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  • Andrew Waters's avatar
    Andrew Waters 5/01/2020 8:15 PM
    In our architecture school cement and concrete are described as default material due to their common use in our built environment. The commonly used material of cement has some drawbacks sadly.  The production of cement accounts for 5-6 percent of the world's emissions annually. This is because the most common type of cement relies on limestone and aluminosilicate clay mixed at high temperature to change them atomic makeup and releasing carbon dioxide in the process. The Limestone in the formula releases sixty percent of the carbon dioxide. Project drawdown defines cement alternatives as “the partial replacement of clinker with alternative materials.” The carbon emission can also be reduced by replacing old cement kilns with newer more efficient ones. Project drawdown made two model scenarios within the context of the international cement standards and calculated the results. Scenario 1’s model sets the clinker to cement ratio to 0.61 and assumes 39% of the market uses cement alternatives. Scenario 2’s model sets the clinker to cement ratio to 0.46 and assumes 54% of the market uses cement alternatives. Scenario 1 predicts “8 gigatons of carbon dioxide abated by 2050.” Scenario 2 predicts “16 gigatons of carbon dioxide abated by 2050.” 

    Project Drawdown
    Project Drawdown

  • Aidan Baird's avatar
    Aidan Baird 5/01/2020 8:07 PM
  • Reflection Question
    Materials Install A Toilet Tank Bank
    How can your region/household prepare for changing water situations in order to become more resilient?

    Aidan Baird's avatar
    Aidan Baird 5/01/2020 8:05 PM
    In East Tennessee, climate change will cause winters to become more wet, with larger precipitation events, and in the summers it will become drier.  To adapt to increasing precipitation in the winter, it will require creative architecture decisions, both on a large, city or regional, scale, and on the small scale, individual dwellings or neighborhoods, through things like making sure to have stabilizing groundcover and good stormwater management.  In the summers, it will mean learning to adapt and to use less water.

  • Emily Weathers's avatar
    Emily Weathers 5/01/2020 7:36 PM
    For my one time challenge, I successfully donated $25 to the Native American Rights Fund ( Since I forgot to take a screenshot of when I made my donation on their website, I sent proof of my donation through Canvas. I chose this particular one-time challenge because last semester, I took a class that showed a documentary on DAPL. I was still in high school when the DAPL riots started and wasn't really aware of what was going on. But ever since I watched it, it's resonated with me and I believe NARF plays a huge role in fighting against unfair treatment shown towards indigenous peoples. 

    • A Mangai's avatar
      A Mangai 5/02/2020 5:20 AM
      I totally agree with you! When I heard about the Trail of Tears, and the reservations, I was so upset about the unfairness.
  • Reflection Question
    Materials Practice the 5 R's
    What are some more "R's" you could add to your daily practice to reduce your waste?

    Emily Weathers's avatar
    Emily Weathers 5/01/2020 7:06 PM
    One thing I can do to reduce my waste is to start composting (recycling) from home. This is something I’ve been wanting to try for a while, but I'm not sure how on board my parents will be. Another thing I could do to repurpose items. For example, my dad is collecting our glass Oui yogurt containers to make candles out of beeswax from his beehives.
  • Reflection Question
    Action Track: Justice for the Whole Community Support Indigenous Peoples' Land Management
    Indigenous speaker and activist Winona LaDuke says that, "most indigenous ceremonies, if you look to their essence, are about the restoration of balance — they are a reaffirmation of our relationship to creation. That is our intent: to restore, and then to retain balance and honor our part in creation." Why is balance important to sustainability?

    Emily Weathers's avatar
    Emily Weathers 5/01/2020 7:04 PM
    Balance is one of the biggest keys to attaining sustainability. Sustainability's all about ensuring that our needs as a society are met, but also that our actions are not infringing on what future generations will need. It's about providing benefits while simultaneously protecting the environment.
  • Reflection Question
    Electricity Generation Learn More About Geothermal Energy
    Geothermal energy is reliable, abundant, and efficient. Project Drawdown states that public investment will play a crucial role in its expansion. In what ways (i.e. with money, time, advocacy) can you invest in geothermal energy?

    Libby Thetford's avatar
    Libby Thetford 5/01/2020 6:43 PM
    Geothermal energy would require high up-front costs to start. I could help fund a project to develop a geothermal energy plant. I could also help advocate for geothermal energy by informing people of the advantages and disadvantages of using this type of energy and spreading the word about how this could potentially be a widely-used energy source.

  • Libby Thetford's avatar
    Libby Thetford 5/01/2020 6:23 PM
    Through this one-time challenge, I learned that geothermal energy is the production of energy using the internal heat from the Earth’s crust. This type of energy production does not cause pollution and is considered a renewable resource that is available everywhere. It is most commonly used for heating and cooling but could potentially meet the base load energy requirements worldwide. The disadvantages of geothermal energy include geothermal power plants have expensive upfront costs, along with the costs of heating and cooling systems, and plants can potentially cause earthquakes by disruption of the Earth’s crust. Likewise, Geothermal energy is only renewable if reservoirs are managed properly.

    Geothermal Energy Pros and Cons. (2019, February 13). Retrieved May 02, 2020, from
  • 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?

    Libby Thetford's avatar
    Libby Thetford 5/01/2020 4:01 PM
    Vegetables and meat substitutes are cheaper and easier to obtain than meat in poorer countries. Meat is more readily available in richer countries. Eating less meat also leads to a healthier and more sustainable diet for people that cannot afford to eat healthier in other ways or that have to eat whatever is available to them. Having too much meat in our diet is unhealthy and can lead to health problems as we get older. Meat also has greater greenhouse gas emissions than fruits and vegetables, especially if they are grown locally. Meat is also often the cause of deforestation and land destruction to make room for grazing animals that are raised for meat. For all of these reasons, it is important to lessen our meat intake and eat more locally grown fruits and vegetables.

  • Emma Fake's avatar
    Emma Fake 5/01/2020 2:09 PM
    My one time challenge was a success because I learned a lot about fast fashion.  Fast fashion is when brands copy runway looks as quickly as possible to sell in stores.  These clothes are typically low quality, however there are a lot of other problems that come with fast fashion.  It comes with a lot of environmental problems and human rights violations.  I've started to be more conscientious about what and who I'm buying from.  I bought a lot of fast fashion because it was cheap, but I never thought about why it was so cheap.  I've attempted to reuse clothing more and thrift clothes rather than buy new.  This being somewhat in style has helped too.  A lot of time reused clothing is inexpensive as well.  I've also tried to reuse some of my clothes that are out of style now and make it into something I would wear now.  The pictures are of some pants I haven't worn in year cut into shorts that I wear a lot now.