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April 3 - April 24, 2019
Kasia Stepien's avatar

Kasia Stepien

Comox Valley Unitarians, Comox United Church & Friends

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 862 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    1,119
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    4
    conversations
    with people
  • up to
    150
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    35
    locally sourced meals
    consumed
  • up to
    1
    people
    helped
  • up to
    5
    public officials or leaders
    contacted

Kasia's Actions

Electricity Generation

Explore Other Electricity Generation Solutions

All Electricity Generation Solutions

I will spend at least 30 minutes researching other Drawdown Electricity Generation Solutions.

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 13
DAILY ACTIONS

Transport

Purchase a Carbon Offset

#43 Airplanes

If I buy a plane ticket, I will purchase a carbon offset.

Completed
One-Time Action

Land Use

Restore Wetlands

#52 Coastal Wetlands

I will volunteer 4 hours with a wetland restoration project in my region.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Action Track: Social Justice

Give a Microloan

#62 Women Smallholders

I will give 1 microloan(s) to women who need help starting a business.

Completed
One-Time Action

Materials

Share Bioplastic Disposal Tips

#47 Bioplastic

I will spend at least 30 minutes researching how to properly dispose of bioplastics in my city and share this information with 4 friends, family and/or colleagues.

Completed
One-Time Action

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

Materials

Properly Dispose of Refrigerants

#1 Refrigerant Management

I will spend at least 30 minutes learning how to properly dispose of my refrigerator, freezer, and other refrigerants at the end of their useful lives.

Completed
One-Time Action

Buildings and Cities

Research Heat Pumps

#42 Heat Pumps

I will spend at least 60 minutes researching heat pumps to see if installing one makes sense for my home/building.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Support Local Food Systems

#4 Plant-Rich Diet

I will source 50 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 14
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 3
DAILY ACTIONS

Buildings and Cities

Replace Manual Thermostats

#57 Smart Thermostats

I will replace manual thermostats with smart ones.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Buildings and Cities

Express My Support

#59 Bike Infrastructure

I will find out who in my city makes decisions that impact bike routes and express my support for better biking infrastructure.

Completed
One-Time Action

Buildings and Cities

Tour a Green Roof

#73 Green Roofs

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

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Feed


  • Kasia Stepien's avatar
    Kasia Stepien 4/23/2019 9:03 PM
    Well, all my research on bioplastics so far has led me to this conclusion: you can't recycle them in the Comox Valley. In fact, they don't seem to be compostable at a municipal level anywhere in BC. Most will not break down in a home compost systems either. So the only disposal option for bioplastics seems to be landfill.

    If anyone learned of better ways to dispose of bioplastics, I'm all ears! But the best answer so far seems to be Refuse, Reduce, Reuse on single use items, whether plastic or bioplastic. 

    • Heather Kennedy-MacNeill's avatar
      Heather Kennedy-MacNeill 4/23/2019 10:37 PM
      Be sure to attend the information meeting that the Comox United SAGE group is hosting about this:
      COMMUNITY PRESENTATION ON: RECYCLING, WASTE DIVERSION AND THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY
      Do you have questions about recycling and waste diversion? Would you like to know more about what can be recycled and where? Or where our recycling ends up ? And just what do we mean by a “ circular economy”?
      How as a consumer can we make positive changes for our environment?
      Please join SAGE (Sustainable Action Group for the Environment) for a community presentation by: ​Stephanie Valdal: Services Coordinator, Comox Strathcona Waste Management on Tuesday, May 7 @ 7pm @ Comox United Church, 250 Beach Drive. Admission by donation.
      Have your questions answered! Bring articles from home that you are unsure of where to recycle. Join a discussion on the Circular economy and the changes we can make as consumers to reduce our carbon footprint for a brighter, better future!

    • Rachel McBryan 's avatar
      Rachel McBryan 4/23/2019 10:37 PM
      So I asked the superstore to shop my fruits naked and they refused on grounds of contamination.  It makes me think how we actually have poliices in place that are doing as much harm as intention to protect... its a mindset change required.

    • Celia Laval's avatar
      Celia Laval 4/23/2019 9:51 PM
      Good to know... Sad to know.. but good to know.

  • Reflection Question
    Buildings and Cities Express My Support
    What do you like most about biking in your city? What would you like to improve?

    Kasia Stepien's avatar
    Kasia Stepien 4/15/2019 9:03 AM
    I love the feeling of freedom I get when biking, and feeling strong, moving under my own power. I'd love to see better bike infrastructure for accessing Courtenay and Comox from rural areas, and sent a message to my representative (Arzeena Hamir) about specific infrastructure I would like to see. 
  • Reflection Question
    Buildings and Cities Replace Manual Thermostats
    How do you anticipate replacing your thermostats for smart ones will positively impact your life?

    Kasia Stepien's avatar
    Kasia Stepien 4/15/2019 9:01 AM
    I won't have to remember to turn the heat down every night anymore! Set it and forget it. 

    • Heather Kennedy-MacNeill's avatar
      Heather Kennedy-MacNeill 4/15/2019 11:24 AM
      In my former house, I installed one of these and it was great...made such a difference.  Since our house is an R2000, and we recently bought good windows, we hardly ever use the electric baseboards and are just used to a cool house although when I invited friends for visits, I sometimes have to remember to turn them on so friends don’t have to wear their coats!  But Murray and I find a cool house comfortable. On the other hand, we have the dilemma of having a woodstove that is on the bottom floor but in the middle of winter, really heats the whole house well.  Although it’s a more modern one, of course, we’re really trying to figure out what do about it, in terms of air quality.  But the heat pumps are so expensive. 
  • 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?

    Kasia Stepien's avatar
    Kasia Stepien 4/15/2019 8:11 AM
    I think creating personal and commnunity-level local food security is one of the main motivators for me to support local food systems more. 

  • Kasia Stepien's avatar
    Kasia Stepien 4/11/2019 12:49 PM
    Greg and I munched all of our fruit trees and blueberries! A neighbour was cutting down down some trees, and was going to dump the wood chips, so we asked if we could take them. 

    Here is a picture of a happier little plum tree. :)

    • Kasia Stepien's avatar
      Kasia Stepien 4/15/2019 8:30 AM
      Lol, by munched, I mean mulched. Our trees would not be happy if we munched them. 

  • Kasia Stepien's avatar
    Kasia Stepien 4/07/2019 10:08 PM
    Does anyone know of a building with a greenroof that I can tour in the valley?

  • Kasia Stepien's avatar
    Kasia Stepien 4/07/2019 10:06 PM
    Welcome Lyndsay! I'm stoked you've joined our Ecochallenge team. Lyndsay and I go way back to our undergrad days in Ontario, though we're both west-coasters now. In fact, Lyndsay is probably the first serious environmentalist I ever met, and introduced me to the ways of delicious plant-based cooking! :) 

  • Kasia Stepien's avatar
    Kasia Stepien 4/07/2019 9:57 PM
    I have been struggling with half of my "drive less, use muscle transport more" challenge. I did cut out 2 trips this week I was tempted to do in the car (just combined them with other errands). However, I'm still using the car! I really want to get out on my bike (I can even use my partner's e-bike). There are some mental barriers that I need to get through, like the ones Meg described in today's service. Thanks for that metaphor Meg!

    I'm thinking that a little compassion is in order, and recognize that this is a long-term stretch goal for me. In the meantime, I will give myself some credit for the half-measures of reducing car trips, work on the mental barriers, and keep chugging away at the other actions.

    • Kasia Stepien's avatar
      Kasia Stepien 4/08/2019 9:51 PM
      You bet, Shirley! We're in this together!

    • Shirley Buchan's avatar
      Shirley Buchan 4/08/2019 2:45 PM
      You are incredibly helpful to me in keeping me motivated to follow through with my intentions.   Old habits die hard and friends like you make me feel like I am up for the challenge.   We can encourage each other to  give ourselves credit for what we have done and focus less on what still needs to be done.  OK   ?
  • Reflection Question
    Materials 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?

    Kasia Stepien's avatar
    Kasia Stepien 4/06/2019 9:41 PM
    Some of the human activities that impact the health of water systems include
    • Building landscapes that create polluted run-off water (e.g. off roofs, parking lots, farms into sewers and ditches)
    • Littering
    • Destruction of habitat that naturally cleans water (e.g. estuaries)
    • Improper use of pesticides
    • Improper traetment of sewage and industrial waste water
    • Treatment of aquaculture (e.g. salmon, shrimp farms) with antibiotics
    Something we can at home is install rain gardens to infiltrate water back into the water table and purify run-off water. Something we can do in the COmox Valley is help Project Watershed with their restoration efforts. Something we can do globally is petition for change!

  • Kasia Stepien's avatar
    Kasia Stepien 4/04/2019 8:08 AM
    I just gave my first Kiva microloan, to help a woman in Losotho buy a clean cooking stove that will save her money, travel time, and provide clean cooking and cell phone charging for her small community.
    Here are their details, looks like they're almost funded! 
    https://www.kiva.org/lend/1737180