April 1 - April 30, 2020

Melanie Stewart

LiveGreen/UNMC/Nebraska Medicine

"I will work to further my knowledge and change more behaviors to increase my impact, by reducing my footprint."

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 1,406 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    697
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    71
    conversations
    with people
  • up to
    120
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    65
    meatless or vegan meals
    consumed
  • up to
    75
    minutes
    spent outdoors

Melanie's Actions

Action Track: Earth Day Together!

Earth Day Action: Share Eco Tips

Through social media or on the Earth Day Ecochallenge feed, I will share my favorite environmentally friendly habit with my friends, even if it’s not an Earth Day action.

Completed
One-Time Action

Climate

Stay on the Ground

Instead of traveling by plane, I will find an alternative way to accomplish the goals of an upcoming trip (i.e. telepresence, vacation locally).

Completed
One-Time Action

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

Food

Reduce Animal Products

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

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Wildlife

Research a Wild Animal

I will spend at least 45 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

Fresh Water

Eco-friendly Gardening

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

Completed
One-Time Action

Action Track: Building Resilience

Connect While Social Distancing

I will connect with at least 1 person/people a day through phone call or video chat to support mine and other’s mental and emotional health during this challenging time.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

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 60 minutes researching which plants support local native pollinators and plant some in my yard.

Completed
One-Time Action

Feed

  • Reflection Question
    Wildlife Research a Wild Animal
    What interesting facts did you learn about the animal you researched? What are some of your favorite things about this animal?

    Melanie Stewart 4/30/2020 6:26 AM
    Nature nerd alert!  I started researching the Portuguese Man O War, because it was mentioned in an article and I didn't really know anything about it.  They kind of look like jellyfish, but a jellyfish is a single organism where the Man O War is a bunch of organisms operating together.  This group of animals are called siphonophores.  Like coral, individuals clone themselves and attach to each other.  Each group of clones has different functions--even though they are technically capable of doing all functions, they only do one---some are responsible for eating, others movement, reproduction, etc.  Many siphonophores have long tendrils (like jellyfish) but scientists recently found one that formed into a spiral shape (potentially to help with hunting).  They have yet to confirm the length, but the estimates have it easily being the longest animal to EVER live!  It's crazy cool and weird and the voice in my head is talking fast and a little like Leslie Knope! :)  Our planet is amazing and we still have so much to learn!  If you want to see a picture you can click here:
    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/giant-eerie-string-creature-hunting-food-indian-ocean-180974647/

  • Reflection Question
    Fresh Water Eco-friendly Gardening
    What are the most prominent water concerns in your area? Examples include drought, flooding, pollution, access, security, and privatization.

    Melanie Stewart 4/25/2020 12:21 PM
    With climate change, it seems like all of them---we had a drought, then epic flooding, and now we are  having a low-rainfall (precipitation) period.  There's farming pollution and plastic in all of our waterways.  I don't know much about privatization here, but I would be willing to bet there are issue upstream from us...have to check on that!
  • Reflection Question
    Action Track: Building Resilience Connect While Social Distancing
    How does connecting with others help your own mental and emotional health? How can it help support others?

    Melanie Stewart 4/24/2020 10:52 AM
    Helps me to realize that all of us our facing challenges, even if some of them are different.  Talking to others helps to release that stress and help each other.  Seems like something that would apply all the time, not just during a pandemic....
  • Reflection Question
    Action Track: Earth Day Together! Earth Day Action: Share Eco Tips
    What environmentally friendly habit have you most recently implemented? How do you ensure that you are successful in creating or changing a habit?

    Melanie Stewart 4/22/2020 6:10 AM
    I'm working on reducing food waste and waste associated with eating--buying more whole foods and less packaging, etc.  I'm also learning to can food from my garden, rather than freezing it.
  • Reflection Question
    Action Track: Building Resilience Support Pollinators
    Why is it important to take care of pollinators?

    Melanie Stewart 4/19/2020 3:34 PM
    Pollinators take care of us--without them, we don't eat.  Helping to provide habitat helps individuals but can also increase biodiversity which is important too.
  • Reflection Question
    Food Reduce Animal Products
    Why do people in richer countries eat more meat than people in other places? How does eating more meat affect our planet and other people?

    Melanie Stewart 4/10/2020 12:50 PM
    You have to grow food (that humans can eat) to feed your food.  This adds a lot of extra steps that use more resources (water, fuel, time, land) and only wealthy countries can afford to do that.
    The more meat we eat, the more of those resources are use and the more pollution we create which negatively effects all of us.
  • Reflection Question
    Climate Stay on the Ground
    What was your process like for restructuring your trip? How can you avoid more air travel in the future?

    Melanie Stewart 4/05/2020 9:35 AM
    My restructured trip was work related, and while I wasn't able to do everything I could in person, I was surprised that I liked some of the zoom sessions better.  While listening to the speaker there was a simultaneous chat which had good insight and resources that I don't think would've happened otherwise.

    We fly because it's faster, but it's surprisingly not more (fuel) efficient.  Passengers on a plane driving the same trip (assuming some are carpooling) will produce fewer emissions than the flight.
  • Reflection Question
    Forests Explore My Area
    How can spending more time outdoors enhance your sense of place?

    Melanie Stewart 4/05/2020 9:13 AM
    I've found that being in nature helps to ground me.  I'm away from the noise, find it relaxing, and appreciate the beauty around me.  I've been working to learn more about our native ecosystem and like looking for details as I'm walking, rather than just walking though.  I'm comfortable in my nerdiness, so I love looking at the patterns found in seeds, petals, leaves, and grasses.  I'm reminded of how long it has taken the planet to evolve into the place it is today.

  • Melanie Stewart 3/31/2020 8:45 AM
    We always talk about the connection of sustainability and health, and that applies with COVID too.  Thought you might find this interesting:
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/25/coronavirus-nature-is-sending-us-a-message-says-un-environment-chief?fbclid=IwAR3Q-GeRbjZbqNjYP8-PjoHCFKPJY2Tr6QJPMN2OVYt6l4GL5NIrOVqGowg


  • Melanie Stewart 3/24/2020 8:52 AM
    Happy Tuesday everyone!  I don't know if you have looked, but we are currently ranked 6th out of 295 teams--way to go!!!  We are also way ahead of UNO's team :)  Keep up the good work!!!