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Connor Upchurch's avatar

Connor Upchurch

Kitsap Conservation District

"Win for the planet"

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 810 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    5
    bags of litter
    collected
  • up to
    32
    miles
    traveled by bike
  • up to
    82
    miles
    not traveled by car
  • up to
    139
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    1
    community events
    hosted or attended
  • up to
    16
    disposable cups
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    120
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    780
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • up to
    16
    plastic bottles
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    5
    trees
    planted
  • up to
    8
    pounds
    waste composted

Connor's Actions

Nature

Plant Trees

I will plant 5 tree(s) in my community, public parks, or backyard to combat climate change and reduce stormwater impacts to Puget Sound and/or Pacific Ocean.

Completed
One-Time Action

Water

Ditch the Lawn

I will replace my lawn with a drought-tolerant landscape and save the water, money, and time I used to spend cutting the grass.

Completed
One-Time Action

Water

Eco-friendly Gardening

I will plant native species, landscape with water-efficient plants, and stop using fertilizers so my footprint in my ecosystem doesn't harm the Puget Sound and/or Pacific Ocean downstream.

Completed
One-Time Action

Water

Mulch the Base of Trees and Plants

I will prevent harmful storm-water runoff to the Puget Sound and/or Pacific Ocean and increase absorbency by mulching the base of plants and trees at my home or work.

Completed
One-Time Action

Waste

Use a Reusable Water Bottle

I will keep 2 disposable plastic bottle(s) from entering the waste stream, and downstream in Puget Sound and/or the Pacific Ocean, by using a reusable water bottle.

COMPLETED 8
DAILY ACTIONS

Waste

Pick up after my pets

I will pick up pet waste on every walk and once a week in my yard, since stormwater otherwise carries it to the Puget Sound and/or the Pacific Ocean.

COMPLETED 7
DAILY ACTIONS

Waste

Recycle Everything I Can

Contamination prevents what is recyclable from being recycled. I will research and recycle all materials that are accepted by my local haulers or drop stations in my community.

COMPLETED 2
DAILY ACTIONS

Waste

Pick up Trash

I will pick up and properly dispose of litter on a daily walk through my neighborhood, since stormwater will otherwise carry it to the Puget Sound and/or the Pacific Ocean.

COMPLETED 5
DAILY ACTIONS

Waste

Use a Reusable Mug

I will avoid sending 2 disposable cup(s) to landfills by using a reusable mug.

COMPLETED 8
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Remove invasive weeds

Recruit 2+ friends/family/neighbors and together remove invasive vegetation from our home/apartment building/neighborhood that is in a watershed upstream of downstream salmon and orcas.

Completed
One-Time Action

Waste

Compost Food Waste

I will avoid sending up to .69 lbs (.31 kg) of food waste to landfills per day by composting my food, which reduces my climate footprint ultimately helping salmon and orcas.

COMPLETED 8
DAILY ACTIONS

Nature

Do Nature Activities

I will engage in nature-based activities alone, or with my friends or family, for 30 minute(s) each day to connect with the shared ecosystem in which I live and rely on. (This can be anything from going on a walk or hike, to noticing the leaves changing color, to reading a book with nature themes.)

COMPLETED 10
DAILY ACTIONS

Nature

Start or Tend a Garden

I will tend to a garden each day, or work on starting one to keep my food local, minimize my climate carbon footprint and therefore reduce my impact to the Puget Sound and/or Pacific Ocean.

COMPLETED 8
DAILY ACTIONS

Nature

Organize a Trash Cleanup Event

I will organize a trash clean up effort with friends, family, and neighbors at my favorite local trail or salmon stream to keep trash from flowing downstream via storm drains to Puget Sound and/or Pacific Ocean.

Completed
One-Time Action

Transportation

Drive Less

I will cut my car trip mileage by only taking necessary trips thus avoid sending exhaust particles and tire pollution into stormwater that impacts Orca and salmon health.

COMPLETED 5
DAILY ACTIONS

Transportation

Go by Bike

I will commute by bike 16 mile(s) per day and avoid sending up to 26.44 lbs of CO2 into Earth's atmosphere AND avoid sending exhaust particles and tire pollution into stormwater that impacts Orca and salmon health.

COMPLETED 2
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Meet My Local Farmers

I will visit my nearest Puget Sound farm to learn about locally produced food and the quality of life of all involved in producing it to make better choices for Puget Sound when I shop.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Food

Learn More about Food Deserts

I will spend 60 minutes learning about food deserts and find out how I can advocate for healthy and fresh Puget Sound food in my region.

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Depave my Community

I will look for areas of excess pavement in my community that can be converted into greenspace that helps downstream salmon and orcas, and bring my community together to start planning a depave project.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Feed

  • Reflection Question
    Water Mulch the Base of Trees and Plants
    Where are your nearest natural bodies of water? How might they be affected by runoff?

    Connor Upchurch's avatar
    Connor Upchurch 11/05/2020 7:09 PM
    I live in the Chico Creek watershed in central Kitsap, which empties to Dyes Inlet (Puget Sound). Chico is across the road from me, approximately 150 yards away, though a seasonal stream passes closer to my home on the opposite side. This seasonal stream is a tributary to Chico, with the confluence a quarter mile East of my property. Runoff can contribute sediment and fecal coliform, as well as roadway pollutants like copper and oil to these salmon-bearing streams. Runoff can also raise stream temperatures to unlivable conditions for fish and other stream critters (benthic invertebrates). 
  • Reflection Question
    Water Ditch the Lawn
    What is the main water source in your region?

    Connor Upchurch's avatar
    Connor Upchurch 11/05/2020 6:42 PM
    Surface and ground water from precipitation. Kitsap County, I believe, is only 1 of 3 in WA state that receives no contribution of freshwater from mountain snowpack. Wells supply most municipalities and residences; however, Bremerton is uniquely supplied by a majority of surface water from the Union River reservoir. 
  • Reflection Question
    Water Eco-friendly Gardening
    What are the most prominent water concerns in your area? Examples include drought, flooding, pollution, access, security, and privatization.

    Connor Upchurch's avatar
    Connor Upchurch 11/05/2020 6:15 PM
    (Quantity) Groundwater is in demand. Because Kitsap County relies on rainfall only for aquifer recharge and stream flows (no snowpack), conservation of freshwater is critical. This is not only for human use; summer stream flow  during our region's dry months is sustained by groundwater seep/percolation. Without sustained flows, salmon cannot survive their freshwater journeys. 
    (Quality) Additionally, pollution is of great concern in our freshwater bodies, and consequently, the surrounding estuarine environments and nearshore habitats (i.e. shellfish grounds). 

  • Connor Upchurch's avatar
    Connor Upchurch 11/05/2020 6:06 PM
    The challenge doesn't end because the points do; keep on fighting the good fight. 

  • Connor Upchurch's avatar
    Connor Upchurch 11/04/2020 12:32 PM
    Cover bare earth with mulch, such as arborist wood chips or fallen leaves, to promote soil health and prevent erosion. Don't have a mulch source? Fall is the time to find folks trying to get rid of fallen leaves. Even better, arborists and landscapers are often looking for an alternative to taking their wood chips to the dump (what a shame...) and would be happy to drop them at your location, instead! 
    Sign up for this free service and get your own woodchips!                  https://getchipdrop.com
  • Reflection Question
    Food Learn More about Food Deserts
    What are the implications of access to nutritious food for a community?

    Connor Upchurch's avatar
    Connor Upchurch 11/04/2020 12:23 PM
    Children without access to nutritious foods and primarily relying on heavily processed food items may not even be able to identify common fruits and vegetables. Ultimately, when presented with the opportunity to purchase and consume fresh produce, these younger people (maybe adults now) will not be familiar enough with healthy ingredients to choose them over the heavily processed diet they are accustomed to. It is a perpetuating cycle  that inevitably leads to deteriorating health as one grows older. 
  • Reflection Question
    Transportation Drive Less
    How has your access to various kinds of transportation throughout your life influenced your current attitudes about transportation and your transportation behavior?

    Connor Upchurch's avatar
    Connor Upchurch 11/03/2020 4:02 PM
    I grew up, like many, relying on a privately-owned vehicle (POV) to get me from place to place. Our national infrastructure has been designed around the highway and the car. Now, I'm happy to live only 8 miles from work; many days I commute on my bicycle. Nonetheless, errands & shopping still require me to drive. I support the development of mixed-use communities and transition to cleaner transportation. 
     https://www.cnu.org/resources/what-new-urbanism
  • Reflection Question
    Waste Recycle Everything I Can
    What have you learned about what is accepted by local haulers for recycling, what you can drop off or ship to certain places, and what is not recyclable in your area? What is the most difficult part of recycling for you?

    Connor Upchurch's avatar
    Connor Upchurch 11/03/2020 12:54 PM
    Over the last five years, I've spent countless hours researching local (and even national) recycling options. While many "waste" streams do have recycling options, I have been disappointed to find that a number of our most common disposables (clam shell packaging and other thermoform plastics!!!) are not accepted in Kitsap. I believe King County does accept the clam shells in curbside recycling, but that doesn't solve our issue on the peninsula. This has been the most difficult part of my recycling initiatives - trying to find facilities that will accept these common items. I was happy to discover that Terracycle, a national and now global company (out of NJ), offers dozens of recycling options for conventional and nonconventional items. I send in all of my empty dog food bags to them for free! Guaranteed to be recycled, not dumped in the ocean or in other countries!
    https://www.terracycle.com/en-US

    #RecycleEverything
  • Reflection Question
    Waste Use a Reusable Water Bottle
    While water bottles are needed for health and safety in certain places, we can do more to reduce the unnecessary use of them. What are the barriers to you using reusable bottles and tap water instead of bottled water? How could you make this a permanent habit?

    Connor Upchurch's avatar
    Connor Upchurch 11/03/2020 11:47 AM
    I am fortunate to have tasty well water at home and, as a backpacker, long ago became used to carrying a reusable water bottle. If I travel, I always bring my water bottle with me. When flying, TSA allows empty water bottles on the planes. For me, making this a permanent habit comes down to planning. Just as you pack a lunch or make sure to grab your wallet, don't forget the water bottle! If your tap water doesn't taste great, you can buy a relatively cheap filter for your faucet or add some lemon/flavor drops to it. 

  • Connor Upchurch's avatar
    Connor Upchurch 10/31/2020 11:08 PM
    Nice weather today for garden work. Finished my second to last raised bed and harvested some seed. The cosmos are still blooming strong with some remnant lacy phacelia and the remaining bumblebees were all over them!