February 27 - March 20, 2019

Jerry Crockett

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

"I am a firm believer in keeping things fresh, using as much as I can of what I eat, and bringing people joy through food and its many mysteries. Let's be good stewards of our planet and reduce our food waste and food carbon footprint as much as possible! "

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 939 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    1
    documentaries
    watched
  • up to
    630
    minutes
    spent exercising
  • up to
    60
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    6
    locally sourced meals
    consumed
  • up to
    6
    organic meals
    consumed
  • up to
    21
    people
    helped
  • up to
    1,200
    minutes
    of additional sleep
  • up to
    11
    gallons of water
    have been saved

Jerry's Actions

Water

Install a Toilet Tank Bank

I will reduce the amount of water flushed and save up to 11 gallons (41 L) of water per day by installing a toilet tank bank.

Completed
One-Time Action

Health

Audit Toxic Cleaning Products in my Home

I will spend at least 60 minutes researching toxic chemicals found in cleaning supplies and personal care products and remove them from my home.

Completed
One-Time Action

Simplicity

Donate Unneeded Materials

I will donate unneeded materials to craft shops or places like the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse.

Completed
One-Time Action

Health

Sign Up for Air Quality Alerts

I will sign up to receive local Air Quality Alerts via EnviroFlash email notification

Completed
One-Time Action

Energy

Online Energy Audit

I will complete an online energy audit of my home, office, or dorm room and identify my next steps for saving energy.

Completed
One-Time Action

Health

Happiness

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.

COMPLETED 21
DAILY ACTIONS

Health

Go get a check up

I will make an appointment for my annual physical.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Cook New Recipes

I will cook a new recipe every day that features organic and/or local ingredients.

COMPLETED 17
DAILY ACTIONS

Health

Exercise Daily

I will exercise daily for 30 minute(s) per day for two weeks.

COMPLETED 21
DAILY ACTIONS

Nature

Try an Outdoor Recreational Activity

I will try paddling, camping, biking or another outdoor recreational activity

Completed
One-Time Action

Health

Healthy Sleep

I will commit to getting 60 more minute(s) of sleep each night to achieve at least 7 hours per night.

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Help Others

I will offer to help 1 person(s) who are in need each day.

COMPLETED 21
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant

I will use the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant finder to choose a Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant when I dine out.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Try a New Way to Prep

I will try a new method of food preparation, such as canning, pickling, or baking bread.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Watch a Documentary

I will watch a documentary film about food with family and friends and talk about what we learned.

Completed
One-Time Action

Feed


  • Jerry Crockett 3/20/2019 7:48 AM
    Congrats to making it to the last day. I hope we are all able to continue these good habits of better living in both our physical world and our internal, mental world. Regardless of what we might win or what points we might have earned, at the end of the day the more intrinsic nature of this exercise is key. It is my hope that things like this continue and branch out in ways which can reach a larger audience in SWPA. Considering some of the country's major businesses have headquarters in this city (PNC Bank, GNC, Uber, Highmark, Wesco, NexTier Bank, Westinghouse, Compunetix, UPMC, Dollar Bank, Alcoa, American Eagle, Fedex, Rue21, Calgon, Duolingo,for example), it would be great if we were able to show these groups the importance of operating at-minimum on a sustainable level. I encourage everyone to reach out to these companies (or do your own research!) and try to affect change*. 

    BTW - Giant Eagle, also HQed in Pittsburgh, happens to own its own fuel distribution group, Guttman Energy. Sheetz is another local (Johnstown/Altoona area) company. Both of these groups could be easier targets to reach and attempt to affect change*.


    *These are individual views and not derivative of other individuals, organizations, or companies mentioned herein.  

  • Jerry Crockett 3/19/2019 5:05 AM
    You can get a toilet tank bank for about five bucks online, OR you can make your own by filling a bottle or jar with water and resting it in the reservoir! Simple solutions! 

    • Jennifer Torrance 3/19/2019 8:20 AM
      That's what I did! I made one myself and managed to break my flapper in the process of installing it. I ended up replacing the DIY toilet tank bank with a better-fitting one and replacing my flapper with a less-bent one, but it was old anyway haha #sustainabilitymisadventures

    • Meghan Scanlon 3/19/2019 5:18 AM
      Question: does a toilet tank bank affect the power of each flush?

  • Jerry Crockett 3/18/2019 5:44 AM
    Yesterday, I went on a hike with a twist - it was a game of hide and seek with two very "active" (read: endlessly energetic) children which morphed into some combination of hide and seek, tag, and "dodge cone" (I escaped unscathed). The air was cold, but the sun was shining! Three more days! 

  • Jerry Crockett 3/15/2019 6:36 AM
    Happy Friday! Just five more days of the challenge....but the real challenge is carrying these habits over once we're finished! There is a true science and biological component to habit forming and habit breaking. When I was working on my first master's degree in trumpet performance, we had a seminar on myelin - it's a sheath comprised of proteins and lipids which surrounds certain nerve fibers and builds up over time to increase response time or capability for the actions associated with those nerves. That saying, "practice makes perfect," should really be, "practice makes permanent." As we move toward the end of the challenge, I'm trying to keep that in mind and turn my efforts into something real. I'm sure Dr. Maria can chime in more on myelin if you're curious. ;) 

    • Kaitlin G. 3/15/2019 6:52 AM
      It's encouraging to know that we are built to succeed at keeping good habits! You just have to keep working at it! :)

  • Jerry Crockett 3/12/2019 5:16 AM
    To those who read this - let's share our biggest cooking success! I think mine was the first time I did a mostly vegan Thanksgiving on my own! My husband and his family were the only ones who partook of the outlier (the turkey) ;) There was a wide assortment of food to feed 15: rosemary red potatoes, herbed stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, homemade orange cranberry sauce, brussels sprouts with peppercorns, butternut squash and pumpkin soup, pound cake, brioche rolls, pumpkin pie, and apple gingersnap pie! 

    Now I'm hungry... happy Tuesday! 

    • Hayden Sloan 3/13/2019 6:21 AM
      whipping up meringue by hand for a pavlova. it wasn't perfect, but I was proud of it. 

    • Maria Wheeler-Dubas 3/12/2019 1:07 PM
      Oh my golly...now I'm hungry. If you ever do a food blog, I will subscribe.

    • Meghan Scanlon 3/12/2019 12:15 PM
      I successfully made ciabatta--twice! It was fairly fussy but the end product was delicious.

    • Jennifer Torrance 3/12/2019 10:46 AM
      Great idea and wonderful post! My greatest cooking success was when I managed to home-make pumpkin pierogies with a cream sauce, potato cheddar pierogies, and a potato and kale soup. I was especially proud that I doubled the amount of kale in the soup and still got happy mumblings from my dinner guests!

    • Kaitlin G. 3/12/2019 7:42 AM
      Your food posts always make me hungry. :)

      My biggest cooking success so far is a small one, but I'm proud of it: I once recreated my grandmother's split pea and ham soup. It took a few tries for me to get the texture and taste just right, but as an amateur kitchen warrior I'll take this victory!

      Do you have a recipe for the apple gingersnap pie? It sounds amazing!

  • Jerry Crockett 3/11/2019 5:45 AM
    Happy sleepy Monday! Did you Ben Franklin was the one to originally suggest the more modern concept of DST in Paris while he was a delegate there? Its origins stem all the way back to primitive clocks, though, where were directly related to sunlight. Sundials would reflect time based on the rise and fall of the sun, so "time" in the colloquial sense would naturally adjust based on the seasons. 
    That being said, sunlight is a major source of vitamin D which helps with all sorts of processes in humans (specifically D2 and D3!). Pittsburgh had 59 days of full sun on record last year, but some foods can help! Mushrooms (crimini, portobello, and white button) all can provide some level of vitamin D and lots of other foods are fortified with it, including some brands of tofu or non dairy milk! 

    • Meghan Scanlon 3/11/2019 6:46 AM
      I was wondering this morning why we still implement DST. Waking up in the pitch dark is incredibly depressing.

  • Jerry Crockett 3/07/2019 6:54 AM
    I know for some this is fish season, but have you ever considered using jackfruit in lieu of fish? If you aren't familiar, it's a stringy fruit from the fig and breadfruit family that originates in India. The texture is comparable to pulled meat - think shredded chicken, pork, or flaky fish. It can be difficult to find it fresh in our area, but Trader Joe's does have it in a recyclable can. To prepare, you drain the water and squeeze the fruit until mostly dry. Chop it up (or pull it with your fingers if you're feeling particularly primal) and you'll soon see that familiar stringy look! From there, cook it as you would any other meat, with the knowledge in mind that it's going to cook slightly quicker the drier you make it. I've taken it and made "crab" cakes, jackfruit barbecue, and blackened with fajita spices. If you decide to try it, let me know what you make! I love to hear from others about what inspires them in the kitchen. 

    • Meghan Scanlon 3/08/2019 5:21 AM
      The jackfruit at the cafe is amazing!!

    • Maria Wheeler-Dubas 3/07/2019 7:59 AM
      I've been meaning to try jackfruit instead of pulled pork for barbecue. I like that you mentioned Trader Joe's has it in a recyclable container!

  • Jerry Crockett 3/05/2019 5:18 AM
    Laissez les bons temps rouler! Bon Mardi Gras! Today also happens to be National Pancake Day. Have you ever considered using older, less springy vegetables in a pancake? A savory pancake is a great way to change up your brinner routine while still getting a full serving of plants. Consider doing a julienned celery scallion pancake with a simple vinegar sauce on the side! If you want that sweet taste that still has some veggies in it, try adding pureed roasted beets (just adjust your batter for that extra moisture) for natural sugar and a fun natural coloring. If you're aiming for crepes, the batter should be more liquid than flour - roll them up with some shredded cabbage and hot peppers! 

    • Kaitlin G. 3/05/2019 10:19 AM
      I've learned so much from this post, including how hungry I am right now. Thanks, Jerry!

    • Meghan Scanlon 3/05/2019 5:37 AM
      I want to come to your cooking classes!!

  • Jerry Crockett 2/28/2019 9:47 AM
    I am taking a moment to encourage everyone in the challenge to make their own bread, just once! A lot of mystery and fear surrounds breadmaking, but at its simplest, the ingredients are: flour, water, sugar, yeast, and heat. I am happy to talk with anyone who wants to explore breadmaking, get some pointers, or even brainstorm some amazing flavor combos! Intimidated by yeast? Make a soda bread or baking powder bread! The natural chemical reaction from sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and dry acid (baking powder, such as cream of tartar) creates bubbles which have a leavening effect. Other natural ways to leaven bread include lamination, whisking/beating, or natural yeast (e.g., sourdough culture). Are you bready to bake some change in your life? Bread is a labor of loaf! 

  • Jerry Crockett 2/27/2019 5:56 AM
    I did my energy audit - it took less than five minutes! Have you yet? https://engage.energysavvy.com/