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DIANA ORTIZ GOMEZ's avatar

DIANA ORTIZ GOMEZ

Low Energy Enthusiasts

"I'm hoping for a more sustainable environment in order to appreciate the beauty of nature. We must learn and do our part to improve environmental well-being and inspire others to take care of our home. "

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 136 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    20
    minutes
    spent exercising
  • up to
    20
    minutes
    being mindful
  • up to
    10
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • up to
    3
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill

DIANA's Actions

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Research Businesses Owned by Women, POC, or Immigrants

Sustainable Intensification for Smallholders

I will spend 10 minutes each day researching businesses owned by women, people of color, or immigrants that I can support when shopping.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

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.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Industry

Reduce Single-Use Disposables

Bioplastics

I will avoid buying and using 3 single-use plastics and instead replace them with durable options.

COMPLETED 1
DAILY ACTION

Action Track: Healing & Renewal

Tend A Garden

I will tend to a garden, or prepare for one, each day using sustainable gardening practices.

COMPLETED 1
DAILY ACTION

Transportation

Go for a Daily Walk

Walkable Cities

I will take a walk for 20 minutes each day and take note of the infrastructure that makes walking more or less enjoyable, accessible, and possible.

COMPLETED 1
DAILY ACTION

Action Track: Healing & Renewal

Eat Mindfully

I will eat all of my meals without distractions, e.g., phone, computer, TV, or newspaper.

COMPLETED 1
DAILY ACTION

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?

    DIANA ORTIZ GOMEZ's avatar
    DIANA ORTIZ GOMEZ 6/02/2021 6:12 PM
    First, I’d like to mention that I don’t like seafood at all, so these guidelines don’t apply to me. However, I have lots of friends and family who enjoy seafood and eat it frequently. Therefore, I decided to visit seafoodwatch.org to learn about sustainability practices and inform the people I know who eat seafood. I have no idea where the fish they buy comes from, but I know that they don’t check to see whether it’s sustainable or not. I think most of the time they are unaware of the importance of sustainable seafood. Therefore, I’d like to learn more about it so that I can be able to inform them thoroughly. I think a first step to making sure they are buying sustainable seafood is by simply asking the business and doing some research. 

    I searched up advisories on eating fish and found a fact sheet that informs about the risks of eating fish and tips on how to prepare fish. A while ago, I went fishing with my friend and his family where we caught different types of fish. Even though I didn’t eat the fish, I was shocked to find out the risks and wonder if my friend and his family follow the guidelines already. My parents always told me to include fish in my diet because it has lots of health benefits, but I read about the harmful chemicals we could be taking in from the fish, such as mercury and PCBs. Especially because we are not very good at keeping our oceans clean, it is no wonder that the fish we eat can be contaminated with the chemicals we are putting out. The fact sheet also included tips when preparing the fish. The list includes eating different types of fish, eating smaller fish, avoiding eating fish that eat other fish, and eating only the skinless fillet of fish. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch also includes a guide that recommends the best seafood choices. This guide would be helpful to provide for my friends and family, but I know that it’ll take a while to adjust to these recommendations. Even though they might not go straight for the “best choices” list, making sure that they try to avoid what’s under the “avoid” list would be the first step. After reading these guidelines, I have lots of questions for my friends and family who enjoy seafood. 

  • 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?

    DIANA ORTIZ GOMEZ's avatar
    DIANA ORTIZ GOMEZ 5/24/2021 5:03 PM
    Growing up, I remember the amount of plastic bags we would use for our grocery shopping trips. We would have a cabinet filled with them and use them to throw our garbage away. Ever since there was a bag fee at these stores, my mom would reuse the plastic bags we already had. She would carry about 3-6 plastic bags in her purse and reuse them multiple times. However, lately, we’ve decided to invest in a reusable bag that’s eco-friendly and pretty spacious. She would just carry one or two of these to the grocery store and they last much longer. 

    My family has always practiced recycling and we continue this today, but I’ve been trying to reduce the number of plastic water bottles I see in our recycling bins. I bought a hydro flask a while ago and have been drinking water from it rather than from plastic water bottles. However, this has been difficult to transition to and is still a work in progress within my family because my parents continue purchasing water bottles. Especially because of the pandemic, I noticed that my family stocked up with these plastic water bottles. They are also the most convenient during family gatherings because we make sure to have drinks available. However, I always make sure to have my hydro flask available, and hopefully one day my family decides to switch things up too. I also keep a reusable Starbucks cup that I use for drinks other than water, including Starbucks, and I encouraged some of my family members to purchase a reusable cup for themselves as well. 

    Another substitution is the use of metal straws rather than plastic ones. Although obtaining a metal straw isn’t hard to find, they are not very convenient when you’re purchasing a drink since these straws don’t fit in one’s purse or pocket. Therefore, we would use a plastic straw every once in a while when we’d go out to eat. Then, my brother came home one day with a portable metal straw and this put an end to our use of plastic straws. These were also easy to find and my mom carries some for the family just in case we decide to go out to eat.

    These are some first steps towards replacing single-use items with more sustainable options, and I hope to make many more improvements in my practice. For example, I should start investing in using glass containers, glass jars, and silicone stasher bags to store food. There is a lot for me to learn, but I’m thankful that my parents have at least made small efforts in practicing environmentally-friendly habits from which my siblings and I have learned and can grow from. 


    • EMILY INIGUEZ's avatar
      EMILY INIGUEZ 5/24/2021 10:50 PM
      Hi Diana! 

      Just like yours, my family has been conscious about not disposing of things that we can reuse in our household. When I was young, I found it to be quite interesting that my grandmother would keep the plastic containers from our takeout meals in order to store other items, such as foods and trinkets in them. She would also use empty yogurt containers as planters for herbs that she grew in our backyard! I remember that some of my other family members would judge her about this and would at times insist that she instead purchase containers from a Tupperware store. She always refused, and I can definitely say that I am glad that she kept reusing containers and bags until they were no longer able to be reused. Because of her, I have also been conscious of what I can reuse in my household. I only use reusable bags for my produce, and if I purchase coffee from a cafe, I bring my reusable glass coffee cup and my glass straw along! I find it to be more cost-efficient to bring your own coffee cup to a cafe as usually, you are also charged for the container in which your coffee is poured, so when you bring your own, you avoid the cost of a cup! In addition, my family no longer purchases water bottles as we have a water filter that we use avidly and fill our reusable glass cups with! 

      My family also attempts to not purchase any plastic single-use utensils or paper plates, and when we order out, we ask for the restaurant to hold off on the utensils. Because of the actions that both our families are taking to reduce single-use disposables, we are helping reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfills and incinerators, and we are also reducing the footprint of the items that we are using more than once! Instead of investing in quality goods that will last, our culture often prioritizes convenience over durability and consideration of long-term impacts. In total, we produce about 300 million tons of plastic each year worldwide, half of which is for single-use items- and that is nearly equivalent to the weight of the entire human population. SO imagine the impact that we could make if we pushed for more individuals to use less (if any) single-use plastic!

  • Reflection Question
    Transportation Go for a Daily Walk
    What have you noticed on your daily walks? What have you enjoyed? What infrastructure changes could make your walks more enjoyable or possible?

    DIANA ORTIZ GOMEZ's avatar
    DIANA ORTIZ GOMEZ 5/24/2021 2:24 PM
    For the past couple of weeks, I’ve decided to join my parents on their daily morning walks at my neighborhood park and this reminded me how relaxing it is to go out and take some time for myself. Sometimes I would take my headphones and listen to music and other days I would take my dog with me. I prefer going in the morning before the sun hits hard and to motivate me to get out of bed. Going for these walks early in the morning felt productive and energizing because once I got home I was ready to start some work, do some more exercise, or make breakfast. Meanwhile, I used to wake up around 5 minutes before my early lectures would start and felt tired during class. Going for a morning walk felt refreshing and I noticed I was able to focus more in lectures rather than feeling sleepy. These daily walks were also enjoyable because I was able to appreciate nature. I would see the squirrels come out and run over to me thinking I have food. I don’t feed them but I have noticed that other people do. I would also see other people walking their dogs and my dog gets excited to greet them when they’re nearby. Overall, it’s simply just nice to get my mind off of things that are stressing me out, whether I’m watching the animals, listening to music, or walking under the trees. This reminded me of my daily walks at UCLA where I would walk to and from class. I had a lot of 8 am classes, and I never felt tired or sleepy during lectures because the walk to get there energized me and prepared me to focus. Even though I was surrounded by buildings, there were lots of trees and birds, so it felt nice to walk around there. 

    There are many possible improvements that can make my walks more enjoyable. One thing is that there can be more trees. The park has many open fields that make it look dull. I understand these spaces are used for sports, but there is plenty of room for more trees. I’d also like to point out that this has been the park I’ve been going to for years and there were many instances where trees would be cut down, such as when they’ve grown too tall. Therefore, it is sad to realize that there are now fewer trees at the park because they are a big part of the wildlife that lives there and makes these walks enjoyable. Another thing is the water tank right next to the park. Although this water tank is necessary for my neighborhood, placing it right next to the park juxtaposes the area. The walking path includes a point where I’m walking right next to this tank and it is such a contrasting difference when I’m walking under the trees versus when I’m walking near a plain field with a giant container. 

    Here's an image of my point of view when I go on my daily walks:


    • EMILY INIGUEZ's avatar
      EMILY INIGUEZ 5/24/2021 4:20 PM
      Hi Diana! 

      It's awesome that you are getting out and moving with your daily walks! I recently learned some interesting stats regarding the benefits of walking. In fact, walking just 30 minutes every day can increase your cardiovascular fitness, strengthen your bones, reduce excess body fat and boost your muscle power and endurance. So your daily walks are definitely helping your overall health and endurance. Walking can also reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers! And what is even better about walking is that unlike some other forms of exercise, walking is free and definitely does not require any special equipment of training!! A 2007 study of inactive women found that even low levels of exercise, around 75 minutes per week, improved their fitness levels significantly when compared to non-exercising groups! Also, because you carry your own body weight when you walk, known as a weight-bearing exercise, you increase your cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness. All that being said, walking every day is absolutely great for you and it can also do wonders for your mental wellbeing. It improves your self perception, and self esteem, mood and sleep quality, and even better than all that- it can reduce stress, anxiety and fatigue! I know that I just about spilled all the wonderful benefits that walking has on the body, but I hope they give you more insight on how your walking regime will just improve your overall quality of life! 

      I also noticed that you mentioned improvements that your local park could make to better your overall walking experience and planting trees was one of those. I think that planting trees at your local park would be great for two reasons! One: they will most definitely make your view during your walk more enjoyable and two: planting trees will allow for there to be more carbon sequestration and can also help local ecosystems as trees will help preserve wildlife habitats, and improve soil quality! Overall planting more trees will add to the scenic experience you will encounter during your walk and reduce some of the CO2 emissions as trees help neutralize tons of Carbon emissions.

  • 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?

    DIANA ORTIZ GOMEZ's avatar
    DIANA ORTIZ GOMEZ 5/24/2021 1:25 AM
    I have to admit that although this challenge seems so simple and straightforward, it was difficult to practice and very eye-opening. I would always watch Netflix when I eat because I feel that it’s the only time I can relax and enjoy a show. I’ve been watching Orange Is the New Black and it’s been a great show, so I couldn’t wait to sit down and continue watching it as I eat. Therefore, it has been a challenge for me to get out of this habit. 

    Even when I’m not watching Netflix, my phone is always around and I’m tempted to scroll through TikTok or Instagram for entertainment. With all of these distractions around my eating space, practicing mindful eating gets complicated but it’s not impossible. One big change I noticed as I practiced mindful eating was how much faster I was able to finish my food when I’m eating alone. It would take me about 40 minutes to finish my food while watching Netflix and sometimes I would struggle to finish because I’m full. Additionally, sometimes my food gets cold and I lose my appetite. With mindful eating, it takes me about 15-20 minutes to finish a meal, and it would taste better since it's still warm. At first, I thought it was weird without my devices because I didn’t know where my mind could wander off to, but it didn’t take long to focus on my food and realize how much I enjoyed it. I’m also able to finish my portions and my food doesn’t get cold anymore. Overall, I can’t believe that there would be times where I would force myself to eat my food cold because I wanted to finish my meal. This experience has taught me how to enjoy my food and stay away from such distractions, which is something I need to get into the habit of in general. 


  • DIANA ORTIZ GOMEZ's avatar
    DIANA ORTIZ GOMEZ 4/13/2021 1:12 PM
    Why am I here?

    While I was looking for a writing class to enroll in, this one caught my attention based on what I’ve heard about it. However, I was not expecting to learn so much more than just writing. I’ve never really enjoyed writing because I struggle with finding the right words and figuring out how to organize my thoughts about topics that I never really engaged in. Unlike the previous writing classes I’ve taken, this one allows me to take my time and think through topics that are important and interesting to me. Like many of my peers, I was aware of the existence of climate change but I never stopped to think about the many ways it can affect me. Even though I’m pessimistic about our future, I never took the time to take action for the better, especially because I never saw a point in it if the majority continues to harm our environment. Now I’ve been inspired to contribute to a cleaner lifestyle because I can see that it’s not impossible to make a change. I’m working towards being more considerate as I learn from others and, hopefully, inspire those around me to make a change as well.

    I consider myself to be adventurous. At a young age, I would go on multiple family trips such as camping, jet skiing, and hiking. It would be a shame to no longer be able to enjoy such adventures because of our careless actions. That’s why I’m willing to learn more about my contributions and change my habits in order to do my part towards a cleaner environment. Below is an image from one of my family’s hiking trips where we visited a waterfall. This was my first time seeing a waterfall and I was amazed by the beauty of nature. I hope that we can continue to experience the wonders of nature without destroying it, so I’m willing to do what I can in order to allow those that come after me to enjoy them as well.