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Alexandra Perez's avatar

Alexandra Perez

Bruins For a Just Transition

"To create a better environment for sea animals as the ocean's acidification increases. "

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 152 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    30
    minutes
    being mindful
  • up to
    34
    minutes
    spent exercising

Alexandra's Actions

Buildings

Fix Leaky Faucets

Low-Flow Fixtures

I will fix faucets or report leaky faucets to facilities that have been wasting up to 9 gallons (34 L) of water a day or 270 (1,020 L) gallons of water a month per faucet.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Transportation

Try Carpooling

Carpooling

I will commute by carpool 31 mile(s) per day and avoid sending up to (___) lbs of CO2 into Earth's atmosphere.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Health and Education

Start a Social Media Campaign

Health and Education

Through social media, I will raise awareness about gender inequity in education by sharing the information found in the links below.

COMPLETED 0
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.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Industry

Practice the 5 R's

Recycling

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

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

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

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 1
DAILY ACTION

Transportation

Go for a Daily Walk

Walkable Cities

I will take a walk for 30 minutes each day and take note of the infrastructure that makes walking more or less enjoyable, accessible, and possible.

COMPLETED 1
DAILY ACTION

Feed

  • Reflection Question
    Transportation Try Carpooling
    List some of the places you frequent often (work, grocery store, natural areas). Could you choose one or two days a week to schedule driving with a friend, neighbor or co-worker to these places?

    Alexandra Perez's avatar
    Alexandra Perez 5/08/2022 7:14 PM
    My roommate and I are both UCLA students that carpool to campus together. We have an apartment approximately 16 miles away from campus; thus, the ability to carpool has allowed us to relieve some financial tension as we save money on gas. Furthermore, we save gallons of gas when we take turns driving one another to class and only make essential trips such as to the grocery store. Moreover, we have classes on the same day; thus, we purchased a parking permit to split our costs and lower the amount of carbon we contribute to the environment. One sacrifice I had to make was although we have class the same day, she has class earlier than I do. Therefore, I decided to make a conscious decision to stay in the library for approximately three hours before my class began to continue carpooling with my roommate. We also often carpool to other places, including grocery stores, the office we both work for, and anytime we want to get out of the house to study. Carpooling with my roommate is such a small yet significant change I have recently made in my life. This change saves gas, money and can lower the amount of carbon two cars would contribute to the greenhouse effect if we were both to drive to UCLA.  Additionally, it also allows us to lessen the air pollution that is a significant issue in Los Angeles; traffic continues to get worse, and therefore carpooling is a greener option. I also recently found out that other high school friends who live close to me carpool together. To make a more considerable contribution to help the environment, I would like to talk to them to make a bigger carpool group. This would eliminate another car burning gasoline and contributing to the Los Angeles air pollution that almost everyone seems to accept at this point instead of making a change. I believe carpooling is an excellent option that extends beyond broke college students who want to save money. The effects of carpool spread beyond financial aspects and are better than driving separate cars to the same destination at slightly different times. Carpooling eases traffic, which helps air pollution as discussed in an article in Project Drawdown. It also increases fuel emission efficiency by cutting it by significant amounts. Overall, carpooling is a small sacrifice to make an enormous change. If multiple people decided to try this challenge, a considerable difference would be seen in the greenhouse effect and air pollution. 
  • Reflection Question
    Industry Practice the 5 R's
    What are some more "R's" you could add to your daily practice to reduce your waste?

    Alexandra Perez's avatar
    Alexandra Perez 4/21/2022 7:20 PM
    Whenever my roommate and I go to the grocery store, I often forget to bring my reusable bags. Bringing my reusable bags to the store is something I would like to incorporate into my grocery trip routine. The Superior grocery bags are very thick, making me realize this is more plastic than other thinner bags. Also, because I qualify for CalFresh, I can receive free plastic bags instead of paying for them. Getting free plastic bags each time I pay with my EBT card has made it easier to forget to bring my reusable bags. Therefore, the R with the most considerable impact I can incorporate into my life is reusing. Growing up in a Latino household, we have a storage place for our collection of plastic bags that we reuse for trash can bags. Although I thought this was a great idea at first, I now realize that only reusing them one more time is not as great as eliminating them from my daily grocery trips overall. I then thought about paper bags as an alternative. From a recent discussion with one of my classmates, paper bags may not be the best idea. Additionally, destroying these plastic bags has an enormous contribution to the greenhouse effect; thus, I believe eliminating these bags will significantly help our atmosphere rather than transitioning to more paper bags. As the greenhouse emissions continue to rise, this is one small change if at least half of the population made would be making a significant impact. Plastic bags would be one less thing we would have to worry about finding in our landfill, thus helping reduce our waste. Instead of removing plastic bags, one plausible solution is to increase the price from 10 cents to possibly a dollar. Therefore, the supply should also be lower once there is lower demand. Also, for others with EBT cards, giving a reusable bag rather than the plastic bag for free could significantly reduce human plastic waste. Below I have attached a picture of my mom’s plastic bag collection. We have started using more reusable bags as a family, but because our collection was so extensive for a while, we continue to try to get rid of them. 
  • 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?

    Alexandra Perez's avatar
    Alexandra Perez 4/10/2022 9:16 PM
    I often encounter the problem of serving myself more food than I can eat. My eyes often tend to be bigger than my stomach, which I have struggled with for the majority of my life especially living in a Latino household where I am always encouraged to eat more than I can handle. Moreover, I have a variety of various-sized plates in my home. I usually use the bigger plates to accommodate all of my food, but I decided to start using the smaller plates for this action item. By doing this, I reduced the amount of food I ate and the waste. If I were still hungry after one serving, I would always serve myself a little more, but usually, if I left food on my large plate, it was a habit to throw it out instead of placing it in another container as it was "too much work." As discussed in Drawdown's Reduced Food Waste "Losing food to one waste heap or another is an issue in both high-and low-income countries." Food waste is a significant problem in our country; therefore, I plan to continue using smaller plates to reduce food waste. It makes an enormous difference in the amount of food I eat and significantly reduces my waste. So much perfectly good food is often thrown out for convenience instead of redistributing to those in need, resulting in unnecessary greenhouse gases being produced. Nourish LA has done a great job redistributing perfectly good food that typically goes to waste. My goal is to continue attending Nourish LA on Sundays and aid in opening another location in my hometown. Although not every individual has access to organizations such as the one described, they can make a difference by eating what they can handle and saving the rest for another time. Lastly, reducing food waste has already been shown to reduce the amount of CO2 gigatons sequestered which will only continue to aid our efforts in making a difference in the detrimental effects of climate change. If there is an increase in food being distributed to more people, this will also greatly aid our community from starving and change how much carbon dioxide is in the air. I have attached a picture of my two-sized plates and some of my food from Nourish LA. 

    • Tess Fleser's avatar
      Tess Fleser 4/11/2022 10:51 AM
      Alexandra, 
      I totally resonate with this. I get so excited seeing all the food and foolishly believe that I can eat all of it if I try. I really like your idea of using smaller plates and getting smaller servings with it, because there is always the possibility of seconds (and even thirds). Took try to modify this for my lifestyle living in the dorms, I may try using smaller plates offered in the dinning hall more and asking for smaller servings. I think that reducing food waste is on of the most convenient ways for everyone to reduce their environmental impact, and it was ranked #1 in food solutions in one of our textbooks. It's also really nice to hear about your experience with Nourish LA, that is definitely one of the action events I want to attend, and hearing your take on it has made me much more excited for it. 

    • Jake Hawley's avatar
      Jake Hawley 4/11/2022 9:50 AM
      Hello Alexandra,
      I appreciate your post as I am a huge culprit when it comes to loading my plate with food. I also come from a household where the portion sizes are bigger than usual and everyone expects you to eat a large portion of food. I always heard the phrase "you are a growing boy" so I would always load up my plate and then sneakily throw away the extra while no one was looking. I also found it interesting what you said about packing up the leftover food. I, too, think that I am so full and interested in food after a meal and just leave the leftovers at a restaurant. Food is something in the western world as early accessible and often wasted. Your comments on Nourish LA are excellent as that is a program certainly doing its part to fight food waste. The western world thinks food is bad before it has officially spoiled and much of our food goes to waste that should not be. I liked your comparison to the CO2 emissions related to food waste as many individuals do not consider the harmful effects other than people not having enough to eat. Your post is enlightening and your use of facts related to CO2 emissions gives an immense amount of credibility to your writing. Thank you for your post, I look forward to reading more in the future.
  • 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?

    Alexandra Perez's avatar
    Alexandra Perez 4/10/2022 8:41 PM
    My mom and I like to walk at night in and around our neighborhood, observing all our neighbors' different landscaping techniques. During our daily walks, I realized that there are three locations within a mile radius of my house with large machines in our community that are drilling the ground for oil. The oil devices in one of the locations are well hidden behind large fences covered in vines, and leaves cover the machines as they are randomly placed between multiple houses allowing them to blend in. On the other hand, toward the backside of my community, large lights illuminate the machines disrupting the peacefulness at night with substantial yellow machines randomly placed in a neighborhood. Although this does not directly affect my capacity to walk, it has made the view less enjoyable, knowing the city is essentially drilling for oil, less than half a mile from my house. As I walk more, the oil machines disturb me even more; I am curious what I can do to get rid of these machines, which can promote walking by making the neighborhood more appealing. Apart from getting rid of the oil machines, I would love for the sidewalks to be made wider. My mom and I cannot walk side by side at times, so we often take turns walking in the street. In my ideal walkable city, I would appreciate wide sidewalks. As discussed in the Drawdown excerpt Walkable Cities, these cities promote walking by making it more appealing to walk than driving a car; "Walkable cities prioritize two feet over four wheels through careful planning and design." The priorities of many cities need to be reversed. Walking has helped my physical and mental health. Thus there is a larger goal apart from reducing the greenhouse emissions from car use. Walking has been shown to reduce the amount of carbon in the air allowing an overall reduction in its contribution to climate change. Moreover, walking also leads to healthier citizens as it is a primary form of exercise for many individuals. Walking long distances takes willpower. Therefore, it is understandable individuals prefer taking a five-minute car ride rather than a twenty-minute walk. I am guilty of also doing this because I am lazy and think about saving time rather than taking the healthier option. Small steps can vastly reduce the CO2 while saving money as it does not cost a thing to walk somewhere. Therefore, I plan to start walking more when the car ride is less than ten minutes to do my part in reducing the CO2 in our atmosphere. Cities made for walking reduce emissions which is excellent for our planet but also, it is appealing to see different infrastructures and not a city made for the streets to be lined up bumper to bumper.
  • 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?

    Alexandra Perez's avatar
    Alexandra Perez 4/10/2022 7:44 PM
    Eating a full meal without using my phone, watching television, reading, or any distractions was a new practice I have not used often. When first attending UCLA, I started watching videos on my computer while eating; it got to a point where I could not eat my meal unless I had found a show to watch. Reflecting on my prior eating habits while practicing mindfulness these past few days, I realized I used to eat until I finished all of my food instead of when I was full. I would often feel bad about myself after overeating, which would make me self-conscious about my eating habits. Furthermore, mindful eating has allowed me to realize that eating while distracted is detrimental to my health, as I gained weight and was often not conscious of all the unhealthy food I was putting into my body. At the same time, mindless eating is harmful to the environment because all the land and resources used to create the food I eat contribute to the greenhouse effect. Mindful eating makes an individual fully aware of what they are putting into their body, such as acknowledging each part took time to grow and cultivate, resulting in eating healthier options and a reduced amount. Additionally, mindful eating can reduce greenhouse gases if practiced by many people. Large populations eating less can lower the demand for food, as discussed in an excerpt from Drawdown, Reduced Food Waste; thus, the resources needed to get food to populations will no longer contribute to the greenhouse effect much as before. The practicality of everyone practicing mindful eating all the time is not readily achievable. Our society is surrounded by technology; it is a part of daily lives. Thus, mindful eating takes a lot of practice. Practicing mindfulness for at least one meal a week should be implemented in different schools and grade levels. Teaching children and teenagers that this small change in our lives, specifically our eating habits, can make a difference in greenhouse emissions, thus creating a healthier environment for their future and allowing them to be healthier. I have attached a picture where I cooked a healthy meal with a smaller portion than I usually eat and practiced mindful eating while enjoying my food.

  • Alexandra Perez's avatar
    Alexandra Perez 4/03/2022 11:53 AM
    Growing up in the South Bay and getting to the beach in 15 minutes has made the beach my second home. I always love to sit on the sand and watch the waves crash to relax. Although I find the beach very peaceful, there has always been a lot of trash in the sand. Considering my favorite animals are tortoises and sea turtles, I always remember how this trash will end up in the ocean and be eaten by sea turtles (something I learned at an aquarium when I was about nine years old). Although many animals are affected, sea turtles are one of the primary victims of the trash left behind on the beaches. Moreover, seeing how big these beautiful animals can grow while visiting a park in Mexico is my why. Sea turtles are such beautiful animals that do not deserve to die from all the trash that ends up in their home. Therefore, due to my experience with seeing enormous sea turtles, I would like to start taking action by volunteering with a nearby organization to help sea turtles and other animals suffering due to many human-caused issues. I have already made minor changes to my lifestyle, such as using reusable water bottles, straws, and masks, making sure to rip the sides off the masks so they cannot harm any animals if it does happen to end up in the ocean. Overall, apart from my lifestyle changes, I would also like to help on a larger scale to make a more considerable difference in the number of sea turtles being affected by trash. 

    • Alexandra Perez's avatar
      Alexandra Perez 4/12/2022 8:01 PM
      In the picture attached I was in the park in Mexico looking at an example of a turtle shell displaying a smaller-sized turtle.

    • Hailey Qasawadish's avatar
      Hailey Qasawadish 4/03/2022 4:50 PM
      Hi Alexandra! As a person from San Diego, I also love the beach, and it saddens me to see the negative effects that climate change and humans, in general, have had on our beaches. Volunteering to take action on something that you're passionate about is a great way to get involved. I also think that the ways you have made minor changes are extremely valuable, especially because they are feasible and effective ways for college students to be more aware of our impact on the environment.