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Mary Dobrzynski's avatar

Mary Dobrzynski

Maryland Zoo

"Plastics free is a loft goal. Sustainable? Perhaps. My goal this Challenge is to sustainably "Live with Less Plastic." "

Points Total

  • 91 Today
  • 291 This Week
  • 1,787 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    233
    disposable cups
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    525
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    227
    pieces of litter
    picked up
  • up to
    39
    plastic bottles
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    38
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    1
    waste audits
    conducted

Mary's Actions

Lifestyle

Homemade Cleaners

I will make my own cleaning products at home.

Completed
One-Time Action

Personal Care

That Was a Close Shave

I will replace my disposable razors with steel razors.

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 7
DAILY ACTIONS

Personal Care

Pretty oh so Pretty

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

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

Learn about the Harms of 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

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 10
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Use Reusable Water Bottles

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

COMPLETED 14
DAILY ACTIONS

Lifestyle

Travel Smart

If traveling, I will bring my own plastic free items (water bottle, grocery bags, collapsible food containers, utensils, straws, etc.) with me.

Completed
One-Time Action

Personal Care

Pearly Whites

I will purchase toothpaste in an aluminum tube or in a glass jar or make my own!

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Baltimore City Trash Pickup

Baltimore has a lot of trash in common areas, along sidewalks and curbside. My goal is to bring a small trash bag and glove on my daily treks. I will pickup trash along the route.

COMPLETED 29
DAILY ACTIONS

Pets

Thrifty Pets

I will find secondhand sources for my pet's water/food dishes, collars or leashes.

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

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 31
DAILY ACTIONS

Lifestyle

Naked Bins

I will either line my trash cans with repurposed newspaper or paper bags, or I will not line my trash cans at all.

COMPLETED 31
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

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

Lifestyle

Buy Only What I Need

I will not buy anything except items required for health and safety.

COMPLETED 31
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Estimate My Plastic Consumption and Go #PlasticNeutral

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

Keep My Community Clean

I will pick up 6 piece(s) of litter each day.

COMPLETED 31
DAILY ACTIONS

Personal Care

Practice Sustainable Fashion

I will spend 120 minutes learning about the costs of fast fashion and begin trying to practice sustainable fashion in my own life.

Completed
One-Time Action

Personal Care

Fresh as a Daisy

I will use deodorant either from a bar or a jar or I will make my own.

Completed
One-Time Action

Personal Care

Brusha Brusha Brusha

I will replace my plastic toothbrush with a bamboo toothbrush.

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

Food

Use a Reusable Mug / Collapsible Cup

If possible, I will avoid sending 6 disposable cup(s) to the landfill per day by using a reusable mug or bringing my own collapsible cup.

COMPLETED 31
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed

  • Reflection Question
    Personal Care That Was a Close Shave
    What have you noticed about the economic and social impact of switching to steel razors? Was there ever really a need for disposable razors, or do you think it was just a way to sell more things?

    Mary Dobrzynski's avatar
    Mary Dobrzynski 7/31/2021 3:56 PM
    There was really no need to buy a bulk bag of "mostly plastic" disposable razors. Steel razors worked just fine for my Dad. I should have "ditched the convenience" factor years ago and invested in a sustainable steel razor.
  • Reflection Question
    Lifestyle Homemade Cleaners
    What did you learn by making your own cleaning products? What is the biggest difference in making vs buying?

    Mary Dobrzynski's avatar
    Mary Dobrzynski 7/31/2021 3:52 PM
    Making your own cleaning products is fairly straightforward and requires just a few ingredients. The difference in making your own products is they contain few "extras" which manufacturers add to extend shelf life. My, oh! my  .... there are so many essential oil fragrances to choose from🤗

  • Mary Dobrzynski's avatar
    Mary Dobrzynski 7/31/2021 3:38 PM
    Awesome. I've learned so much this year but the best takeaway is my new plastics free habit of using rubber gloves to remove my two kittens fur from Everywhere. 

  • Mary Dobrzynski's avatar
    Mary Dobrzynski 7/30/2021 6:10 AM
    another habit i have adopted from this year's challenge is buy only what i need,  its a difficult challenge. why? i'm and have been going through a "minimizing" phase for the last several months. i'm gifting much to goodwill and neighbors in my apt building. there's a saying ... if you buy something new, something must go, it's difficult but in today's world of chaos .... having less, or just what you need and less clutter is a positive thing. i guess its just like with money .... you can't take "stuff" with you, so, i will work on my new habit to "buy what i need and not what i want." a great example are candles. i love candles and burn one every day. in the past i bought a different scent for each season. the new "buy only what i need" me will be buying only two scents; cinnamon for Feb through Oct, and Balsam/Pine for the Holidays. A major step ....

  • Mary Dobrzynski's avatar
    Mary Dobrzynski 7/29/2021 2:14 PM
    wow!!! i have learned there are multiple "lesser known" uses for rubber gloves; in addition to doing the dishes, cleaning and de-fuzzing the ceiling fans. yes!!! rubber gloves are pet moms and dads (kids, too) best friends for de-furring almost anything made of fabric. My new habit? De-fur linen lamp shades, table cloths (to extend life between washings), furniture and clothes. What an awesome rubber glove "tip". i've had tons of fun researching All of My Action Items. even though many are standard Action Items from Year - to - Year, there is always something "new" .... to research, learn about and share.

  • Mary Dobrzynski's avatar
    Mary Dobrzynski 7/28/2021 4:42 AM
    Wonderful. I love the email messages of team encouragement from our team captain, Sinclair. Wow!! The YESMagazine article re: the Amount of Plastic" used/is being used during the Covid Pandemic is staggering. Its astounding that production of massive amounts of plastic is condoned when it's less costly and plastics-free to reuse/sterilized procedures/processes can be employed; sharps/needle containers (reuse), plastic syringes, and blood test arm bands. 

  • Mary Dobrzynski's avatar
    Mary Dobrzynski 7/27/2021 5:23 AM
    With just a few days remaining,  I will surely miss it. Next year will bring new challenges, increased knowledge, a past year's efforts/success in changing out plastics in my home to glass vessels albeit still plastic pumps of the spray/pump bottles; one step at a time. Also, a switch in sustainable home decor, capsule wardrobe and bed/table linens. So much to look forward to.

  • Mary Dobrzynski's avatar
    Mary Dobrzynski 7/26/2021 7:45 AM
    Awesome😊  this morning I used a rubber glove to "de-fur" a table cloth which one of my kitties loves to lay on while she watches the birds fly by and "supervises" the morning commuters and dog walkers. Also, I used the rubber glove to remove dust from fabric lamp shades in my bedroom; aka airborne kitty fur. 

  • Mary Dobrzynski's avatar
    Mary Dobrzynski 7/25/2021 1:53 PM
    Wow!!! With 6 days to go I can't believe I missed the "pickup your pet's fur with rubber gloves, action item. This action will become a daily habit just like cleaning their litter pan.  Whew!!! A major savings ..... No more money to Amazon for Lint Rollers😊
  • Reflection Question
    Pets Rubber Glove Pet Hair Removal
    We know you want to - tell us about why your pet is so awesome!

    Mary Dobrzynski's avatar
    Mary Dobrzynski 7/25/2021 1:48 PM
    My two furbabies, Milan and Sasha, are my besties and have been since 2014. I met them while volunteering at BARCS animal shelter.  Their Mom was a TNR (trap neuter release) cat and was waiting to be spayed. Oops!!! We didn't realize she was pregnant and voila! Milan, Sasha and their brother were born. After weaned, they went into the BARCS foster/adoption program. As a TNR volunteer I spent s lot of time with them when I cleaned their cage and administer their eye drops. I fell in love.  I was homeless at the time and couldn't adopt them. But, the stars aligned and 2 months later I moved into my own apt and a few weeks later Milan and Sasha became a part of my family. The past 7 years have been magical for us. Yes, they have lots of fur, an undercoat which sheds as they walk, run and play. I love the idea of fur removal/containment by rubber gloves!!!!