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April 1 - April 30, 2020
Gian Ascione's avatar

Gian Ascione

High Meadow-Hudson Valley

"From Silent Spring to Raucous Summer!"

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 1,637 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    1
    documentaries
    watched
  • up to
    448
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    1
    lightbulbs
    replaced
  • up to
    44
    meatless or vegan meals
    consumed
  • up to
    15
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • up to
    1
    trees
    planted

Gian's Actions

Action Track: Building Resilience

Watch a Documentary about Food Sovereignty

I will watch 1 documentary(ies) about food sovereignty: the right of local peoples to control their own food systems including markets, ecological resources, food cultures and production methods.

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Building Resilience

Support Pollinators

At least 30% of crops and 90% of flowering plants rely on pollinators, including monarch butterflies, to produce fruit. I will spend 10 minutes researching which plants support local native pollinators and plant some in my yard.

Completed
One-Time Action

Wildlife

Research Benefits of Biodiversity

I will spend at least 5 minutes researching how biodiversity positively impacts our world and how the loss of biodiversity harms it.

Completed
One-Time Action

Wildlife

Research a Wild Animal

I will spend at least 5 minutes learning about a wild animal I find interesting, including their life cycle, habitat, ecosystem functions, and interactions with humans (if any!).

Completed
One-Time Action

Wildlife

Use Reusable Bags

Plastic bags can be mistaken for food by many wild animals. If at all possible, I will not accept any disposable bags when making purchases, including produce bags.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Forests

Explore My Area

I will explore at least one new hiking trail or nature walk in my area while following CDC guidelines for social distancing.

Completed
One-Time Action

Forests

Plant Trees

I will plant 3 native tree(s) in my community, public parks, or backyard.

Completed
One-Time Action

Fresh Water

Eco-friendly Gardening

I will plant native species, landscape with water-efficient plants, and use eco-friendly fertilizers.

Completed
One-Time Action

Fresh Water

Dishwasher Efficiency

I will scrape, rather than rinse, dishes before loading into the dishwasher and only run the dishwasher when it’s full.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Learn the Truth About Expiration Dates

I will spend at least 10 minutes learning how to differentiate between sell by, use by, and best by dates.

Completed
One-Time Action

Climate

Choose LED Bulbs

I will replace 15 incandescent lightbulb(s) with Energy Star-certified LED bulbs, saving up to $14 per fixture per year.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Reduce Animal Products

I will enjoy 2 meatless meal(s) and/or 0 vegan meal(s) each day of the challenge.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Climate

Local Climate Issues

I will spend at least 15 minute(s) a day researching climate issues or climate solutions in my local area and share with others through my team feed, social media, or conversations with my peers.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

People

Support A Sharing Economy

To reduce my consumption and waste and support my community, I will create or support a sharing economy with family, friends, and neighbors.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed


  • Gian Ascione's avatar
    Gian Ascione 4/30/2020 3:34 PM
    so what time does the challenge end? anyone?

  • Gian Ascione's avatar
    Gian Ascione 4/30/2020 6:22 AM
    Thanks everyone, this was very important way to spend time together 

  • Gian Ascione's avatar
    Gian Ascione 4/29/2020 12:47 PM
    It's almost bug-spray season so I'll actively avoid use (and caution people from using) those repellents containing picaridin, such as products from brands made by OFF, Sawyer, and others. Picaridin repels adult mosquitoes, but often runs off into bodies of freshwater where it kills salamander larva. This, in turn, reduces predation pressure on developing mosquito larva in/near the same body of water as the baby salamanders (picaridin is not lethal to mosquito larva). Instead, I will choose non-lethal-to-amphibian repellents such as, um, well, I'll look this up.

  • Gian Ascione's avatar
    Gian Ascione 4/29/2020 7:49 AM
    So I lowered my beef consumption but I was still eating a lot of rice--that's good, right? Then I learned that rice-growing releases A LOT of methane and is often shipped from afar (not good) to me here on the East Coast. THEN I learned of a rice-growing farm practically in my backyard in Ulster Park! Rice? In New York? Apparently it's possible (albeit not even remotely common--the farm is the only one in NY and one of a handful in the entire Northeast). But this farm is different in that "it produces strains of African rice not commonly found In the U.S.," and it's "served fresh, not dried." I wonder whether that makes a difference? Should I be eating fresh, locally grown rice? 

  • Gian Ascione's avatar
    Gian Ascione 4/28/2020 6:18 PM
    We tend to think in reductionist terms...the cause is this or that, when, in reality, myriad variables are always in play. Permit me an example... 

    https://news.usc.edu/113160/air-pollution-and-neighborhood-stress-appear-to-harm-aging-brain/

  • Gian Ascione's avatar
    Gian Ascione 4/28/2020 6:01 PM
    Participated in the Hudson Valley Family Data Jam webinar today--Me and my daughter are going to take real environmental data from our region and render it as a creative, fun, and coherent "story" in an attempt to win fabulous prizes! Or, you know, interpreting data is its own reward.

  • Gian Ascione's avatar
    Gian Ascione 4/26/2020 7:24 PM
    Boaty McBoatface discovered a significant link between Antarctic winds and rising sea temperatures after a three-day, 112-mile journey through mountainous underwater valleys of the Southern Ocean.

    McBoatface found that strong winds caused by the hole in the ozone layer above Antartica create turbulence deep within the ocean, which causes colder water from the abyss to mix with warmer water in middle levels, which in turn causes sea temperature to rise.

    Higher sea temperatures contribute to rising sea levels, one of the deadlier consequences of climate change that has already displaced coastal and island communities and can make hurricanes and typhoons more dangerous. 

    • Sofia Fick's avatar
      Sofia Fick 4/28/2020 1:17 PM
      Hey Gian!
      I'm Sofia, and I'm the U of M Department of Sustainability intern this semester! As earth month and the eco challenge wrap up, I'm reaching out to some of the team members who have been extremely active throughout the challenge, in hopes of writing a little blog post for the Institute on the Environment about the participants! You personally have one of the highest scores out of the entire eco challenge community! It would be amazing to start a little email exchange with you, to chat about who you are, why you've been so active, and what the eco challenge has brought to your life this month! Other topics of discussion are welcomed, of course. My email is fick0054@umn.edu. If you'd like to contact me, that's great! If not, and you'd prefer I contact you, I can do that! Just reply to this comment with your email. If you don't want to period, that's totally okay as well! Keep me posted, Both the earth and I are proud of your hard work this month:)

  • Gian Ascione's avatar
    Gian Ascione 4/25/2020 8:04 PM
    I was never one for the whole "hero" thing. People who engage in acts of bravery, in my humble O, are simply responding to the marionette string-pulls of temperament, upbringing, or social/instinctual imperative. But perhaps there is time for me yet to change my mind. Today's news reports the senseless murder by poachers of a dozen Congolese rangers trying to protect Virunga National Park's "lush volcanic forests...home to unparalleled biodiversity, including forest and savanna elephants and hundreds of bird species, along with the endangered mountain gorillas." Virunga, you see, also happens to have a rather large store of oil under its Gardens of Eden.

    Here's an image from 2014 of Andre Bauma, a gentle ranger who would die to protect the orphaned gorillas in his care. Mr. Bauma, you are a hero.


  • Reflection Question
    Action Track: Building Resilience Support Pollinators
    Why is it important to take care of pollinators?

    Gian Ascione's avatar
    Gian Ascione 4/25/2020 12:39 PM
    It is important to take care of pollinators because they are a vital link between us and our entire food supply. In addition, pollinator stewardship will have beneficial ripple effects throughout our ecosystems, both rural and urban.
  • Reflection Question
    Action Track: Building Resilience Watch a Documentary about Food Sovereignty
    How does food sovereignty address the complex agrarian transition to modern food systems?

    Gian Ascione's avatar
    Gian Ascione 4/25/2020 12:37 PM
    As discussed in the documentary, Regaining Food Sovereignty, the modern infiltration of food systems in native communities has devastated the relationship between these formerly hunting/gathering/fishing people with their history, health, tradition, and very culture. Modern food systems have de-coupled not merely the link between them and the land, but also between them and proper mental, physical, and spiritual health.