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April 3 - April 24, 2019
Anca Radu's avatar

Anca Radu

Blue Dot Ontario

"Taking small steps to build a healthier environment and a more ethical future. "

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 553 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    25
    locally sourced meals
    consumed
  • up to
    24
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    180
    minutes
    spent exercising
  • up to
    150
    minutes
    spent learning

Anca's Actions

Land Use

Learn about Temperate Forests

#12 Temperate Forests

I will spend at least 30 minutes learning more about the environmental services provided by and the environmental issues affecting temperate forests.

Completed
One-Time Action

Electricity Generation

Learn More About Geothermal Energy

#18 Geothermal

I will spend at least 60 minutes learning more about the energy generation potential of geothermal energy and consider investing in this technology.

Completed
One-Time Action

Electricity Generation

Learn More about Biomass

#34 Biomass

I will spend at least 60 minutes learning more about the energy generation potential of biomass.

Completed
One-Time Action

Land Use

Forest-Friendly Foods 1

#5 Tropical Forests

I will spend at least 60 minutes researching the impact of my diet to see how it contributes to deforestation.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Food

Learn More about Regenerative Agriculture

#11 Regenerative Agriculture

I will spend at least 60 minutes learning about the need for more regenerative agriculture.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Transport

Explore Other Transport Solutions

All Transport Solutions

I will spend at least 120 minutes researching other Drawdown Transport Solutions.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Land Use

Learn about Local Indigenous Practices

#39 Indigenous Peoples' Land Management

I will spend at least 60 minutes learning how local indigenous tribes are caring for the land by attending a training, workshop, or presentation.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Land Use

Local Perennial Biomass

#51 Perennial Biomass

I will spend at least 60 minutes finding out if anyone is working on perennial biomass projects in my region and how I can get involved.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Materials

Eliminate Toxic Plastics

#47 Bioplastic

I will avoid buying toxic plastics, including polycarbonate, polystyrene and polyvinyl and instead replace them with bioplastic or durable options.

COMPLETED 12
DAILY ACTIONS

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 15
DAILY ACTIONS

Buildings and Cities

Go for a Daily Walk

#54 Walkable Cities

I will take a walk for 30 minutes each day and take note of the infrastructure that makes walking more or less enjoyable, accessible, and possible.

COMPLETED 6
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Support Local Food Systems

#4 Plant-Rich Diet

I will source 30 percent of my food from local producers each day. This could include signing up for a local CSA, buying from a farmer's market, visiting a food co-op, foraging with a local group, or growing my own ingredients.

COMPLETED 13
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Learn More about Silvopasture

#9 Silvopasture

I will spend at least 60 minutes watching videos and/or reading about the environmental benefits of silvopasture.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Materials

Share Bioplastic Disposal Tips

#47 Bioplastic

I will spend at least 120 minutes researching how to properly dispose of bioplastics in my city and share this information with 2 friends, family and/or colleagues.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Women and Girls

Research Barriers to Participation and Representation

#6 Educating Girls, #7 Family Planning, #62 Women Smallholders

I will spend at least 120 minutes learning more about the barriers to women's equal participation and representation around the world.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Feed


  • Anca Radu's avatar
    Anca Radu 4/24/2019 7:30 PM
    Thank you so much, Jeanette and the rest of the team for a great learning experience! I have not completed all my challenges, but I now have a few concrete ideas about what I can change in my day to day life to meet some of those goals. I would not have thought to implement those changes if I did not do this challenge. I will definitely try to do this again next year. 
  • Reflection Question
    Land Use Learn about Temperate Forests
    As you learn more about the scope and seriousness of the environmental challenges we face, what impact does that have on your thinking and actions? What are the parts that feel overwhelming? What parts help you feel hopeful?

    Anca Radu's avatar
    Anca Radu 4/18/2019 7:27 AM
    Restoration of temperate forests is an important way to fight climate change because trees provide a 'low-tech' method for storing carbon, and a renewable source of energy if it is properly harvested. I also learned a bit about carbon offsets in this process and how a cap and trade program could benefit Indigenous communities. 

    To answer the question, I am overwhelmed because it seems like a daunting and impossible task sometimes, but I am hopeful about the alternatives and the individuals who are willing to engage and work towards change.

    • Jeanette Butterworth's avatar
      Jeanette Butterworth 4/24/2019 5:47 PM
      I feel your anxiety and share it too. This challenge is very heartening-I wish it went on longer.
  • 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?

    Anca Radu's avatar
    Anca Radu 4/17/2019 6:26 PM
    Apparently, 39 countries in the world could supply 100% of their energy needs from geothermal energy (a no carbon emissions option) which is pretty neat. The reason it has not taken off the ground is that there is a lot of front-end risk for possibly little investment return, so it's not an appealing business choice. However, this form of energy production could be a useful alternative for current fossil fuel companies looking to reduce carbon emissions because they already have the drilling capacity and experience. Or at least it could be a good way to repurpose abandoned oil and gas wells. This article provided a pretty useful and brief overview of the Canadian context: https://thenarwhal.ca/top-5-reasons-why-geothermal-power-nowhere-canada/.  I didn't know much about geothermal energy before, and I think I'm going to continue research into this, and see how I can contribute to some advocacy work.
  • Reflection Question
    Electricity Generation Learn More about Biomass
    Had you ever heard of biomass techonology before you took this challenge? What did you learn that surprised you? Share this with your friends!

    Anca Radu's avatar
    Anca Radu 4/14/2019 4:27 PM
    I learned a few useful and surprising things about biomass technology. I opted to watch a video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps6Rn-i9t1Y&list=PLhbwunHmcxgF1RNiUP8yKxEwTkuEO24fa&index=6&t=999s) and a documentary ("Burned: Are Trees the New Coal?"; it's on Kanopy and can be watched for free if you have Toronto Public Library account) instead. The video offers a pretty general overview of the science and technology aspects, and it explains how it is being used. The documentary discusses the main problem with biomass energy which is that the main resource used for it right now is wood, and oftentimes, not just the parts that are discarded in lumber processing. The documentary discusses how this has led in the destruction of the forests and habitats in southeastern US, and how these businesses are heavily subsidized by the government. However, the worst part, is that the carbon accounting is improperly done because it does not account for the lag time that is necessary for tree growth and replenishment, and effectively what is advertised as a sustainable energy source, isn't. This is also how the EU hopes to meet its carbon emission reduction targets by 2020, so there is a lot of political backing behind this industry. However, because biomass energy was always intended as a bridge from fossil fuels to more renewable forms of energy, and given the urgency of addressing climate change, some believe that regardless of the damage it would do to forests and habitats, it might be the only quick option we have. I am definitely interested in learning more about other forms of biopower and biofuel technologies, and how those can be supported!
  • Reflection Question
    Food Keep Track of Wasted Food
    An average American throws out about 240 lbs of food per year. The average family of four spends $1,500 a year on food that they throw out. Where would you rather use this money?

    Anca Radu's avatar
    Anca Radu 4/03/2019 5:26 PM
    I kept track of the food scraps I had to throw away after cooking lunch and breakfast, and I was surprised how easy it is to overlook some of them. For example, I initially completely discounted the coffee grounds from our morning coffee. This experience is making me reconsider composting. Will look into it. 

    • Jeanette Butterworth's avatar
      Jeanette Butterworth 4/03/2019 7:01 PM
      If you put coffee ground directly into your garden it repels mosquitoes. An old roomie of mine owned a worm composter and we used to throw the grounds in there and those beaned up worms multiplied like gangbusters, LOL 
  • Reflection Question
    Buildings and Cities 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?

    Anca Radu's avatar
    Anca Radu 4/03/2019 5:18 PM
    I went for a quick walk to a nearby park which I had not really visited before. I live in a residential area with a few busy roads, so this was not the most pleasant or picturesque walk. However, the park was really nice and it has a running path, so it might also become a new favourite running spot.
  • Reflection Question
    Buildings and Cities 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?

    Anca Radu's avatar
    Anca Radu 4/03/2019 5:18 PM
    I went for a quick walk to a nearby park which I had not really visited before. I live in a residential area with a few busy roads, so this was not the most pleasant or picturesque walk. However, the park was really nice and it has a running path, so it might also become a new favourite running spot.
  • Reflection Question
    Food Support Local Food Systems
    Dependable fresh food, supporting local farmers and building resilient communities are just a few benefits of local food systems. Which of these (or other) advantages inspire you the most?

    Anca Radu's avatar
    Anca Radu 4/03/2019 7:46 AM
    This will be one of my more challenging tasks, but I wanted to give it a try because I want to be more aware about the impact that my food purchases can have on the environment. I just learned that "locally-sourced" means that the food must be farmed within 160 km of Toronto. It seems that the organic eggs I buy, which are farmed in Ontario, will not make the cut! However, tomorrow afternoon I will go to my local farmers' market, and hopefully, I will find groceries that fit the requirement.