Skip to main content
Brian Vella's avatar

Brian Vella

Students of Sheridan's Sustainability Class

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 141 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
  • up to
    spent exercising

Brian's Actions

Coastal, Ocean, and Engineered Sinks

Smart Seafood Choices

Ocean Farming

I will visit or download the app and commit to making better seafood choices for a healthier ocean.

One-Time Action


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.


Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Tend A Garden

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



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.

One-Time Action


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.

One-Time Action


  • Reflection Question
    Electricity Choose LED Bulbs
    Changing lightbulbs is an excellent first step toward energy efficiency! What's next for you?

    Brian Vella's avatar
    Brian Vella 3/18/2023 2:05 PM
    LED lightbulbs are far more energy efficient than incandescent lightbulbs. A 60-watt incandescent lightbulb produces the same lumens as a 10-watt LED lightbulb. This is only the beginning of creating a more energy efficient home. As the warmer months approach, it is energy efficient to create a clothesline rather than run the dryer after washing clothes. There are many trees in my yard where it is possible to use a clothesline and I use one every summer. Also, it is best to avoid using the air conditioning when possible. I have a pool in my backyard and taking a dip to cool off instead of turning on the air conditioning can save a lot of energy during the summer months. The daylight savings time means that it is possible to use natural light for a longer period of time during the day, saving energy on lighting. I also have a fire pit in my backyard and have contemplated buying a grill to cook food with the fire pit instead of a barbecue stove or oven. This can save electricity and natural gas and is could be a next step towards creating a more energy efficient household.

  • Reflection Question
    Food, Agriculture, and Land Use Tend A Garden
    Have you ever had a significant experience in nature that altered your perspective or focus? If so, please describe it.

    Brian Vella's avatar
    Brian Vella 3/18/2023 2:04 PM
    I would not say that I had a singular experience that awakened me to the natural world, rather the knowledge and experiences I have accumulated over my lifetime have provided me with a deep appreciation of nature. My first trip to the Bronx Zoo, Redwood National Park, a tour on an exhibition called Kilimanjaro Safaris in Disney World, owning a number of pets, and watching nature documentaries have informed my perspective of the natural world. Those first two trips exposed me to a great deal of wildlife diversity that is not native to North America. I learned a great deal of information about the natural world from the documentaries and books. William Shatner claimed in an interview after his spaceflight that he was overcome with a feeling of fragility for planet Earth. Watching many documentaries about extremophiles and the adaptability of life on Earth have led me to develop an alternative point of view. There are bacteria that eat rocks and breathe sulfur miles below the Earth's surface, microscopic tardigrades that can survive the vacuum of space, and marine organisms that cluster around hydrothermal vents three miles under the ocean. Greenland sharks have a lifespan of 300 years and trees in Redwood National Park have been around for thousands of years. Turritopsis dohrnii is a species of jellyfish that is biologically immortal and can revert to a polyp state through transdifferentiation. All of these extraordinary survival capabilities demonstrated by life on Earth has given me the belief that life is robust rather than fragile. It is also very interesting and given me a greater interest and appreciation of Earth’s biodiversity. The attached picture is a tardigrade, one of the extremophiles mentioned earlier.

  • Reflection Question
    Buildings Fix Leaky Faucets
    What are other easy and low-cost ways to reduce your water usage at home?

    Brian Vella's avatar
    Brian Vella 2/23/2023 12:32 PM
    Apart from fixing water leaks, there are many other ways to conserve water usage at home. It is possible to install a “low-flow” shower head, which uses less than 2.5 gallons per minute. Additionally, taking shorter showers and baths on occasion can reduce water usage. When shaving in the sink, it is wise to fill up the sink rather than leave the faucet on. This can reduce water usage while still allowing a razor to be cleaned. Reusing grey water is also a great strategy to reduce water consumption. Water from sinks and showers can be reused to water plants in a garden, for example. When doing the laundry, doing a full load instead of washing items intermittently can reduce water usage. It is also advisable to wash a car using a bucket of water rather than leaving the hose on constantly. When washing dishes in the sink, similar methods can be used. Often times, a faucet produces a greater volume of water than we need to perform a task. Placing an aerator on faucets can reduce the volume of water flow and control the stream of water as well. Avoiding a constant flow of water when performing activities is imperative to reducing water usage.

  • 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?

    Brian Vella's avatar
    Brian Vella 2/23/2023 12:07 PM
    I have walked in three places so far. One walk was in a residential neighborhood, another was in a state park, and the last one was on a nature trail. I have noticed that there are many people who also choose these places to walk, and the state park in particular was very crowded. The walks were enjoyable because of the location. The residential neighborhood was secluded and there were no cars driving around. The state park had a beautiful lake with a section of paved trails and a section of dirt trails. The nature preserve was in the woods and had a wide dirt trail. The environment was relaxing, the chirping of the birds was peaceful, and the exercise was stimulating. I believe the infrastructure in place was very adequate. However, there are some small changes I think could be made. The trails at both the state park and the nature preserve did not have a separate lane for bikes and maintenance vehicles, and when one passed,
    I had to step off the trail. A single path in some sections of the state park led to bottlenecks at certain areas, such as bridges and scenic viewing points. The nature trail also allows for horses to use the trail, which could be dangerous for both the rider, the horse, and the pedestrians without proper yielding guidelines. I believe multiple paths in some areas as well as designated lanes for certain transportation methods could benefit those who use the trails. The attached picture is from the nature trail.

  • Brian Vella's avatar
    Brian Vella 2/10/2023 7:44 PM
    Hello, my name is Brian and I am from Long Island. I am a Business student at CUNY SPS and will graduate in 2024. I have always been a great admirer of wildlife and the natural environment and try to take steps to reduce my energy consumption and carbon footprint when available. I feel that using public transportation, limiting electricity consumption at home, and planting are the environmentally friendly activities in which I contribute the most. However, there is always improvements to be made, and perhaps using less plastics and eating mindfully could be areas of improvement. I hope to learn more about ways I can contribute to a healthy environment in this challenge. Thanks!