Doshi 6/02/2021 10:52 AM
      Hi Dayanira,

      I enjoyed reading your response to the reflection question. I too have tried to decrease the number of single use items in my life, but have not completely gotten rid of them. Whenever I go out to eat, occasionally I will get take-out and the takeout boxes are something that I cannot reuse as they get soggy or whatnot. Occasionally, however, if they are sturdy enough, I will clean them out and use them for food storage containers depending on the magnitude of its quality. I have tried to reduce my eating out habits, which has helped me save some money here and there and has also reduced my single use item waste, essentially killing two birds with one stone. I sometimes will keep the cup that I get my drink in for a bit and use that as my glass for the day, but at the end of its use, I have to get rid of it. For cups and such, I have tried to stop purchasing an additional drink and just drink water out of my reusable water bottle or just fill up juice from my kitchen in a glass. 

      I also used to be a huge consumer of plastic bags at the grocery store as they would double at home as trash bags or just storage containers in some fashion. As someone who likes to save money, I have stopped using them since grocery stores such as Ralphs and Target have started charging extra whenever you do use a bag. I bring my own reusable bags to the places I shop at now just to save myself a couple extra cents every time, which in the long term could add up to several dollars over the year. I also really like some of my reusable bags as they are insulated which lets me run additional errands as I know that the food that needs to remain cold will do so in the bag I have placed it in. With that in mind, I am reducing the number of car trips I take which helps reduce some of my carbon emissions. I did not realize the consequences of using a reusable bag could be more than just contributing to plastic waste. I now tend to keep at least two reusable bags in my car just in case I do forget to take one from home when running errands, and just to save myself the possibility that requires me to have a bag.


    • Alice Ma's avatar
      Alice Ma 6/01/2021 11:37 PM
      Hi Dayanira! I totally relate to what you said about who coming to UCLA has made you more aware of plastic pollution and plastic use. The way that UCLA tries to promote waste-free practices on campus has been a huge influence on some of my own personal choices while living on campus. It’s definitely a great positive to see that being sustainable and reducing plastic use is something that is “trendy” and mainstream in LA. I think LA as a whole has a huge sustainability culture surrounding it and it definitely makes choosing to be sustainable a lot easier. Before coming to LA, I’d never really heard of buying food from bulk shops where you can bring your own containers to fill up on rice, beans, and other dry goods to reduce the plastic packaging waste. And my first time seeing non-plastic disposable straws used in such widespread ways was in LA. Living in an environment that is so eco-conscious is definitely a huge personal motivator to be more eco-friendly and make better choices. 

      I definitely relate to what you said about the pandemic causing a lot of stores to refuse reusable containers for safety reasons. While living at home, I did a lot of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s, where prior to COVID, I would bring reusable bags to carry all my groceries to the car and to home. When COVID first hit, I remember Trader Joe’s announcing that they would no longer be bagging groceries with reusable bags and customers would have to use their paper bags. I’m definitely very glad that Trader Joe’s chooses to use paper bags instead of plastic, but I’ve definitely also been to stores like Target which defaulted to plastic bags instead of paper. Hopefully, as COVID restrictions start to lessen, more and more stores can go back to allowing reusable bags to be used when shopping! 
  • 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?

    Dayanira Monge's avatar
    Dayanira Monge 5/31/2021 2:48 AM
    According to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch people living in the United States should avoid eating Bass Striped and Tuna yellowfin.  In addition to a list of the seafood we should be avoiding, the MBASW also provides a detailed list of alternatives and foods that are safe to consume, varying from region to region. Recently, they came out with an updated list that labeled "Tuna Bigeye" and "Tuna Skipjack" as the best choice for seafood consumption for the upcoming month. This action caught my attention because I am a huge fan of seafood since my family comes from a region where seafood consumption is extremely popular/common. Based on these guidelines, my seafood consumption would not be considered harmful because I don't consume large amounts of salmon, in fact I'm not really a fan of its flavor. But after reading more about this issue, it has led me to question my eating habits on whether they are eco friendly or not.

    In order to make smarter seafood choices, it is important to be educated about fishing regulations and where our food is coming from. Most of the time, I go to a grocery store and order a couple pounds of shrimp or tilapia and go on with my day. I do not stop and question the quality of my food nor do I pay any attention to how it got inside my grocery store. The other day I was peeling and deveining some shrimp and I noticed that the quality was not the best and I came to the conclusion that I probably purchased shrimp that was frozen for a while. Back in Mexico, specifically in the state where my family and I are from, it is very common to see fishermen all over the city selling fresh seafood.  I think that by supporting smaller vendors, we can ensure the quality of the food we consume but in a way we are also not supporting big fishery chains that are the cause to the decline in some of these species. Although local fish markets are not as accessible to me as the ones in Mexico, I strongly believe that I have to make a bigger effort to shop locally as opposed to shopping from a grocery chain. 

    When I was reading the article that is linked to this eco challenge, I couldn't help but make connections back to my ecology class that I am taking this quarter. I think the harvesting of salmon, if done correctly, can be highly beneficial to the environment. Since salmon are classified as a keystone species, its extinction will disrupt many ecosystems, thus it's important to look for ways in which we can prevent this from happening, The first major threat is supply and demand. Because salmon are highly packed with nutrients and a unique flavor, many people are drawn towards the consumption of these fish. So what can we do about it? A way we can approach this situation is by voting for policies that protect our fish. We need to advocate for better regulations because at the end of the day, we will be affected by this issue. Salmon feed our forests, tear down dams (which are not eco friendly and several studies have shown ways in which dams actually increase the amount of greenhouse gasses being released), they sustain cultures, and help shape our landscape. 

    • Alice Ma's avatar
      Alice Ma 6/02/2021 12:39 AM
      Hi Dayanira! I definitely related to what you said about not being fully aware of where the food I eat comes from. I’ve realized how ignorant I have been to be able to go to a grocery store and buy the groceries I need without worrying about where that food comes from or the environmental consequences of that food. It’s so interesting that you brought up how salmon is such an important keystone species and how it relates to your ecology class. Just like Suraj mentioned as well, it’s so cool how interconnected and interdisciplinary all of this information is. All this about salmon also reminded me of the research I did for another EcoChallenge about indigenous practices. The indigenous practice of prescribed burning to control wildfires is also related to maintaining the life cycles of salmon, which are two things I'd never even thought were related at all. 

      I also love that you mentioned supporting smaller vendors and fishermen who typically use more sustainable fishing practices. I think the amount of power and influence consumers can have with our buying power is sometimes overlooked. I know I definitely overlook my own power when it comes to where and how I spend my money. I know that at my local farmers' market, every week, there are local seafood businesses that come to sell their fresh fish. From what I understand, these sales are much fresher and sometimes even more nutritious than the fish purchased from a typical grocery store. Unfortunately, there is a slight increase in price as a result but for people who can afford it, buying from local fishermen at farmers' markets can be a great way to make a change to be more sustainable in consuming seafood. 

    • Suraj Doshi's avatar
      Suraj Doshi 5/31/2021 3:29 PM
      Hi Dayanira,

      It was really nice reading your response. I do not eat seafood so I was intrigued by how you related to this particular problem. It was neat knowing how your family is personally connected to the issue at hand. On the other side of things, while I am not eating seafood, when I go grocery shopping I too hardly wonder about the quality of my food and how I was transported to the grocery store and the steps taken to preserve the food itself. I really like your idea of supporting more small time farmers as the profits of their sales will go directly to them and considering that they do not have access to large storage facilities, you can be sure that the food is fresh. I also thought that your point about large fishery chains and how they are reducing the global seafood population was neat. If we support small fishermen, they will be able to understand their impact as they are typically more in touch with the environment compared to the corporate salesmen that simply try to boost profit.

      The connection you made to your ecology class was really insightful, really shows the interdisciplinary culture of the topic. I was unaware that salmon were that important to our ecosystems, but seeing as they are a keystone species as you mentioned, it makes a lot more sense. Having these fish would severely disrupt food chains and could lead to catastrophic results. Eventually the prey that salmon feed on would overpopulate and then die off due to so much competition and the salmons predators would also die off, simply as there is nothing for them to eat. I think the transition period in which the predators shift to other sources of nutrition would take too long and it would be too late. I enjoyed reading about how salmon actually help our ecosystems and was surprised at how dams increased the amount of greenhouse gases. Much like you said, there needs to be a push for more policies that protect marine wildlife. 

  • Reflection Question
    Health and Education Learn about the Need for Family Planning
    What did you learn about the need for family planning? How do the needs of different people in different places compare to each other?

    Dayanira Monge's avatar
    Dayanira Monge 5/24/2021 9:30 PM
    Although I am bound to turn 20 in a couple of months and there's so much more for me to accomplish, the question of whether I want to have children in the future is inevitable. And if I am being honest, it is never easy for me to answer. Granted if you were to ask me right now If I wanted to have kids I would immediately say "No" without hesitating. But who knows maybe in 10 years my answer will change. But you know what else will change in the next 10 year? Our climate. 

    Children are a huge responsibility. They require so much time and the expenses associated with them is high, not to mention the amount of waste they produce (i.e. diapers, baby wipes, formula containers, etc.). These are all the things I factor in when answering the infamous question, "Do you want any children in the future?". But what I failed to consider is the impact that having more children has on the environment. More children simply means more carbon emissions and what good is it to bring a child into this world if by the time they reach my current age, the world will be hotter and the air quality unbearable. Therefore, family planning is vital and should be incorporated into our education systems as early as high school. 

    In a TedTalk about, "How empowering women and girls can help stop global warming", Katharine Wilkinson discusses the importance of family planning, stating that it is a way to address women's needs from all over the world. In different parts of the globe, women are rushed into marriage and often start families at a young age because they were not aware or properly informed about their options. Preventative measures, such as birth control, are not globally accessible to everyone, let alone abortions. Giving women access to family planning and health education allows for the advancement of equity. 

    So why exactly is family planning important? With our ever changing climate, it is safe to say that in 20 years our environment will be hotter and our air quality will probably be worse than what it is today. Bringing more human beings into this world would mean that the demand for resources would increase. This could cause food shortages or water scarcity, leading to malnourished children. Essentially, family planning is a preventative and responsible measure. If everyone incorporated some form of family planning into their lives prior to conceiving a child, we could potentially curve the growth of human population.
  • Reflection Question
    Health and Education Help Students Overcome Health Barriers
    In what other ways could you help girls overcome health barriers to being able to attend school?

    Dayanira Monge's avatar
    Dayanira Monge 5/24/2021 7:59 PM
    The fight for gender equity is a challenge that can be found within the foundation of many organizations. Whether it be in politics, at our jobs or in the crevices of our own homes, gender inequality can be found. To say that women have a disadvantage in life would be an understatement. And just like Katherine Wilkinson mentioned in her TedTalk, by empowering women and providing them with better education we can make a global impact and possibly slow the growth of global warming.

    I chose to participate in this challenge because it reminded me of the girls I had encountered in a summer program that took place in Africa. During the duration of this camp, I developed close friendships with some of these young women and I learned more about the challenges they faced. Many of them told me that most towns lacked menstrual products and most of the times girls would skip school, or drop out entirely, because they did not have access to a basic human need. In many places, feminine hygiene products are considered a luxury and are not seen as a necessity. In return, this causes the prices of these items to go up and those who are less fortunate have to decide whether to spend their money on food or on pads. And because most girls drop out due to this issue, they can no longer continue their education and often resort to marriage.

    Educating women has a positive effect on everyone, even our environment. Statistics show that by education women they are given the chance to navigate climate change through family planning. Giving women the choice of whether or not, and when, they want to have children is a way to curve the growth of the human population. Having less children essentially means that the demand for food won't be as high as it would be if women started giving birth at a young age. Essentially, the demand for transportation and electricity would decrease, thus reducing carbon emissions significantly.

    Therefore, it is important to improve our education systems. Sex Ed fails adolescents. I cannot emphasize the importance of being informed about your health and the things that come with participating in any form of sexual activities, but more so for women. Educating women about their bodies and how to take care of them at a young age is vital because it gives her control of her body.

    When I go to the store to purchase a feminine hygiene product, I do not take it for granted because I know that there are other girls in the world who are skipping school because they lack necessary resources. A way we can overcome these barriers is through donations. I've previously participated in drives that collected items for women but today I made a donation to the attached organization. However, donations are not the only solution to this problem. We could also teach young women how to make their own reusable pads. Not only is this eco friendly, but it is a very simple process. I encourage you all to donate (if you can) and support organizations that give back some of their profits to help women get access to menstrual products, because a woman's ability to menstruate should not be the reason why they have to sacrifice their education.
  • Reflection Question
    Food, Agriculture, and Land Use Smaller Portions
    While dishing food out, we tend to load our plates with more than we need. Using smaller plates helps to mitigate this. Aside from the environmental benefits, what other benefits might come from eating/serving smaller portions?

    Dayanira Monge's avatar
    Dayanira Monge 4/14/2021 11:57 PM
    Another habit that I picked up during quarantine was ordering takeout every week. And when I say every week, I mean every single Friday. It was always a 10pc wing combo from Wingstop, a venti Iced Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks, or a pizza from Pizzahut. The problem is that there would be so much waste left after I finished eating. There would always be fries tossed into the trash and single use plastic containers in the garbage bins. Eventually, my bank account started to feel the weight of those precious lemon pepper wings or cajun seasoned fries so I decided to welcome the year with a new resolution. In attempt to reduce my waste and save money, I started meal planning. I would cook a week's worth of food on a Sunday night and package them in small containers that held better serving portions. I quickly began to notice a change in my lifestyle. Not only was I enjoying the process of cooking the food, but I was not wasting any food nor was I tossing away single use containers. It also improved my mental health because cooking and packaging these meals gave me a much needed break from zoom and it made me feel good about myself.

    [below is a picture of some of the meals I have cooked for myself. I am no chef so please don't judge. I do recommend meal planning because it saves so much money and it reduces waste. ]

    • Audrey Goodman's avatar
      Audrey Goodman 4/17/2021 2:56 PM
      Hi Dayanira! I understand the habit of ordering takeout often during quarantine. Since we couldn’t go out and get food, or really do anything at all, it always seemed like getting takeout was the one thing we could do in order to treat ourselves during such a tough time. However, I do agree that takeout leads to so much more waste. When getting takeout, it’s probably more likely to have an excess amount of food, rather than cooking smaller portions for yourself, and although I usually try to save leftovers if I do have them after ordering out, it sometimes is very easy to say “these won’t be good the next day” or “I’d rather just make myself something new”. Ordering out is more expensive than cooking for one’s self, and I think that’s a great way to encourage people to cook at home. That’s great that you started meal prepping as a resolution! Although I am not a super big meal planner and usually just wait for the day of to decide what I’m going to eat, I’ve always been inspired by people who prepare for the whole week. I think it’s a great way to save time and money, while also helping the environment. I used to always put leftovers in Ziploc bags or single-use wrapping, but I have recently realized that I could be putting so many of these leftover food items in tupperware. Now, I try to use tupperware for everything, because it is so easy to wash and use over and over again. I encourage myself to only eat what I am hungry for and serve myself smaller portions, and save leftovers as another meal. I agree that cooking at home is a great break from all the Zoom classes we attend, and also makes it so you decide exactly what you want to eat. Also - your food prepared for the week looks delicious!
  • 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?

    Dayanira Monge's avatar
    Dayanira Monge 4/14/2021 11:38 PM
    Over time, I developed the bad habit of eating while using my phone to watch a TV show, scroll on tik tok, or keep up with my YouTube subscriptions. I never took the time to enjoy the food I was consuming because I was too busy being consumed by a glowing screen. Today I decided to practice mindful eating and limited my distractions when it came to lunch time. I noticed that I took in my surroundings a little more than before. I also noticed that I had consumed all my food and left little to no waste. Before, I would waste more food since I would pay more attention to the TV show than the food I was consuming. This slow eating process would cause my food to get cold and at that point I was no longer interested in my food. Although I think this bad habit of mine will continue, I will make a better effort to reduce my distractions when it comes to lunch/dinner time. 

    • Melodie Oh's avatar
      Melodie Oh 4/15/2021 3:52 AM
      Hey Dayanira, 

      I agree with you so much on that mindful eating helped you with making sure that you finish your food. I would always watch Netflix while eating, and same like you I was much more focused on watching then actually eating, and ended up living a lot of waste. It was also super hard for me to just simply eat without doing anything, because I do get bored without some sort of background noise or visuals. However, the more I got used to mindful eating, the more I got to appreciate my food! It also just helped me to think over the day, whether it being planning what I wanted to do for the day or reflecting on my day! I hope we can both make good effort to continue mindful eating and I'm so glad that you are participating in it too! 

  • Dayanira Monge's avatar
    Dayanira Monge 4/13/2021 1:20 AM
    Why am I here?

    Originally, I was enrolled in a different writing class and decided to switch to this one because it fit my schedule better. In other words, this class was more convenient for me. Because life has an unpredictable way of doing things, or maybe it was just my luck, this class has taught me about how we choose things that are CONVENIENT to us and we tend to disregard the harm they do to others.  And even though my convenience led me to this class, I am glad it did because it opened my eyes. As cliche as that may sound, it's true. I have always believed in climate change and I never questioned the scientists that have presented evidence supporting this issue. But I never stopped and thought about how all the choices I've made are contributing to the problem. I never paid attention to the amount of waste I contributed up until now and all because I rather do things that are convenient to me.  There are simple ways that I can change my daily routine to not only enhance my way of living but to be slightly more eco-friendly as well. I never knew how much climate change impacts my career of interest and this goes to show how surface level my understanding of climate change has been. I hope that as I continue this course, I expand my knowledge about this topic but I also hope to improve as a person.

    I will make my best efforts to reduce the amount of waste I am contributing. Rather than using single use items, I will opt for things that are reusable. If I want to continue enjoying the treasures of Mother Nature, I must do my part to not damage our earth even more than it already is. Not only is our future depending on it but so is the future of our children and their children. We must not continue to damage the place we call home simply because of greed and convenience.
    Below is a picture of my camping trip at Mount baker in Washington back in 2018. The days I spent camping next to that glacier are unforgettable. I will never forget the way in which the sun would kiss the snow as night began to fall. I will never forget staring deep into the night sky as I got lost gazing at the stars while the cold air hugged our skin. And I'll never forget the crisp taste of the cold water. It's sad to think that these places in nature will one day be gone if we don't change the way things are. I can no longer see the stars because all I see is a pitch black sky. Pollution is hiding the beauty of our earth.  And we are contributing to that.