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Angela Sarkis's avatar

Angela Sarkis

VANIER Sustainability-in-Action

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 286 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    1
    donations
    made
  • up to
    32
    minutes
    spent exercising
  • up to
    49
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    5
    lightbulbs
    replaced
  • up to
    8
    meatless or vegan meals
    consumed

Angela's Actions

Industry

Choose Recycled Paper

Recycled Paper

I will plan ahead to only use paper products made from post-consumer recycled paper for my home or office.

Completed
One-Time Action

Industry

Learn About & Practice Sustainable Fashion

Multiple Industry Solutions

I will learn about sustainable fashion and begin trying to practice it in my own life.

Completed
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

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 2
DAILY ACTIONS

Land Sinks

Buy Bamboo

Bamboo Production

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

Completed
One-Time Action

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

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 2
DAILY ACTIONS

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Reduce Animal Products

Plant-Rich Diets

I will enjoy 2 meatless or vegan meal(s) each day of the challenge.

COMPLETED 3
DAILY ACTIONS

Transportation

Improve a Bus Stop

Public Transit

I will improve a bus stop in my neighborhood by posting the stop schedule, adding seating or shelter, adding art or flowers, picking up litter, or implementing some other small improvement.

Completed
One-Time Action

Health and Education

Fund Family Planning

Health and Education

I will donate to supply a community with reproductive health supplies.

Completed
One-Time Action

Buildings

Learn about 'Green Gentrification'

Multiple Solutions

I will spend at least 30 minutes learning about green gentrification and how it relates to city planning for climate action.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Electricity

Choose LED Bulbs

LED Lighting

I will replace 5 incandescent lightbulb(s) with Energy Star-certified LED bulbs, saving up to $14 per fixture per year.

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Justice for the Whole Community

Learn about the Legacy of Redlining

Multiple Solutions

I will spend at least 30 minutes learning about the legacy of redlining and how city planning and environmental justice issues are interconnected.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Learn the Truth About Expiration Dates

Reduced Food Waste

I will spend at least 30 minutes learning how to differentiate between sell by, use by, and best by dates.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Feed


  • Angela Sarkis's avatar
    Angela Sarkis 12/02/2020 7:39 PM
    Final Post:
    The Drawdown EcoChallenge undoubtedly had its place in the Sustainability-in-Action course and was a good stepping stone for further research on the subject. I appreciated the fact that certain actions provided reliable websites and resources to guide us in our learning process. The number of actions available for us to choose from (along with their wide variety) made it easy to evaluate our habits and lifestyle and make changes accordingly. While the COVID-19 pandemic made certain actions impossible to carry out, it did not limit our ability to make important, sustainable changes. I would highly recommend giving this assignment to future classes and I am sure some influential community initiatives could stem from this project after the pandemic. I believe promoting this activity for Vanier in general would be worthwhile, because many students are interested in environmental issues and could find a lot of use out of a bank of suggestions and information on how to help the health of our planet.

    On a personal level, this assignment greatly contributed to my well-being. It motivated me to make better food choices and be more mindful of what I consume and where it comes from. I learned about balance and the importance of critically looking at your eating habits to assess the areas where change is truly necessary. For example, some heavily processed vegan foods I purchased sometimes were not necessarily more sustainable than responsibly produced animal products. Moreover, it is very important to acknowledge that every small step we take towards a more sustainable future matters. While a whole lifestyle change might seem overwhelming at first, the creation of new habits often triggers an entire chain of events and also inspires those around us to reevaluate their own. I am most proud of my consistency in maintaining small changes. For example, I have remained mindful of my diet, consumption, home improvement and exercise habits throughout this semester and intend on continuing on this path.

    While I was consistent in performing sustainable actions in my daily life, I would have liked to improve my organization skills when it came to reporting them for this assignment. I did not always write posts about what I was up to because I sometimes had trouble adhering to a precise schedule and structuring this semester-long project. A couple more of "checkpoint" deadlines would have been useful to me.

    Overall, participating in the Drawdown EcoChallenge was very beneficial to my physical and psychological health and I am proud to have taken concrete actions to help the environment as opposed to only passively learning about sustainability.






  • Angela Sarkis's avatar
    Angela Sarkis 11/24/2020 8:00 PM
    I watched the documentary "The Clothes we Wear" (available on youtube) and learned about the social and environmental consequences of fast fashion. The documentary highlighted the extent of the environmental damage and waste Western fast-fashion brands cause in the third world countries in which their factories operate. While we are the ones who overconsume goods, the factory workers and their surroundings pay the price. Chemicals are released into bodies of water and the air is polluted. Moreover, inhumane working conditions and unfair wages are ethical factors to consider when purchasing clothing. Suggestions to help face this global issue is to hold brands accountable, demand transparency, research the brands we buy from and, more concretely, try thrifting, trading or borrowing clothes if it is not necessary to buy new ones. I recommend the Bunz trading application to trade goods in Montreal.

  • Angela Sarkis's avatar
    Angela Sarkis 11/22/2020 7:44 PM
    This semester, I have gone on short walks every day. This has helped me feel more energized and has positively affected my mood and my motivation to exercise. Most importantly, adopting this new habit has set in motion other sustainable habits. For example, it has motivated me to make healthier and more sustainable food choices as well as look for ways to be more involved in my community.

  • Angela Sarkis's avatar
    Angela Sarkis 11/15/2020 12:07 PM
    I visited seafoodwatch.org and cooked a sustainable salmon recipe using a farmed salmon from British Colombia, Canada. I learned that farmed fish and seafood that are sustainably grown in a way that does not affect the surrounding environment and wildlife can be better than open net-pens in ocean coasts. While oxygen is provided naturally by the ocean's current, the waste produced by the salmons are deposited in the nearby seabed and affects the chemical make-up of ecosystems.

    Tips: Look for Aquaculture Stewardship Council Certified Salmon Farms (ASC certified) and  Marine Stewardship Council Certified Fisheries (MSC certified) when buying salmon.


  • Angela Sarkis's avatar
    Angela Sarkis 11/10/2020 10:41 AM
    I donated health supplies by mail to the Dans la rue organization. It was very easy and is very important. While we often donate food, money and clothing, we don't always think of donating hygiene products that are necessary to health, well being and dignity. For example, I gave lotions, bamboo toothbrushes, pads and tampons. This is the link to the organization's page if anyone is interested, I highly recommend fellow classmates do the same, even with only one item.

  • Angela Sarkis's avatar
    Angela Sarkis 11/10/2020 10:21 AM
    After cleaning out the bus stop in front of my house and noticing that there were no trashcans available anywhere near it, I started leaving out my own trash, recycling and compost bins next to it and people have been using them. I will, however, write a letter to my city government office urging them to provide permanent trash cans at this stop and the one across the street. 

  • Angela Sarkis's avatar
    Angela Sarkis 10/17/2020 11:05 AM
    I have replaced my family's plastic toothbrushes (that had to be replaced soon in any case) for bamboo toothbrushes. I purchased a pack of 12 for 13$ which was not significantly more expensive than plastic ones. I also stopped packing my lunches with disposable, plastic utensils (although I did wash them and reuse them a few times) and instead started using reusable bamboo ones. This was a simple action that prevents non-biodegradable pieces of plastic from ending up in landfills and the ocean, and would have a big impact if more people made this change. Next, I will be looking into a more eco-friendly alternative to plastic, disposable razors.

  • Angela Sarkis's avatar
    Angela Sarkis 10/07/2020 10:32 AM
    I replaced 5 burnt or dimmed light bulbs in my house for energy efficient LED bulbs, and took the old ones to a recycling center. LED bulbs last much longer, consume less energy and reduce costs compared to the incandescent bulbs I had. Also, I was happy to learn that LED bulbs with a high output can be used as grow lights for plants and consume less electricity than fluorescent grow lights so I am looking forward to trying them on my houseplants.

  • Angela Sarkis's avatar
    Angela Sarkis 10/07/2020 9:21 AM
    Reducing food portions has been helpful in reducing the food waste in my family, especially in BBQ situations where an excessive amount of food gets cooked; everyone overeats; and a lot of food is left over. While some of it is kept for later, a significant amount of it usually gets thrown away. By planning better portions for the people present (ie: what gets grilled for each person, how many vegetable skewers will realistically get eaten, how much bread and side dishes will be needed), I have noticed a huge difference in our food waste that was extremely easy to carry out.

  • Angela Sarkis's avatar
    Angela Sarkis 10/05/2020 6:14 PM
    For the drawdown ecochallenge, I have been trying to reduce the animal products in my diet by eating vegan meals more often than not which has, at the same time, motivated me to try to make healthier choices. I have been trying out new recipes and intend to research more about the difference between sustainable and unsustainable plant-based lifestyles in order to adjust my diet accordingly.

    Ps: I very much do not recommend putting hot tofu on cold, raw greens. Live and learn.