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Change the World Wednesday Challenge: Design Your Own

It's Wednesday! That means there's a new Change the World Wednesday Challenge up on Reduce Footprints' blog...

This week, suggest a challenge. This can be a repeat of a past challenge, a version of something we've already done or something completely new ... anything which you feel we should address.
And/Or ...
Tell us about something you're struggling with ... a green-living activity which is difficult to adopt in your life.
I am going to combine the two options this week and choose a challenge that will benefit my wallet as well as the planet. I struggle sometimes with remembering how must waste is generated by eating out. It often feels easier to just buy food for lunch instead of preparing it at home, and stopping by Starbucks often sounds delicious... But most fast food or to-go establishments generate waste--not to mention it costs more money than just eating the food already at home, and it often isn't the healthiest choice. This week, I'll challenge myself to say no to eating out as much as possible... I am living at home until Sunday when I go back to school, so we'll see if I can convince my family to join me!

This morning before I read the new challenge, my family went out for coffee and bagels at our local Starbucks and Noah's Bagels. I planned ahead since I'd been thinking so much about waste last week, so I brought my own napkin and knife, as well as my coffee mug and a container of our vegan butter in a tupperware container. I snapped some photos...

Reusable container for vegan butter, reusable napkin, and reusable knife!

My coffee mug, the vegan butter in the reusable container, my dad putting butter on his bagel with the reusable knife, and the delicious bagel on the reusable napkin. My dad didn't bring his to-go container, so he has one of the disposable Starbucks cups... tsk tsk tsk

The only physical waste I generated was a paper bagel bag. I could have brought it home and reused it, but it had butter on it... Well, now that I think about it, I definitely could have reused it for lunch or something. Ah, shoot! Next time, I won't let laziness take over. I just didn't want to hang onto it all day.

The other part of my challenge is to make a list of the typical waste I generate by eating out, including napkins, wrappers, containers, and also keep track of how many times this week I have the impulse to eat out. Let's see if I can calculate a rough estimate of how much waste I will save this week by not eating out...

In other news, I telecommuted today instead of taking public transportation to Santa Cruz. Most of the work I needed to do today was on the computer and since we use Google Documents, it was super easy to access all the things I needed. I'm currently planning out the next year for the Education & Outreach Team in the Sustainability Office. I was chosen as the Chancellor's Undergraduate Internship Program intern for the office as student leader of this team, and we sure have a lot planned for this year. I'm also planning on graduating early (like July 2013 instead of June 2014), so I'll be taking lots of upper division classes and studying a lot of literature. Despite that, I will try to keep this blog updated as the year goes on about what I'm doing, or you can follow our office on Facebook or Blogger and get a glimpse of the sustainability community at UCSC.

But back to the challenge! Some other CTWW bloggers have posted some great ideas for challenges in the comments section of the new challenge if you're interested in seeing their thoughts before deciding which challenge to take on. You will join us, won't you?



  1. I've been trying to think up something for the next challenge too. I like your eating out audit idea. It's easy to forget about what we throw away when it's not in our own bins!

  2. hey. the article is very inspiring. thanks for sharing. also it was quite helpful. do keep up posting more .

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  3. Green Steve, great point! It is easier to think about the amount of waste we're generating when we don't have to be the one to take out the trash!

    Thank you for your comments.

  4. Thanks for sharing with me such a nice information,i really like this blog so much because it gives me lot's of knowledge.

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