Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Welcome to the new semester!!! We have just started a new challenge in the house. We are calling it 10 Vegans, 10 days. Basically everyone in the house has agreed to try to be vegan for ten days. The idea is that we are going to write a blog post each day about our experiences, both good and bad. Unfortunately, we already missed the first day of blogging but we will do our best to keep everyone updated with our struggles and successes. Well, it is day two of 10 Vegans 10 days. Some have already slipped and we are all realizing how hard it is to do without cheese or eggs, especially cheese. Right now I am really craving my frozen yogurt that is in my freezer but I know I must resist. I think that best thing about this whole experience is that we are all learning our weaknesses and breaking points. Not only that, it is easier to resist all of the cravings knowing that I can have them in eight days. In fact, the timing of this challenge is perfect because there is a built in reward at the end, the Pentatonix concert! I am finding that breakfast and dinner have been fairly easy to manage when it comes to meals. However, I am personally struggling with lunches, especially ones that I have to bring to class with me. If anyone has any suggestions other than PB&J I am all ears. On to the house, some people are struggling with ignoring some of the foods that are already in their fridges so until those non-vegan foods are gone they are going “economically vegan”. Basically they are just not buying new foods that are not vegan. It is basically cheating but they are doing their best to eat as vegan-ly as possible and maybe by the end we will have all gone at least a week without dairy, eggs, or meat. I hope I can make it, those Girl Scout cookies are calling my name.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sustainability House Update: Fall 2013

Hello friends! Greetings from Luther College Sustainability House. We all apologize for the tardiness in letting you know what's up in this corner of the world but here is a little bit of what's been happening. This semester we have ten students living in the Sustainability House: Grace Gast, Calla Olson, Hannah Fisher, Marlene Weikle, Claudia Calderon, Ervin Liz, Travis Nietert, Joshua Davis, Noah Langholz, and our RA Margaret Kienitz. We had two great evenings with friends of the house Stratis Giannakouros and Andy Hageman. Both of these homemade meals were great bonding and learning experiences for our house where these men encouraged us to think outside the box and find new ways to draw people into Sustainability at Luther College. We have yet to get out into the community and participate in any outreach events but we have had a couple delightful evenings where we all went down to the Oneota Co-op and bought our groceries together. Doing this was a great way to learn about how buying certain items in bulk can really cut down on your overall cost in spending since you can make a lot of food with basic ingredients ie just buying a huge bag of flour and living off that bread for the next couple weeks. Things will be heating up the next couple weeks with Christmas at Luther preparations and finals around the bend but we have done a pretty good job of keeping cool and not wasting money on our heating bill. The best way to make this a pleasant experience has been to delve into our tea supplies and make use of the fuzziest sweaters we can find. Lately we have been discussing planting fruit-bushes in outside of the house to give back to future house members who will live here. We think that this is a great way of encouraging sustainable eating habits and promoting connectivity throughout the years here. However if you as a reader have any ideas for our house feel free to leave a comment or shoot us an email at lefse@luther.edu! Best wishes, Luther College Sustainability House

Monday, April 29, 2013

Time at Lefse

Even though I was initially worried about being off campus, living in the LEFSE house has been a great experience. Especially in terms of food! I'd never not had a meal plan before, so in the back of my mind I was slightly worried about not having the time to cook healthy meals, any meals at all (Just what I need! To starve while writing my senior paper...), or just not being able to cook well. (There was an embarrassment component to this last worry; ALL my housemates are master chefs, apparently.) However, this year has given me great confidence in my cooking skills (as well as confidence in my ability to learn to cook quickly!). And with these skills have come insights on food as well. Over the past year, I've realized how important it is to know what I'm putting into my body. I've never had unhealthy eating habits, but questions about my food generally never probed deeper than "Is this healthy?" Where does my food come from? Who's growing it? How do they grow it? These questions are just as important to ask about your food. Especially when you are concerned about the environment. :)
But reflecting on some of the practical skills I've gained this year isn't the only reason I'm appreciative of my time in the house. Living with a group of like-minded individuals has been a great breath of fresh air. It can be frustrating when you're only one of a few people in your dorm worried about how to take care of your compost, or why the heat in your building is turned up so high, or why the bathroom light was left on again. Living in the house has reminded me that there are people who care about living a more sustainable lifestyle. Apart from learning to cook with confidence, I think this is one of the greatest things I've taken away from my time in the LEFSE house. -Audrey

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Oneota Community Food Co-perative

One of my favorite resources in Decorah - and I think my housemates would agree - is the Oneota Community Food Cooperative. The Co-op makes ethical grocery shopping easy by providing labels that distinguish the source of foods (location), whether or not there are allergens (GF labels), and whether or not a product is organic. Outside of the farmers' market and "seconds" from the Luther Gardens, we cumulatively spend a lot of our grocery money at the Co-op. In the fall, I applied for money from Luther College's Wellness Fund and, on receiving the money, set-up our very own Co-op membership! Now we can buy groceries under a member-owner account and have all the benefits of owning part of the Co-op. Not only can we vote in Co-op board elections and receive a once-per-month 5% discount, we can benefit from all the monthly member-only deals. Additionally, we rotate as volunteers in order to receive a month-long discount and to more visibly participate in the Decorah community. Sometimes this means we bag groceries for customers and, at other times, it means we help with end-of-the-month inventory. Our involvement as Co-op member-owners has helped us vote with our food dollars for the food choices that we want, whether more ethical, organic or local.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dining with the Martin-Schramms

By Neto

Have you ever invited a faculty over to your house for a dinner while being an active member of the Norse family? Hmmm, I bet the answer for many students would be no. Well, lucky LEFSE team because the answer would be yes. Indeed, it has become a tradition for LEFSE dwellers to invite a faculty and his/her family over for a Sunday supper together. It’s one of the few opportunities where you can get to know your faculty and his family well and of course vice versa. While dinning over great homemade meals, a conversation is kept back and forth between everybody with topics ranging from family related, social, hobby, and even funny experiences that occur in our houses, on Luther campus, or while in tours or study abroad (i.e. music tours and J-term abroad). Admittedly, I have come to realize that this is one my favorite moments for being part of LEFSE family besides many other awesome moments we have together. 
Squash for the squash soup

Going through the ingredients
So, for this spring semester, thanks to Maddie, we managed to find a Sunday that would work for us and our guest to make this dinner happen. And that fortunate guest was Professor Jim Martin-Schramm and his wife Karen Martin-Schramm. Karen had offered to bring some appetizers while Vivek and Clara had agreed to prepare the main course for this dinner. On the other hand, I offered to make bunny barbecue that I got from Phil Marty (former LEFSE dweller). The rest of the team had agreed to do some cleaning and getting things organized before the dinner. 
Everyone at dinner

Everything went well and ready. As the clock showed 6pm, Jim and Karen too showed up. Here is another benefit inviting a faculty to your house, they would show up on time. Anyway, the main course was all ready while my bunny barbecue was still in the oven. After greeting each other, Karen put out the appetizers she brought and guess what, there were fried plantain, garbanzo beans, rice crackers, walnut-cumin mix and bean-dip. They were very good. We all enjoyed eating them, especially Tessa :p
A light conversation was taking place over the appetizers as we were waiting for some housemates getting ready. In fact, it wasn’t until 6.30 that we moved from the kitchen to the dining table. Everybody was excited and very curious to try Vivek and Clara’s food. They made naan bread, squash chilly and quinoa (plus the bunny bbq. Sorry for the vegetarians). We also had dessert made by Clara. It was vegan, gluten free brownies and since it was my first time to ever try such a brownie, it was indeed delicious.

The whole group
Front Row: Neto, Shantel, Vivek; Back Row: Karen, Maddie, Clara, Karen M.S., Tess, Jim M.S., Audrey

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Waste Reduction Ideas

Here are a few easy ways to reduce your waste (both landfill and recycling).  One easy way to reduce your use of paper products is using a cloth handkerchief rather than tissues that you throw away after every use.  Handkerchief's can easily be washed and reused.  Additionally, you can eliminate the use of paper towels and paper napkins by using rags and cloth napkins.  Rags can be bought or made from ripped up old clothes.  Old socks make great rags for dusting and cleaning.  Cloth napkins can be bought or old clothes can be used if they don't need to be fancy.  Also, make sure to use cloth hand towels and rags in the kitchen for cleaning up messes.  Another good way to reduce waste is to avoid buying packaged goods.  When grocery shopping, buy from from the bulk section and always refill your own containers.  Avoid putting your fruits/veggies in plastic produce bags.  To avoid this you can either not use a bag or mesh produce bags can be purchased and can be reused over and over again.  Also, avoid using Ziploc bags, but if you do, make sure to wash and reuse them to lower your waste, or you can buy a reusable alternative to Ziploc bags that can be washed and reused. You can also refill shampoos, soaps, etc. at many food co-ops.  This eliminates the need to buy new containers every time you need new shampoo.  Lastly, for ladies, there are several alternatives to traditional throw-away tampons and pads.  These include moon/diva cups, semi-reusable soft cupsnon-applicator tampons, cloth pads/pantiliners and sea sponges.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Little Things Matter - Clothes Drying

It can be hard to make personal lifestyle changes in order to reduce your energy consumption and thus your footprint on the world.  But, it can be even harder for many to determine what can be done to reduce their energy consumption.  When you grow up learning certain habits from your parents and those around you, it can be hard to see that there's a more energy efficient way to perform the same task.  However, once you've determined what these tasks are, it's up to you to determine if you're willing to sacrificie a little bit of your time, and a little bit of your own effort.
One simple lifestyle change is not using the clothes dryer.  The clothes dryer is one of the most energy demanding items in the house that we voluntarily choose to use.  Compared to an average clothes washer, an average dryer uses nearly 8 times as much electricity! (http://www.keysenergy.com/appliances.php)  Here at the sustainability house we were unable to convince the college to buy an energy star washer and dryer, making our washer and dryer highly inefficient commercial models.  Thus, it can make a big difference if you never use the dryer.  Also, drying clothes is hard on the clothes and can make them fall apart faster (thus leading to more waste and consumption)
A typical clothes drying rack
So, how does one go about not using the clothes dryer?  In the summer, it's really easy: hang your clothes outside!  At the Sustainability House, we're lucky enough to have an outdoor clothes line!  In the winter, it gets a little trickier, but really it's not that hard.  Clothes drying racks are inexpensive and easy to come by.  I got the two we have at the house at second hand stores for under $5.  These two racks hold nearly all of my clothes from one load of wash.  The rest of the clothes can either be hung on hangers, or on clothes lines in the house.  In my room I have a clothes line stretched across my room to hang my wet clothes on to dry during the cold months.  The clothes dry overnight, so they're never even in my way!  At my parents house we have two long clothes lines in our storage room where we can hang all of our clothes in the winter.
The clothes line in my room
These are simple ways to avoid consuming energy and it can also save a lot of money.  So, next time you wash your clothes, take a few extra minutes and hang them up rather than wasting money and electricity.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Impending Worms

A long time ago, sometime in the heart of fall semester, I thought it would be a neat - nay! - super cool idea to bring vermicomposting to the Sustainability House. Vermicomposting is a process by which organic material (food waste) is transformed into a mixture of organic fertilizer via worms! Cool huh?!

Not only would vermicompost serve as an educational component of the House (by allowing residents and visitors the chance to explore alternative means of composting), but would also serve as House pets to improve the drastically low morale of being a college student (kidding!).

I brought this idea to my housemates and, amidst the screams of adulation for my brilliance (again, kidding! ...sigh.), they thought the idea warranted serious consideration. So! We are now the proud owners of a worm bin (arrival of actual worms: TBA).

Worms are very picky creatures when it comes to their diet, and don't necessarily like everything that can go into a regular compost bin. The LEFSE House already has traditional composting, and so we will be able to feed a cleverly crafted diet of food waste that worms love while simultaneously maintaining our other, less-picky/non-living compost pile.

I'm personally really excited about pampering these impending invertebrates. They'll be just like wriggling house plants, or stationary, mood-enhancing pets that produce beautiful, nutrient-rich castings. These castings (also called vermicast, worm humus, or worm manure), as mentioned above, are the worms' end product of the breakdown of organic material, and could be used to condition the soil in the LEFSE House garden in the spring!

I'll write more when we achieve worm adoption to keep you all updated on how the little ones are settling in. :)


January Term 2013

The six of us here over January
Back Row: Clara, Audrey, Aaron ... Front Row: Luke, Shantel, Neto
Hello to Vivek, Maddie, Karen, Hans, and Tessa!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Art Installation

Taking a total of six credits worth of art history is a bad idea and should be done by no one in their right minds. Of course, if one is not in their right mind, this will invariably sound awesome. Hence the reason Hans and I nearly died of excitement when we found out there were two art history classes we could take in a semester. Between learning about Van Gogh severing and consequently mailing a portion of his ear to a woman on whom he had a crush in Nineteenth Century Art History and learning the proper technique for deconstructing the meaning if Smithson’s Spiral Jetty in Art History Methods, we got pretty burned out. That’s why, in an attempt to avoid any academic work related to art, we took a study break to go make art.

I should be clear, we did not set out deliberately to make art; however, the point remains that we did so anyway. On our way back from the parking lot, Hans and I decided it would be funny to make a snow sculpture (it was always funny when Calvin & Hobbes did it). We got to talking and decided that we would have the strongest impact, and by impact, I mean comedic value, by making a snow installation in front of our front door.

In order to legitimize and demand the preservation of our installation, we first came up with a pretty convincing meaning for our artwork:

By piling snow in front of the door, we have demonstrated how to not think about the impact that our human conveniences have upon the environment, and rather than make those considerations, we are happy to continue without changing our actions. Consequently, these actions are leading to climate change, and when climate change reaches its worst, it is all too likely that the environment will be much less favorable than it is now. As a result, the environment may very well turn on us humans and inhibit or altogether destroy the conveniences which we took for granted.

However, we weren’t sure that the rest of the house would buy it, so we placed “Do Not Touch Art Installation” signs on both sides of the door.

In looking back on the semester, events like this seem pretty common place. In the midst of diligent study, there was always fun around the corner. Hans and I finish art history only to emerge to find Clara and begin referring to her as “Carla.” Clara finishes Constitutional Law and has the rest of the house shoot Psyllium Husk. The house dynamic is so enjoyable to the point where I actually cannot wait to come back from the house at night in hopes of seeing everyone. It’s part of what made me excited for J-Term and it is making me excited for Spring Semester when everyone is finally back home.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mindfulness Workshops

We would like to thank Professor Lee Zook for leading two workshops on mindfulness with our house and a couple additional friends. In the hectic flavor of mid-semester October, we gathered for one and a half hours on two Saturdays to practice mindfulness. Sitting still for periods of time concentrating on your breath and just "being" is easier said than done. Quickly my mind filled with little distractions: an itchy toe, a midterm paper, etc. Fortunately, we practiced a few different kinds of mindfulness in order to find which practice suited each individual best. Walking mindfully while concentrating on syncing one's breath with his/her steps was very enjoyable and added a physical dimension to the traditional sitting meditation. Personally, I enjoyed practicing loving kindness meditation. We spent time considering others and changing the way we think by focusing on sending kind thoughts toward a specific individual (ourselves, a loved one, an acquaintance, and someone disagreeable). Several of us agreed our favorite practice was eating a raisin mindfully. We first studied every crease and fold in the raisin and smelled its sweet scent before setting in carefully on our tongues. Soon we were salivating, but waited until we were instructed before taking a bite and enjoying the simple burst of flavor. At our next Sunday meal together, we practiced eating our first bites of squash soup with as much care as we ate that raisin. We enjoyed sharing food more than ever with the careful consideration of and gratefulness for each flavorful bite. Lee practices meditation at Ryumonji Zen Monastery in Dorchester, Iowa. During our experience we separated the religion from the practice, but there was still a spiritual dimension to each individual's experience. We each took away something different, but there is no doubt that a little more mindfulness and simple appreciations have made our lives as students more enjoyable. 


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Family Weekend Open House

Each family weekend the house holds an open house, inviting students and their families, faculty, staff and community members to visit our house, learn about what we do and enjoy some delicious home made food.

This year we had a great turnout.  The event ran for three hours and there was never a dull moment.  People were very interested in what we were doing and it was inspiring to hear how interested people (including parents) are in our house.

It's so fun to open our home up to so many people.  We gave tours of the house showing each room as well as our garden, rain barrels, compost bins and our solar panel.  And we were able to talk to people about past projects and what we hope to do this year.

And of course, we had lots of fun together!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Close to the Kitchen

Living in our house has involved a lot of tasting and eating, but more recently, I've developed an acute sense of smell. My room lies only feet from the kitchen, so this week I slept to the smell of baked squash and birthday cake (Happy Birthday, Shantel!). I smelled the lovely aroma of coffee brewing and eggs cooking wafting beneath my door. I have learned the smell of amchur, and I've grown to love the smell of Vivek's cooking.
"Vivek, what did you put in there? It smells good."
"I put in a lot of crap."
"What is 'a lot of crap'?"
"If you go to an Indian grocery store and ask for 'a lot of crap' this is what they'll give you. I'm serious!"
I've smelled baba ganoush and tasted the garlic that remains long after devouring it. My most recent favorite was the smell of Malian peanut sauce. I've smelled banana bread, apple crisp and squash bread. I've smelled fried eggplant, baked sweet potatoes and steamed beets.  Fall harvest and time spent near the kitchen means exposure to wonderful smells, and so long as we remember to empty our compost bucket, I am sure I will enjoy it the rest of the school year!
-Clara 10/12/12

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Compost Bin

First thing at the beginning of the school year house members installed a new composting system.  Maddie, Vivek and her parents (Jay and Jody) helped build the bin.
The bins are made from used pallets collected from Luther.

Vivek, Maddie and Jay (Maddie's Dad) with the bins (almost complete)

Rain Barrels

Maddie filling up a watering can from one of the rain barrels.
Near the end of the summer of 2012 Shantel and Maddie installed two rain barrels at the house.  The rain barrels will collect water from the roof when it rains and house members will use this water to water the garden and potted plants.
The rain barrels were payed for by the Luther College Sustainability Grant Fund, for which Maddie applied.

These items were purchased for our rain barrel systems (linked to Ace Hardware pages):

Monday, June 18, 2012

House Garden

The second year for our house garden!  We have two raised beds, each divided in half, and both joined with an archway.

Ground Cherries!




Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dinner at Jon's

We had a nice dinner with Jon Jensen and his family at his house this Sunday.  Jon is our house advisor as well as the Environmental Studies department head.

Jens and Maddie in the car on the way to Jon's

From Left to Right: Jon's wife Rachel and kids, and Phil

Phil, Vivek, Jill and Jens

Matt, Ina and Emma

Emma, Kristi, Phil, Jill, Jens, Jon and kids

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Raw Milk

Several members of our house buy raw milk on a weekly basis from a farm in Minnesota.

Emma picking up the raw milk from the house (in Decorah) that collects the milk from the farm

Friday, November 18, 2011

Monitoring our Waste - Round 2

The preceding blog entry outlined our intention to reduce landfill waste together as a house in our first communal week of living bravely. The weights of compost, recycling (paper, aluminum, and plastic), and landfill waste were recorded during this week and the measurements were evaluated against our weekly base-line amount of waste, which was calculated in an audit earlier this semester. Overall, the total amount of waste; compost, recycling, and landfill, from our communal week of living bravely (32.975 lbs) was a slight 2.25% increase from our base-line (32.25 lbs). In our base-line waste audit, the predominant percentage of waste was compostable (27.00 lbs, 83.1% of total waste), and this remained true for our week of living bravely (23.6 lbs, 71.57%). Our amount of recycling increased during our week of living bravely (4.625 lbs, 14.03%) compared to our original waste audit (2.54 lbs, 7.81%) This trend suggests that house members may have made a conscious effort to use packaging that could be recycled, rather than placed in landfill waste. However, our landfill waste did increase during our week of living bravely (4.475 lbs, 14.40%) as compared to our base-line waste audit (2.96 lbs, 9.11%), a significant 51.18% increase.

Once again this raises the issue of packaging of items, mainly food products. A considerable amount of our increased landfill waste was glass (0.75 lbs), because Luther College does not collect glass with its recycling program, which collects paper, aluminum, plastic, and redeemable cans and bottles. This leaves students with the option of taking glass containers to another recycling center or throwing it into the landfill waste. However, the best alternative would be to clean and reuse the glass containers. Some ideas for reusing glass containers could include storing food or liquids, a vase for plants, a holder for writing utensils, or using a glass jar as a water glass.

We will continue to challenge ourselves, as individuals and a community, to continually make conscious decisions about the items we consume and throw out, while striving to decrease the amount of waste going to the landfill.

-Matt Wettach (House Member: Fall 2011 - present)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Communal Week of Living Bravely

As a follow up to the first individual week of living bravely, we decided to do a similar week, but with the focus on the community. A few weeks ago we did a preliminary base-line audit to measure the amount of waste produced by the house. This week we decided to challenge each other to reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill. Rather than simply avoiding the items in our pantry that would need to be thrown in the landfill, we encouraged each other to eat their pantry-good normally, but watch the packaging when purchasing new items. Additionally, we encouraged people to make a list of the items that needed to be thrown away.
The list included:
  • Bottle tops
  • Wrappers (packaged food or treats)
  • Chip or Cracker Bags
  • Ice Cream Carton
  • Meat scraps
  • Fruit Stickers
  • Non-redeemable glass jars
Ideas to limit landfill waste:
  • Buy bulk items to reduce the packaging wrappers.
  • Make art projects with bottle tops.
  • Choose ice cream cartons that come in recyclable containers.
  • Reduce the consumption of processed foods that are always packaged or food that can’t be composted.
  • Wash and reuse glass jars or take them to a place that will recycle glass.
Now these ideas might not necessarily eliminate landfill waste, but hopefully they will encourage individuals to be a bit more creative when buying food in order to limit their contribution to the landfill.

-Inga Rohde (House Member: Fall 2010 - present)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Monitoring our Waste

As house auditors Vivek and Maddie decided to conduct a house waste audit. For one week any waste leaving the house was weighed and categorized as food (compost), recycling, or landfill. At the end of the week the data was compiled and the total amount of waste for each category was calculated along with the overall total waste.

As house auditors Vivek and Maddie decided to conduct a house waste audit. For one week any waste leaving the house was weighed and categorized as food (compost), recycling, or landfill. At the end of the week the data was compiled and the total amount of waste for each category was calculated along with the overall total waste. With this information the percentage of each type of waste was determined. It was found that the total amount of waste produced was 32.5l lbs. The percentage of each category was as follows: food(compost): 83%; Recycling: 8%; Landfill: 9%.

This division of waste between categories is not bad, but this waste audit was meant to be a baseline for what the house consumes during an average week. Hopefully in the future we will be able to conduct more waste audits and lower our landfill waste. Eventually it would be nice to have a goal of a zero waste community (zero waste is generally defined as 1% landfill waste).
To see the data from our waste audit click here.

-Maddie Ford (House Member: Fall 2010 - present)

Our Members

Fall 2011 Members:
Top row (L to R): Phil, Emma, Jill, Inga; Bottom row: Maddie, Kristi, Jake, Jens, Vivek, Matt

(silly shot) Top row (L to R): Phil, Emma, Jill, Inga; Bottom row: Maddie, Kristi, Jake, Jens, Vivek, Matt

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dinner with the Jim Martin-Schramm's

We invited Jim and Karen Martin-Schramm to our house for dinner.  This summer a solar panel was installed on our property to provide electricity to the house.  The Martin-Schramm's donated this solar panel to our house, because they believed that it would be more beneficial at the Sustainability House than at their home.  This dinner was to show our appreciation for their contribution.

Jill and Jens

Jake, Jill, Karen and Jim

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Week of Living Bravely

Starting last Wednesday, our house collectively decided to participate in a “Week of Living Bravely”. Whether it was going on a certain diet (e.g. vegan, Paleolithic), using less technology, or reducing/eliminating shower time or waste, everyone tried to positively alter daily activities in order to be more environmentally-conscious, as well as live with more intentionality.

Starting last Wednesday, our house collectively decided to participate in a “Week of Living Bravely”. Whether it was going on a certain diet (e.g. vegan, Paleolithic), using less technology, or reducing/eliminating shower time or waste, everyone tried to positively alter daily activities in order to be more environmentally-conscious, as well as live with more intentionality.
Before the weeklong event began, many of us had difficulty choosing what aspect of our lives we wanted to focus on and make changes in. After much thought, I realized that I wanted to concentrate on the way I interact with others. Like many people, I feel like I rely too much on my cell phone and Facebook, constantly checking to see if I have any new texts, notifications, or messages. I knew that this experience would be a great chance to disconnect from the unnecessary technology in my life, to force me to actually seek out my friends, and to save energy as well. Initially, I assumed my goal would prove to be quite difficult; however, after merely one day, I felt independence and a freeing sensation in not being “tied down” by my phone and online social network. Throughout the week, many of my housemates had similar revelations, and we all seem eager to try another “Week of Living Bravely” in November.

-Jens Erickson (House Member: Fall 2011 - present)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Homemade Pasta

Cooking class on how to make homemade pasta hosted by Phil in our kitchen.  We were joined by Americorps worker, Elizabeth.
Elizabeth (Americorps guest) and Vivek making pasta

Inga, Phil, Vivek and Emma making pasta!
Phil Adding Eggs to Make Homemade Pasta