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Joanna Caputa's avatar

Joanna Caputa

SF Teaching Zoo Zero Wasters

"My mission is to educate myself and others about the importance of reducing the use of single use plastics and be a good role model for my family and friends so that they might initiate changes in their own lives."

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 1,994 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    51
    plastic bottles
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    47
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    22
    plastic straws
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    1.0
    waste audits
    conducted
  • up to
    1.0
    donations
    made
  • up to
    140
    minutes
    spent learning

Joanna's 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

Personal Care

Green Beauty

When it's time to buy more, I will replace my beauty products with refillable, sustainable, and/or DIY options.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Plant a Garden

I will plant a herb or vegetable garden using as little plastic as possible and to save from the plastic used buying herbs and veggies.

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Raise Money For a Nonprofit

I will raise money to support a nonprofit dedicated to plastic pollution reduction.

Completed
One-Time Action

Pets

Operation Recycle Cat Food/Litter Bags

My goal is to investigate how I might be able to recycle cat food and cat litter bags to keep them out of the landfill.

Completed
One-Time Action

Pets

Food Sharing

My goal is to help food share broken bags of cat food with individuals who help feed feral and community cats and who are economically challenged to feed them.

Completed
One-Time Action

Lifestyle

Travel Eating

If traveling, I will bring my own snacks and meals in my own containers to avoid the waste of take-out containers.

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Estimate My Plastic Consumption

I will visit the rePurpose website, complete the 3-minute plastic consumption calculator, and explore how I can reBalance my annual plastic footprint.

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Share My Actions

I will make my environmental actions visible by posting to my social media networks.

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Research Local Waste Sites

I will spend 5 minutes finding out where landfills and/or toxic waste sites are situated in my region and which communities are most impacted by these sites.

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Give Some Green Gratitude

I will give a shout-out on social media to a local company, coworker, friend or family member for their plastic free or green efforts.

Completed
One-Time Action

Personal Care

Clothes Swapping

My goal is to try and rehome clothing that my daughters or I have outgrown or don't use to give them fresh life with someone else. This is very important to me because so much clothing is still usable but goes into landfills instead. All. of us enjoy thrifting and we feel it's important to give away what we have an abundance of to others who could use it.

Completed
One-Time Action

Personal Care

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

Food

Better Gum

I will give up gum or choose gum made from chicle or other plastic-free gum bases.

COMPLETED 22
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Minimize Packaging

I will purchase food items with the least amount of packaging.

COMPLETED 22
DAILY ACTIONS

Lifestyle

Clean Plate Club

When I need to replace my dish soap, I will switch to a bar or refillable option.

Completed
One-Time Action

Lifestyle

Homemade Cleaners

I will make my own cleaning products at home.

Completed
One-Time Action

Lifestyle

Travel Toiletries

If traveling, I will reuse my old travel tubes to refill with my soaps or only bring bar soaps with me in a TSA-approved reusable quart-sized bag.

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Become a Recycling Pro

Contamination prevents what is recyclable from being recycled. I will spend 5 minutes researching which materials are accepted by local haulers or drop stations in my community and recycle only those items.

COMPLETED 23
DAILY ACTIONS

Family

Discover Together

I will spend 15 minutes educating my family on the basics of living a reduced/no-plastic lifestyle.

Completed
One-Time Action

Pets

All Natural Pet Toys

I will give my pets natural alternatives to toys like femur bones and antlers, canvas, natural rubber, hemp, rope or cotton toys. Or make our own toys from recycled items found in our home!

Completed
One-Time Action

Pets

Rubber Glove Pet Hair Removal

I will use a rubber glove to remove pet hair from clothes, carpets and furniture.

COMPLETED 25
DAILY ACTIONS

Lifestyle

Ditch Dryer Sheets

I will use wool dryer balls or another plastic-free alternative to dryer sheets to keep my clothes static-free.

COMPLETED 24
DAILY ACTIONS

Lifestyle

Natural Fibers

When available, I will purchase clothing made with natural fibers, such as cotton, linen, or wool, rather than synthetic fibers.

Completed
One-Time Action

Lifestyle

Support a Sharing Economy

I will create or support a sharing economy with family, friends, and neighbors.

COMPLETED 23
DAILY ACTIONS

Personal Care

Say No to "Flushable Wipes"

Wipes don't break down in sewer systems, but combine with fat to create massive clogs. I will find alternatives to using disposable wipes.

COMPLETED 24
DAILY ACTIONS

Personal Care

Sustainable Suds

I will replace my soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and lotions with a sustainable, unpackaged, or refillable option.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Go Strawless

I will keep 1 plastic straw(s) out of the landfill per day by refusing straws or using my own reusable straw.

COMPLETED 23
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Fill a Water Bottle

I will use a reusable bottle and stop purchasing bottled water, saving 2 disposable plastic bottle(s) a day.

COMPLETED 25
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Skip Plastic Bags

When possible, I will not use disposable bags when shopping, including produce bags.

COMPLETED 25
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed


  • Joanna Caputa's avatar
    Joanna Caputa 7/31/2022 6:12 PM
    Tonight, my daughter asked me what she should do with a plastic water container she replaced with a glass container for school. She wanted to know if she should recycle it or donate it. She said she was trying to cut down on her plastic use and wanted to do the right thing with the plastic bottle. I'm thankful that she is becoming more aware of her plastic consumption and how she can repurpose and recycle the things she is not using. But I think as a family, I'd like to see us move further toward a lifestyle of intentional minimalism. One where we choose to consume less stuff so we eventually have fewer things we even have to give away. I'd like to recommend the book More Of Less by Joshua Becker as a thought provoking  resource to begin exploring a lifestyle of minimalism and simple living. 

  • Joanna Caputa's avatar
    Joanna Caputa 7/30/2022 7:32 PM
    Years ago, my mom ordered some fold up reusable grocery bags from the Greater Good. It's a wonderful website that you can go to and purchase products that benefit different charitable  programs such as animal rescue, diabetes research, mammogram funding, autism programs, etc. You can sign up to receive a reminder email to click on different charitable programs to raise money for them. One of the programs is Free The Ocean, which you can click on to help remove plastic from the ocean.  It has you play a trivia game every day and it doesn't matter if you answer the question correctly or not, you remove one piece of plastic from the ocean (courtesy of the sponsors I'm guessing). 

  • Joanna Caputa's avatar
    Joanna Caputa 7/29/2022 5:52 AM
    This trip to NYC is almost over and I’m still in a state of shock over the garbage and single use plastic situation there. Since there is no place to put garbage in trash cans there, people just put their plastic bags of garbage out on the sidewalk where they break open and litter the street. Then, you can see how much plastic never even enters the recycling stream. And while the stores are required to use paper bags, there seems to be no attempt to use paper in the restaurant industry. And since take out is so prevalent there, in part because of COVID, there is a huge amount of single use plastic generated in just getting meals. It was very disheartening. While I’m glad we have such a wonderful recycling program in Gainesville and a movement toward zero waste, it feels like a drop in the bucket compared to all the waste generated by big cities with a minimal commitment to recycling and single use plastic.

  • Joanna Caputa's avatar
    Joanna Caputa 7/27/2022 7:05 PM
    Today I made a decision not to purchase a cosmetic product even though it was in a recyclable container. I did it because I'm trying to ask myself before a purchase, "Do I really need this or is it a want"? I decided to do this because a product, no matter how eco friendly, is not really eco friendly if I don't really need it and perhaps, won't be used up as readily as something I really need. Losing our home in a flood last year has opened my eyes even more to the burden of owning too many things, even if they are "good" for the environment. The cost to the environment in harvesting raw materials, manufacturing a product, and then shipping it is something we as consumers don't really see. So we can't appreciate how the creation of too much "stuff" is damaging our planet. 

  • Joanna Caputa's avatar
    Joanna Caputa 7/27/2022 6:25 PM
    So, after visiting Sephora's flagship store in Times Square today, I was deeply disappointed in the paucity of zero waste branded cosmetics and the price tag associated with the ones they had. I don't know how we can expect society as a whole and especially women to embrace a zero waste culture where skin care and cosmetics are concerned unless products without plastic ingredients and packaging are made more affordable to the average and low income consumer. My daughters introduced me to The Ordinary line, which is immensely affordable, and packaged in glass (recyclable) but I have not researched their formulas to see how clean they are. Also, I've only seen them available at Ulta and Sephora, stores which are not easily accessible to underprivileged segments of the population.

  • Joanna Caputa's avatar
    Joanna Caputa 7/27/2022 6:10 PM
    When we were checking out of a store in Times Square today we learned that the state of NY has banned plastic bags. I didn't realize that because we have seen plenty of plastic floating around the streets. The young lady explained that the food industry (I''m guessing take out from restaurants) has been slow to comply, especially in regards to packaging. The take away for me is that when going out to eat, I literally have to have a doggie bag of my own to carry home extra food, rather than have the restaurant package it in their single use plastic. I wish I could convince my family that getting take out is really bad for the environment, unless it's pizza in a cardboard box.

  • Joanna Caputa's avatar
    Joanna Caputa 7/26/2022 4:58 PM
    Another challenging day in NYC. We were able to talk our waiter into giving us aluminum foil to wrap our left over paninis in rather than a plastic box. Score one there. Unfortunately, they served our Sangria with a straw. Never even thought to tell them not to bring us one. : (  The amount of garbage in NYC is incredible and only serves to make me more adamant about working to become zero waste.

  • Joanna Caputa's avatar
    Joanna Caputa 7/25/2022 1:03 PM
    Being in NYC and trying to avoid single use plastics is much harder the I thought it would be as far as eating meals is concerned. Trying to avoid an expensive sit down meal, or stay COVID free means that you have to get take out, often involving a plastic take out container. : (  If you eat street food from a cart, or get a sandwich at a deli its easier to avoid plastic but then you have the issue of finding meat free meals, if you don't eat meat. On the up side, we have managed to save our soap from being replaced by the nice woman who cleans our room here. And we have refillable personal care products in the shower, which is great. There is a recycling bin in the lobby which is also wonderful. The amount of litter and garbage in NYC boggles my mind also. I don't see any way people in all these apartment buildings can recycle, but I plan to check on it.
  • Reflection Question
    Food Fill a Water Bottle
    Using the links provided, investigate the bottling practices of water corporations. There have been many cases where the water rights of the local people have been violated or even completely disregarded when a corporation decides to bottle water from a particular water source. How can you advocate for those who have been harmed by this bottling process?

    Joanna Caputa's avatar
    Joanna Caputa 7/25/2022 12:51 PM
    This is a difficult question because it suggests that a big corporation is already doing damage to the environment and a community. For me, political action is really the best way to become involved in advocating. I believe that people who live in affected communities must work together  in approaching their local politicians, educate them on the problem, and demand appropriate action to remedy the problems. I also believe that engaging in boycotts of a product sends a very strong message to corporations and hits them where it hurts.... in their pocketbooks.

  • Joanna Caputa's avatar
    Joanna Caputa 7/24/2022 6:05 PM
    Today my daughter and I went thrifting in NYC and she was able to find clothes that she would not have been able to find in Gainesville. And at a bargain. We also visited with family who live there and I was able to talk with them about the plastic eco challenge and the FTO (Free The Ocean) website that you can click on every day to remove plastic from the ocean. They were very interested in trying to eliminate single use plastic waste in their lives also and it was inspirational to share the changes we are trying to make with each other.