George Mason University in Virginia has a 57 person EcoChallenge team taking on actions pertaining to sustainable food, trash reduction, energy efficiency and more. (*Way to go George Mason!) Lauren Savaglio, a professor of Public Health, is focusing on sustainable food options. The following are some of her commitments and reflections from her blog:

“One of my specialities is environmental health, in particular food security and sustainability. As much as I am informed and educated, there is always more for me to do to help achieve food sustainability within my own household. Just yesterday as part of one of my classes, we visited a local ecoganic vegetable farm to tour and learn about the process growing food. I feel it’s extremely important to reach out and know who is producing our food and how they are producing it. It is larger than just running to the store and grabbing the easiest thing.

My specific goals for the challenge are to:

  • Purchase ALL my food from the local farmers market…no running to the grocery store to supplement.
  • Purchase ONLY organic/ecoganic foods from the farmers market.
  • Commit to farm tour dates next semester for all my classes.
  • No eating out at all (not even grabbing a bagel for breakfast). Cooking all my meals and snacks at home, where I control the ingredients and production.
  • I eat fish once a week (no meat otherwise), so I will only chose fish that has been sustainably raised…again from the farmers market only…”

You can also learn more about Lauren’s sustainable food actions by visiting her blog at

Rick Holt, also at GMU, is committed to using alternative modes of transport to get to work (in lieu of driving alone), teleworking once a week, powering down the office, collecting rain water, gardening, using reusable mugs and bringing his own bags when shopping- and skipping bottled water! He logged the following on his EcoChallenge blog:

“Rode my bike to work today. It was a little cold at the start, 52F, but warmed up when the sun came up. 20 miles, 90 minutes, of great exercise. No money spent on gasoline, reduced CO2 emissions and got some great exercise. Five minute shower at work. Using a reusable water bottle and coffee mug today.” 

Thank you Rick, Lauren and GMU participants for demonstrating how individual actions add up to meaningful change!