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Natalie DeWitt's avatar

Natalie DeWitt

American College of Healthcare Sciences

"Leave the world better off than when you entered it."

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 1,194 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    1
    community events
    hosted or attended
  • up to
    1
    documentaries
    watched
  • up to
    5
    conversations
    with people
  • up to
    588
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    1,929
    pieces of litter
    picked up
  • up to
    69
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill

Natalie's 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

Community

Tour A Waste Management Facility

I will spend at least 50 minute(s) touring (virtually or in person) a local dump/transfer station, material recovery facility, and/or landfill to learn about our local waste and waste recovery streams.

Completed
One-Time Action

Personal Care

Back in the Bowl

I will purchase refillable beauty products.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Advocate For More Food Packaging Options

I will advocate for alternatives to single use packaging at local grocery stores, markets, or work.

Completed
One-Time Action

Personal Care

Pretty oh so Pretty

I will purchase beauty products that are packaged in sustainable packaging.

Completed
One-Time Action

Personal Care

Tim Taylor My Beauty Products

I will lessen my plastic impact by making my own makeup.

Completed
One-Time Action

Personal Care

Lather Up

I will replace my soaps, shampoos, and conditioners with either a bar or refillable option.

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Keep My Community Clean

I will pick up 20 piece(s) of litter each day while following the CDC’s current guidelines for prevention of disease transfer.

COMPLETED 21
DAILY ACTIONS

Family

Swap the Snacks

I will swap out 2 prepackaged snacks a day for fresh fruits or veggies.

COMPLETED 22
DAILY ACTIONS

Lifestyle

Homemade Cleaners

I will make 4 of my own cleaning products at home.

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

Food

Buy Unpackaged Produce

I will purchase produce items without plastic packaging, making sure to wash them well before using them.

COMPLETED 22
DAILY ACTIONS

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

Community

Estimate My Plastic Consumption and Go #PlasticNeutral

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

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Watch a Plastic Free July Webinar!

Educate yourself on the benefits of going plastic free by viewing one of our Plastic Free July webinars.

COMPLETED 22
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed

  • Reflection Question
    Personal Care Back in the Bowl
    Why is it so difficult to understand the impacts our purchases and waste have on other people, animals, and places? How might your experience with this challenge impact your future consumption and choices?

    Natalie DeWitt's avatar
    Natalie DeWitt 7/30/2020 2:12 PM
    It isn't difficult to understand. Humans are uniquely equipped to distance themselves from the impact their decisions have locally and globally. Cognitive dissonance is uncomfortable. We don't typically see where the garbage goes; it's far away, out of sight, and out of mind. If we don't see it, we don't believe it. If it doesn't directly impact us, then what does it matter?

    It's easier for people to justify or rationalize a decision that they've made or an action they've taken than it is to live with discomfort or feeling embarrassment or shame about something that's been done. 

    Until a person feels the weight of their decisions, they aren't likely to change. :(

    • Natalie DeWitt's avatar
      Natalie DeWitt 7/31/2020 2:24 PM
      Garbage suit. Wow. Wow. Wow.

    • Jacqui McGrath's avatar
      Jacqui McGrath 7/31/2020 5:34 AM
      Your point here has haunted me. I've long wondered when when we (those who live with privilege) will feel the full weight of our cognitive dissonance. I kind of gave up for a while, but becoming a mom has been motivating to re-double my efforts to do what I can. Guys like this one inspire me (and I've shared this concept with my son - what if all of the trash we had to drag our trash around with us?!  https://wewantrefill.com/wear-garbage-suit-guy/ 
  • Reflection Question
    Community Tour A Waste Management Facility
    Landfills and recycling centers tell us a lot about our communities and purchasing habits. What did you glean from your tour?

    Natalie DeWitt's avatar
    Natalie DeWitt 7/30/2020 2:05 PM
    Because of COVID-19, I wasn't able to do an in-person tour. I did find this video tour of Waste Management!  

    http://wmnorthwest.com/guidelines/videos/crc2.htm

  • Natalie DeWitt's avatar
    Natalie DeWitt 7/30/2020 1:54 PM
    Is PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) plastic? I'm getting different information from different sources!

  • Natalie DeWitt's avatar
    Natalie DeWitt 7/28/2020 2:50 PM
    I wanted to give an update on the products I purchased for laundry and for dish washing that were alternatives that had little or no plastic associated with them. I really like the dishwasher tabs from Blueland. My partner says sometimes they leave a film on some glassware, but overall, it's WAY better because it comes in paper, and I store them in a tin under the sink, and they are unscented. I HATE it when my dishwasher and plates smell like fake lemon!

    The laundry products just aren't going to work for me. They aren't getting my clothes clean at all, and unfortunately I think my household requires a detergent product that is a bit stronger. I'm looking to buy product concentrates to reduce the amount of plastic containers needed and to purchase a product that doesn't use virgin plastic. A compromise, I hope!

    • Sam Peterson's avatar
      Sam Peterson 7/28/2020 2:55 PM
      I have had very good success with Dropps products, both for laundry and dish washing, and they offer good unscented options.  All the packaging is plastic-free, and they're pods so you don't pay for water.  

  • Natalie DeWitt's avatar
    Natalie DeWitt 7/27/2020 2:07 PM
    The amount of packaging required to ship things is just ridiculous. I wish I better understood the environmental impact of me picking something up myself from a store, versus having something delivered to me. 

  • Natalie DeWitt's avatar
    Natalie DeWitt 7/24/2020 7:48 AM
    Finding ways to reuse plastics is so hard. 

  • Natalie DeWitt's avatar
    Natalie DeWitt 7/23/2020 10:03 AM
    97 bottlecaps! In one detrashed session, in one parking lot. My theory is that the murder of crows in the neighborhood finds the bottle caps and plays with them and then drops them in the parking lot. There have been so few people at the middle school parking lot that there is no way that these caps are making it into that parking lot through human disposal. each bottle cap is mutilated in some way either squished into the shape of a triangle or the rim of the screw top has been removed.

  • Natalie DeWitt's avatar
    Natalie DeWitt 7/23/2020 9:38 AM
    I rewatched "Blue Vinyl" a documentary I was introduced to by Dr. Fernando Ona in my first graduate level environmental health course. After watching that the first dozen times, I vowed to do everything I could to avoid living in or ever purchasing a house with vinyl siding. My first house had vinyl siding on two sides, but since it was a townhouse, I at least eliminated having siding on the 3rd wall, and the front had a brick facade. 

    When I was in the position to buy a house here in Oregon, I was fortunate enough to find a home in my price range that still had the original wood siding that had been well cared for since it was installed when it was built in 1976. 
  • Reflection Question
    Food Advocate For More Food Packaging Options
    Single use plastics have become normalized in our society to the point that most people don't see them as a problem. What would you say to a friend, colleague, or family member who may not understand why these disposables are an issue?

    Natalie DeWitt's avatar
    Natalie DeWitt 7/21/2020 2:52 PM
    I asked Costco to stop putting their apples in those horrible clamshell containers, and to reduce wrapping items in plastic, like milk and double bagging breads. They directed me to their website about the sustainable actions they are taking, and I was floored by the egg carton waste; I used to get their organic eggs in the plastic containers but I have no way to recycle them, and they're just sitting in my garage. Now I don't know what to do!

    https://www.costco.com/sustainability-packaging.html

    https://www.costco.com/sustainability-packaging.html

    • Jacqui McGrath's avatar
      Jacqui McGrath 7/22/2020 7:23 AM
      Thank you for sharing this, Natalie, I learned so much here! It's a good thing that the closest Costco to me is 4+ hours drive away (and Trader Joes is a plane ride) as I'd have a hard time avoiding it, too! I have an idea for your egg containers. How about get some chickens and then you can sell eggs in them? ;-D 

  • Natalie DeWitt's avatar
    Natalie DeWitt 7/21/2020 2:44 PM
    Needed to take a break for a few days; unfortunately, I purchased a few items that were in non-recyclable or reusable plastic and it got me bummed out! There is NO NEED to wrap my milk in plastic. Geesh.