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April 3 - April 24, 2019
Eric Friedman's avatar

Eric Friedman

ABT EARTHLINGS

"To be a better Earthling."

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 1,222 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    22
    meatless or vegan meals
    consumed
  • up to
    10
    lightbulbs
    replaced
  • up to
    140
    minutes
    spent exercising
  • up to
    4.0
    public officials or leaders
    contacted
  • up to
    1.0
    trees
    planted
  • up to
    35
    minutes
    spent learning

Eric's Actions

Land Use

Advocate for Forest Protection

#38 Forest Protection

I will contact 2 congress people or representatives to advocate for public policy that protects forests and the enforcement of existing anti-logging laws.

Completed
One-Time Action

Electricity Generation

Communicate With My Elected Officials

#2 Wind Turbines (Onshore)

I will write or call 2 elected official(s) telling them not to support fossil fuel subsidies and instead support wind energy generation.

Completed
One-Time Action

Electricity Generation

Rooftop Solar Consultation

#10 Rooftop Solar

After researching the incentives at the federal, state, utility, and local levels, I will contact a local installer/distributor for a solar panel installation consultation on my house.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Land Use

Buy Bamboo

#35 Bamboo

When they are available, I will purchase products made from bamboo instead of wood, plastic, or metal.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Learn the Truth About Expiration Dates

#3 Reduced Food Waste

I will spend at least 15 minutes learning how to differentiate between sell by, use by, and best by dates.

Completed
One-Time Action

Materials

Research Cement Alternatives

#36 Alternative Cement

I will spend at least 20 minutes researching cement alternatives that reduce the carbon footprint of concrete.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Keep Track of Wasted Food

#3 Reduced Food Waste

I will keep a daily log of food I throw away during the EcoChallenge, either because it went bad before I ate it, I put too much on my plate, or it was scraps from food preparation.

COMPLETED 10
DAILY ACTIONS

Materials

Mulch the Base of Trees and Plants

#46 Water Saving - Home

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

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Social Justice

Improve a Bus Stop

#37 Mass Transit

I will improve a bus stop in my neighborhood by posting the stop schedule, adding seating or shelter, adding art or flowers, picking up litter, or implementing some other small improvement.

Completed
One-Time Action

Land Use

Plant Trees

#15 Afforestation

I will plant 1 tree(s) in my community, public parks, or backyard.

Completed
One-Time Action

Buildings and Cities

Choose LED Bulbs

#33 LED Lighting (Household)

I will replace 10 incandescent lightbulb(s) with Energy Star-certified LED bulbs, saving up to $14 per fixture per year.

Completed
One-Time Action

Buildings and Cities

Go for a Daily Walk

#54 Walkable Cities

I will take a walk for 10 minutes each day and take note of the infrastructure that makes walking more or less enjoyable, accessible, and possible.

COMPLETED 14
DAILY ACTIONS

Materials

Recycle Everything I Can

#55 Household Recycling

I will recycle all materials that are accepted by local haulers or drop stations in my community.

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Transport

Use Muscle Power

#49 Cars

I will cut my car trip mileage by only taking necessary trips, and I will only use muscle-powered transportation for all other trips.

COMPLETED 7
DAILY ACTIONS

Transport

Conduct Virtual Meetings

#63 Telepresence

I will encourage my office to hold meetings virtually whenever possible instead of requiring travel.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Reduce Animal Products

#4 Plant-Rich Diet

I will enjoy 1 meatless or vegan meal(s) each day of the challenge.

COMPLETED 22
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed

  • Reflection Question
    Food Reduce Animal Products
    In your opinion, what contributes to people in North America eating more meat than any other countries? What does this say about North American values and ways of living?

    Eric Friedman's avatar
    Eric Friedman 4/24/2019 2:25 PM
    Classic American food usually entails meat -- burgers, chicken, turkey, sandwich meats for lunch, etc. Moving to the Midwest I'm finding it hard to find a salad without meat in it (slight exaggeration). But I'm definitely moving my family away from eating as much red meat at least -- ground turkey or chicken works well in place of beef in chili, for example. And trying to cook at least one vegetarian meal per week. I think the tide can start to turn against red meat at least, especially given the environmental impacts of raising cattle and given the health risks introduced by red meat. Hopefully it will become like smoking tobacco at some point and just a less popular food choice.

  • Eric Friedman's avatar
    Eric Friedman 4/24/2019 1:59 PM
    Great challenge!! Proud of our team's accomplishments and impact. I see from some of the comments that we've learned a lot and are likely going to sustain some green behavior changes, which hopefully when scaled up is one of the solutions to climate change!

  • Eric Friedman's avatar
    Eric Friedman 4/23/2019 10:14 AM
    Here's a message I sent to my Senator re: supporting wind energy.

    Hello, Senator Duckworth,

    I am hoping you will support (if not introduce) legislation promoting the use of wind energy in Illinois and across the country. The costs of producing energy from renewable and green sources are now competitive if not cheaper than producing energy from fossil fuels, and switching to sustainable methods of energy production is one of the top climate change solutions as determined by the scientists/researchers at Drawdown.org (Source: https://www.drawdown.org/solutions/electricity-generation/wind-turbines-onshore). I am hopeful you will find ways to support green energy policies at the federal level. 

    Also, I would love to take advantage of a state or federal tax credit to install wind or solar energy production equipment on my home. Please support such credits that will help citizens do their part and also have the added benefit of decentralizing energy production, making the overall system more resilient. 

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Eric Friedman

  • Eric Friedman's avatar
    Eric Friedman 4/22/2019 2:22 PM
    Encouraging the team to make a final push these last few days, this Earth Day week. It's been great learning and participating in this event -- hope to find time for a couple more one-time actions before the end.
  • Reflection Question
    Land Use Plant Trees
    How is planting trees good for your mental, physical, and spiritual health?

    Eric Friedman's avatar
    Eric Friedman 4/14/2019 4:54 PM
    Learned a bit about the area as far as which trees are native to the region. Was good to get outside, digging up some of the lawn that I won't need to mow in the future, getting my son interested in the big worms we uncovered. The local nursery wanted many hundreds of dollars for a 2 or 3 inch diameter tree and more to deliver it, so we ended up going with a much smaller little tree started in a pot that we could move and plant easily ourselves. Hopefully it survives! We'll enjoy watching it grow from such a tiny little twig into a big tree someday.
  • Reflection Question
    Land Use Buy Bamboo
    Are bamboo alternatives readily available in your community? If not, what are other sustainable alternatives?

    Eric Friedman's avatar
    Eric Friedman 4/08/2019 1:05 PM
    Kids and wife often take plastic utensils with lunches to work and school, so we purchased a set of bamboo eating utensils to use instead. Also purchased a set as a prize for our internal team competition. 

  • Eric Friedman's avatar
    Eric Friedman 4/07/2019 6:56 AM
    Convinced my daughter, Sydney, to help me clean up the nearest bus stop and alley between our house and the bus stop. We picked up garbage bag's worth of trash plus a good amount of recyclables. Syd's posing just a bit goofily with the recycling.

  • Eric Friedman's avatar
    Eric Friedman 4/03/2019 9:18 AM
    Got the all clear from local utilities for tree-planting project.  Funny how the flags read "buried utility line", but when I called they explained all the flags say that and just one flag means we are clear to dig. Repeated flags would be used to mark an underground line. Good to know.

    • Eric Friedman's avatar
      Eric Friedman 4/04/2019 5:32 AM
      Researching species of trees that are native to this region. One guy at a local nursery recommended a river birch. 

    • Matt Malachowski's avatar
      Matt Malachowski 4/03/2019 3:48 PM
      What kind of tree are you planting?

  • Eric Friedman's avatar
    Eric Friedman 4/02/2019 2:14 PM
    Last minute recruitment and review of actions. Excited to start tracking our progress tomorrow.

  • Eric Friedman's avatar
    Eric Friedman 3/28/2019 8:54 AM
    Reached my limit of 5 daily actions chosen. I suppose I could review daily actions already chosen and swap 1 or 2 out with a new one that might have more of an impact? Still learning how to select and plan actions here...