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October 11 - October 25, 2017
Lise Harwin's avatar

Lise Harwin

Port of Portland

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 326 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    900
    minutes
    spent exercising
  • up to
    900
    minutes
    spent outdoors

Lise's Actions

Nature

Go for a Daily Walk

I will take a 60-minute walk outside each day.

COMPLETED 15
DAILY ACTIONS

Simplicity

Go for a Daily Walk

I will take a walk each day.

COMPLETED 15
DAILY ACTIONS

Simplicity

Disconnect from Email

I will disconnect from my email when not working or studying.

COMPLETED 15
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed


  • Lise Harwin's avatar
    Lise Harwin 10/30/2017 11:11 AM
    As you know from my first post, this year I was traveling for much of the EcoChallenge, which led me to some very deliberate choices – take a walk outside (for at least 60 minutes) and try to disconnect from technology, specifically email, when not working.

    The first part was pretty easy. Part of the beauty of traveling in a new place is getting out and exploring. While in New Orleans, I admired the architecture in the Garden District, shopped along Magazine Street, popped into cafes in the French Quarter and wandered both the botanical garden and the sculpture garden in City Park. In all, I averaged about 15,000 steps a day and, given a heat index of around 96 (!) with stifling humidity, this seems like quite an accomplishment.

    Upon return to Portland, I continued my walking…though this has already been a long-standing habit. On weekends, I take a 60+ minute walk to the coffee shop for a latte and to the store for groceries. And, with the beautiful weather we’ve had recently, getting outside is no chore.

    The email thing, on the other hand…well, it was an experience.

    As I said originally, I like technology and I like being connected. You might even say that I’m addicted to knowing what’s happening at all times and being quick to respond to emails, even on nights and weekends. It’s part of my media relations DNA.

    But I really did flip the green switch on the email settings on my iPhone and turned off email for my entire trip. The only communication I had with work was one text message to my boss from the airport and one text from a colleague alerting me to Bill Wyatt’s new job. It was nice being disconnected, enjoying my vacation and not worrying about work for a change.

    Here’s the thing, though. The pro of checking your email on vacation is that you can get rid of the clutter and come back to a somewhat managed inbox. Upon my return to work, I opened my inbox to see the Outlook notification steadily grow. 100 emails…200…300…finally stopping at 441 emails. Ugh.

    Hot tip for anyone who attempts this? Sort your emails by sender and just flat out delete anything that’s a subscription, spam or regular update. This cut things by about half immediately. Then, sort by subject, which makes it easy to spot chains and leave only the latest email in the trail. Knowing this, I’m more open to going work email-free the next time I travel.

    For what it’s worth, I did leave the switch flipped through the end of the EcoChallenge, which did help me not check during off hours. Now that the challenge is done, I’ll probably switch my settings from Push to Fetch, so that I can at least check when I want to do so vs. when my phone alerts me to do so.

    All in all, it was a good EcoChallenge and I’m pleased that I managed to participate even while out of the office. I’m looking forward to turning off my email again for another quick vacation in November!

  • Lise Harwin's avatar
    Lise Harwin 10/12/2017 3:48 PM
    Getting outside and walking while traveling is easy...doing it when it’s 98% humidity is less fun. Thank goodness for gorgeous architecture and periodic stops for beignets and cafe au lait!

  • Lise Harwin's avatar
    Lise Harwin 10/10/2017 6:48 AM
    Getting ready to board a plane for vacation and took care of my first EcoChallenge to-do...literally switched off my Port email on my phone. Take that, work! (I was a little leery of turning off contacts and calendar, just in case...but I feel like Mail is the most important “simplicity” challenge.)

  • Lise Harwin's avatar
    Lise Harwin 10/08/2017 6:19 PM
    Let me start by saying this: Even though I'll be traveling during the majority of the EcoChallenge competition, I'm STILL going to participate,  to prove that being sustainable anywhere at any time isn't unrealistic.

    That said, I've been thoughtful about the challenges I've picked. Last year I opted to go sugar free. This year, knowing that part of the joy of traveling is to be able to enjoy the cuisine of the place I'm visiting...well, that's just not an option.

    Last year I also opted to purge stuff of all types on a daily basis. This year since I'll be out of town, no matter how much I'd love to declutter again, it just seemed unrealistic. I'll make a pledge to do it when I return home, even if it doesn't count in the competition.

    So, all of that said, what DID I pick?

    First, I've pledged to take a walk every day for at least 60 minutes. This should be fairly easy, as I'll be without a car for the duration of my trip and -- almost but not quite as important as food -- exploring a city on foot is my idea of a very good time. Whether it's walking for coffee in the morning, exploring museums and shops in the afternoon or finding a great bar and live music in the evening, I'm all in for walking throughout the challenge.

    Second -- and much, much, much harder for me -- is disconnecting. Yeah, I'm on vacation...this should be EASY. But if you know me at all, this is the hardest challenge I could possibly pick. I am never without my phone and one of the things I hate most is returning to work with hundreds of emails to plow through. If I check in regularly throughout a vacation, I can keep my inbox as clear as possible and forward on or respond to any important messages. It's not like working...right?

    But it is. And I'm supposed to be on vacation and not working in any way, shape or form on what is essentially my well-deserved mental health break.

    So I'm giving the simplicity challenge a shot. I'm going to turn off the "push" for my Port iOS email. Heck, I might even temporarily flip the virtual switch on the account so it doesn't even tempt me. This freaks me out a little, but it is all for a good cause -- mental health, reducing my impact and - let's be honest - kicking Metro's butt.