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Saatvika Nair's avatar

Saatvika Nair

Low Energy Enthusiasts

"Learning how to address the climate crisis, one step at a time"

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 381 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    1
    documentaries
    watched
  • up to
    10
    conversations
    with people
  • up to
    240
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    175
    minutes
    being mindful
  • up to
    2
    trees
    planted

Saatvika's 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

Buildings

Replace Manual Thermostats

Smart Thermostats

I will replace manual thermostats with smart ones.

Completed
One-Time Action

Transportation

Conduct Virtual Meetings

Telepresence

I will encourage my office to hold meetings virtually whenever possible instead of requiring travel.

Completed
One-Time Action

Industry

Invite a friend to calculate the carbon footprint of their household

Individual actions are important, but people and organizations working together can make a real impact. I will share a carbon calculator with a friend and invite them to calculate the carbon footprint of their household.

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Building Resilience

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 2
DAILY ACTIONS

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Research Businesses Owned by Women, POC, or Immigrants

Sustainable Intensification for Smallholders

I will spend 60 minutes each day researching businesses owned by women, people of color, or immigrants that I can support when shopping.

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Building Resilience

Connect With A Nonprofit

Health and Education

I will connect with a local nonprofit working on issues affecting women, girls, and/or trans/nonbinary people in my community, and find out how I can get involved or become a member.

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Healing & Renewal

Plant Trees

Temperate Forest Restoration

I will plant 2 tree(s) in my community, public parks, or backyard.

Completed
One-Time Action

Health and Education

Host a Film Screening

Health and Education

I will host a virtual film screening and discussion about women's and gender equality issues.

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 3
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed

  • 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?

    Saatvika Nair's avatar
    Saatvika Nair 6/02/2021 9:50 PM
    To be honest, the only type of fish that I eat regularly is mahi-mahi, and I occasionally eat Tilapia or Alaskan Halibut: I just really love it compared to other fish that are out there. When I researched the fish consumption advisories present in Washington state, I found 2 statewide advisories: don't eat Northern Pikeminnow and limit eating largemouth/smallmount bass to 1-2 times per month. Obviously, my current diet choices fall within these guidelines, but once everything opens up again and we go shopping at the Pike Place Market (where they sell a ton of fish, by the way), I will definitely ask what types of fish they're selling and where the fish are from. I found a pretty good map that can give me more information on which fish are safe to eat as well: https://www.doh.wa.gov/DataandStatisticalReports/HealthDataVisualization/fishadvisory.
    Picture: This is a picture I took of some fish at the Pike Place Market, before the pandemic! We buy fish now from Costco (Mahi-Mahi, frozen)!
     
  • Reflection Question
    Transportation Conduct Virtual Meetings
    How can you ensure that your virtual meetings honor your values and your company's culture?

    Saatvika Nair's avatar
    Saatvika Nair 6/02/2021 9:44 PM
    So I actually work virtually as a private tutor, both through a website called GoPeer and separately via Zoom. I definitely think that it's a blessing that we have a lot of resources online that can help facilitate teaching online - I've also transitioned my in-person students to Zoom so we can minimize travel and it's also more convenient. I make sure that I am always on time (I am online 5 minutes prior to the start time), and ensure that I am always available via text or the website's messaging platform. I schedule sessions a minimum of 72 hours ahead of time, and make all notes and resources available for the student to access after the session. I definitely feel that even student org meetings could also transition to a virtual platform, at least for half of the time. It's interesting to see how things will change post-pandemic.

    • Greta Fanta's avatar
      Greta Fanta 6/02/2021 11:49 PM
      Hi there!
      Great job on being a tutor and using technology to your advantage! I think virtual meeting will be used a lot more in the future.  I am planning to be a psychiatrist, and this could be something more beneficial for some of my patients.  The one negative with virtual meetings is the lack of connection, but you do a great job of trying t stay connected with your students!  If I have an upcoming meeting, I appreciate faculty being available in case I have issues with a link or my connection is not great.  This is an advantage of technology, and I am excited to see where this takes us! I wonder if this will help with climate change because less people are driving to school/work?  I am sure that just one call online makes progress.  Transportation is an issue that arrises, and Zoom provides an easy solution for this.  When regulations are lined, I plan on using alternative forms of transportation.  For example, I found that the FlixBus can take me home from Westwood! This is exciting nice I normally drive home.  Next year, I am going to try and walk more and to help myself physically and mentally.  The benefits of being outside are very high, and this can help symptoms of anxiety, especially insomnia.  

    • Saatvika Nair's avatar
      Saatvika Nair 6/02/2021 10:08 PM

    • Saatvika Nair's avatar
      Saatvika Nair 6/02/2021 10:07 PM
      I also wanted to add that these opportunities should also be made more available to disadvantaged communities, who may not have access to high-speed internet. Perhaps if more of us transition to virtual platforms whenever possible, it can offset the emissions created by those who need to travel to access their education opportunities. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Picture: a drawing I made to explain biology for a student, online!
  • Reflection Question
    Buildings Replace Manual Thermostats
    How do you anticipate replacing your thermostats for smart ones will positively impact your life?

    Saatvika Nair's avatar
    Saatvika Nair 6/02/2021 9:31 PM
    When we bought our new house, it came with a smart NEST thermostat, which we had never had before. But I can definitely see the positive impacts this has on our lives - for starters, when we're out of town, it's very easy to maintain our house temperature without relying on the heating or AC, and the thermostat makes sure to not use too much energy when we're away (there are specific settings for this). In addition, it also allows us to see how long we've used our AC or heating, and switches off automatically once the desired temperature is reached. Of course, we've also been getting a lower electricity bill, and it always feels nice when the AC isn't running all the time in the summer and you know you're not wasting energy. If you don't have one already, I would definitely advocate switching!
  • Reflection Question
    Food, Agriculture, and Land Use Research Businesses Owned by Women, POC, or Immigrants
    Globally, women typically invest a higher proportion of their earnings in their families and communities than men. What have you done in the past to support women-owned businesses? How can you better support communities by supporting women?

    Saatvika Nair's avatar
    Saatvika Nair 6/02/2021 9:24 PM
    I was shocked by how many women-owned businesses there were locally here in Seattle that I could use - I have to admit that usually when I buy things either in stores or via Amazon and other websites, I don't check what type of business it comes from, or whether it's a women-owned business. It was after I checked out all of these resources on women and POC-owned businesses that I realized how many are out there, and how I can better support these communities. I know that amplifying stories and sharing women-owned businesses on social media or to friends and family is definitely one way of showing support. Other than that, I've also learned how to be more conscious about my purchases and where they come from, and how I can support women-owned businesses when buying clothes or food, or even other products. As a woman myself, I definitely know what's it's like to experience barriers in our chosen profession or interests because of our gender, and honestly I think it's everyone's responsibility to enable equal opportunity and access for women and POC owned businesses. From now on, I'll definitely do more research and identify smaller, women-owned businesses to buy from (like the Biena company, which is women-owned, where my family now buys snacks from). It definitely feels good when you do all that you can to support people in your community!

    • Saatvika Nair's avatar
      Saatvika Nair 6/02/2021 10:10 PM
      Picture: I'm wearing a scarf made by a local women-owned business that was selling at the farmer's market!
  • Reflection Question
    Industry Invite a friend to calculate the carbon footprint of their household
    What kinds of discussions did you have, or are you hoping to have with friends about climate change?

    Saatvika Nair's avatar
    Saatvika Nair 6/02/2021 9:16 PM
    After I used the carbon emissions calculator, I was definitely pretty shocked! I found that my family uses 4.41 tons of CO2 every month, and I could only imagine how many tons are used just in my neighborhood, or even by everyone in my town. I just knew that I had to share the calculator with my friend, so I challenged my best friend to use the calculator with me (she got 5.23 tons of CO2 every month). This really sparked her to research more about the climate crisis as well, and I shared some of the research I came across during my research project as well. We've both decided to hold ourselves accountable from now on - we've begun sharing vegan recipes with each other that we've been doing and encouraging each other to walk/bike to places! It's definitely a different experience living sustainably when someone is holding you accountable. Growing up, I realize I've been pretty privileged in the sense that most of my peers, friends, and teachers definitely acknowledge that climate change is happening. However, these challenges have made me realize how we've all settled into this mode of not doing anything about it, "because it's not our problem." I'm hoping that in the future, once we're able to meet each other more often post-pandemic, my best friend and I can talk to our other friends about their carbon footprints and how they can help address the climate crisis. If you haven't already, I definitely recommend changing your lifestyle with a friend or family member, because it makes the process so much more rewarding!

    • Amanda Adolfo's avatar
      Amanda Adolfo 6/02/2021 11:28 PM
      Hi Saatvika, like you, I feel privileged because I have family that believe in climate change and want to do something about it. I didn't realize that both of my parents were doing sustainable practices when I was young. We always recycled in my house and throwing away or wasting food was a huge no-no. I think in my lifetime, things rarely went to waste in our fridge and we always took home the leftovers from restaurants. I mentioned this in an earlier post, but I witnessed my dad saving water from rinsing the dishes by putting the excess water from large pots into a Home Depot bucket and using it to water the plants outside. I also noticed that he would try to fix the leaky sink or broken toilet right away because we were wasting a lot of water. I originally thought that it was because he was frugal and wanted to save our water bill from running up (which it partially was), but he also literally didn't want to waste water!

      At my house, we recently changed to solar panels and my dad bought an electric car. I have been more observant of these sustainable practices that I have seen my parents do and I really commend their efforts because it helped me realize the importance of these actions! Another great thing my dad taught me was how to garden. Since I was little, I have seen him enjoy gardening and landscaping. Over the years, he has converted our backyard into a desert landscape (it saves a lot more water than having grass) and has maintained many vegetable and fruit trees. Every harvest season, I look forward to trying the pears or apples from his trees. I see that he is really appreciative of nature and how that has rubbed off on me. I am lucky to have parents that support sustainable actions and both love nature and the outdoors. This definitely motivates me to try and be like them. They are the first people that taught me how to live in a house, so when I move out and have my own family, I'll probably pass down what I've learned to my future kids. 

    • Saatvika Nair's avatar
      Saatvika Nair 6/02/2021 10:10 PM
      Picture: me and my best friend, who took on the challenge to live sustainably together!
  • Reflection Question
    Action Track: Building Resilience Forest-Friendly Foods 2
    How difficult or easy was it to change your diet?

    Saatvika Nair's avatar
    Saatvika Nair 5/31/2021 7:22 PM
    I will admit it - I am a huge chocolate lover. My favorite drink is hot chocolate, and I have been known to snack on dark chocolate on several occasions (it's not healthy, so I try to limit it, but it's my weakness). I've been guilty of buying my chocolate from large retailers (like Starbucks' Hot Cocoa Powder, or Nestle). I've never honestly given the source of my chocolate much thought, however, which just goes to show my privilege, in that I don't have to consider that. However, when I did some research for this challenge, I realized that a large part of the chocolate industry functions because of child labor - something I hadn't known. I read an enlightening article in The Washington Post about the role that child labor plays in the production of chocolate by companies like Hershey and Nestle, which highlighted these companies' dwindling efforts to address the child labor epidemic present within the industry. I decided that I would choose to buy chocolate (I'm not a coffee drinker) that was ethically sourced, and sustainably produced. After some digging around on the Internet, I found a great fit for drinking chocolate powder: the Dagoba chocolate company, which employs not only sustainable farming practices and bans child labor, but it also promotes female entrepreneurs in countries where the cacao is sourced (like Ecuador and Peru). Honestly, I don't think that this was difficult at all - if anything, it's healthier because their chocolate comes directly from the cacao bean, no sugar added! In terms of chocolate that I can eat, I did some research and found that the brand I usually buy from, Theo (which is a local company here in Seattle), also fits these criteria - it is ethically sourced and their mission is to get their ingredients from small farmers. I never really realized how even changing my buying habits for chocolate can make a small difference in the world - I know now that the chocolate I eat helps to support small businesses and discourages child labor practices. Do I need any other reasons to switch my diet?

    • Saatvika Nair's avatar
      Saatvika Nair 6/02/2021 11:50 PM
      Picture: My Dagoba Chocolate drink with some cookies! (don't worry,
      I don't eat this unhealthy every day)!

    • Hector Acosta's avatar
      Hector Acosta 6/02/2021 9:23 PM
      Hi Saatvika, 

      Much like you I am also a huge chocolate lover. But I think I am much worse than you because I am just a junk food lover. It is so hard for me to break away from eating gummy bears, chips, zebra cakes, brownies, twix, and snickers. All of these foods have plastic packaging as well which makes them much worse for both myself and the environment. But wow I did not know the chocolate you buy helps support small businesses and discourage child labor practices. So it does make me feel a little better about some people's chocolate consumption. One thing I feel like you are ignoring in your post is the health impact eating high carbo foods like chocolate and other junk food can have on us. Even though we are still young these high sugary foods can make us more prone to diabetes in the future. Lately, i have been eating really bad due to a large amount of stress and it makes me feel awful about myself, which just leads to more stress. I know everyone is different, but if you also feel yourself feeling sluggish it could be because of the chocolate you are eating. I know lately this has definitely not been helping me. Looking back a couple of months I was rarely eating any junk food and I can remember feeling so good about myself and just being happier about life. I am not advocating for you to completely give up your favorite food of chocolate, but eating a little healthier for me did wonders for me and I hope it does wonders for you too! One thing that I definitely will need to do is do more research on wear my own chocolate and coffee come from. I did not know Hershey and nestle chocolates and other very large chocolate companies use child labor. This is something I will definitely will keep in mind the next time I go to a store as I will no longer try to buy anything produced by these companies. There will need to be a large amount of change in how their chocolate is produced for me to be able to buy from them again. So I want to thank you for that information!

  • Saatvika Nair's avatar
    Saatvika Nair 5/24/2021 7:07 PM
    Why am I here?
    I realized that I have yet to answer this question, and I thought this would be a good time to reflect on my motivations for joining this course, and doing the challenges. I've suffered from severe spring allergies since I was young, and they have only grown worse with time, and as the allergy season worsens. When I was young, I was the kid who couldn't go out and play during recess in the springtime, instead, I would stay in the classroom and play games or read a book. I was a little older when I realized that this was because of climate change, and because of big words like "pollution" and "global warming." But I thought that these problems would all be addressed if I just followed the 3 R's they taught us in school - reduce, reuse, recycle. I only understood later that the problems were much bigger than that, through my high school biology class and activists like Greta Thunberg. This class felt like the perfect opportunity to learn more about the ways I could address climate change, while also learning more about my future career and ways to incorporate the two together. Attached is a picture of the cherry blossoms blooming at the UW when I went there for a field trip in high school. I really loved seeing the pretty blossoms, but my allergies flared up so much after the trip that I subsequently had to miss an entire week of school and make up all the work.

    • EMILY INIGUEZ's avatar
      EMILY INIGUEZ 5/24/2021 9:39 PM
      Hi Saatvika! 

      If there’s one thing I can say it is that I completely relate to your experiences with allergies and the pollutant allergens behind the flare-ups! As you mentioned, climate change most definitely affects pollen levels, as well as mold and poison ivy (which I recently learned about). In order to get more information on how climate change affects respiratory health, I looked toward the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) for information. In fact, in 2010 the AAFA and the National Wildlife Federation created a report concerning the impact of climate change on Americans with asthma and allergies, like us! The report basically talked about the increases in pollen, mold, and poison ivy created by climate change increases the risk and severity of asthma attacks which is a very concerning public health factor. The report includes stats from 1995 to 2011 in which it was estimated that the warmer temperatures in the U.S. have caused the pollen season to be approximately 11 to 27 days longer. Although these stats may seem a bit outdated, they still convey the incremental severity that the pollen season poses with increases in warmer temperature which we have been facing up to this point in 2021. It also disappoints me that these were the most updated stats on this public site as the AAFV is supposed to be providing current and updated information on the impacts of climate change, global warming, and their respective effects on asthma and allergies to the public. However, much to my relief, the American Public Health Association (APHA) has a publicly available PDF file that explains climate change impacts on asthma and allergens. It explains that climate change increases the number of airborne pollutants in the environment which include particulate matter, carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, and volatile organic compounds. When sunlight combines with the oxides of nitrogen and volatile organic compounds, increased ozone levels result of which people with asthma are more susceptible to and have increased responses to the allergens after ozone exposure. This means that we are sensitive to the formed allergens by mere exposure to the outdoors. In terms of pollen, longer warm seasons result in longer pollen seasons, which is a great issue for those who are sensitive to increased levels of pollen, like me and you. All that being said, the effects of climate change, as long as they are not mediated, will, unfortunately, affect our ability to truly enjoy the outdoors!!

  • 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?

    Saatvika Nair's avatar
    Saatvika Nair 5/24/2021 6:51 PM
    I will admit that prior to this challenge, I was definitely pretty horrible at mindful eating. I love to read, so I would usually be reading as I ate (which is a habit I've had since I was small). If it wasn't that, then I would be watching TV, or sometimes during breakfast I've been guilty of watching Youtube videos or TedTalks as I ate. I first started this challenge on April 18th (I decided to write one larger reflection as I was doing this challenge every day). I found it difficult to fully concentrate on my food, and often found my eyes straying to a book or my laptop, but I persisted. Because I'm not a big foodie, I'm not very huge on trying new foods or really being engrossed just by eating during meals. The first week was pretty hard, and I will admit to slipping up a couple of times (especially during dinner, when my family usually watches our favorite show together). As I got into the second week, I realized that I would have to adjust some of my daily habits – I moved all distractions away when eating, and got up earlier to make designated time to eat breakfast. I convinced my family to move our TV time a little later, after dinner, so we weren't distracted. I found myself getting better and better, and even experimenting with various new dishes (now that I was full concentrating on my food). I have found now that I really enjoy my food a lot more, especially because I'm not distracted when eating it. When my parents cook, I'm able to appreciate their efforts a lot more and feel more grateful for the food I eat, and I feel more happy and positive after eating (instead of rushed). I would definitely recommend this to anyone who hasn't tried it! I've attached a picture of a dinner I made (Thai Tom Yum Soup)!

    • Ivana Chou's avatar
      Ivana Chou 5/25/2021 1:13 AM
      Hi Saatvika,

      Mindful eating is something I really want to work on! I hadn't really considered the reason why I find eating and watching something at the same time so enjoyable but after reading how it's a habit you built from a young age I realized I've also unknowingly built the habit of wanting to be doing something while eating since I was young by reading and eating at the same time as well! I never really thought about the negative impacts it could possibly have on my eating habits and diet. But now I realize that watching something while I eat frequently makes me eat too fast or overeat because I'm not really paying attention to how much I'm eating or want to continue eating more after I've finished my meal because the episode I'm watching hasn't finished yet

      I think that mindful eating would be a great way to incorporate more mindful practices into our day to day lives as we rarely give ourselves the proper time to breathe and do one activity without thinking about other things. I'm already trying to incorporate more meditative activities into my day and I think mindful eating would be a great place to continue.

      The point you brought up about moving distractions away while eating is really great as it'll be much easier to fight the temptation when there isn't a temptation to fight! 
  • Reflection Question
    Action Track: Building Resilience Connect With A Nonprofit
    What are the most pressing issues for women, girls, and trans/nonbinary people in your community?

    Saatvika Nair's avatar
    Saatvika Nair 5/24/2021 6:36 PM
    As a member of a nonprofit student run organization, VOICE Mission LA, we have done a lot of thinking about pressing issues for women and trans people in our community. I remember seeing a story on Instagram a while back explaining the results of a recent poll – when asked, "what would you do if there were no men on the planet for 24 hours?", an overwhelming majority (I think around 76%), said that they would go to take a walk, or take a walk in the evening/nighttime. I think that's when it really struck me - we just want to do normal things, but we're unable to do so because of our current system, and just because it isn't safe for women to be alone at night, and that's the reality. I'm not sure how many of you have seen the news about Sarah Everard (about a month back or so), a woman who was murdered around 9:30 just walking back to her home on a main road by a police. And then London police went door-to-door, warning other women not to go out during the night or alone. There was a lot of backlash about this because no one has ever prevented the cause of crime or educated perpetrators, only girls are taught not to go out. 

    Other issues that come to mind - violence against women (which has drastically increased during the pandemic), gender pay gap (which has continued to be a systemic issue), period poverty and stigma (so many women face stigma or have unhygienic ways to deal with menstruation). These are systemic issues that honestly will take a really long time to solve, and requires everyone's effort to address these gender inequalities.
  • Reflection Question
    Health and Education Host a Film Screening
    Thank you for raising awareness of women's and gender equality issues. What is the next step to actually address this disparity?

    Saatvika Nair's avatar
    Saatvika Nair 5/24/2021 5:36 PM
    I am a part of VOICE Mission LA, a nonprofit organization run by UCLA students that aims to address gender inequality and barriers faced by women in their everyday lives through education and action. On May 12th, I helped host a screening of the HBO's "The Handmaid's Tale," for over 15 people, and we also discussed some elements of the show after the screening. For example, we talked in depth about the use of the phrase "blessed be the meek" throughout the show, and how this translates into our everyday lives as women. There is often a double standard that comes into play, where women who voice their opinions and stand up for themselves are seen as "aggressive," while men who do the same things are labeled "leaders." It is definitely important to educate younger generations about the gender barriers they will face as they grow older, and how to address the disparities. In addition, all women should be equipped with the tools necessary to address gender inequality in the workplace and throughout society, without being afraid to stand up for themselves. I truly valued this discussion and ability to talk about a popular show in the context of gender equality issues - if anyone is interested, the next "fem digest" is on May 26th! We'll be covering the poetry collection "I Would Leave Me If I Could," by singer and song-writer Halsey!

    • Manav Govil's avatar
      Manav Govil 5/24/2021 8:37 PM
      Wow, Saatvika! That's amazing! I totally agree that there is a huge double standard involved in the social, political, and cultural viewpoint of women. I think this double standard extends to every household across America, even to the women living the "American dream." Many women are forced to be aggressive to thrive in the male-dominated workforce and are chastised for it. A similar situation arises when women pursue being a homemaker. They are constantly asked why they aren't part-taking in the workforce. My mother is a homemaker, and I hear her getting asked this a lot. I know it hurts her whenever she is forced to answer these sorts of questions. This thought process is twisted, and I'm not sure what to do to combat it. However, what you are doing as a part of VOICE Mission LA is inspiring and has inspired me to try to find ways to try to destroy this unbelievable idealogy.