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October 11 - October 25, 2017
Ryan Gannon's avatar

Ryan Gannon

PCC SOC 228 Environmental Sociology

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 274 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    not spent in front of a screen
  • up to
    gallons of water
    have been saved
  • up to
    spent exercising

Ryan's Actions


Less Screen Time

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



Go for a Daily Walk

I will take a walk each day.



Exercise Daily

I will exercise daily for 20 minute(s) per day for two weeks.



Brush My Teeth Without Running Water

I will save up to 8 gallons (30 L) of water each day by turning it off while brushing my teeth.



Plant an Herb Garden

I will plant an herb garden in my home, workplace, or dorm room.

One-Time Action


  • Ryan Gannon's avatar
    Ryan Gannon 10/25/2017 11:07 PM
    Final day of the ecochallenge! Great work everyone. I know that this experience has helped me to commit to developing a more sustainable lifestyle. I find this to be a great tool for change and I'd be happy to take the challenge again. Every day for nearly two weeks I have walked at least 2 more miles than usual; I waste less water; I take more time to enjoy nature--all of these shifts have been helpful individually, but they also affect the world at large. Taking this mindset into consideration more often will help us better understand the true impacts of our decisions.

  • Ryan Gannon's avatar
    Ryan Gannon 10/24/2017 10:08 PM
    Have pretty much made a 2 mile walk part of my daily routine, yes! Feels great. It's incredible to see that in a mere 2 weeks, by not running the water as I brush my teeth, about 96 gallons of water have been saved. This is especially profound when I see that running water--healthy water, for that matter--is not so readily available as I find it to be in the US. It doesn't feel "enough" to just save water. I wish I could give what water I don't use to others who need it. Though I live below the poverty line, I feel so fortunate compared to others. With that in mind, I think everybody should try this challenge at least once and take time to reflect on lifestyles and consumption habits.

  • Ryan Gannon's avatar
    Ryan Gannon 10/24/2017 10:04 AM
    I did not post yesterday, but I'll share a bit about how I handled the challenges yesterday and what additional activities I engaged in. I took an especially long walk home, at a leisurely pace, and spent about 1:30 hour wandering through the local parks, the local businesses in my area, and took extra time to enjoy nature and the sun. When I got home, I didn't go straight to homework--I was determined to savor the sun and spend as much time outdoors as I could. I spent the same amount of time walking as I did in our little patio garden (maybe I'll share pictures) and began transitioning from our summer crops to our fall crops. I loved every second of it. It was healing, frankly, to have my arms steeped in soil and work toward providing life to these new plants. I hope to give them the best chance possible. We don't get a whole lot of veggies from our small operation but it's the practice of gardening, the process, that I find the most affirming. All other challenges went great--they are becoming second-nature, thankfully!

  • Ryan Gannon's avatar
    Ryan Gannon 10/22/2017 10:30 PM
    I accomplished all of my goals today!... except one. I did not get as much time away from the screens as I would have liked, since we're approaching midterms, but I did make a point (after a three hour homework session) to get outside and walk with my partner for a mile or so. It was absolutely necessary today because I was feeling pretty overwhelmed. I'm so glad to have a park just down the road. There, we have a little sample of nature. I cherish that contact, especially when I consider that there are many other people who don't get to enjoy such a privilege.

  • Ryan Gannon's avatar
    Ryan Gannon 10/21/2017 10:43 PM
    Went out for a good long walk in spite of the weather, really enjoyed it. We took a trip to a local garden center we buy all of our plants from and stuck around to learn a few gardening tips from the pros. We talked about the season--the sudden transition from an unusually hot September to such a cold, wet October--and the side-effects of it. Our tomato looks a bit beat up... I found myself feeling sad about the end of the season and the natural decay of the garden I'd poured love into. At the end of the day, it's contributing to the cycle of life and providing a plant a safe place to thrive in its peak season that brings me joy and makes me look forward to next year's growing season. It's been a good year for our little garden, so I'm happy enough I suppose. :)

  • Ryan Gannon's avatar
    Ryan Gannon 10/20/2017 10:16 PM
    Took a nice walk through downtown Portland this morning. The wind and rain were intense from time to time but in ways, that made the walk more exciting than it would've been otherwise. It's nice to watch as the shrubs and trees soak the rain in after such a dry, warm summer. The older I become, the more important it seems to be that I pause to take notice of the seasons' changes and live in harmony with them--I think there's something to love in each.

  • Ryan Gannon's avatar
    Ryan Gannon 10/19/2017 9:48 PM
    Staying on top of the exercise goal and aiming to balance out the more intense routines with gentle stretches at the end of the day. It seems that I'm finding a rhythm and by having this daily goal to set my sights on, I feel even especially accountable for whether I achieve my goals or not. So far, the goals have helped to keep my efforts consistent. I've made a point of trying to take time when either going to away or coming home to look up at my surroundings. The trees and their leaves, the sky and cloud formations, the crows and squirrels in the neighborhood--all are grounding forces for me, and I always find this time well-spent. It's a helpful reminder, especially on the more stressful days, that life is bigger than the frustrating things that  might happen at work or home or school. Life is incredible and most days, a short walk through the wooded park is enough to affirm it.

  • Ryan Gannon's avatar
    Ryan Gannon 10/17/2017 1:31 PM
    Well, today I went much further than yesterday--perhaps a bit too far. I walked for about an hour straight, which aggravated my back injury, but it was reassuring to know that I could still walk for this long. The hardest part of not exercising is feeling like you just can't; this will keep you from pushing yourself when your body and mind need the challenge. This, for me, is a problem with the final phase of systems thinking: Application. I know that exercise is generally good for me. I even have certain exercises lined out that, in theory, are well-suited to help me recover more thoroughly from this injury. Some of these exercises work and some don't--inevitably, I have to test these exercises to see what works best for me, because not all bodies respond and act the same. It's literally an uphill climb and I'm slowly learning what my personal pace is.

  • Ryan Gannon's avatar
    Ryan Gannon 10/16/2017 9:44 PM
    One more day, 16 more gallons saved!

  • Ryan Gannon's avatar
    Ryan Gannon 10/16/2017 9:43 PM
    Today, instead of taking the bus from the transit center, I decided to walk the rest of the way home. In total, it was between 1-2 miles and took about 20-25 minutes but it felt much shorter. The weather was incredible. After being indoors in front of a screen all day, it was calming to be active at a leisurely pace. It helped clear my head of the day's stresses so that I could focus on enjoying the time I have. Overall, this walk contributed greatly to my sense of calm, satisfaction, and accomplishment.