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Karina Balsley's avatar

Karina Balsley

Virginia Zoo Staff & Volunteers

"Trying to limit my plastic usage and find alternatives"

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 798 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    1
    community events
    hosted or attended
  • up to
    30
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    85
    pieces of litter
    picked up
  • up to
    19
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill

Karina's Actions

Community

Keep My Community Clean

I will pick up 3 piece(s) of litter each day.

COMPLETED 12
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Cut off plastic

Buy/use knives made completely out of metal, minus the plastic handle. They'll last way longer too, and are unlikely to break.

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Join a Cleanup Effort

I will host or participate in a beach, highway, river, or other cleanup effort in my community that follows the CDC’s current guidelines for prevention of disease transfer.

Completed
One-Time Action

Personal Care

Brusha Brusha Brusha

I will replace my plastic toothbrush with a bamboo toothbrush.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Say No to Plastic Bags

If at all possible, I will not accept any disposable bags when making purchases, including produce bags.

COMPLETED 4
DAILY ACTIONS

Lifestyle

Wash em'

Pick detergents/soaps that come in cardboard or reusable containers, and are environmentally friendly. Wash full loads of clothes/dishes to avoid wasting water and energy (it keeps those bills lower too!).

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Chop chop!

Use a wood or glass cutting board in place of a plastic one.

Completed
One-Time Action

Personal Care

Practice Sustainable Fashion

I will spend 25 minutes learning about the costs of fast fashion and begin trying to practice sustainable fashion in my own life.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Use Reusable Containers

I will only use reusable containers instead of single-use plastic storage items (such as plastic wrap, single-use sandwich bags).

COMPLETED 13
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed


  • Karina Balsley's avatar
    Karina Balsley 7/31/2021 5:43 PM
    Wanted to say how much fun I've had, how much I've learned, and how much my habits have changed this month... A LOT! I am now much more conscious about litter and picking it up, never forgetting a reusable bag, and making sure to educate myself more on issues surrounding plastic. It's been incredible to see the impact everyone in the ecochallenge, and just in our 53 people team, has made. Doing the little things really does count and add up quickly!  Thank you all for a great month, and may we all continue these new habits through the year, and beyond! :)

  • Karina Balsley's avatar
    Karina Balsley 7/31/2021 5:31 PM
    Another "Create Your Own Challenge" I'll share real quick is to use detergents/soaps that come in boxes rather than plastic bottles, that are (preferably) environmentally friendly. 

    Somewhat unrelated, but I'd always recommend to wash full loads of clothes/dishes to avoid wasting water (and money on that bill).

  • Karina Balsley's avatar
    Karina Balsley 7/31/2021 5:21 PM
    I thought I'd share two "Create Your Own Challenge's" I made. One is re-placing plastic cutting boards with wooden (or glass) ones, and the other is buying kitchen knives without plastic handles (made fully of metal). Obviously, you should only do these things if products you have  currently are ready to be replaced. But, if you are looking for a cutting board, wood lasts a long time, and will of course slowly bio-degrade in comparison to plastic. When they get very worn, my family likes to take our old wooden cutting boards and use them for house hold projects (they're a great place to practice drilling holes, use as a mini work bench, etc). With kitchen knives, purchasing some made only of metal means they'll last much much longer, as the plastic handle is what tends to break. It is quite an investment, and may not be an option for everyone. We have only replaced two or three of our plastic handled kitchen knives with fully metal ones, but they're great so far. 
  • Reflection Question
    Personal Care Brusha Brusha Brusha
    What are the benefits of switching to bamboo toothbrushes? How would you implore others in your community to make this switch as well?

    Karina Balsley's avatar
    Karina Balsley 7/31/2021 5:06 PM
    Less plastic going into the world! A plastic toothbush is one more piece of trash going to the landfill (or being littered!!!). Plus plastic isn't recyclable forever, and most plastic toothbrushes aren't recycled/recyclable at all. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on earth (it can grow 35+ inches a day), so it isn't going to run out any time soon. The only thing I don't like about bamboo toothbrushes is (as others have already mentioned), the bristles are still plastic. I don't personally have any ideas for bristle alternatives, but it's something to look into & think about.
  • Reflection Question
    Community Join a Cleanup Effort
    How does working with others to clean up your community make you feel?

    Karina Balsley's avatar
    Karina Balsley 7/31/2021 4:57 PM
    Amazing! It's great working with others towards a goal that you know makes a difference for everyone in your community! Cleaning up trash makes the natural areas around us so much nicer, and leads to less problems in the future.
  • Reflection Question
    Community Keep My Community Clean
    How does the act of picking up litter connect you more to your community?

    Karina Balsley's avatar
    Karina Balsley 7/27/2021 3:12 PM
    It connects me to my community because here in the Hampton Roads area, we're all part of one big watershed (Chesapeake bay/Atlantic ocean). So, I know that by picking up a piece of trash now, it's not ending up where someone else will find it. And, it protects animals from getting tangled in or eating trash! 
  • Reflection Question
    Food Say No to Plastic Bags
    How difficult was this challenge for you? What made it easy or difficult?

    Karina Balsley's avatar
    Karina Balsley 7/19/2021 2:48 PM
    My family has carried reusable bags for as long as I can remember. The biggest challenge for us, is we're so used to having them, we don't double check that we've got them when leaving the house/car! I decided to make it a goal that every store we go to this month, we will have a reusable bag with us to use. And so far, it's been successful! 
  • Reflection Question
    Food Use Reusable Containers
    How can you think outside the box (or bag!) when it comes to disposables?

    Karina Balsley's avatar
    Karina Balsley 7/11/2021 4:05 PM
    There's so many options: reusable metal, glass, fabric, plastic and many more! I like to remind people that they're not only good for the environment, but also for your wallet. Buying disposables is like paying for something you'll just throw away eventually. Reusables often last for many years, and you don't have to make further purchases
  • Reflection Question
    Personal Care 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?

    Karina Balsley's avatar
    Karina Balsley 7/06/2021 6:22 AM
    Mix and match! Use the same clothing items you own in different unique ways, rather than buying more. Scarfs? They can go around your neck, head, or waist (as a belt!). If you have long hair, they can even serve as a ponytail holder. Don't be afraid to look different or not have the most trendy clothes. Being yourself and wearing unique clothes will make you stand out in a good way, especially if you wear them with confidence!

  • Karina Balsley's avatar
    Karina Balsley 7/05/2021 12:34 PM
    Hi VA Zoo team! I may be getting a late start to the challenge, but I'm here now! Can't wait to improve my habits, and reduce my plastic consumption/waste :)