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October 3 - October 24, 2018
Danita  Henry's avatar

Danita Henry

City of Portland - Water Bureau


  • 0 TODAY
  • 515 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    meatless or vegan meals

Danita 's actions


Turn it off

I will keep lights, electronics, and appliances turned off when not using them.




I will write down three things every day that I am grateful for, or send one email every day thanking or praising someone.



Adjust the Thermostat

I will adjust my thermostat down 2 degrees from usual when I use the heat, and up 2 degrees when I use air conditioning.



Go get a check up

I will make an appointment for my annual physical.



Needs Vs. Wants

I will adopt a "Needs Vs. Wants" approach and only buy things I need.



Reduce Animal Products

I will enjoy 1 meatless meal(s) and/or 1 vegan meal(s) each day this week.


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?

    Energy Adjust the Thermostat
    Your utility company is able to tell you your average energy usage. Ask them how your energy usage compares to others in your zipcode, and in your state. What other steps can you take each day to reduce your electricity usage?

    Danita  Henry's avatar
    Danita Henry 10/24/2018 9:01 AM
    I turn the thermostat down at night before bed, turn it up before my family gets up, and turn it back down when I leave for work. We also use lower watt and high energy efficient bulbs for lighting or during the fall/winter, I also like to add candles around the house for lighting/coziness.

  • Danita  Henry's avatar
    Danita Henry 10/22/2018 9:16 AM
    The Gratitude Challenge is a very fulfilling one. I think its important not just to the people you express your gratitude to but to yourself to reflect on the positive connections we have, remind ourselves what gifts we truly have, and to embrace the joy of being in the moment and space of grace and appreciation. I reached out to an aunt of mine I haven't seen or spoken with since I was a little girl. She just turned 80 and being able to send her a gift along with a letter telling her how much she meant to me was a wonderful opportunity to speak from the heart. I look forward to continuing this practice, along with the others, after this challenge has ended. 

  • Danita  Henry's avatar
    Danita Henry 10/18/2018 4:33 PM
    We've been turning the thermostat down at night while we sleep and I must've gotten a bit too zealous because my family accused me of turning them into sleeping icicles at night. Ha! The compromise is not to set our heat down as low as it was (62 degrees), but to set it for 64 or 65 instead.

  • Danita  Henry's avatar
    Danita Henry 10/17/2018 3:24 PM
    Practicing simplicity... Christmas is around the corner. I am starting to shop now for my daughter and stepdaughters with the 4 Gift Challenge. Buy each one 4 gifts- 1. Something they WANT; 2. Something they NEED; 3. Something they WEAR; 4. Something to READ. I'll have one modification for this... #5- A family event. We'll be taking the kids to see Cirque Du Soleil in the Spring.

  • Danita  Henry's avatar
    Danita Henry 10/17/2018 3:20 PM
    Some of the challenges that I'm not doing are things that I started about a year ago. I purchased a travel set of bamboo utensils and stainless steel straws. There have been times that I have forgotten when ordering food to go, but I think about packaging, habits, and resources regularly.
    My next shift/change will be to purchase silicone zip lock containers instead of buying Ziploc bags. I love the variety packs of Ziploc bags from Costco, but I've started to consider the amount of pollution and waste that it produces.
    Energy Turn it off
    How is electricity generated where you live? How does it impact the environment, animals, and humans?

    Danita  Henry's avatar
    Danita Henry 10/17/2018 3:12 PM
    A significant amount of electricity generated in this region is from hydro-power. I lived at Bonneville Fish Hatchery when I was in grammar school because my dad worked for Oregon Fish and Wildlife. Dams, though they produce cleaner energy, do impact wildlife. One of the challenges that happen with native fish populations is that the dam creates an unnatural barrier. This gives predators like King Fishers (birds) and seals the opportunity to sit by the dam and eat salmon, primarily, during spawning season causing a significant drop in population. 
    The other two big contributors of electricity generated in the area is Natural Gas and Coal. I'll be interested to learn more about the positive/negative impacts to the environment.

    Food Reduce Animal Products
    What do you think contributes to people in North America eating more meat than in other places, and what does this say about North American values and ways of living? How do we start shifting a meat-focused food culture?

    Danita  Henry's avatar
    Danita Henry 10/15/2018 11:34 AM
    I didn't know, so I looked it up. From what I gathered, meat consumption is traditionally connected with higher income levels. However, the meat consumption in America is also tied to the farming industry and how industrialized practices have been able to drive the prices down. Unfortunately, beef consumption is among one of the top environmental concerns as it expands into spaces traditionally filled with forests/rain forests, providing abundant oxygen sources for the planet. 
    Shifting a meat focused food culture requires alternative and more mainstream ways of thinking and practicing. 
    I have always thought and still do that nutrition and sustainable food practices should be taught at all levels of education, since it is an integral part of being human.
    Simplicity Needs Vs. Wants
    How is creativity necessary for practicing simplicity?

    Danita  Henry's avatar
    Danita Henry 10/12/2018 4:43 PM
    I think convenience and apathy causes us to spend more than what we need to. When I look back through generations of my family, there are quilts made from used clothing and a variety of other items that have been repurposed and handed down, rather than purchased. It saves money, reduces waste, and there's heart in what was used by my mother, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and great aunts. It has a living history of my identity attached to it.

    • Monica Martin's avatar
      Monica Martin 10/12/2018 4:45 PM
      So true. There's so much excess now compared to past generations. This really makes me curious. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    Health Happiness
    How does/can practicing gratitude keep you centered and motivated to work for a better world?

    Danita  Henry's avatar
    Danita Henry 10/04/2018 4:29 PM
    I positive focus on what I am grateful for is a regular reminder of the gifts that I have before me that support me, fill me, and provide for me. Listing them out, writing them down, calling them out to the people who contribute to my better life creates a reminder to continue to strive for a better world.
    Health Go get a check up
    How do you practice self care?

    Danita  Henry's avatar
    Danita Henry 10/04/2018 4:27 PM

    I practice self care by being focused on health and wellness, mobility and strength, stress levels and happiness. Balance is key in carving out time to take care of myself so that I can care for my life and for others.