April 1 - April 30, 2020

Evelyn (lyn) Swett

Upper Valley Climate Action 2020

"I love how creativity and climate action converge to inspire transformation and joy. My hope for this EcoChallenge is to hang out with other people in our region, working together toward a common goal, and hopefully feeling connected, even as we stay apart. I've always been a pretty serious person, but have found that the more climate actions I take, the more playful I become. Let's have some fun in April!"

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 817 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    food waste prevented
  • up to
    with people
  • up to
    meatless or vegan meals
  • up to
    gallons of water
    have been saved

Evelyn (lyn)'s Actions

Action Track: Building Resilience

Earth Day Art Project

Complete an art project using found objects, waste and other materials you have at home. Share what you create on the Virtual Earth Day Art Show at AVA Gallery.

One-Time Action


Weekly Meal Planning

I will reduce food waste and save money by prepping for 3 meal(s) each day, only buying the ingredients I need.


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.



Reduce Animal Products

I will enjoy 2 meatless meal(s) and/or 1 vegan meal(s) each day of the challenge.


Action Track: Building Resilience

#onethingforearth Photo & Video Challenge

The purpose of the challenge is for people to record a short video or take photos of themselves doing one thing that is good for the earth, then in the video, challenge their family, friends and others to do their own video. People who accept the challenge should post the videos on any or all of their social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter) and use the hashtag #OneThing4Earth and tag NHDES (@NHDES for Twitter; @NHenvironmentalservices for Facebook and Instagram) The worldwide response to the coronavirus pandemic is and should be all of our priorities. NHDES hopes that a social media-based video challenge, like the #OneThing4Earth, will provide people practicing social distancing with a way to recognize the importance of Earth Day. You do not have to be challenged to participate, but remember in your video to challenge your friends, family, coworkers and others to join in. This challenge was created by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES).

One-Time Action

Action Track: Earth Day Together!

Earth Day Action: Write a Love Letter, Poem, or Song to Earth

I will express my love and gratitude for our Earth by writing a love letter, poem, or song to Earth.

One-Time Action


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.



  • Evelyn (lyn) Swett 4/30/2020 6:31 PM
    Hello my friends!
    What a month. I'm so glad to have been part of this challenge.
    Thank you to all for joining the Upper Valley Team.
    I'm grateful to my family for working with our meal planning efforts.
    I'm sorry that we ate more meat than I had planned, but I'm also glad that my kids cooked and that my son gained some weight, which he really needed to do. 
    I wish I had been in more touch with people during this time of isolation, but I am grateful to have connected with those doing this project.

    What I love most about this EcoChallenge is how our individual actions, no matter how many we make, are part of a larger narrative of more than 10,000 people paying attention at the same time. So cool. The accumulation of small actions add up over time - - not just this month, but in a season, a year and in our lives.

    Can't wait to see you all again soon!

  • Evelyn (lyn) Swett 4/30/2020 7:38 AM
    I can't quite believe that it will be May 1 tomorrow. This month has flown by. It was filled with high expectations and in some ways I am disappointed that I did not do more. But at the same time, given how distracting and disruptive this whole Stay-At-Home order has been, I'm pleased that my family is still able to laugh together at dinner -- Last night, though, I have to admit that as we ate our regular Wednesday homemade pizza, my kids and I were together, but each on our own phones, exploring whatever we felt like. It was our first meal EVER when we have done that. Perhaps a sign that we are getting tired of the routine. But it was also kind of fun and we laughed about it. My husband was still at work and we had all worked hard all day. Caring for the earth means caring for ourselves. And sometimes caring for ourselves means letting ourselves zone out and not have to talk. I hope you are all well. Again, if you'd like to stay in touch for future challenges, please email me directly at evelynrswett@gmail.com  Cheers to all!
  • Reflection Question
    Action Track: Building Resilience Earth Day Art Project
    What did you find inspiring, surprising or particularly fun about your art project?

    Evelyn (lyn) Swett 4/30/2020 7:32 AM
    Actually, I had a hard time doing my art projects. I kept trying to make things out of discarded plastic do dads or other random stuff and kept feeling frustrated. I am proud of the face masks I made for my family and finally finished and I am excited about the art I make all the time - - Compost. Here is my favorite image from the month - - snow on the compost pile on Earth Day. 
    Earth Day Compost 2020 Web.jpg 259.26 KB
  • Reflection Question
    People Connect While Social Distancing
    How does connecting with others help your own mental and emotional health? How can it help support others?

    Evelyn (lyn) Swett 4/26/2020 3:53 PM
    I've actually found that I really love using old fashioned snail mail. It feels good to send letters to people. 

    • Gayle Giovanna 4/27/2020 3:54 AM
      Yes! There is something about actual pen and paper that is very satisfying! Even having it be slower is nice: we could all stand to slow down a bit.
  • Reflection Question
    Action Track: Earth Day Together! Earth Day Action: Write a Love Letter, Poem, or Song to Earth
    What are you grateful for about our planet? Share what you created or your general thoughts of love and gratitude with everyone else!

    Evelyn (lyn) Swett 4/26/2020 3:50 PM
    Here's my love letter: 

    I consider the idea that I'm a 'domesticated naturalist' - - Check it out! Here are a few teaser shots.
    Lilac at home in Hanover, NH

    Colors in May at Kew Gardens, UK 2019 By ERSwett

  • Evelyn (lyn) Swett 4/24/2020 6:13 PM
    Hello Friends!
    It is feast or famine with me when it comes to connecting with other people - - Today I had one phone call (with one of my cousins) and 2 zoom sessions - - one with a project I'm doing with AVA Gallery in Lebanon and another with cousins living in Detroit. It was my most connected day and it felt good to be in conversation with others. It is clear that many people are having a hard time finding motivation and energy when every day feels like the one before and the one to come. My daily walks continue to help, especially when I pass other people and can at least wave and smile. There is less than one week left in this challenge and I'm feeling motivated to finish with gusto. What about you?

    • Evelyn (lyn) Swett 4/26/2020 3:35 PM
      Thank you for the support Louisa!

    • Louisa Lubiak 4/24/2020 7:00 PM
      Hi there super motivator! Motivators need encouragement too & I thank you for your motivating message! Keep up the good work & stay connected with family, friends & other folks! :-)

  • Evelyn (lyn) Swett 4/22/2020 5:57 PM
    What an amazing day! I spent a few hours at the Lebanon Landfill taking photographs of that magical site. I started documenting their work a year ago this month and am excited to keep going. Every time the light is different, the shape of the garbage mountain is different, and the little surprises are different, like today's Funny Guy peeping out from the well-tended hill. After taking this image, I went down to the right of this scene and witnessed many birds in the wild space between the landfill and the CT River. Later in the day, I took a walk around Hanover and saw this abstraction on the AT near Velvet Rocks. I didn't have a write my Love Letter to Earth, but these two images and my thoughts from the day will probably emerge on a blog post in the coming days.
    Landfill Funny Guy.jpg 350.04 KB

    Earth Day Roots.jpg 314.59 KB

  • Evelyn (lyn) Swett 4/21/2020 7:03 PM
    I've actually been spending a lot of time so far this week working on updating my website and trying to be more strategic about how I share my passion for compost photography in a way that reaches more people. I realize that at its heart, my work is all about how compost is a metaphor for community: Just as compost needs a mix of green and brown stuff (nitrogen and carbon), so too do we need each other. Compost is like people and ideas, needing to get mixed and mingled once in a while. Have a wonderful day tomorrow! Cheers to all.

  • Evelyn (lyn) Swett 4/19/2020 4:41 PM
    Happy Earth Week - - My favorite week of the year. Here's a photo I took as part of the OneThing4Earth challenge from the NH Department of Environmental Services. It was pretty simple to make the sign and take the selfie, though I always feel funny doing those. I also include a photo of our laundry hanging out to dry, because today, April 19, is National Hang Out Day - - Mark your calendar for next year! Cheers to all. This will be an active week for me and I'll be sharing every day. Hope to see what you're up to. 
    Sunday OneThing4Earth Small.jpg 325.12 KB

    National Hang Out Day 2020 Small.jpg 210.58 KB

    • Gayle Giovanna 4/21/2020 11:59 PM
      Hi Evelyn! Question: do you put eggshells in your compost pile, and if so, do they take forever-and- a -half to break down? I use my finished compost as a mulch, so I don't like to see uncomposted shell fragments sticking out, looking very much like they went in. They go right through the screen.  

  • Evelyn (lyn) Swett 4/16/2020 6:35 PM
    Today is my son's 20th Birthday. He cooked dinner for us tonight and we made our traditional pancake cake for brunch. The yard has been calling me daily and I've been taking lots of long walks around town and in local trails. I'm excited because our Bloodroot and Pulmonaria (Lungwort) are blooming in our shade garden.  Happy day to all.