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October 3 - October 24, 2018
Craig Kunce's avatar

Craig Kunce

Green Cavs

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 822 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    40
    meatless or vegan meals
    consumed
  • up to
    20
    whole food meals
    consumed
  • up to
    22
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    60
    gallons of water
    have been saved
  • up to
    600
    minutes
    spent exercising
  • up to
    5.0
    hours
    volunteered
  • up to
    10
    minutes
    spent learning

Craig's Actions

Food

Try a New Way to Prep

I will try a new method of food preparation, such as canning, pickling, or baking bread.

Completed
One-Time Action

Water

Install a Low-Flow Showerhead

I will save up to 15 gallons (56 L) of water a day by installing a low-flow showerhead.

Completed
One-Time Action

Waste

Go Paperless

I will reduce the amount of paper mail that I receive by opting into paperless billing and ending unwanted subscriptions.

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Volunteer in my Community

I will volunteer 5 hour(s) in my community during the challenge.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Whole Foods Diet

I will enjoy 1 meal(s) each day free of processed foods.

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Reduce Animal Products

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

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Energy

Replace Manual Thermostats

I will replace manual thermostats with programmable ones.

Completed
One-Time Action

Energy

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.

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Energy

Power Down the Computer

I will power down my computer and monitor when not using it for more than 2 hours, saving up to (1.1) lbs of CO2 each day that I do this.

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Health

Exercise Daily

Exercise is a great stress blaster! I will exercise for 30 minute(s) each day.

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed

  • Reflection Question
    Food Try a New Way to Prep
    Canning and pickling food is a great way to have delicious summer fruits and vegetables all year round. Just make sure to follow the canning and pickling guidelines from the USDA. What are some foods that you would like to preserve and enjoy later in the year?

    Craig Kunce's avatar
    Craig Kunce 10/23/2018 8:07 AM
    Well, this challenge initially stated that baking bread was an option too. I tried making scones from scratch during this challenge with my kids. I have a new appreciation for the old-world kneading that our forefathers and mothers had to do. The scones turned out okay. One of my kids liked them, the other—not so much. As for canning, I'd want to can tomatoes and cukes from our garden. We have the most of them. We currently deep freeze them in bags. I'll have to research which takes more energy, canning or letting them sit in a freezer for six months.
  • Reflection Question
    Health Exercise Daily
    How can you incorporate other personal values (like quality time with friends or spending time in nature) into your exercise routine?

    Craig Kunce's avatar
    Craig Kunce 10/20/2018 7:19 AM
    I walk our dog each evening and try to take a different route through our neighborhood and parks. It varies the route and keeps it interesting. I also switch off taking my kids with me. We get to talk one-on-one uninterrupted for a half hour about our days. It's a nice way to connect and wind down at the end of the day.
  • Reflection Question
    Water Install a Low-Flow Showerhead
    How can your region/household prepare for changing water situations in order to become more resilient?

    Craig Kunce's avatar
    Craig Kunce 10/20/2018 7:13 AM
    I'd suggest the Watersense shower head and low-flow faucets. They are a great start. I've installed low-flow aerated faucets (1.2 GPM) in both bathrooms and the kitchen (1.8 GMP). You don't notice the difference once you start using them. I also like the challenge of planting a eco-friendly/sustainable lawn/plants. I have considering installing a sprinkler system for a few years now. We put that on hold, and Instead I am researching planting drought-tolerant plants. We'll see if it fits our needs. I still have  lot of learning to do.

    I also  installed a simple and cost-effective 1.8 gpm shower head—$5. It meets the EPA's Watersense standard (less than 2 GPM). It took a little to get used to it, but we are used to it now. Now I just have to stop my son from taking 10–15 minute showers : )
  • Reflection Question
    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?

    Craig Kunce's avatar
    Craig Kunce 10/17/2018 12:32 PM
    The most impactful step we've taken at my home was to reduce the temp of our water heater and reduce our cooling and heating temps. We had a new heater installed a few years ago and for some reason they set it at 133°. We reduced it last winter to 120° and, along with other changes to reduce energy consumption, we've reduces our nat gas and electrical bill considerably (our water heater has an electric venting system whenever it runs).
  • Reflection Question
    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?

    Craig Kunce's avatar
    Craig Kunce 10/17/2018 12:25 PM
    Boy, that's a tough question. Whoever finds the answer will go down in history. Meat is ingrained into our very fabric. I once read that Lewis and Clark were running out of food near the end of their journey. Even though they were trekking along a body of water full of fresh salmon, they instead traded with Native Americans for dogs that they then killed and ate. 

    I think that so much of our economy is based on meat that it will be a slow paradigm sift for America. We're making some progress, I read a few years ago that chicken is eaten more than beef. That's some progress . . . maybe beans will overtake beef

    • Roxanne Smothers's avatar
      Roxanne Smothers 10/18/2018 5:55 AM
      Hi Craig,
      When I was about 20 years old I went on the road with my big brother for a week (he was a long-haul driver for many years).  For his back haul we had to pick up hides at a commercial meet packing plant/rendering facility somewhere out west...Nebraska I think.  The cattle-lots were mile after mile of cattle standing practically shoulder to shoulder.  The stench was unbearable.  Being from Wisconsin, only seeing how we raise dairy cattle it never occurred to me how we manage to provide so much beef for our country (and this was around 1980).  I was so shocked I didn't eat beef for weeks.  

      Soon after I went to a sales barn auction with a new friend (her family farmed). I figured it would be interesting. BOY...was it interesting!  I never even made it to the sale.  The conditions and how the animals were handled made me sick.  I never ate beef again (that was almost 40 years ago).

      We're not a vegetarians. We've simply found other ways to stay off the beef produced by large, commercial producers.  I could not tell you what a steak or pound of hamburger costs in a grocery store.  For example: We both hunt according to the Quality Deer Mgmt rules for ethical management of wild herd animals (whitetail deer).  And living in the country all these years put us in contact with locally sourced meat products. I know it's all the rage today, but we've been on this path for almost 40 years buying from locals who raised grass-fed, free range animals (chickens, turkey, beef, pork, etc).  I also have an organic garden and for many years (when the boys were still at home) was able to produce much of what we needed.  

      I realize hunting isn't for everyone, and having a large garden may not be practical either.  But there are so many great sources available today for healthy meet products (for example the PFC in La X...you can ask the folks at the meat/fish counter where the products are sourced from and they should know).  Doing what you're doing, but cutting back to X number of days having meat, makes this much more affordable and practical.  

      I applaud your efforts because it's not easy to find new ways to push against a culture that is addicted to meat.  
      Rox
  • Reflection Question
    Energy Power Down the Computer
    What are other easy things you could do to save energy and reduce your environmental footprint?

    Craig Kunce's avatar
    Craig Kunce 10/17/2018 12:13 PM
    My family has started to save energy by simply using less energy. Even though we get the stink-eye from our dentist, we've stopped using electric toothbrushes. We try to use human power as much as possible: most of our woodworking is with hand tools, we mix more by hand when we bake bread or muffins, cut veggies by hand for soups instead of a food processor, rake by hand and not use the leaf blower (my kids miss that cool machine though). There is a limit to human power though. Last year I bought a manual lawnmower. It was a newer model that claimed it was a breeze to use. I almost died : ) that was too much work, and too much time. I decided to pay the .75 cents for gas and spend more time afterwards with my kids and wife.
  • Reflection Question
    Energy Replace Manual Thermostats
    How do you anticipate replacing your thermostats for programmable ones will positively impact your life?

    Craig Kunce's avatar
    Craig Kunce 10/17/2018 12:05 PM
    For starters, the old manual thermostat wasn't very accurate. Even though I leveled it again and again, the top temp never matched the bottom temp. So we never really knew what the temp was. The programmable thermostat we just installed is digital and very accurate. We were able to set different temps for different times of day. The most impactful change was that we (accurately) increased the temp this summer from 72° to 75°. That saved a lot of air-conditioning dollars. This fall/winter we are decreasing our heating temp from 71° to 68°. We tried 66° and my younger children were way too cold. Maybe we'll try to notch it down little by little.
  • Reflection Question
    Waste Go Paperless
    Reducing your paper mail can be such a freeing action to take -- by reducing what is coming in, you can reduce what is going into the recycling bin too. How does it make you feel? What is the next step you will take to reduce your waste?

    Craig Kunce's avatar
    Craig Kunce 10/17/2018 11:57 AM
    As a teacher I have taken steps over the past 4–5 years to go 100% paperless with all my classes. I am about 99% there. Each new school year I have to think how I can remain paperless. I still have a few forms that students need to have, primarily because they will use these forms in paper form in the real world. It's only a few pieces each year, so I'm okay with it. Going paperless has been been nothing but positive for me and my students. Students have 24/7 access to all my class materials through my website. I no longer hear from students, "Can I have another copy of the syllabus, I lost mine?" And I never have to leave time to make copies before class. —very freeing.
  • Reflection Question
    Community Volunteer in my Community
    What is one thing you can do to help your community become more sustainable?

    Craig Kunce's avatar
    Craig Kunce 10/03/2018 8:05 AM
    Each week my graphic design students donate about eighty hours of their class time designing logos and marketing projects for organizations, non-profits, and businesses in our community—for free!