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April 3 - April 24, 2019

ABT EARTHLINGS Feed

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  • 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!
  • Reflection Question
    Transport Research and Advocate for High-Speed Rail
    What are the factors that influence your choice of transportation? These can include things like money, time, and convenience, as well as perceptions of danger or safety. What would need to change for you to regularly choose more climate-friendly options?

    Zach Epstein's avatar
    Zach Epstein 4/24/2019 9:27 AM
    Cost and time. When time was less of a concern, I often used buses to travel between cities in the Northeast Corridor. When timing was tight, I flew. If high-speed rail had been an affordable option, I'd have gladly taken it.

    The Houston-Dallas corridor has been a target for privately-funded high-speed rail for some time, but legal challenges have been the primary barrier. Perhaps understandably, landowners are unwilling to sell property along the proposed route, and many Texans are skeptical of using eminent domain. I think that skepticism is at least partially motivated by the fact that high-speed rail is seen as a liberal initiative. (My Republican congressman is not publicly supportive.) In my opinion, as long as high-speed rail is marketed for its environmental benefits, it will get bogged down in the politics of climate change : https://www.texastribune.org/2019/04/03/texas-high-speed-rail-developer-says-senate-budget-could-delay-project/
  • 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?

    Aubrey Sitler's avatar
    Aubrey Sitler 4/24/2019 7:16 AM
    I don't think we're taught to think about eating meat as a bad thing for the environment. For many people, it's built into everyday life without question. It speaks to our lack of awareness of how our own actions impact the world around us and what we value in terms of educating ourselves/others on. 
  • 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?

    Aubrey Sitler's avatar
    Aubrey Sitler 4/24/2019 7:14 AM
    I've noticed that I live in a pretty accessible area with lots of high-quality sidewalks and easy access to well-maintained and paved public trails, but that that's not necessarily true of all neighborhoods/places. 

  • Judy Geyer's avatar
    Judy Geyer 4/24/2019 6:44 AM
    This was a fun challenge. My interest was piqued because I spent some time on a small boat on the sea in February, and saw way too much plastic washed up on small islands. I also saw through the flimsy facades that fool us into thinking we are tidy: flushing the boat toilet may seem civilized, but once you come above deck you realize that however large the oceans are, our crap is floating in it. 
  • 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?

    betsy myers's avatar
    betsy myers 4/24/2019 6:36 AM
    I had been wanting to do this but just wanted to do this for the cosmetics reasons but when i found it it saves water and i will be making a difference in the world and saving water i went ahead and did it and im proud of it.
  • Reflection Question
    Food Smaller Portions
    Fun fact: Your brain and stomach register feelings of fullness after about 20 minutes of eating. While dishing food out, we tend to load our plates with more than we need. Using smaller plates helps to mitigate this. Aside from the environmental benefits, what other benefits might come out of eating smaller portions?

    betsy myers's avatar
    betsy myers 4/24/2019 6:35 AM
    Well with smaller portions, frequent meals and exercise i managed to lose some weight and feel like i have endless energy. I will keep doing this even after the challenge is over.

  • 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
  • Reflection Question
    Transport Purchase a Carbon Offset
    A round-trip flight from New York City to Los Angeles emits just over 1.5 tons of CO2. What can you do to reduce the number of flights you take per year?

    Zach Epstein's avatar
    Zach Epstein 4/23/2019 8:32 AM
    Reducing the number of flights I take per year is a real challenge. As a telecommuter, I have to fly for any major client meetings. My immediate family members all live far enough such that flying is the only way to meet up for holidays. Vacation choices might be my best option. Rather than fly to Scotland for a two week vacation (I purchased the carbon offset for that trip), maybe my wife and I should more seriously consider domestic vacation options. I think we under-appreciate vacation destinations that happen to be nearby, or at least a much shorter flight away.

    Also...while my carbon offset cost $30 (again, for the round trip flight to the UK), that was apparently the equivalent of 71(!) urban tree plantings. Urban re-forestation really seems inefficient when I think of it that way, but I'd sure appreciate the extra shade...