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October 3 - October 24, 2018
Lin Orndorf's avatar

Lin Orndorf

A-B Tech

"To share, with others, my love and awe of this remarkable planet and all the amazing lifeforms that inhabit it."

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 718 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    not spent in front of a screen
  • up to
    spent outdoors

Lin's Actions


Choose LED Bulbs

I will replace 5 incandescent lightbulb(s) with Energy Star-certified LED bulbs, saving up to $14 per fixture per year.

One-Time Action


Needs Vs. Wants

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



Less Screen Time

I will replace 60 minute(s) of screen time each day with other activities.



Launch a Recycling Program

I will start a recycling program at my workplace or school. If a recycling program exists, I will advocate for ways to improve and expand it.

One-Time Action


Practice Gratitude for Earth

I will spend 10 minute(s) each day outside, practicing gratitude (prayer, meditation, journaling, etc.) for Earth and the nature surrounding me.



  • Reflection Question
    Energy Choose LED Bulbs
    Changing lightbulbs is an excellent first step toward energy efficiency! In what other ways can you exercise your civic duty to protect the environment and reduce carbon emissions?

    Lin Orndorf's avatar
    Lin Orndorf 10/24/2018 11:29 AM
    I have yet to complete this challenge, but I can't climb a ladder and would still need hep reaching the fixtures. I have the bulbs and will get my wife and our roommate to help. 

    There are so many ways each of us can protect our environment AND reduce carbon emissions! Something I do when I walk my dogs is pick up their poop and any litter we find. Dog poop in urban areas is unpleasant to come across, and it contributes to poor water quality, so it's better to bag it. I often find cans and bottles along the road in my neighborhood when I'm walking my dogs, and I always pick up what I can carry. Then I put it in the recycling can. Recycling saves energy and resources avoids the production of a lot of carbon emissions. 

    We also conserve energy at home by setting the thermostat a little higher in the summer (a little lower in the winter), and when we are not going to be home. We also turn-off or unplug devices when we aren't using them, and try to replace appliances with the most efficient ones we can buy. We use cold water only for laundry and hang at least half our laundry outside to air dry. 

    We are eating less meat, more veggies, and supporting more local businesses, including our CSA farmer. And I still feed the worms with my compost bins. I know there's more I could do, and I will keep doing more. I also teach college students about all these issues and more. With more of us doing small things, and more of us compelling our elected officials, at all levels to do more, I know we will do the right thing.

  • Reflection Question
    Waste Launch a Recycling Program
    How might thinking creatively help us address big systems problems differently?

    Lin Orndorf's avatar
    Lin Orndorf 10/24/2018 11:16 AM
    I don't think we can address big systems problems or "wicked" problems with anything other than creative thinking. Conventional thinking will only find answers to treat the symptoms of problems while otherwise maintaining the status quo, which will more deeply imbed those big systems problems into our society. To overcome many of our challenges, we need to be creative, innovative, and collaborative across disciplines and demographics. The best solutions will also address more than one problem simultaneously.

  • Lin Orndorf's avatar
    Lin Orndorf 10/08/2018 11:40 AM
    Since I had to travel to Greenville, North Carolina last week, I am feeling like I've taken one step forward and two or three backward due to all the miles I drove and the gasoline that was burned to get there and back. Upon reflection, I realize that there are many things I do that are sustainable and positive for me and the planet than one road trip. Also, I do drive a hybrid that emits fewer emissions and has a higher fuel efficiency than other cars. I averaged about 41.5 mpg on the round-trip, and there were two us. The long drive also gave me time to think about sustainability, public transportation options, ecosystems, and development patterns. We all need a little reflection time.
  • Reflection Question
    Simplicity Less Screen Time
    What did you notice in implementing this challenge? Was it hard to choose other activities over screen time? How did you decide to spend your time?

    Lin Orndorf's avatar
    Lin Orndorf 10/08/2018 11:33 AM
    I have found that the easiest way to reduce my screen time, is to avoid turning on the TV, computer, or looking at my phone for as long as possible. Rather than turn it on shortly after I get home from work, I've been leaving those devices off for at least an hour and using that time for other things. On the weekend, I was able to leave the computer and TV turned off until very late in the evening.

    Choosing how to spend non-screen time was only challenging because there are several other things I like to do and could be doing if I wasn't watching TV. Picking one thing is hard, but I started by reading a magazine article about the positive effects of trees and plants on human health and well-being, especially in urban environments, and having a conversation with my wife. One enhances my knowledge base and better equips me to teach about sustainability. Other enhances my personal sustainability by strengthening a personal relationship from which I derive emotional support.

  • Lin Orndorf's avatar
    Lin Orndorf 10/04/2018 8:36 AM
    When I was five, my first chore was to "feed the worms" everyday. I have been composting and recycling ever since, so much so that it is second nature for me. Through teaching about sustainability, I hope to help others develop second nature habits that will reduce pollution, conserve resources, and help move us all closer to a sustainable existence within the limits of our one and only planet. Currently, I teach sustainability courses at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, and thought that the October EcoChallenge would be a cool supplemental educational tool for my students. I am hopeful they all login and try at least one action. There is much we can each learn and do, and then encourage others to learn and do also.