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Helena Burgueño's avatar

Helena Burgueño

Zoo New England

"Once I became aware of all the wasteful plastic use around me, it was hard to unsee!"

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 1,557 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    3
    advocacy actions
    completed
  • up to
    1
    community events
    hosted or attended
  • up to
    50
    disposable cups
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    1
    documentaries
    watched
  • up to
    5
    conversations
    with people
  • up to
    380
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    99
    plastic bottles
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    80
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    147
    pieces of plastic cutlery
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    32
    plastic straws
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    1
    waste audits
    conducted

Helena's Actions

Food

Use Reusable Water Bottles

I will use a reusable bottle and stop purchasing bottled water, saving 3 disposable plastic bottle(s) a day.

COMPLETED 22
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Use a Reusable Mug / Collapsible Cup

If possible, I will avoid sending 3 disposable cup(s) to the landfill per day by using a reusable mug or bringing my own collapsible cup.

COMPLETED 19
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Use Reusable Utensils

I will keep 9 plastic cutlery out of the landfill per day by using my own reusable cutlery.

COMPLETED 18
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Say No to Styrofoam

Throughout its life cycle, polystyrene (styrofoam) can harm people, communities, and the planet. I will refuse styrofoam whenever I can, making sure to kindly let people know why I'm asking for alternative packaging.

COMPLETED 4
DAILY ACTIONS

Lifestyle

Complete a Waste Audit

I will conduct a waste audit - including recyclables and compost - to understand how much waste I create and where I can reduce the most.

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 6
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Plant a Garden

I will plant a herb or vegetable garden in my home, workplace, dorm room, or community garden using as little plastic as possible.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Make My Own

I will try new recipe(s) or food preparation method(s) each day, such as canning, pickling, making yogurt, or baking granola bars or bread.

COMPLETED 22
DAILY ACTIONS

Family

Provide the Alternatives

I will provide daily plastic free alternatives (straws, water bottles, cuttlery, bar soap, bamboo toothbrushes, etc.) for my family to use.

COMPLETED 8
DAILY ACTIONS

Family

Swap the Snacks

I will swap out 1 prepackaged snacks a day for fresh fruits or veggies.

COMPLETED 21
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Host a Watch Party

I will host a watch party with friends and/or colleagues to watch and discuss a movie about plastics.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Start Composting

I will start a compost collection at home, work, or school.

Completed
One-Time Action

Feed


  • Helena Burgueño's avatar
    Helena Burgueño 7/31/2021 4:53 AM
    Thank you Team ZNE for welcoming me into your PFJ world!! I’m amazed by how much everyone has accomplished and looking forward to doing more research, making more changes, and being a better advocate in the other months of the year!!

  • Helena Burgueño's avatar
    Helena Burgueño 7/30/2021 4:48 AM
    BUT, I have a question myself!! Has anybody had really good results making their own deodorant? Would love a recipe if you’ve got recs

  • Helena Burgueño's avatar
    Helena Burgueño 7/30/2021 4:47 AM
    I just wrote a whole novel in response to our watch party last night, and I’m not even sure I answered the reflection question whoops.
  • Reflection Question
    Community Host a Watch Party
    How does hosting a watch party help you to get to know your guests, connect them to the cause you are focusing on, and build your community?

    Helena Burgueño's avatar
    Helena Burgueño 7/30/2021 4:46 AM
    My mom and I watched a short documentary called “A Plastic Wave” together. It wasn’t a very well MADE documentary but it seemed like the man who created it was really concerned about the plastic appearing on the beach near his ocean-front home and genuinely wanted to call people’s attention to the plastic “epidemic” (to use his words). I was most struck by the relationship between wealth and plastic, not only in regard to plastic use but also plastic disposal. He spent a large portion of the film visiting India - and while I learned about the shocking amount of plastic waste that that country creates in a year, I would have been curious to compare plastic waste by tons across countries instead of, even unintentionally, pointing a finger at India as the source of our world’s plastic problem. I also found it a little off putting to see a white British man gagging over the smell of a river filled with plastic and waste, then interviewing the residents who lived along the water front and only really including their answers in response to how they dump all of their garbage, including plastic, directly into the river. I think that the way it was framed within the documentary, it focused on the plastic waste as a problem, rather than using that moment as an opportunity to dive into the nuances of how economic status affects choice. This has been a recurring theme for me throughout PFJ: As a middle class person in the United States, I’m able to prioritize reducing my plastic use rather than focusing on other survival needs. I’m also able to make purchasing choices that are slightly more expensive but feel good because they reduce plastic waste. The environmental problem looks a lot different for someone from my position than it does from the position of the family in that documentary that’s unhappily living alongside a river of waste but can’t afford to move elsewhere. For me, reducing my waste gives me an abstract sense of doing good for the world (and it does in some ways!!) but for them, it directly impacts the conditions of their day to day life. I think this is why environmental justice has become more of a focus within the environmental movement - these things do not affect us all equally!!

  • Helena Burgueño's avatar
    Helena Burgueño 7/29/2021 8:14 AM
    Tonight we're FINALLY going to watch our plastic documentary! I'm still thinking about "Plastic Ocean" from last year, so think this is a really good action for conciousness-raising.

  • Helena Burgueño's avatar
    Helena Burgueño 7/28/2021 12:43 PM
    This PFJ is flying by!! The big two changes I made this year were composting and making my own yogurt. Though the yogurt’s not 100% plastic-free, I only use one half gallon bottle (that I recycle) every couple of weeks instead of going through a bunch of those little plastic yogurt cups on a weekly basis! Someday, when I’m making “gonna buy this farmer’s market glass bottle milk” type of money, maybe I’ll be totally plastic-free in my yogurt production.

  • Helena Burgueño's avatar
    Helena Burgueño 7/27/2021 7:37 PM
    My favorite way to live PFJ is to get a sugar cone for my ice cream instead of a cup and spoon.

  • Helena Burgueño's avatar
    Helena Burgueño 7/26/2021 7:30 PM
    I’ve been noticing that as I’m paying more attention to my plastic consumption I’m also trying to make other sustainable choices. For instance, with this hotter weather, I’m trying to dry my clothes on the line to save energy, and I’m trying to leave the lights off and windows open instead of using AC.

  • Helena Burgueño's avatar
    Helena Burgueño 7/25/2021 9:30 AM
    It’s funny how as soon as something else in my life pops up and requires attention, PFJ takes a back seat. Trying to reframe my mindset to prioritize sustainability always, but it’s easier said than done.

  • Helena Burgueño's avatar
    Helena Burgueño 7/24/2021 6:23 AM
    I find it really inspiring to see how other team members are having an impact during PFJ! You all have encouraged me to do more research about company and town practices regarding plastic use and disposal - so hopefully I can be a better advocate for plastic reduction beyond this month!