As of today, Day 10, we have over 11,800 participants on over 630 teams. We’ve already saved over 75,000 pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere, as well as conserved over 200,000 gallons of water. We’ve helped over 600 people and volunteered over 700 hours in our communities. 4,700 miles have been travelled by carpool – and we’ve written over 250 letters or emails to public officials about issues we care about. Wow! You can check out our collective impact to date here.
Today I had the chance to check-in with several members of the Northwest Earth Institute staff on how their EcoChallenges are going. Liz Zavodsky, Director of Membership and Engagement, is “loving the various groups and individuals doing the EcoChallenge this year, representing regions all over the globe.” She is learning a ton about waste and specifically plastic. Liz shared, “I chose my challenges because I realized how much I relied on recycling to deal with plastic, and what I really need to do is work on reducing my consumption of plastics all together.”
NWEI’s Executive Director, David Macek, shared, “I have been so amazed by the commitments of communities, small and large, and their contagious encouragement to each other. This year, my main goal was to setup a compost system at our home. I am happy to say it’s complete and working great. I was most surprised by how it easy it was to do. It’s really cutting down our waste and I was able to use our dried-out bamboo grass as the brown matter. We’re excited to see the first batch of soil!”
Lacy Cagle, Director of Learning, is doing a zero waste challenge. She is carrying her personal trash with her at all times in order to raise awareness about waste. “I’m glad I decided to carry my trash around with me. It makes the commitment so much more real because I don’t want to have to carry a lot of stuff. I’ve realized that I actually don’t know much about making less waste and have started doing things like making my own yogurt and my own dog food (well not mine, but Huey’s!) in order to reduce my waste. I think my main problem lies in the “exceptions” I make on waste more often than I should.”
Erin Fitzgerald, NWEI’s Marketing Manager, shared that the EcoChallenge is making her aware of areas she wants to work on and be stronger in. She’s spending more time in nature, upping her education on issues related to public land and being sure to share what she’s learning with others. She’s also finding out where to recycle those hard-to-recycle items.
As we head into the final stretch of EcoChallenge 2017, Mount Hood Community College is in 1st place, looking to defend their title from last year. Rob Greenfield’s team is in 2nd place, with nearly 600 team members. Ecova is in 3rd place, followed by Delran Middle School in 4th place. As always, we are so inspired by people coming from all sectors and walks of life to prove that anyone and everyone can indeed create change.
*Haven’t joined yet? It isn’t too late! You can still join here, and help us reach 12,000 participants before October 25th.