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Melissa Dude's avatar

Melissa Dude

The Florida Aquarium

"Hoping to lead by example to make the greatest impact to the environment."

POINTS TOTAL

  • 0 TODAY
  • 130 THIS WEEK
  • 940 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    6
    advocacy actions
    completed
  • UP TO
    1
    community event
    hosted or attended
  • UP TO
    6.6
    pounds
    food waste prevented
  • UP TO
    7
    conversations
    with people
  • UP TO
    40
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • UP TO
    22
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    3
    pounds
    waste avoided

Melissa's actions

Kitchen

Save Jars for Reuse

Pinterest may want you to think that you need a cupboard full of matching mason jars, but reusing what we already have is one of the best ways to reduce our waste. This month, instead of recycling glass jars (such as pasta sauce, pickles, and salsa jars), I will save them to reuse for food storage.

COMPLETED 2
DAILY ACTIONS

Family + Pets

Mend and Repair

We've all got it - that thing in the back of our closet we keep saying we'll fix "one day." I will make today that day by learning how to mend or repair ripped or broken items in my home - or by finding a local offering to do it for me.

UNCOMPLETED
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.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Community

Go For a Walk

Science has shown that focused time in nature calms our over-worked frontal lobe and gives space for the areas of our brain associated with emotions, pleasure, and empathy to take over, providing a sense of calm that is measurable in brain scans and even blood tests. Each day this month, I will spend 10 minutes outside in nature, and share my observations, reflections, and learnings on the Participant Feed.

COMPLETED 6
DAILY ACTIONS

Bedroom

Rethink Returns

While most stores offer lenient return policies, what actually happens to all of those returns? I will spend 5 minutes learning about what happens to returns and how I can make better purchasing decisions to avoid returns in the future.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Kitchen

Fight Local Food Waste

Who says saving money and saving the planet don't go together? Using an app like Too Good To Go or Flashfood, I'll help rescue food from local bakeries, restaurants, and grocery stores that would otherwise go to waste.

COMPLETED 3
DAILY ACTIONS

Kitchen

Skip Plastic Bags

Whenever possible, I will not accept any disposable bags when shopping, including produce bags. I will either use my own reusable bags, or keep my items loose.

COMPLETED 6
DAILY ACTIONS

Bedroom

Declutter Sustainably

While it can be tempting to throw away (or drop off at Goodwill) any and everything that no longer brings us joy, there are so many options that are better for the planet! This month, I will declutter my home and properly dispose or re-home the things I no longer want.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Study

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

Study

Buy Only What I Need

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

COMPLETED 8
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Give Some Green Gratitude

Don't forget to celebrate the good! This month, I will give shout-outs on social media, my office's internal communication channels, or the Participant Feed to a local company, coworker, friend, or family member for their sustainable efforts.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bathroom

Take the pre-survey!

Help us make the Plastic Free Ecochallenge the best it can be! Take the challenge pre-survey (and look out for the post-survey at the end of the challenge!) so we can better understand the impact the challenge has and how we can improve in the future. Plus, you'll earn points for completing it! Thank you!

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bathroom

See the Green

An estimated 50,000lbs (23,000kg) of contact lenses end up in sewage sludge in the US each year. This month, I will learn how to recycle used contact lenses and packaging or switch to wearing glasses instead.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bathroom

A Greener Shower

Most conventional shower curtain liners are made from polyvinyl chloride (or PVC), which contains chlorine, phthalates, and plasticizers, and typically need replaced often. When it's time to replace my shower curtain liner, I will replace it with a plastic-free option and research the best ways to care for it.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bathroom

Brush with Bamboo

In the US, about 1 billion toothbrushes are thrown away each year. And because plastic is designed to last, nearly every plastic toothbrush ever created still exists. When it's time to replace my current toothbrush, I will replace it with a plastic-free bamboo option.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bathroom

Embrace Imperfection

Eliminating 100% of all plastic from our lives simply isn't possible. Throughout this month, I will embrace imperfection in my plastic-free journey while exploring and testing new ways to reduce my plastic footprint.

COMPLETED 12
DAILY ACTIONS

Bathroom

Use What You Have

The only thing worse than a single-use item is a zero-use item! I will use (and use up) what I already have in my home before buying something new.

COMPLETED 11
DAILY ACTIONS

Participant Feed

Reflection, encouragement, and relationship building are all important aspects of getting a new habit to stick.
Share thoughts, encourage others, and reinforce positive new habits on the Feed.

To get started, share “your why.” Why did you join the challenge and choose the actions you did?


  • Melissa Dude's avatar
    Melissa Dude 7/16/2024 7:37 AM
    Halfway through the challenge and I realize I need to step up my game and truly challenge myself more.
    I am pretty conservative and thoughtful when it comes to my plastic use but I need to challenge myself to push past my every day habits and add a few more.

    • Debbi Stone's avatar
      Debbi Stone 7/16/2024 10:20 AM
      Great job! It's all about moving in the right direction. :-)

    • Sara Paterson's avatar
      Sara Paterson 7/16/2024 8:06 AM
      You've got this. 2 weeks to focus and be challenged outside the normal habits!
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Kitchen Save Jars for Reuse
    What's the most creative way you've reused a jar in your home?

    Melissa Dude's avatar
    Melissa Dude 7/16/2024 7:32 AM
    Crafting - Using it for a vase for flowers - I've drilled a hole in the lid and kids use the jar as a cup with reusable straw through the lid.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Community Go For a Walk
    What have you noticed about your mental and/or physical health while going on daily walks? How has it affected other areas of your life?

    Melissa Dude's avatar
    Melissa Dude 7/15/2024 9:57 AM
    I definitely enjoy walks and realized from this challenge that I am not getting outside nearly enough! But it is Florida and July... so night walks are on the agenda for the remainder of this challenge!
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bathroom Use What You Have
    Besides the economic benefits of using the things we already own, how can this practice impact our lives in other ways and influence the way we interact with "things"?

    Melissa Dude's avatar
    Melissa Dude 7/08/2024 1:02 PM
    I started encouraging my kids to do the same, use what we have. I hope to get my kids to think about the full lifecycle of a product. From manufacturing to disposal, how many lives has this product touched before making it to us? If it's in our house we bought it out of want or need . Hopefully changing our mind set to only buying what we need will be better for future generations.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Kitchen Skip Plastic Bags
    It can be easy to forget to bring your reusable bags to the store with you - especially if you're going somewhere besides the grocery store. What are your favorite ways to remember your reusable bags?

    Melissa Dude's avatar
    Melissa Dude 7/08/2024 12:59 PM
    July 4th Holiday shopping I requested paper instead of plastics. I actually reuse both paper and plastic bags for household needs but this month I plan to reduce my plastic stored bags to a low quantity.
    I do carry reusable bags at times but need to better at this.

  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bathroom Embrace Imperfection
    How has embracing imperfection impacted your plastic-free journey?

    Melissa Dude's avatar
    Melissa Dude 7/08/2024 12:56 PM
    It's been a challenge for sure but I just went to Discovery Cove this past weekend and instead of using their disposable cups I brought my own reusable yeti and filled it with drinks instead of the disposable ones!
    Now if only I had thought about brining my own cutlery :(.

  • Melissa Dude's avatar
    Melissa Dude 7/02/2024 5:42 AM
    Kicking it off the best possible way - No shopping today for me so helping to reduce my consumption by using what I already have on hand :)

  • Melissa Dude's avatar
    Melissa Dude 6/24/2024 1:34 PM
    Let the countdown start....6 days until we rock this challenge...
    "You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you" - Jane Goodall