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NJDEP EcoLogicals 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?

  • Carey  Compton's avatar
    Carey Compton 4/25/2018 5:55 PM
    Great Job everyone.  I find this challenge very inspiring and hope you do too.  Now we can continue with these sustainable habits every day. 

  • Louisa Lubiak's avatar
    Louisa Lubiak 4/25/2018 9:38 AM
    I have more food items that I will donate to the CWA Union food drive at my office.

    • Carey  Compton's avatar
      Carey Compton 4/25/2018 5:58 PM
      Great Job Louisa, and very thoughtful. Thank you for being our leader again.  
    Food Explore Other Food Solutions
    What did you find out? What is the most interesting fact you learned?

    Joan Olawski-Stiener's avatar
    Joan Olawski-Stiener 4/25/2018 8:26 AM
    I learned a lot about ways to turn food production from a source of GHG to a sink, where carbon can be captured, and in the process, things like water availability and yields can increase, as well as food security.  One of the most interesting facts that I learned is that if we "add to livestock all other food-related emissions - from farming to deforestation to food waste - what we eat turns out to be the number one cause of global warming." (see p. 37 of Drawdown). Also worth mentioning is "if cattle were their own nation, they would be the world's third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases." (see p. 39 of Drawdown.)  Hmmm... 
    Food Learn More about Silvopasture
    Had you heard of the term silvopasture" before now? After learning more about it, what do you think is the biggest advantage of silvopasture?

    Joan Olawski-Stiener's avatar
    Joan Olawski-Stiener 4/25/2018 8:19 AM
    I had heard of the term "silvopasture" before, but did not know anything about it. I think the biggest advantage of it is that it is a win-win for the farmers doing it - for so many reasons.  It can reduce greenhouse emissions, provide diversity of products for the farmer (cattle plus a variety of crops) - plus the yield may be higher, make the environment cooler and more protected because of the trees, and it can retain more water than an empty field.
    Food Learn More about Regenerative Agriculture
    Clean air, clean water and healthy food are three reasons to care about regenerative agriculture. In what ways can you support your closest regenerative agriculture farm?

    Joan Olawski-Stiener's avatar
    Joan Olawski-Stiener 4/25/2018 8:12 AM
    Currently I am working on making my 2 acres as regenerative as I can.  We've planted fruit and nut trees, berries, kiwis, perennial herbs and other things so we can have a seasonal source of good fresh food. We purchased a greenhouse which expands the growing season for us, and have several raised beds which help us because our soil is full of shale. We now have  four rain barrels that supply a lot of the water for our garden.  Our "grassy" area is full of low growing wild flowers that the bees and other insects love, as well as dandelions and other edible wild plants that are very nutritious.  We have lots of cover and food for the birds (part of our property is left to grow wild for the wildlife), bats and insects, so get some natural fertilizer and pollination. I hope to get chickens and/or ducks etc. someday.  I have been reading about permaculture, and am hoping to learn a lot more from reading Drawdown. 
    Electricity Generation Communicate With My Elected Officials
    What inspires you to act on sustainable energy and other energy issues?

    Joan Olawski-Stiener's avatar
    Joan Olawski-Stiener 4/25/2018 7:51 AM
    The beauty of this planet and the spectacular species that live here motivate me to do something to protect them.   My heart goes out to the people that care about these issues and try so hard to make a positive difference, to the other species that are confronted with the impacts of climate change and other human impacts, and to the beautiful environment of this planet.

  • Joan Olawski-Stiener's avatar
    Joan Olawski-Stiener 4/25/2018 7:46 AM
    This has been a great eco challenge and I've learned a lot.  I've purchased the book Drawdown and am reading it and will continue to try to make a positive difference.  I will educate whenever I can others about climate change and things that we can do to make a difference.
    Materials Mulch the Base of Trees and Plants
    Name some of the human activities impacting the health of water systems, both locally (your watershed) and globally (freshwater and oceans). What can you do to improve the health of water systems?

    Joan Olawski-Stiener's avatar
    Joan Olawski-Stiener 4/25/2018 7:44 AM
    So many activities impact the health of water systems.  Pollution of all type - that from manufacturing processes, even "permitted" discharges; throwing trash onto the street that gets washed into the waterways in a rain storm; dumping unwantded chemicals down the drain; all the excessive use of pharmaceuticals that may not be cleaned out of the water systems by their cleaning processes; dumping trash into the ocean and waterways; using strong chemical pesticides and herbicides when something more natural might work; and so on.  We can switch to using eco-friendly, natural cleaning products and pest control, make sure that we recycle, help clean up our neighborhoods from all the trash and educate others about all of this; don't put things down the drain that shouldn't be in drinking water, donate and support environmental groups that try to clean up water both locally and internationally.
    Land Use Forest-Friendly Foods 1
    How is your diet currently impacting deforestation? What can you do to decrease your negative impact and increase your positive impact?

    Joan Olawski-Stiener's avatar
    Joan Olawski-Stiener 4/25/2018 7:36 AM
    There are so many ways that I and others are impacting deforestation.  So many of our products include ingredients that come from rainforest areas, and with increases in demand, including increasing population, rainforests are cut down, such as for palm oil in Borneo. Palm oil is included in so many processed foods.  The same goes for meat eaters and the rainforests taken down for grazing areas.  And from an overall perspective, rainforests and other areas are destroyed because of demand for fossil fuels which are found in so many places, so things like growing your own food, buying locally from local farmers and other producers, driving less and using less fossil fuels overall can help.
    Food Smaller Portions
    Fun fact: Your brain and stomach register feelings of fullness after about 20 minutes of eating. While dishing food out, we tend to load our plates with more than we need. Using smaller plates helps to mitigate this. Aside from the environmental benefits, what other benefits might come out of this?

    Joan Olawski-Stiener's avatar
    Joan Olawski-Stiener 4/25/2018 7:29 AM
    There could be some seriously good health benefits, including losing weight, feeling more energetic, and for those that have certain health issues, perhaps those issues will go away if they lose weight and exercise.  Using smaller plates helps one take less food and feel good about it.  The large plates seem to encourage us to fill them.