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Manpreet  Singh's avatar

Manpreet Singh

VANIER Sustainability-in-Action

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 1,286 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    96
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    165
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    4
    lightbulbs
    replaced
  • up to
    92
    meatless or vegan meals
    consumed

Manpreet 's 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 32
DAILY ACTIONS

Health and Education

Research Barriers to Participation and Representation

Health and Education

I will spend at least 45 minutes learning more about the barriers to women's equal participation and representation around the world.

Completed
One-Time Action

Health and Education

Learn about the Need for Family Planning

Health and Education

I will spend at least 45 minutes learning more about the need for family planning globally.

Completed
One-Time Action

Transportation

Test Drive an Electric Bike

Electric Bicycles

I will test drive an electric bike at a local distributor to see if it makes sense to use one in place of my car, or to extend the area I can cover by bike.

Completed
One-Time Action

Transportation

Stay on the Ground

Telepresence, High-Speed Rail

Instead of traveling by plane, I will find an alternative way to accomplish the goals of an upcoming trip (i.e. telepresence, vacation locally).

Completed
One-Time Action

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 31
DAILY ACTIONS

Electricity

Choose LED Bulbs

LED Lighting

I will replace 4 incandescent lightbulb(s) with Energy Star-certified LED bulbs, saving up to $14 per fixture per year.

Completed
One-Time Action

Electricity

Choose Renewable Energy or Purchase Renewable Energy Credits

Onshore Wind Turbines, Utility-Scale Solar Photovoltaics

I will sign up for my utility company's clean/renewable energy option. If my utility does not offer one, I will purchase Renewable Energy Credits to match my usage.

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Justice for the Whole Community

Research Businesses Owned by Women, POC, or Immigrants

Sustainable Intensification for Smallholders

I will spend 15 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: Justice for the Whole Community

Learn about the Legacy of Redlining

Multiple Solutions

I will spend at least 60 minutes learning about the legacy of redlining and how city planning and environmental justice issues are interconnected.

Completed
One-Time Action

Feed


  • Manpreet  Singh's avatar
    Manpreet Singh 12/02/2020 10:10 AM
    From this challenge, I learned a lot about the smaller things in life I can change that make a difference long term like my diet or even the lightbulbs in my house. I also made bigger choices with my family during this challenge and it made me rethink about certain luxuries I have in my life and how I can make those more ecologically friendly like the fireplace we're gonna have built or even the car we have. I've seen changes in my parents ways of doing things, like shopping for things that have less waste at the end or don't come overly packaged. It made an impact on everyone and I'm also hoping my baby brother will adopt the new changes and ideologies we've created into the household as his new normal, so think green before acting,  
    The challenges offered were definitely fun to do, although I feel like some of the options were not possible to do because of Covid, especially the challenges to go outside and do something with a certain community. I think this could be fun for other students too and would help  a lot of people learn and create new habits. The daily challenges for example, helped a lot as reminders and motivation. However, the only problem I personally had was keeping up with the weekly blogs especially after I fell sick. 
    Overall, I really enjoyed this and the changes I was able to make in my life using the ecochallenge as a tool. My proudest moments were definitely being able to influence my parents decisions and playing an important role in the family. The fireplace and the roadtrip my parents took using an electric car instead of plane were probably my highlights of this challenge. 

  • Manpreet  Singh's avatar
    Manpreet Singh 11/25/2020 8:01 AM
     I spent an hour learning about the problems women face when trying to reach equal representation and why we have certain barriers. I started off by researching into how many women are actually in certain male dominated fields like politics.  I found that in the US, 50.2% of the college-educated labour force is made up of women but they still only hold 25% of leadership roles (source 1). The gender equality problems we have are mainly due to allowing succession for men only. For example, if all the managers at a restaurant are men, then favoring men over women instead of looking at qualifications. 

    The representation issue also roots deeply into  how our government tries to sell itself as a gender equal institution. However, Canada has just 27 per cent women in its Parliament and currently ranks 62nd in the world in rankings of women’s representation (source 2). Women in these high positions not only struggle to get there but also are faced with violence. According to The Conversation “a 2016 international study found that 81.8 per cent of women politicians globally had been psychologically abused and 44.4 per cent had received death, rape, beating or abduction threats” (source 2). They also pointed out that online female presences are easier targets for death and/or rape threats. “In Europe, 85 per cent of female politicians suffered psychological violence, 68 per cent had been the target of sexists comments and 58 per cent the target of online sexist attacks on social media” (source 2). The worst is for young women, women of color or LGBTQ+ members. Visible minorities are always targets of harassment and the Canadian government isn't different. 

    The issues are structural, related to how the institutions are built and work as well as the work place environment and the policies within institutions. Socially, we tend to associate parenthood to women very strongly which leads to women having to choose between motherhood and their careers. Having a structure that allows equal parentings would allow less stress on these women who have to do double the work sometimes. While hiring, these institutions need to find solutions to make sure implicit and explicit biases do not exist and do not affect the hiring process. Companies should also acknowledge if they have problems with diversity. “In Glassdoor’s 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Study, 50% of respondents (in the UK, US, France and Germany) agreed that “my company should do more to increase diversity and inclusion” (source 3). 

    1. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/01/5-ways-companies-can-progress-more-women-into-leadership-roles/
    2. https://theconversation.com/another-barrier-for-women-in-politics-violence-113637
    3. https://strammer.com/en/barriers-to-female-representation-in-the-life-sciences/
     

  • Manpreet  Singh's avatar
    Manpreet Singh 11/15/2020 6:21 PM
    With the presidential elections finally coming to a conclusion, I thought about the rights women would have lost in the USA if Trump would have won for another 4 years. Already that we had several states wanting to ban abortions.  Currently, the restrictions and accessibility vary from state to state and abortion is a controversial topic in several countries especially those that create their laws around religion. I decided to look into problems we may have with family planning after reading on the United Nations page about family planning.

    "The Programme of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development affirmed the basic right of couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children and to have the information, education and means to do so. Information about contraceptive use and the demand for family planning are key to understanding fertility levels and trends. The Population Division monitors progress in ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, as called for in the Sustainable Development Goals. Various methodological and technical improvements in this work have been supported by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as part of the Making Family Planning Count initiative. The Division produces global data sets and analytical studies on contraceptive use and family planning on a regular basis". (https://www.un.org/development/desa/pd/themes/family-planning)

    I looked into some of the stats on unplanned parenting and found some interesting numbers. "Nearly 5% of reproductive-age women have an unintended pregnancy each year. The unintended pregnancy rate is significantly higher in the United States than in many other developed countries. In 2011, nearly half (45%, or 2.8 million) of the 6.1 million pregnancies in the United States were unintended."  (https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/unintended-pregnancy-united-states#:~:text=In%20other%20words%2C%20nearly%205,the%20United%20States%20were%20unintended.) The numbers seem high so I checked for Canada and apparently around 50% of pregnancies are unplanned. However, Canada does offer resources especially to teenagers. Condoms are being offered in schools and girls can get birth control pills from their school nurse or their neighborhood clsc. The Canadian Federation for Sexual Health also helps out by maintaining a list of member organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, that provide counselling services in Canada. 

    These statistics on unplanned pregnancies are on North America but there is a strong need for parental planning for countries that are rapidly urbanizing in areas like Southern Asian. I attended the MSSI Research symposium this year and learned that Southern Asia has an annual urbanization rate higher than 5%. With people moving to cities and cities growing, the population grows too. India is seeing problems with high rates of poverty in big families. With more people and less planned parenting, we are seeing an increased demand for resources (such as fresh water and food), starvation, malnutrition, consumption of natural resources (such as fossil fuels) faster than the rate of regeneration, and a deterioration in living conditions. China was a good example of planned parenthood being established for the whole country out of necessity and maybe we should consider how much resources we use for every child being brought in this world instead of our selfish desires of having kids.

  • Manpreet  Singh's avatar
    Manpreet Singh 11/08/2020 3:58 PM
    This week I decided to focus on food a lot. Since restaurants are closed again, I've taken the time to look into some vegan restaurants or restaurants that have some vegan meals on their menu instead of ordering from the same places every single time. I've been compiling a list for when I decide to Uber eats some food instead of cooking my vegetarian meals. I'm still trying to find a substitute to paneer since it is my favorite. Other than that, my meals are mostly vegan with occasional butter being used. Sushi is a great way of getting a vegan meal, obviously if you get it without fish, so at least I have that comfort food still in my diet. Through Uber eats I found this place called Sham that has all kinds of Middle Eastern and Syrian specialties which I'm looking forward to trying. My biggest find was a vegan bakery and patisserie called Sophie Sucree. I think this will be a good way to complete my vegan diet challenge since I get a variety of meals and lots of ideas. 

  • Manpreet  Singh's avatar
    Manpreet Singh 11/01/2020 8:18 PM
    So since Covid has been hurting a lot of businesses, I decided to look into some companies or shops that I could support by shopping there more often  or any other kind of business and mainly owned by women. I found Chic Marie which is a service-based clothing rental company. For $65 to $96 a month, customers can rent up to three boxes of clothes a month, offering an “unlimited wardrobe that will meet the needs of women from all walks of life.” I also found CyberEco which is a company that “aims to limit the risks associated with cyber threats by educating businesses and individuals about fraudulent practices.” I think this is something everyone could benefit out of.  I also found this really cool website that redirects you towards a certain black owned business depending on what you need; I'd recommend everyone checks it out. https://east.afrobiz.ca/en/Montreal#FINDABUSINESS 

  • Manpreet  Singh's avatar
    Manpreet Singh 10/24/2020 9:23 PM
    We already use electricity for all utilities including electricity and our stove, so I looked into something else in my household that can have more eco friendly options. For the renewable energy, since Quebec and almost all of Canada pretty much runs off of electricity coming from renewable sources, I talked to my father about some of the renovations the family is planning on doing. We spend a lot of time in our basement and it gets incredibly cold in the winters to the point where the heating system installed in the houses doesn't keep the rooms warm enough for comfort. My father wanted to make it nicer and warmer especially since we paint together downstairs so we decided back in January that a nice fireplace would be a good investment. Because of Covid, we weren't able to go shopping or do anything related to the fireplace. However, now that I'm participating in this challenge, I thought I could maybe try to convince my father to buy an electric fireplace. Obviously, a fireplace is not the best eco friendly option since you are burning pellets or wood, but my father is adamant on getting one.  He has agreed to go for electric with pellets that have the least amount of chemicals in them and that are made from organic waste even if this is slightly pricier and harder to find. So, by the end of next summer we should have an eco friendly option to heat us up. 

  • Manpreet  Singh's avatar
    Manpreet Singh 10/07/2020 7:33 AM
    Sadly, I haven't been able to do much for this challenge since I've fallen sick from Covid, but I've been consistently eating vegetarian since the beginning of the challenge even if it would slip from my mind to note it down daily here. 

    • Richard Klopp's avatar
      Richard Klopp 10/07/2020 8:23 AM
      How are you feeling? I hope the symptoms are not too bad. I am reading your posts and quite impressed at your ability to positively influence family decisions.
      Wishing you a speedy recovery! RK

  • Manpreet  Singh's avatar
    Manpreet Singh 9/30/2020 6:04 PM
    This weekend my family and I were supposed to go attend a funeral in New York by plane. Rather than a plane, I prompt them to rent out an electrical car when we were deciding on tickets and they agreed for financial and ecological reasons. My older sister and I will stay behind while my parents and younger brother go. 

  • Manpreet  Singh's avatar
    Manpreet Singh 9/19/2020 5:32 PM
    Ever since I started the challenge, my parents have decided to support me and completely cut out buying meat. To be honest, my diet hasn't changed too drastically considering that my mother is already a vegetarian and Indians have a lot of vegetarian meals. One of my all time favorite dishes actually uses the same curry recipe for butter chicken but the chicken is replaced with paneer which is a type of fresh cheese. I know a completely completely vegan meal would be much better, but it's still ok to take it one step at a time! 

  • Manpreet  Singh's avatar
    Manpreet Singh 9/12/2020 5:58 AM
    This week, my parents and I decided to make some few changes around the house to make it more sustainable and to lose less money every year having to throw out items we don't really need to. Yesterday, we made a quick trip to Walmart and replaced 4 lightbulbs that needed to be replaced with LED fixtures. I also talked about the ecochallenge to my significant other who already uses an electric bike to go to work. He knows it's so much better for the environment than a bike that use gas. He took me to a shop (on his electric bike) to try out an electric bike for myself and see if I want to purchase one any time soon.

    • Richard Klopp's avatar
      Richard Klopp 9/13/2020 3:53 PM
      Great initiatives. I do a lot of commuting on my bicycle and it serves as my exercise at the same time. I always check the weather radar function which helps me accurately predict whether rain is coming in the next few hours. Electric-assist bikes give you a longer range, but they are heavier. Depending on the typical distance you are biking, it might not be worth the extra cost.
      RK