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October 3 - October 24, 2018
Jennifer Nelson's avatar

Jennifer Nelson

Washington County

"Better alignment of value and actions for improved health, wellness and peace of mind. :)"


  • 0 TODAY
  • 679 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
  • UP TO
    not traveled by car
  • UP TO
    traveled by foot
  • UP TO
    spent exercising
  • UP TO
    spent learning
  • UP TO
    spent outdoors
  • UP TO
    being mindful
  • UP TO
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved

Jennifer's actions


Practice Gratitude for Earth

I will spend 30 minute(s) each day outside, practicing gratitude (prayer, meditation, journaling, etc.) for Earth and the nature surrounding me.



Forage for My Food

I will use the 'Learn More' resources below to find where I can forage for my own food locally.




I will meditate or create a moment of silence for 20 minute(s) each day to reflect on things important to me.



Exercise Daily

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



Go Paperless

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



Go by Bike

I will commute by bike 3 mile(s) each day and avoid sending up to 1.0 lbs of CO2 into Earth's atmosphere.



Watch a Documentary about Food Sovereignty

I will watch 1 documentary(ies) about food sovereignty: the right of local peoples to control their own food systems including markets, ecological resources, food cultures and production methods.



Walk Instead

I will walk 3 mile(s) each day instead of driving and avoid sending up to 1.21 lbs of CO2 into Earth's atmosphere.


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?

  • Jennifer Nelson's avatar
    Jennifer Nelson 10/16/2018 8:48 AM
    I think today I need to be sure to take a walk in the park to get some of my goals accomplished. As the cold drags on, I haven't felt up to riding or walking to work. But I could at least get a walk in after work!

  • Jennifer Nelson's avatar
    Jennifer Nelson 10/15/2018 7:57 AM
    Ooof... I've had a cold since last Friday and it's been a  real struggle to find energy to do anything, let alone all of these active challenges. Think I'll try to knock out my food documentary tonight from the couch, ha ha.
    Simplicity Meditate
    What would you like to invest more time in reflecting on?

    Jennifer Nelson's avatar
    Jennifer Nelson 10/11/2018 9:44 AM
    In practicing mindfulness meditation, I actually strive not to reflect on things. I try to allow the narrating brain to take a rest, allowing thoughts to pass by like leaves falling from a tree without pursing them deeply. :D

    • Jennifer Nelson's avatar
      Jennifer Nelson 10/11/2018 11:42 AM
      Nichole, I have a few different tricks I learned during the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction class at Yoga Hillsboro, which I highly recommend as well as their gentle mindful yoga classes...

      My basic strategy for meditation is simply to let thoughts come and go naturally and practice not focusing on any of them. It seems that my mind always wants to think, judge, plan what to say, and so on. Whether I am sitting, standing, walking, etc, I try to just observe that I am having a thought and let it drift from my focus. Sort of like those 3D puzzles where you let you eyes soft focus to see the image, except I am letting my mind soft focus, if that makes any sense at all.

      Other things I use:

      Mindful walking meditation

      Here is one example of a 4 count breathing mediation

      There are LOTS of progressive muscle relaxation videos on YouTube, here is just one I have used:

      I find loving kindness meditation is also very peaceful and soothing for me:

      I have also used the app iSleepEasy, which is a free meditation app in the Google Play store. It has a really good set of sleep mantras for clearing your mind before bed.

      Finally, I recently downloaded the Lumosity brain training games app and they have a really good start up tutorial for meditation. Even though I've been playing around with meditation for years, I have found it a fun course to use. I like the visualization and tactile exercises it incorporates!

    • Nichole George's avatar
      Nichole George 10/11/2018 9:47 AM
      Do you use a technique you could share for meditation? 

  • Jennifer Nelson's avatar
    Jennifer Nelson 10/07/2018 8:19 PM
    Washington County team: How was your weekend? Ready for the week?

    • Remember that you can log you actions from the last several days still! Just look for the area under your challenges in the dashboard that looks like this photo.
    :D :D :D

    • Nichole George's avatar
      Nichole George 10/08/2018 8:57 AM
      Thank you for this!  I was upset for missing a day but just went back and updated :)

    Transportation Walk Instead
    Half of all trips made in the US are three miles or less; 72% of them are driven. Do you feel that this fact applies to you? If so, how might you incorporate more muscle-powered transportation in your daily life?

    Jennifer Nelson's avatar
    Jennifer Nelson 10/04/2018 10:26 AM
    It's definitely true for me that 3/4 of my trips are short, especially since moving to the downtown Hillsboro core. For me, the biggest challenge there is that many of them involve transporting more than I can carry or tow on my bike. Pain can also be a limiting factor. But I'm excited to be walking to work, the library, the store and friends' houses more often. Chipping away at it and feeling great!

  • Jennifer Nelson's avatar
    Jennifer Nelson 10/03/2018 9:07 AM
    Happy Day 1 of EcoChallenge! You are all winners in my book, but here is the 4-1-1 on ways to win extra prizes this week!
    (You will receive this as a message to be sure everyone has the same info on this.)

    Better Late Than Never: You can still recruit a friend or colleague and receive the commemorative magnet! They should sign up as soon as they can and select their actions. Just email to let me know you recruited someone new.

    We will be offering the following team-only prizes throughout the challenge (note: as 'captain', I've disqualified myself):
    - Daily Check-in Leaders: each week, the team member with the most daily check-ins will receive a collapsible cup for their backpack or purse!
    - First One-Time Challenge Completed: the first team member to complete their one time challenge will receive a pair of ear buds!
    - Highest Number of Points: At the end of the challenge, the person with the highest number of points will receive a backpack!
    Most Engaged on Participant Feed: At the end of the challenge, the person with the most participant feed posts will receive a pair of ear buds!

    See photo below for image of prizes.
    Be sure to follow the participant feed for special prize giveaways on random days too!

    Prizes Available from EcoChallenge:
    - Learn about the prizes for participants (random), top participant, top team, and 2nd & 3rd place teams at

    - Scavanger Hunt Due Oct 5!: They sent you an email about this today, but in case you are not receiving their updates, here are the details below.

    Answer the five questions below and email EcoChalleng your answers by October 5 to
    We'll choose one person at random from all correct entries to win an REI Co-op Flash 18 Pack (color may vary). The winner will be notified via email on October 8. 
    Answer these five questions to be eligible to win:
    1. What are three ways to accumulate EcoChallenge points?
    2. What's one of the best ways to increase our collective action?
    3. How often should you "check in" during EcoChallenge?
    4. What can I do from my dashboard?
    5. Can I check-in retroactively? 
     |  | Read complete giveaway rules and details here:
     |  | They are feeling generous (after all, today is one of our of favorite days of the year), so we're going to help you out. Everything you need to answer the questions is found in this blog post -

    Nature Practice Gratitude for Earth
    Kathleen Dean Moore says that a sense of gratitude leads to a sense of moral obligation. Do you agree? How do we cultivate a sense of gratitude as individuals, and as a society?

    Jennifer Nelson's avatar
    Jennifer Nelson 10/02/2018 9:06 AM
    In my experience, gratitude leads to concern and empathy. Moral obligation is sometimes shaming and leads to avoidance rather than action. But genuinely felt concern and empathy often draw us in to do a little (or a lot) more. Appreciating the value, beauty and uniqueness of others and the environment grounds us in attachments that call us to change. Gratitude can draw attention to the little things, which helps us keep perspective in the face of pressures that sometimes feel overwhelming. Finally, to me, it  helps us remember that we enjoy living, and it is a bit easier to make an effort to preserve what you already enjoy!

  • Jennifer Nelson's avatar
    Jennifer Nelson 9/27/2018 3:19 PM
    Did you know our Green Bag series is a great compliment to the EcoChallenge? Join us October 16 at 12:10 in room 390 of the PSB for a composting class by Dean Moberg. We need a minimum RSVP of 15 people to by Oct 9! Learn more at

    I'll announce two more Green Bags during the EcoChallenge... stay tuned! :)
    Nature Forage for My Food
    Amongst the motivations for foraging are: a source of food; means of income; connecting with nature; cultural tradition; or transmitting "local ecological knowledge, and a means for stewarding local and native plant populations" (McLain et al. 2012, 13). Which of these would be your chief motivation and why?

    Jennifer Nelson's avatar
    Jennifer Nelson 9/27/2018 2:19 PM
    My chief motivation is to deepen my understanding of the complex points of view around invasive weeds like Himalayan blackberry and the social challenges of wasted local produce in that face of community hunger.

    Ok. And honestly it's to eat more delicious food for free and enjoy the sunshine while harvesting it.
    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?

    Jennifer Nelson's avatar
    Jennifer Nelson 9/24/2018 10:17 AM
    I went ahead and did this today, so I can log it immediately on day 1! I used the resources at I'm glad to be able to reduce waste before recycling because it reduces the resources needed to make all the junk and deliver it. Also, I'm just glad to have it out of my mailbox in the future... it's kind of stressful to get so many unwanted solicitations constantly. I'll have to reflect on my next waste reduction target... any ideas?