Skip to main content
Debra Evans's avatar

Debra Evans

The Maryland Zoo

POINTS TOTAL

  • 0 TODAY
  • 160 THIS WEEK
  • 1,295 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    60
    minutes
    spent learning
  • UP TO
    115
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    37
    whole food meals
    consumed

Debra's actions

Kitchen

Give Veggie Scraps Another Life

Vegetable broth cartons are not easily recycled and often not accepted for recycling at all. To avoid or reduce my use of these cartons, I will save my vegetable scraps and fresh herb stems to make homemade vegetable broth instead.

COMPLETED 18
DAILY ACTIONS

Study

Greenwashing Pro

Greenwashing can fool even the most experienced eco-advocate. This month, I will spend 15 minutes learning what greenwashing is, how to spot it, and what I can do about it.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bedroom

Eco Detergent

Ditch the plastic jugs, artificial dyes, and harmful ingredients! When it's time to replace my current laundry detergent, I will switch to a natural laundry detergent that is packaged in glass or aluminum, or an alternative like soap nuts.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bathroom

Pearly Whites

Nearly all toothpaste tubes are made from multiple layers of different types of plastic and aluminum, making them impossible to recycle and destined for landfill. When it's time to replace my current toothpaste, I will replace it with a plastic-free option.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Family + Pets

Rubber Glove Pet Hair Removal

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

COMPLETED 18
DAILY ACTIONS

Study

Dig into Bioplastics

I will spend at least 30 minutes researching the impacts of bioplastics and how to properly dispose of them in my city, and I will share this information with 6 friends, family, and/or colleagues.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Study

Learn about 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.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Study

Buy Only What I Need

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

COMPLETED 18
DAILY ACTIONS

Bedroom

Recycling Textiles

Every single textile ever made will, at some point, become worn out - and dealing with that waste costs millions of tax dollars every year. I will spend 15 minutes learning about the different types of textile recycling and creating a plan for what I'll do with my clothes and other textiles when they are too worn out to use anymore.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bedroom

Rethink Returns

While most stores offer lenient return policies, what actually happens to all of those returns? I will spend 20 minutes learning about what happens to returns and how I can make better purchasing decisions to avoid returns in the future.

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

Kitchen

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

Kitchen

Switch to Loose Leaf Tea

Because many tea bags and most sleeves and sachets contain plastic, I will switch to using loose leaf tea.

COMPLETED 18
DAILY ACTIONS

Kitchen

Shop the Bulk Bins

I will purchase dry goods from the bulk section of my grocery store, and I will use my own containers whenever possible (cloth bags, mason jars, even reused Ziploc bags will do!). When it's not possible to use my own containers, I will wash and reuse the containers offered by the store.

COMPLETED 18
DAILY ACTIONS

Kitchen

Whole Foods Meals

Prioritizing whole foods is one of the most effective ways to avoid single-use plastic in the kitchen, since most whole foods can be purchased without any packaging. This month, I will prepare 1 whole foods-based meals at home each day.

COMPLETED 18
DAILY ACTIONS

Family + Pets

Balloons Blow

Although a long-standing festive tradition, balloons are harmful for animals and the environment. I will spend 15 learning about the dangers of balloons and find eco-friendly alternatives to use instead.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Study

Plastic History Buff

Single-use plastics are everywhere, but that wasn't always the case. I will spend at least 20 minutes learning about the history of single-use plastics and how it became ubiquitous in our daily lives.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Study

Follow the Chasing Arrows

The chasing arrows symbol we associate with recycling doesn't always actually mean something is recyclable. I will spend at least 15 minutes learning the different meanings the symbol can have.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bathroom

Green Beauty

Globally, packaging manufacturers make about $25 billion each year on plastic beauty and personal care packaging. That's a whole lot of plastic - nearly all of which ends up in landfills. When it's time to buy more, I will replace my beauty products with refillable, sustainable, and/or DIY options.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Kitchen

Take Out Pro

When I'm ordering takeout, I will bring my own containers for the restaurant to fill.

COMPLETED 17
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?

  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bedroom Rethink Returns
    How has learning what happens to returns influenced how you make purchasing decisions?

    Debra Evans's avatar
    Debra Evans 7/11/2024 6:51 AM
    I have become more careful of what I order online. Only order things I am sure to use and keep.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Kitchen Shop the Bulk Bins
    How has buying bulk impacted the quality of the food you receive? Why do you think Western society relies more on prepackaged foods rather than buying in bulk?

    Debra Evans's avatar
    Debra Evans 7/03/2024 7:01 AM
    Americans want everything easy so asking them to bring a reusable container feels like too much trouble for a lot of people.
    I don't honestly feel like the quality of many foods are different but buying spices in bulk is 100% better because when you buy a container of spices they lose flavor as time goes on. When you buy only what you need in bulk your spices are always fresh and full of flavor.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Study Buy Only What I Need
    As you have reduced your spending, what have you noticed about your 'health and safety' purchasing habits? How might this change your longer term purchasing decisions?

    Debra Evans's avatar
    Debra Evans 7/02/2024 9:52 AM
    I find that I do not throw away products until they are 100% empty. Before I would just toss them once I thought they were empty but now I make sure.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bedroom Eco Detergent
    Was this an easy or difficult swap for you to make? Did you have any concerns before making the swap?

    Debra Evans's avatar
    Debra Evans 7/01/2024 9:37 AM
    This is an easy swap. I use Earth Breeze detergent sheets. No waste at all and they work great.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bathroom Brush with Bamboo
    What are the benefits of switching to bamboo toothbrushes? How would you implore others in your community to make this switch as well?

    Debra Evans's avatar
    Debra Evans 7/01/2024 9:35 AM
    I don't believe there is a major difference in plastic or bamboo toothbrushes other then price and that is minimal so its worth switching to reduce plastic waste.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bathroom Pearly Whites
    Currently most of the packaging for toothpaste is plastic. How can you advocate for more alternatives through your purchasing power and influence in community?

    Debra Evans's avatar
    Debra Evans 7/01/2024 9:33 AM
    I love writing letters to companies to advocate for using alternatives to plastic but honestly they are mostly not interested. I have found a couple companies that do not use plastic. I am honestly not 100% sure these off brands are as good and commercial products but I am willing to do it to help reduce my plastic waste.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Kitchen Give Veggie Scraps Another Life
    Making veggie broth from scraps doesn't just reduce waste, it can also save you a ton of money! What are some of the ways you use veggie broth in your kitchen?

    Debra Evans's avatar
    Debra Evans 7/01/2024 9:28 AM
    I use veggie broth to mix in my dogs food. He gets a ton of extra flavor with very little extra calories.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Kitchen Take Out Pro
    Are there any restaurants in your area that offer reusable takeout containers? How can you advocate for this practice to become more mainstream in your city?

    Debra Evans's avatar
    Debra Evans 7/01/2024 9:27 AM
    Styrofoam containers are banned in the town I live. I frequently will call the restaurant I plan to visit to make sure I am allowed to bring my own reusable take home containers.
    I do remind all my family and friends to do the same.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Kitchen Switch to Loose Leaf Tea
    Take time to reflect or meditate over your plastic-free cup of tea. Share your thoughts and reflections with us here!

    Debra Evans's avatar
    Debra Evans 7/01/2024 9:25 AM
    You have many more flavor options with loose leaf teas. Also the loose leaf teas give you bolder flavors.

    • Robyn Jones's avatar
      Robyn Jones 7/01/2024 4:33 PM
      If only the Teavanna stores were still around. Great to try different kinds in-person :)
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Family + Pets Rubber Glove Pet Hair Removal
    We know you want to - tell us about why your pet is so awesome!

    Debra Evans's avatar
    Debra Evans 7/01/2024 9:24 AM
    All my pets (1 dog and 4 cats) are rescues and a rescue pet is the most loving ang grateful pet you can have.