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April 3 - April 24, 2019

Team Tortugas Feed


Reflection, encouragement, and relationship building are all important aspects of getting a new habit to stick.
Share thoughts, encourage others, and reinforce positive new habits on the Feed.

To get started, share “your why.” Why did you join the challenge and choose the actions you did?

  • Louise Zimanyi's avatar
    Louise Zimanyi 4/23/2019 2:26 PM
    signs of spring ...a metaphor for our learning 

  • Louise Zimanyi's avatar
    Louise Zimanyi 4/23/2019 2:23 PM
    It is sooooo hard to eat no waste snacks unless you bring your own 
    Studying for an exam after marking many assignments and tests - going digital next year 

    • nelson chew's avatar
      nelson chew 4/24/2019 3:01 PM
      Yes, foil bags are hard to avoid....seems like every salty and tasty snack comes in foil bags. I'm pretty good about not getting into that, but hey, it happens. 
       I'm still researching this Terracycle company to figure out if their recycling of "non-recyclables" is really helping,  or if there is an element of "greenwashing" to their work. I'm hoping to discover that they are the real deal, because they seem to do pretty amazing work, like the cigarette butt recycling they do. 
    Transport Research and Consider Switching to a Hybrid or Electric Vehicle
    Reducing (or eliminating) exhaust emissions and improving public health are two benefits of green vehicles. What other motivators inspire you to consider switching to a more fuel-efficient vehicle?

    nelson chew's avatar
    nelson chew 4/22/2019 5:50 PM

    Saving money of course! When I used to ride a motorcycle in my twenties, it was fantastic how I could fill the tank for a few bucks and ride for a week or more. When I bought my first car, it was a shock how much more it cost to fuel it up. I'd still love to ride a motorcycle but working in a trauma hospital kind of makes you think twice.
    Electric motors are apparently more reliable than gas motors. They are also quieter and thus better for hearing Earth Wind and Fire and U2 on the next road trip!

    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?

    nelson chew's avatar
    nelson chew 4/22/2019 5:37 PM
     Michelle posted recently about how Queen's University's food plan encourages waste because students are charged a set fee for the year, and can eat as much as they want, so they take huge servings at every meal, then throwing out whatever they don't finish because there is no financial cost.  
    Solutions? Change the plan at Queens to the one in place at Humber College, where kids pay a set fee at year's beginning, then debit their accounts for every meal they consume during the year, and receive money back at years end - incentive to eat more carefully and not waste. But I suspect there is a profit for Queen's in the way the food plan is currently run....might write them a letter anyhow, just to see if they would consider changing.....don't hold your breath though!

    Buildings and Cities Choose LED Bulbs
    Changing lightbulbs is an excellent first step toward energy efficiency! What's next for you?

    nelson chew's avatar
    nelson chew 4/22/2019 5:20 PM
    Few years back I noticed one of the upstairs bathrooms is always very cold in the winter  (nothing like a cold toilet seat in the morning to wake you up!) I crawled into the attic to check and noticed the insulation wrapped around the bathroom fan vent pipe had fallen off. I reattached about half of the length of pipe, but ran out of foil tape and never finished that job. Going to get that done this spring! 
    Also, there's  bunch of caulking and sealing that I can do in the old part of the house. As part of the basement renovation, going to insulate the basement walls too. 

  • Jeff Butterworth's avatar
    Jeff Butterworth 4/22/2019 1:49 PM
    I did not know about KIVA before joining this challenge. The 96% repayment rate record as well as ability to loan small amounts ($25) certainly encourages willingness to make micro loans through this organization.  Kiva scores 92% four star rating on Charity Navigator!  Having seen so many people hustling to make a living in Latin American countries I have visited,  I am pleased to be able to access an organization that allows me to loan to entrepreneurs in developing counties!

    • nelson chew's avatar
      nelson chew 4/24/2019 2:50 PM
      Awesome Jeff,  you're extensive travel in Latin America gives you a unique perspective. Jeanette and I are going to look into this also. 
    Transport Use Public Transit
    How has your access to various kinds of transporation throughout your life influenced your current attitudes about transportation and your transportation behavior?

    Carolyn Maloney's avatar
    Carolyn Maloney 4/22/2019 8:23 AM
    grew up on a farm where a car was essential to get to town. However we had 1 car for 8 people. I often wonder if 2 person household really needs 2 cars.

    • nelson chew's avatar
      nelson chew 4/24/2019 2:56 PM
      My grandfather had a good old fashion station fake wood paneled station wagon and we'd pack 8 or 10 kids in there stacked like books on a shelf. No seat belt laws back then! But even so, I agree totally that we rely on cars far too much. I know families with 2 adults and 2 just barely driving age kids....and 4 cars. Jeanette and I have had 1 car for the four of us (and a dog) for 23 years, but I admit I am fortunate to live close enough to work to ride or walk as you know, which isn't the case for many people. 
    Transport Use Muscle Power
    How do your transportation choices affect your engagement in your community? Does your experience or enjoyment differ while walking, riding transit, biking or driving?

    Carolyn Maloney's avatar
    Carolyn Maloney 4/22/2019 8:20 AM
    Walking home from work great way to get rid of stress after busy day. Also half of built in exercise.
    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?

    nelson chew's avatar
    nelson chew 4/21/2019 10:51 AM
    Currently, there is no electricity generated in Canada from geothermal sources. There are many in the USA. Subsurface temperatures in eastern Canada and the prairie provinces are not high enough to support geothermal energy. Geothermal could work in Western Canada but requires extensive drilling to determine the power generation of geothermal reservoirs, and financing currently does not exist either from government or private sources. There is discussion of using already drilled wells from oil and gas exploration to reduce costs. Solar and wind are way ahead at this point as renewable energy sources. 
    Electricity Generation Support Companies Leading in Green Energy
    Every dollar you put into solar or wind is a dollar not put into traditional financial institutions. You'll also be bolstering the fossil fuel divestment movement, too. Name some companies you know that invest in green energy. How can you support them?

    nelson chew's avatar
    nelson chew 4/20/2019 11:31 AM
    The movement toward SRI (socially responsible investing) has the potential to be a huge game changer. I credit Jeanette for really pushing this, and we have been investigating SRI for awhile now.

    It is a really daunting and challenging task to figure out where to invest your hard earned RRSP (or IRA and 401K for our America friends). How do we do SRI while still getting a good return on investment that will ensure our financial futures? Banks and investing firms know we want SRI and create products that appear to be green focused, but sometimes it's just clever marketing on their part, and upon closer inspection, you find that "green" mutual fund holds a lot of companies that are NOT environmentally friendly. Who to trust? The big bank financial advisor probably isn't the best person,  but some "green" independent investment firms are too new to have a trustworthy track record. 

    Personally, I enjoy looking at direct investment in Canadian renewable energy companies, like Brookfield Renewables, Northland Power, Polaris. There are loads of excellent renewable energy companies, but direct ownership of stocks is also riskier since owning a just a few companies in your portfolio doesn't provide anywhere near enough diversification. And who had time or expertise to be a stock picker? I can't even pick the weeds in the garden. 

    My feeling is that the best thing is to find a SRI focused investment firm, who is well respected and trusted (I hope these exist!) and go with them.