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October 3 - October 24, 2018
Laura Duncan's avatar

Laura Duncan

Washington County

"All the little things make a huge difference...."


  • 0 TODAY
  • 470 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    spent exercising
  • UP TO
    gallons of water
    have been saved

Laura's actions


Weekly Meal Planning

I will reduce food waste and save money by planning a weekly menu, only buying the ingredients I need.



Go for a Daily Walk

I will take a walk for 20 minutes each day.



De-Clutter My Home

I will de-clutter, clean, and donate or recycle unneeded items in my home.



5-Minute Showers

I will save up to 20 gallons (75 L) of water each day by taking 5-minute showers.


Participant 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?

  • Laura Duncan's avatar
    Laura Duncan 10/24/2018 9:27 AM
    This was a good exercise! Sadly I walked less than I wanted, and I found it VERY difficult to reduce my showers to under 5 minutes, but I regularly hit the 6 minute mark, so I am considering that a win. I really enjoyed the de-cluttering exercise and have maintained some areas of our home that accumulate items. Midway through the challenge I added a fourth item to complete weekly meal plans so I only purchase what we need, and that was very easy to implement, and I saved time trying to determine what to make for dinner each night.
    Water 5-Minute Showers
    Five minute showers are an impressive step toward reducing your water footprint. What is the next step you can take?

    Laura Duncan's avatar
    Laura Duncan 10/24/2018 9:24 AM
    Well with a family of 6, we do lots of loads of laundry, lots of dishes, and lots of showers. I think my next goal is to have them reduce the length of their showers, and to ensure they are turning the water off while they brush their teeth. We have already purchased water conserving washing machine, but the amount of laundry won't be reduced until some people start to move out.
    Food Weekly Meal Planning
    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. Does this surprise you? Where would you rather use this money?

    Laura Duncan's avatar
    Laura Duncan 10/23/2018 11:17 AM
    No, I am not surprised. We started receiving imperfect produce boxes 6 months ago, and we quickly made it our goal to eat through the entire box of fruit/veggies before the next delivery came. Our food waste has declined, mostly because we see are learning to plan our meals around the fruit/veggies we receive. I also gave my children free reign to eat ANY fruit in the box without limit. There is less spoiled fruit, because we aren't "saving" it for anything, we know we'll get more each Monday.

    Where would I spend $1,500? Honestly, I would update our house with new windows, replacing a few at a time til they were all updated.
    Simplicity Go for a Daily Walk
    Fresh air and movement are good for our entire being and can help us think more clearly and creatively. How does taking a walk each day affect yourself and/or your work?

    Laura Duncan's avatar
    Laura Duncan 10/16/2018 4:37 PM
    I notice in the afternoon I get sleepy. It's easy to blame the potency of coffee wearing off, or the blood going down to my stomach after lunch, but in all honesty, I think it's the lack of oxygen in the room from too little air flow. An afternoon walk outside gets me the fresh air (including fresh oxygen) to my brain. This little jaunt gives me new visual stimulation, a needed break from the screen, some movement going throughout the few muscles I have. All in all, it's a quick jolt to wake up my whole body. I usually will come back to my desk/home feeling invigorated and ready to embrace the task waiting for me, with a deep breath and revitalized mental capacity.

  • Laura Duncan's avatar
    Laura Duncan 10/11/2018 6:05 PM
    Does it count to have 20 minutes of exercise if I am walking to Decadent Creations to get a chocolate crinkle cookie? 

  • Laura Duncan's avatar
    Laura Duncan 10/10/2018 8:49 PM
    Today, I decluttered my pantry, or more specifically the space in front of it. I took the collection of plastic bags out for recycling, recycled the near empty container boxes, consolidation the last few items into one Tupperware.
    Simplicity De-Clutter My Home
    How can you prevent yourself from accumulating more things in the future?

    Laura Duncan's avatar
    Laura Duncan 10/09/2018 10:48 AM
    My issue is that I don't deal with things when they occur... I put it off. When the mail comes, I put it in the pile to be dealt with later. When the laundry is done, I fold it but don't put it away. I probably think that I don't have the time to complete the task when it comes, because I am busy with something else, and the thought "I will come back to that" is too loud, and sadly, not true. So I think the best prevention to accumulating, is to "process" the incoming right away, rather than postponing the task.

  • Laura Duncan's avatar
    Laura Duncan 10/09/2018 10:38 AM
    I was successful in keeping my shower short this morning. I will admit, this is the hardest challenge of the three I chose, because I really enjoy hot water and have typically used the time to "wake up". I have been getting really close, getting down to the 6 minute range, so I am pleased to have kept it under 5. 

  • Laura Duncan's avatar
    Laura Duncan 10/08/2018 5:28 PM
    I went for my daily walk today during my lunch and found this beauty

  • Laura Duncan's avatar
    Laura Duncan 10/05/2018 5:55 PM
    I had a  great night decluttering our entryway, I came home and dealt with the pile of mail that usually  covers  the table. The shoes are usually strewn across the floor in the bustle of coming home. But now it looks like this: