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Carol Armstrong's avatar

Carol Armstrong

L.A. Zoo Team Angeleno Plastic Eliminators (Team APE)

"Please join me and eliminate plastic from the sea!"

POINTS TOTAL

  • 40 TODAY
  • 335 THIS WEEK
  • 1,875 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    6
    conversations
    with people
  • UP TO
    89
    minutes
    spent learning
  • UP TO
    133
    pieces of litter
    picked up
  • UP TO
    975
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • UP TO
    15
    pounds
    waste avoided

Carol's actions

Kitchen

Use What You Have

The only thing worse than a single-use item is a zero-use item! I will use (and use up) what I already have in my home before buying something new.

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Go For a Walk

Science has shown that focused time in nature calms our over-worked frontal lobe and gives space for the areas of our brain associated with emotions, pleasure, and empathy to take over, providing a sense of calm that is measurable in brain scans and even blood tests. Each day this month, I will spend 30 minutes outside in nature, and share my observations, reflections, and learnings on the Participant Feed.

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Keep My Community Clean

In addition to refusing and reducing my consumption of single-use plastics, I will pick up 5 piece(s) of litter each day of the Plastic Free Ecochallenge.

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Learn about Environmental Justice

Using the action resource links below, my family will spend 60 minutes learning about environmental justice, causes of environmental injustice, and how plastic waste disproportionately impacts already vulnerable communities.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Family + Pets

Balloons Blow

Although a long-standing festive tradition, balloons are harmful for animals and the environment. I will spend 30 learning about the dangers of balloons and find eco-friendly alternatives to use instead.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Study

Dig into Bioplastics

I will spend at least 60 minutes researching the impacts of bioplastics and how to properly dispose of them in my city, and I will share this information with 6 friends, family, and/or colleagues.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Study

Greenwashing Pro

Greenwashing can fool even the most experienced eco-advocate. This month, I will spend 60 minutes learning what greenwashing is, how to spot it, and what I can do about it.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Study

Investigate Oil Subsidies

Our tax dollars are subsidizing the fossil fuel industry, making the cost of plastics artificially low and encouraging further plastics production. I will spend 60 minutes learning about oil subsidies and how I can advocate for their elimination.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Study

Learn about Plastic Production

Plastic production, not just disposal, pollutes communities and harms people. I will learn about the impacts of plastic production on humans, animals, communities, and the environment.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Study

Borrowed Books

The average paperback book has the same carbon footprint of driving about 7 miles (11 km) in an average car. Instead of purchasing new books this month, I will borrow books, e-books, and/or audiobooks from my local library or library-affiliated apps, or host a book swap with my friends.

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Study

Estimate Your Ecological Footprint

I will calculate my ecological footprint, and from the results brainstorm and take action on ways I can reduce my annual footprint.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bedroom

Practice Sustainable Fashion

I will spend 60 minutes learning about the costs of fast fashion and begin trying to practice sustainable fashion in my own life.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bedroom

Recycling Textiles

Every single textile ever made will, at some point, become worn out - and dealing with that waste costs millions of tax dollars every year. I will spend 60 minutes learning about the different types of textile recycling and creating a plan for what I'll do with my clothes and other textiles when they are too worn out to use anymore.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bedroom

Declutter Sustainably

While it can be tempting to throw away (or drop off at Goodwill) any and everything that no longer brings us joy, there are so many options that are better for the planet! This month, I will declutter my home and properly dispose or re-home the things I no longer want.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Kitchen

Embrace Imperfection

Eliminating 100% of all plastic from our lives simply isn't possible. Throughout this month, I will embrace imperfection in my plastic-free journey while exploring and testing new ways to reduce my plastic footprint.

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Kitchen

Take the pre-survey!

Help us make the Plastic Free Ecochallenge the best it can be! Take the challenge pre-survey (and look out for the post-survey at the end of the challenge!) so we can better understand the impact the challenge has and how we can improve in the future. Plus, you'll earn points for completing it! Thank you!

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

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?

  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Study Dig into Bioplastics
    What did you learn about bioplastic production and disposal? Did anything surprise you? Are bioplastics accepted by your city's waste management?

    Carol Armstrong's avatar
    Carol Armstrong 7/16/2024 3:02 PM
    An April 16, 2024 article in NATURE indicated that, "bioplastics currently account for only about 1% of the total global market share of plastics — a sobering statistic for one of the most promising (technical) solutions to tackling plastics pollution" and that, "for bioplastics to make a real impact in the transition to a more circular and sustainable plastics economy, complex challenges spanning technology, policy, infrastructure and public awareness need to be addressed.” See: The multifaceted challenges of bioplastics | Nature Reviews Bioengineering

  • Carol Armstrong's avatar
    Carol Armstrong 7/16/2024 2:52 PM
    Did you know that the City of L.A. has adopted several ordinances, introducing new articles to Chapter XIX in the Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) to ban or restrict the citywide use of specific single-use plastic items? See:
    ● Article 2 (Carryout Bags) (Ordinance no. 182,604);
    ● Article 2.1 (Promotion of Reusable Bags and Regulation of the Use of Plastic and Paper Single-Use Carryout Bags at Apparel Stores, Farmer’s Markets, Food or Beverage Facilities, Hardware Stores, and Open Air Markets) (Ordinance no. 187,716);
    ● Article 3 (Disposable Foodware Accessories and Plastic Drinking Straws) (Ordinance no. 187,030 and Ordinance no. 186,028); and
    ● Article 5 (Prohibition of the Distribution and Sale of Expanded Polystyrene Products) (Ordinance no. 187,717).

  • Carol Armstrong's avatar
    Carol Armstrong 7/15/2024 2:50 PM
    You may have heard that Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said Paris has committed to banning single-use plastics at the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer, but did you know that more than 100 elite athletes from all over the world just wrote a letter to the CEOs of American companies, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, to push for even more, ongoing plastics reduction and reuse? See:
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/clairepoolesp/2024/07/11/paris-2024-elite-athletes-call-on-coca-cola-and-pepsico-for-change
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bedroom Declutter Sustainably
    Compared to your previous experiences with decluttering, how was this experience with sustainable decluttering different?

    Carol Armstrong's avatar
    Carol Armstrong 7/15/2024 2:30 PM
    Sustainable decluttering made me feel better because I was able to help people that I knew and who I knew would appreciate the items and put them to good / better use. It also made me think twice about new purchases - knowing that I don't want them to end up undervalued or wasted.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Study Greenwashing Pro
    As you were learning about greenwashing, were there any companies you previously supported that you now think might be greenwashing us? How can you tell?

    Carol Armstrong's avatar
    Carol Armstrong 7/12/2024 11:48 AM
    I used to shop at H&M - I bought two blouses that they said were made from recycled bottles, but then H&M was accused of greenwashing by using misleading marketing. Their case was dismissed, but there was still evidence that they did engage in misleading marketing. In general, they are notorious for fast fashion, so I'm not going to shop there any more. I also learned that, earlier this year:
    1) California's anti-greenwashing law, which mandates new reporting on voluntary carbon offsets, went into effect - see: https://deloitte.wsj.com/sustainable-business/californias-third-climate-law-requires-new-carbon-offset-disclosures-e4f59185?reflink=desktopwebshare_permalink
    and
    2) the European Union adopted a new law banning greenwashing and member states have two years to introduce the new rules - see: https://www.euronews.com/embed/2458116

  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bedroom Recycling Textiles
    Textile recycling is incredibly complicated for a myriad of reasons. After learning about the textile recycling process, how has your relationship with your clothing changed?

    Carol Armstrong's avatar
    Carol Armstrong 7/10/2024 3:11 PM
    After learning about the textile recycling process, my relationship with my clothing has changed in that I purchase less clothing in general and when I do purchase new clothing, I select materials that are sustainable and that last a long time, and I mend my clothes more often so that I can continue re-wearing it without having to buy a new replacement.

  • Carol Armstrong's avatar
    Carol Armstrong 7/10/2024 3:05 PM
    Isn't it interesting that "refuse" as a noun means trash and "refuse" as a verb means, "to express oneself as unwilling to accept"? So, let's refuse to continue creating plastic refuse!
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bedroom Practice Sustainable Fashion
    How can you express your personality, creativity, and values in ways that don't require fast fashion or buying more clothes and accessories?

    Carol Armstrong's avatar
    Carol Armstrong 7/10/2024 2:53 PM
    I can express my personality, creativity, and values in ways that don't require fast fashion or buying more clothes and accessories my mending old clothes and re-wearing them, using the fabric from old clothes for other purposes (I have a t-shirt quilt!), and shopping in stores that resell previously owned/worn clothing.

  • Carol Armstrong's avatar
    Carol Armstrong 7/10/2024 2:50 PM
    Did you know that, "California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 54, requiring all packaging in the state to be recyclable or compostable by 2032, cutting plastic packaging by 25 percent in 10 years and requiring 65 percent of all single-use plastic packaging to be recycled in the same timeframe"? The legislation also, "shifts the plastic pollution burden from consumers to the plastics industry by raising $5 billion from industry members over 10 years to assist efforts to cut plastic pollution and support disadvantaged communities hurt most by the damaging effects of plastic waste." See: https://www.gov.ca.gov/2022/06/30/governor-newsom-signs-legislation-cutting-harmful-plastic-pollution-to-protect-communities-oceans-and-animals/#:~:text=Governor%20Gavin%20Newsom%20signed%20SB,recycled%20in%20the%20same%20timeframe.

  • Carol Armstrong's avatar
    Carol Armstrong 7/09/2024 10:00 AM
    Did you know that, "the U.S. leads the world in developing and deploying technologies that minimize plastic waste and promote energy-efficient and economical plastic and bioplastic design, production, reuse, and recycling"? Check out the U.S. Department of Energy's Strategy for Plastics Innovation that, "focuses on resources from across the U.S. Department of Energy to create a comprehensive program to accelerate innovations that will dramatically reduce plastic waste in oceans and landfills." See: https://www.energy.gov/strategy-for-plastics-innovation