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October 3 - October 24, 2018

Los Alamos Environmental Sustainability Board and Friends Feed

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  • Reflection Question
    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?

    Heather Ward's avatar
    Heather Ward 10/23/2018 10:00 AM
    I am interested in foraging mostly as a means of survival in a bad situation, although I hope, with enough preparedness, it would never happen. I do sometimes worry that our farming capabilities will decline in output as a result of climate change, and knowing how to grow and find food will become essential.
  • Reflection Question
    Nature Explore My Area
    How can spending more time outdoors enhance your sense of place?

    Heather Ward's avatar
    Heather Ward 10/22/2018 2:19 PM
    Many hikes in my area have fantastic views. There is one in particular, where I will go to the end of a mesa, and I can see for miles around in all directions. It really helps me connect with nature, and realize how I am part of the cycle of life.
  • Reflection Question
    Health Avoid refined sugar
    Before you started this challenge, did you think you were 'addicted' to sugar? How do you feel now?

    Heather Ward's avatar
    Heather Ward 10/22/2018 2:16 PM
    Addicted to sugar? Yes. I actually failed on this challenge. I can blame a couple days on my daughter's birthday cake, but overall this is a huge problem for me to break.
  • 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?

    Heather Ward's avatar
    Heather Ward 10/22/2018 2:14 PM
    I really do enjoy hiking, just being out in nature, but my workouts tend to focus on the gym, indoors. I should hike more.
  • Reflection Question
    Waste Personal Waste Audit
    Why is it so difficult to understand the impacts our purchases and waste have on other people, animals, and places? How might your experience with this challenge impact your future consumption and choices?

    Heather Ward's avatar
    Heather Ward 10/22/2018 2:13 PM
    We have become disconnected from the processes used to create and dispose of the things we buy. We don't see the huge pit mines, or leveled forests, or pig waste reservoirs, or landfills, or exhaust emitted from our elaborate global transportation system. Seeing what trash I produced in three weeks has served to make me aware of better choices I can make, and how really difficult it is to eliminate plastic packaging completely.
  • Reflection Question
    Simplicity Track my Purchases
    What have you noticed about your purchases? Where are you inclined to make shifts, if any?

    Heather Ward's avatar
    Heather Ward 10/22/2018 2:08 PM
    Most of my purchases these past few weeks have been for food. My daughter had a birthday, so some was gifts for her. There were a couple other household things I needed and replaced, but overall nothing that I would say was unnecessary. I will continue to strive to be a mindful consumer.
  • Reflection Question
    Waste Advocate For More Food Packaging Options
    What concerns you the most about how we are affecting the planet? Consider both local and global actions.

    Heather Ward's avatar
    Heather Ward 10/22/2018 2:02 PM
    What concerns me most about how we are affecting the planet?
    I've come to the realization that it isn't any one thing, like plastic or greenhouse gasses, but rather how we have seriously put this entire globe off kilter. Everything has been affected by humans in one way or another. The extinction rate is increasing, apparently there are half as many individual animals as there were 200 years ago, pristine forests are burned down, we are draining aquifers and diverting rivers. I guess if I had to call it one thing, it would be a general disregard for nature.
  • Reflection Question
    Food Whole Foods Diet
    Michael Pollan states that "it is better to pay the grocer (our edit: or the farmer!) than the doctor." What are your thoughts on this?

    Heather Ward's avatar
    Heather Ward 10/20/2018 2:22 PM
    What we eat has a huge impact on our health, and we've known this for a long time. "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," and all that. So yes, I agree. If we are buying food anyway, it may as well be healthy food so we don't end up with long-term health problems like diabetes and heart disease.
  • Reflection Question
    Food Watch a Documentary about Food Sovereignty
    How does food sovereignty address the complex agrarian transition to modern food systems?

    Heather Ward's avatar
    Heather Ward 10/20/2018 2:13 PM
    More and more, small business operations are being swallowed by big businesses. What used to be hundreds or thousands of small farmers or ranchers has been replaced with a few enormous companies who focus on their bottom line. I think food sovereignty will help not only bring small farmers back into business, but also make our food and the land it's grown on healthier.
  • 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?

    Heather Ward's avatar
    Heather Ward 10/20/2018 2:03 PM
    I still have difficulty with figuring out how to shift away from a meat-centric culture. The good news is there is a lot of focus on meat reduction among environmentalists, and I see headlines routinely that emphasize the benefits (health-wise and environmentally) of eating less meat. I'll be honest, my nephrologist recommended I shift from animal to plant protein to reduce my risk of kidney stones, and was like, "okay, sure, whatever." But when I learned of the environmental costs of animal agriculture, I went mostly vegan nearly overnight. As with most things, I say education is key here.