October 11 - October 25, 2017

Gemma Laser

Antioch New England & Friends

"Rooting Reverence of the Heart"

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 590 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    meatless or vegan meals
  • up to
    spent outdoors

Gemma's Actions


Eat Meatless Meals

I will enjoy 3 meatless meal(s) per day.



Animal Free Diet

I will adopt a diet free of animal products.



Avoid refined sugar

I will adopt a diet free of refined sugars, which eliminates sweetened beverages, candy, and processed foods.



Eat Mindfully

I will eat all of my meals without distractions, e.g., phone, computer, TV, or newspaper.



Explore My Area

I will explore at least one new hiking trail or nature walk in my area.

One-Time Action


Practice Gratitude for Earth

I will spend 10 minute(s) per day outside, practicing gratitude (prayer, meditation, journaling, etc.) for Earth and the nature surrounding me.




I will write down three things every day for two weeks that I am grateful for, or send one email every day thanking or praising someone.


Create Your Own Action

Smelling the Earth

Every day I will put my face in the grass to smell the earth! I used to do this when I was a child and I mean to do it more. I just don't very often. It's a personal challenge to ground myself in a practice that connects me to reverence, gratitude and awareness of interbeing.



  • Gemma Laser 10/25/2017 5:59 AM
    *Happy final day of EcoChallenge2017* A fun note: our teammate Luciana is single handedly responsible for over 6% of the total number of phone calls made to elected officials by over 12,000 EcoChallengers so far! Granted I think many more folks (including myself) should take on that challenge next year to get the grand total up, but Luciana stepped forward this year and made a real impact. Well done!!

  • Gemma Laser 10/23/2017 6:28 PM
    Grateful for the practice of writing down gratitudes. Am going to try to keep that going post challenge!

  • Gemma Laser 10/21/2017 8:36 PM
    Missed my vegan & refined sugar challenges for the first time. Was at my sister's annual pumpkin carving and eventually gave in to the traditional artichoke dip. Once that happened pumpkin pie followed. I actually was wondering how this day would go as I knew it would be in the middle of the challenge. It would have been nice to make it all the way through, but 10 days doesn't feel bad. And we'll be back to it tomorrow!

  • Gemma Laser 10/20/2017 8:02 PM
    Got our regular sweet potato, slaw burritos at Odelay but without the queso fresco. Couldn't even tell the difference! Am really grateful to have taken on the vegan challenge. And while I've "missed" two days of completely mindful eating I've only missed one meal each of those days. It has also been so good to get back into that habit!

  • Gemma Laser 10/18/2017 6:58 AM
    Breathing with the intraconnections of all beings within one living body of existence. Feeling deep connection to gratitude and our shared ancestors reflecting on the brand new birth of my cousin's son! My cousin is actually here on the EcoChallenge team with us making this a special place for these ruminations. Love and learning flowing through us all, ring by ring in the growing tree of life. Time and space matter not. Thanks Walt Whitman, thank you Rachel, Isaac, Robert, Betty, Cathy and all those whose names our minds have forgotten. Our hearts remember and welcome Elijah into every generation!

  • Gemma Laser 10/17/2017 2:35 PM
    Great to see some new folks checking in and sharing their challenge accomplishments with the team! Hooray!! Keep it up friends :)

  • Gemma Laser 10/16/2017 8:42 PM
    My vegan post is long overdue, though now I have more to report on. I was really nervous about this challenge. It definitely felt like the "big" one, but it is going so well with not much difficulty at all! Highlights: CHICKPEA FRITTERS; roasted pumpkin wedges; leek, corn, bean burritos with cashew/nutritional yeast "cheese" sauce, roasted sweet potato and kale chips; dill/curry tofu scramble; homemade hummus more often; more roasted sweet potatoes; some cashew butter toasts and an impressive almond milk/chive spread. I've been surprised at how comfort foody it's been! *Sigh of relief* Definitely helps to have someone who can be cooking a lot (gratitude = Rurik) but it's also been a setting of intention and reorienting of what one takes for granted eating. Having the hummus and/or almond/chive spread has been good salty protein for breakfast to go with fruit. That was one of the meals I was most nervous about, as I generally have egg or cheese as morning protein. Looking forward to trying suggested eggplant pizza. Did I mention chickpea fritters?? With scallions...Mmmmmmm.

  • Gemma Laser 10/15/2017 8:05 PM
    Just came in from lying in the misty night to get my gratitude for earth challenge in for today. Going out at night is a first for this challenge and more unusual for me in general. So glad I did! Feeling great gratitude for cool breezes, rain and the mists. (P.S. vegan challenge is going so well after I was feeling so nervous! more updates on that front forthcoming)

  • Gemma Laser 10/12/2017 5:00 PM
    It's been a long day for me, but coming home and reading your posts and seeing challenges completed has brought a beautiful boost to my energies! Keep checking in and logging your actions so we can celebrate our collective power. Thanks for boosting my spirits everyone!

  • Gemma Laser 10/11/2017 6:41 AM
    Wow, smelling the earth was wonderful!! I created my own challenge to "smell the earth" each day. This is something I remember doing a lot, kind of by accident, when I was quite young and lower to the ground :) Well now it is one of my daily challenges and it has gotten my day off to such an enlivening start! (Except now I really don't want to sit back down in front of a computer to do research...) The grass was very wet this morning and, thus, so was my face. I found myself kind of overthinking for the first time while having my nose pressed to the earth so that was interesting in its own way. 

    But when I stood up! I all of a sudden heard a bird song I don't remember ever hearing before, followed by other birds and sounds of the lawn, fields and trees. The air smelled so good and my senses felt so awake. It was a wonderful way to get myself outside and connecting to the earth early in my day! I thought about how I consider myself to be a person connected to the outside but then how many days go by, the majority actually, when I don't actually GO outside and interact directly with plants, the soil, etc. I'm not counting just getting in the car to drive or go to work/school and then basically coming right back in. Also, even days I walk or sit outside I think something about getting my face next to earth changes and deepens my connection. Wahooooo! Increased connection to earth...it's always possible for all of us :) What a beautiful start. Thank you for sharing.

    • Julie Loosigian 10/16/2017 1:19 PM
      Gemma! This is amazing!! Picturing your sweet face encountering wet grass just made my day. When most people I know would do almost anything before putting their face in wet grass, you do it willingly and find great joy there. I just want to grab your coattails and follow you around. I'm so happy I've met you. <3