Skip to main content
Victoria Vella's avatar

Victoria Vella

SAGE EcoLogicals

"be the change you want to see in the world"

POINTS TOTAL

  • 0 TODAY
  • 0 THIS WEEK
  • 997 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    44
    meatless or vegan meals
    consumed
  • UP TO
    35
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    3.3
    pounds of paper
    have been saved
  • UP TO
    1
    donation
    made
  • UP TO
    0
    advocacy actions
    completed
  • UP TO
    2
    women, BIPOC, and immigrant-owned businesses
    supported
  • UP TO
    3
    educational videos
    watched
  • UP TO
    0
    stories
    shared
  • UP TO
    8
    hours
    volunteered
  • UP TO
    3
    trees
    planted
  • UP TO
    825
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • UP TO
    90
    minutes
    spent learning

Victoria's actions

Share Your Story

Find out what’s happening in your neighborhood

While global and national actions get a lot of attention, it’s often at the local community level where individuals can have the greatest input and where change is most tangible. But every community is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. I will spend 20 minutes finding out how my neighborhood, town or city is helping the environment and building local resilience.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Land Sinks

Explore My Area

Sometimes protecting nature requires feeling connected to nature. I will invest 60 minutes in exploring and appreciating a natural area in my region, whether a forest, wetland, coastal area, or somewhere else.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Land Sinks

Plant Trees

Temperate Forest Restoration

I will plant 2 trees in my community, public parks, or backyard.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Land Sinks

Support a Community Garden

Multiple Solutions

I will support a community garden by volunteering, donating, or advocating for a new or existing one.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Land Sinks

Local Perennial Biomass

Perennial Biomass Production

I will spend at least 30 minutes finding out if anyone is working on perennial biomass projects in my region and how I can get involved.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

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

Buildings

Tour a Green Roof

Green and Cool Roofs

I will set up a visit or a virtual tour of a green roof in my city, and ask about the codes and process for installing a green roof.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Buildings

Online Energy Audit

Multiple Solutions

I will complete an online energy audit of my home, office, or dorm room and identify my next steps for saving energy.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Buildings

Replace Manual Thermostats

Smart Thermostats

I will replace manual thermostats with smart ones.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Buildings

Install A Toilet Tank Bank

Low-Flow Fixtures

I will reduce the amount of water flushed and save up to 11 gallons (41 L) of water a day or 330 gallons (1,230 L) a month by installing a toilet tank bank.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Health and Education

Support Businesses Owned by Women, POC, or Immigrants

Sustainable Intensification for Smallholders

I will spend 20 minutes researching and shopping from 2 businesses owned by women, people of color, or immigrants.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Health and Education

Watch Drawdown's Climate Solutions 101 Series

Family Planning and Education

I will watch Drawdown’s Climate Solutions 101 and share what I learned with others.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Coastal, Ocean, and Engineered Sinks

Building With Carbon Storing Waste Products

Engineered Sinks

I will spend at least 30 minutes researching how people can build with carbon-storing materials - including agricultural byproducts - and discuss it with my peers or post to social media.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Tend A Garden

Conservation Agriculture

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

COMPLETED 29
DAILY ACTIONS

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Composting

Composting, Reduced Food Waste

I will start a compost or worm bin where I live.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Mulch the Base of Trees and Plants

Farm Irrigation Efficiency

I will prevent water runoff and increase absorbency by mulching the base of trees and plants in my yard.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Food, Agriculture, and Land Use

Reduce Animal Products

Plant-Rich Diets

I will enjoy 2 meatless or vegan meals each day of the challenge.

COMPLETED 26
DAILY ACTIONS

Industry

Research Cement Alternatives

Alternative Cement

I will spend at least 30 minutes researching cement alternatives that reduce the carbon footprint of concrete.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Industry

Go Paperless

Recycled Paper

I will reduce the amount of paper mail that I receive by 0.11lbs (0.05kg) a day or 3.3lbs (1.6kg) a month by opting into paperless billing, ending unwanted subscriptions, and opting out of junk mail.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Industry

Join a Recycling Program

Recycling

I will set up or join a recycling program at my workplace or school.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Industry

Reduce Single-Use Disposables

Bioplastics; Reduced Plastics

I will avoid buying and using 2 single-use plastics and instead replace them with durable options.

COMPLETED 26
DAILY ACTIONS

Industry

Plastics Audit

Reduced Plastics

I will complete a plastics audit to see where plastics show up in my life and determine how I can reduce the use of single-use plastics.

COMPLETED 26
DAILY ACTIONS

Industry

Practice the 5 Rs

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 29
DAILY ACTIONS

Industry

Encourage My Organization to Measure and Manage Our Carbon Footprint

Industry

I will share a business carbon calculator and encourage my organization to improve our sustainable practices.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Industry

Green My Job

Industry

Using Drawdown's Job Function Action Guide, I will learn about climate actions I can take at work.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Participant Feed

Reflection, encouragement, and relationship building are all important aspects of getting a new habit to stick.
Share thoughts, encourage others, and reinforce positive new habits on the Feed.

To get started, share “your why.” Why did you join the challenge and choose the actions you did?

  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Share Your Story Find out what’s happening in your neighborhood
    Did I learn something new about my community?

    Victoria Vella's avatar
    Victoria Vella 6/25/2024 10:09 AM
    I see my municipality has registered (in 2011) but I'm not sure how active they are. Something to research. I have a great relationship with the Environmental Commission and would love to be more involved and help where I can in the future.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Share Your Story Find out what’s happening in your neighborhood
    Did I learn something new about my community?

    Victoria Vella's avatar
    Victoria Vella 6/25/2024 10:09 AM
    I see my municipality has registered (in 2011) but I'm not sure how active they are. Something to research. I have a great relationship with the Environmental Commission and would love to be more involved and help where I can in the future.

  • Victoria Vella's avatar
    Victoria Vella 6/20/2024 6:25 PM
    I’ve been so sick this week. Have had a hard time staying focused or learning anything new to complete one time items. I did; however, make it out everyday to tend to the garden. Someone has to water the plants with this heat wave, that may be the reason I’m still sick, I just need to rest or go back to Dr and get on different meds. Ughhh, home stretch SAGE, you got this!

    • Lydia Roe's avatar
      Lydia Roe 6/24/2024 10:40 AM
      I hope you're recovering better since posting this! Impressive work to tend your garden in this weather, let alone while sick as well!
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Land Sinks Buy Bamboo
    Are bamboo alternatives readily available in your community? If not, what are other sustainable alternatives?

    Victoria Vella's avatar
    Victoria Vella 6/13/2024 4:13 AM
    Yes, bamboo alternatives are readily available in my community. I have a couple refill shops that provide a vast array of bamboo products. I also recently purchased glass containers with bamboo tops (rather than plastic). If bamboo was not available, stainless steel could be an alternative.

    • Miranda Muniz's avatar
      Miranda Muniz 6/17/2024 12:28 PM
      I really want to try refill shops! This is so enlightening. Ill have to look up and see where the closest refill shops are to me now that I moved. There weren't any where I used to live in south jersey!

    • Tonia Wu's avatar
      Tonia Wu 6/13/2024 6:49 AM
      Last year's EcoChallenge also opened my eyes to the wonderful world of refill shops. Bring your own reusable container, just pay for the stuff you fill it with. Such a simple, common-sense concept (which I imagine was the way people did things for most of history until the chemical industry discovered plastic). I like Refill Market in Haddon for soaps and things. A directory of refill shops in NJ would be fantastic if one doesn't already exist!

    • Victoria Vella's avatar
      Victoria Vella 6/13/2024 6:02 AM
      Oh, Samantha - these shops are my new obsession! It actually started with last year's EcoChallege - Plastic Free July when I was introduced to A Drop in the Ocean: Sustainable Living + Zero Waste Shop (adropintheoceanshop.com)

      Where do you live? I can maybe point you in the direction of one nearby. I was thinking SAGE could develop a directory.

      So, I now get my laundry detergent, hand soap and some cleaning products at the refill shop. Bringing your own container and weighing is so simple once you get the hang of it. I also have made the switch to "unpaper" towels that I have purchased at these shops. My other big change was to shampoo and conditioner bars, specifically "DIP" brand. I enjoy supporting these small businesses and sharing my experience. I am up north and mainly go to Bear Minimum NJ - Refillery and sustainable goods marketplace in Boonton (they also support Neighborhood Composting's Terracycle collections). I have also visited Home | sustainable haus mercantile in Summit. And Dry Goods Refillery in Montclair where I've refilled tea, coffee, pasta, honey, candy and crackers. Once you start following these businesses on social media, it opens you up to a whole world of sustainable refill shops and companies. They all support each other, and you will thus find a shop near you and products from local companies you will fall in love with. Feel free to reach out if you want more feedback. I could go on and on and on... hehe

    • Samantha Niven's avatar
      Samantha Niven 6/13/2024 5:45 AM
      Victoria, how do you like refill shops? I've never been to one but have been really interested in checking one out.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Industry Join a Recycling Program
    How can you take your commitment to sustainable living beyond yourself? How can you, personally, work toward broader change?

    Victoria Vella's avatar
    Victoria Vella 6/13/2024 4:10 AM
    I have started Terracycle collections at our elementary school and by sharing through girl scouts and boy scouts, we have been able to include more families from the extended community. I had been walking a trail in town with my Daisy Troop when a woman stopped and handed us a plastic bottle cap. It's what we are known for - all these collections for hard to recycle items! I have also brought these collections to the Northern Field Office and Trenton, when able to and DEP colleagues have been able to recycle items through our collection as well. I plan to continue the effort and advertise to the community and DEP when possible, hoping to include more items.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Industry Practice the 5 Rs
    What are some more "Rs" you could add to your daily practice to reduce your waste?

    Victoria Vella's avatar
    Victoria Vella 6/09/2024 4:47 PM
    Refuse, repurpose, reinvent, repair, rot…

    • Victoria Vella's avatar
      Victoria Vella 6/10/2024 7:44 PM
      Hahaha, so true! English language is bonkers.

    • Louisa Lubiak's avatar
      Louisa Lubiak 6/09/2024 5:22 PM
      Isn't it funny that refuse "ree-FYOOZ" (to reject) and refuse "REF-yooss" (garbage) have the same spelling? The English language sure is weird!
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Food, Agriculture, and Land Use Mulch the Base of Trees and Plants
    Name some of the human activities impacting the health of water systems, both locally (your watershed) and globally (freshwater and oceans). What can you do to improve the health of water systems?

    Victoria Vella's avatar
    Victoria Vella 6/06/2024 4:09 AM
    Some human activities that affect waterways include overfertilization, quick release pesticides, not following directions for fertilizers. These products can wash into our waterways and cause algae blooms and impact the quality of our waterways. Choosing chemical based/quick release products rather than natural/organic/slow-release items and not using them appropriately can have a negative effect in our watershed. We can educate ourselves on natural alternatives and advocate for better practices on our farmlands.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Land Sinks Plant Trees
    How is planting trees good for your mental, physical, and spiritual health?

    Victoria Vella's avatar
    Victoria Vella 6/06/2024 3:59 AM
    Planting a tree gives you something to tend to and teach your kids to care for. I find peace in walking around my property watering all these plants and newly planted trees. Seeing them flourish gives me hope and makes me happy. I am evolving into the plant lady checking my plants in the early morning with a cup of coffee. Just making sure everyone is happy.

    Crepe Mrytle & Elderberry just planted! Wish me luck.
  • 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.

    Victoria Vella's avatar
    Victoria Vella 6/03/2024 4:19 AM
    I started a few seeds indoors in the early spring and planted a lot of medicinal pollinator plants in my garden this year. Was feeling like I took a little
    too much on, and was overwhelmed, but it seems that everything is thriving.. phew!

    I love learning about the benefits of these plants and sharing with others. Love that some repel mosquitoes as well. I appreciate caring for something outside and teaching my children to do the same.

    • Victoria Vella's avatar
      Victoria Vella 6/06/2024 3:38 AM
      Lots of lemon balm to keep the mosquitoes at bay. My most interesting and (maybe) challenging additions are rhubarb and elderberry - wish me luck! ooooh, wonder if 401 has space for raised herb gardens for staff to enjoy and use.

    • Louisa Lubiak's avatar
      Louisa Lubiak 6/05/2024 5:44 PM
      Great pics of your herb garden! Do I see lemon mint there?

  • Victoria Vella's avatar
    Victoria Vella 6/03/2024 4:07 AM
    Checked in late but still able to get some actions in! You can have 5 daily actions and 20 one time actions. Hopeful to make a difference and especially looking forward to more meatless meals! Great job everyone, share anything interesting you have learned.