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Madison Elick's avatar

Madison Elick

Sustainability in Action


  • 0 TODAY
  • 1,269 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    disposable cups
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    gallons of water
    have been saved
  • UP TO
    meatless or vegan meals
  • UP TO
    plastic bottles
    not sent to the landfill

Madison's actions


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.



Turn it off

I will keep lights, electronics, and appliances turned off when not using them.



Explore Campus Nature

I will spend time getting acquainted with the nature on or near my campus.



Use a Reusable Water Bottle

I will keep 2 disposable plastic bottle(s) from entering the waste stream by using a reusable water bottle.



Eat Meatless Meals

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



Use a Reusable Mug

I will avoid sending 1 disposable cup(s) to the landfill per day by using a reusable mug.



Reduce Dining Hall Waste

I will carefully fill my plate in the dining hall and take only what I can eat. I'll also inquire about ways to improve composting and use of recyclable foodware.



Avoid Disposables

I will not use any disposable plates, cups, or cutlery.


Participant 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?

  • Madison Elick's avatar
    Madison Elick 12/03/2017 6:46 PM
    This week I decided to look into what gifts would be good to buy for family and friends for Christmas. Specifically, I was looking into fair trade and socially-minded companies to buy from. There definitely were a lot of options out there, but the issue was price. As we have talked about in class, there always seems to be a higher price tag on products and/or services that come from those types of companies. But I am determined to find the best things -- and maybe not actual "things" -- to give this Christmas, while remaining committed to ethical and sustainable companies. 

    • Sabrinna Alonso's avatar
      Sabrinna Alonso 12/04/2017 12:42 PM
      Something I have learned to appreciate as I have gotten older is receiving experiences rather than actual gifts! This can be setting up a sunset picnic with friends or going on a sunrise hike. I have found that those experiences are what I remember most!

    • Harry Watkins's avatar
      Harry Watkins 12/04/2017 8:01 AM
      Madison, I think you have identified a great point here. Why "buy" things at all?  Why not think about baking cookies, or making other things as gifts....or giving the gift of your time....or giving to Plant with Purpose etc. in the names of your loved ones. Your loving presence is the best present of all!

  • Madison Elick's avatar
    Madison Elick 11/26/2017 11:40 PM
    This week I really focused on talking to people about what I am doing for this class and why. This was a focus of mine because it was also a heavily family-oriented week as it was Thanksgiving. This gave a lot of space to talk about sustainability issues with my family and it had a great impact on my belief as well . 

    • Harry Watkins's avatar
      Harry Watkins 12/03/2017 3:25 PM
      It is really coll that you talked with your family about our work together, Madison! Well done!

  • Madison Elick's avatar
    Madison Elick 11/20/2017 6:47 AM
    This week I have really tried to be conscious of how often I use single-use plastic, styrofoam, etc. at restaurants and things like that. I have expressed concerns with friends about this and we all agree that, like reusable bags, some sort of change is going to come soon. I just wish it was more normalized to bring your own tupperware or whatever into a restaurant to get take-out. 

  • Madison Elick's avatar
    Madison Elick 11/12/2017 7:53 AM
    This week I was really more conscious of how much stuff I have. It used to be easy for me to give into the idea that I always need something new. Often times this would come from a place of seeking to feel better or something through attaining more stuff. I am learning to seek satisfaction in other ways, how to give away some of my stuff, and live simpler. 

    • Megan Clynes's avatar
      Megan Clynes 11/12/2017 9:38 AM
      I have trying to do this too. Oftentimes I would go out shopping to reward myself or make myself feel better but I have been trying to avoid that and find joy in what I already have.

  • Madison Elick's avatar
    Madison Elick 11/05/2017 11:05 AM
    Something I have tried to be more aware of this week was how often I have the lights turned on. I have realized the value of using just natural light, as it helps me be in a calmer state and also uses less electricity. A struggle in that comes from living in a shared living space, where roommates/hallmates might not have the same priorities. 

    • Erla Teli's avatar
      Erla Teli 11/05/2017 8:37 PM
      I definitely relate! I have 6 roommates and we live in a fairly large home, most of us with boyfriends/family members in the area that frequently visit. There's never a shortage of people over! I've actually found myself returning from class most Mondays and having conversations with my roommates about what I've learned. I would suggest maybe doing this and seeing if you can spark their interests. I have a few of my roommates strongly considering starting to compost at our house!

  • Madison Elick's avatar
    Madison Elick 10/29/2017 8:19 AM
    This week I was really challenged to face how much food I got on my plate in the caf. For me it has never been something on my radar, but after taking this class my eyes have been open to the issue of food waste. I started getting smaller portions and then going back for seconds, as opposed to just piling my plate with food the first time. I have noticed a difference and usually eat all of the food on my plate! 

    • Megan Clynes's avatar
      Megan Clynes 10/29/2017 8:52 PM
      I have been trying to do this too! Sometimes my eyes are bigger than my stomach so I have been trying to keep that in mind and not get quite as much initially.

    • Harry Watkins's avatar
      Harry Watkins 10/29/2017 7:48 PM
      That is very cool, Madison! I'm trying to slow down my eating so that my head can catch up with my stomach - so I realize when I'm actually full. Your small plate trick helps with this I think.

  • Madison Elick's avatar
    Madison Elick 10/21/2017 7:45 PM
    This week I started carrying a reusable mug around with me. Not only did it lessen my waste, but it also saved a few cents! It's about 10 cents saved each time you bring your own mug, which doesn't seem like a lot; but if your coffee consumption is like mine, it definitely makes a difference in the long run. I keep a mug in my car and then started carrying one with me in my backpack, and it has made it easy to use. My problem before was that I always forgot to bring them (same with reusable bags) but after time it becomes more normal and a lot easier! 

    • Sabrinna Alonso's avatar
      Sabrinna Alonso 10/22/2017 11:15 PM
      That is awesome Madison, you're right about it being like the plastic bag. At first I too would always forget mine but now I am in the habit of always carrying one with me. I am also going to challenge myself to carry around a reusable mug!

  • Madison Elick's avatar
    Madison Elick 10/15/2017 1:59 AM
    This week I challenged myself to take shorter showers. I grew up always taking the longest showers and not really caring much, but I think something that influenced me to change was realizing how much water flows out of a shower head in one minute. It blew me away, and really made me want to change. For me, shorter showers meant maybe putting the water colder or giving myself only a certain amount of time, like Emma mentioned in class. I feel -- as we take a lot of showers in our life time -- this could make a huge difference even if you committed to change a couple times per week. 

    • Harry Watkins's avatar
      Harry Watkins 10/15/2017 2:41 PM
      I've worked on this for a long time, Madison. I grant myself license to do a long shower one day a week. It helps me be more 
      'virtuous" the rest of the week.

  • Madison Elick's avatar
    Madison Elick 10/07/2017 5:55 PM
    This week I was really trying to be more conscious of my energy use. Because of all of the things we talked about in class on Monday, I found this to be important to be aware of. I was sitting in my room thinking of everything that I had plugged in, and how it's always plugged in. I began feeling very wasteful and began unplugging things when I wasn't using them. I have also been more aware of my waste when it comes to getting/ordering food, too. 

  • Madison Elick's avatar
    Madison Elick 10/01/2017 9:36 PM
    This week, I broke my three-meal-a-day vegetarian diet and had meat for one meal. I was at a catered dinner and there was no other option for a substantial meal, and safe to say my body has adapted to my non-meat consumption. I also didn't like it as much, either. Kind of interesting how our bodies can sense more than we do. 

    • brittany eggert's avatar
      brittany eggert 10/02/2017 5:01 PM
      Same thing happened to me @ the Plant with Purpose gala ! It's cool how we can learn a lot if we listen to our bodies !