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Aoife Whitaker's avatar

Aoife Whitaker

UTKSUST

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 310 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    90
    meatless or vegan meals
    consumed

Aoife's Actions

Food

Reduce Animal Products

Plant-Rich Diets

I will enjoy 3 meatless or vegan meal(s) each day of the challenge.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Transport

Advocate For Greener Vehicles

Electric Cars, Hybrid Cars, Efficient Trucks

I will assess the vehicles used by my company or college and advocate for a purchasing policy focused on electric and fuel-efficient vehicles

Completed
One-Time Action

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  • Aoife Whitaker's avatar
    Aoife Whitaker 4/23/2020 9:44 PM
    As a whole, I think that my daily challenge was a success. Though I did not eat vegan for all of my meals and certainly not for snacks in between meals, I did see myself become more intentional with the food I ate. I will likely continue to eat in a similar way as I attempt to transition from vegetarian to fully plant-based in the future. 

  • Aoife Whitaker's avatar
    Aoife Whitaker 4/23/2020 9:42 PM
    My one time challenge focused on assessing UT’’s campus vehicle fleet and advocate for a move towards electric vehicles. It also included wider research about green vehicles on campus and what can be done to lessen greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. Much of my research came from UT’s Office of Sustainability. The office has stated that they  “have purchased seven new electric cars to replace gas-powered vehicles in our campus fleet and installed six new vehicle charging stations with solar panels, allowing cars to run on sunshine”. This definitely shows a step in the right direction on the part of UT. 
    I also research Knoxville’s KAT buses, as I had recently heard that the city was moving to electric-powered vehicles. The city has stated that 33% of the current fleet of KAT buses are hybrid electric vehicles and the next stage in their sustainability plan is to move to all electric vehicles. At the end of 2019 Knoxville purchased its first all-electric buses, which it plans to start running by 2021.
    Though I wish I could have done more in influencing real change to greener vehicles at UT, I believe that UT is moving in the right direction and will continue to do so. I also think that the university could take a page from the city’s book and make real substantial changes in converting its vehicle fleet to electric-powered vehicles.


    Knoxville's First All-Electric Bus Purchase Celebrated. (n.d.). Retrieved from

    Impact. (2019, June 24). Retrieved from https://sustainability.utk.edu/impact/


  • Aoife Whitaker's avatar
    Aoife Whitaker 4/23/2020 9:29 PM
    My ecochallenge has been more successful because of quarantine! I have been able to be more intentional with the things I am purchasing/consuming. I am making 95% of my meals which allows me to make sure I cook fully vegan.
  • Reflection Question
    Transport Advocate For Greener Vehicles
    How does advocating for green vehicles in your community connect to your values? How might you be able to get others involved in advocating for the shift to fuel-efficient vehicles?

    Aoife Whitaker's avatar
    Aoife Whitaker 4/17/2020 4:19 PM
    Advocating for green vehicles in Knoxville, but particularly on UT's campus, is important both because of the amount of vehicles used by the university as well as the example it sets for students and residents of Knoxville. The switch to green vehicles connects to my values and desire to see more sustainability in my community because using green vehicles lessens the amount of GHG emissions released into the air and can shrink cities' overall pollution. Educating both students and UT employees on UT decisions concerning vehicles is the best way to be successful in advocating for a switch to more green vehicles. 

  • Aoife Whitaker's avatar
    Aoife Whitaker 4/16/2020 8:57 PM
    My eco-challenge daily challenge has been going well! Though I have not been successful in eating fully vegan meals every day this spring, I have learned a lot about food consumption and healthy eating habits. My biggest challenges have come from long weekends of my visiting family, in environments where I cannot, or do not, cook for myself. 
  • Reflection Question
    Food Reduce Animal Products
    Why do people in richer countries eat more meat than people in other places? How does eating more meat affect our bodies, our planet, and other people?

    Aoife Whitaker's avatar
    Aoife Whitaker 4/16/2020 8:54 PM
    People in richer countries tend to eat more meat because of accessibility. More people are able to afford meat and therefor "richer" countries' food economies developed around the concept of meat as a meal staple. Though consumer cost of meat is higher than that of fruit and vegetables, it still does not reflect the actual environmental, economic and health costs of sourcing and consuming meat. Meat production and animal agriculture are detrimental to the environment, they use significant amounts of water, land area, and require substantial amounts of grain for little meat production. High amounts of meat consumption have also been shown to have negative health impacts, from increased risk of cancer and heart disease to weight gain.