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Samantha Halter's avatar

Samantha Halter

Maryland Zoo

""The Earth is a fine place and worth fighting for. " Ernest Hemingway"

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 1,385 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    1
    advocacy actions
    completed
  • up to
    1
    documentaries
    watched
  • up to
    1
    donations
    made
  • up to
    1
    conversations
    with people
  • up to
    291
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    88
    pieces of litter
    picked up
  • up to
    27
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    1
    waste audits
    conducted
  • up to
    6
    zero-waste meals
    consumed

Samantha's Actions

Food

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 19
DAILY ACTIONS

Lifestyle

Buy Only What I Need

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

COMPLETED 14
DAILY ACTIONS

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

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

Lifestyle

Watch a Documentary

I will watch a documentary film about waste with family and friends and talk about what we learned.

Completed
One-Time Action

Lifestyle

Natural Fibers

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

Uncompleted
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

Community

Prevent Recycling Contamination

Contamination prevents what is recyclable from being recycled. I will spend 30 minutes researching which materials are accepted by local haulers or drop stations in my community and recycle only those items.

COMPLETED 3
DAILY ACTIONS

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

Community

Share My Actions

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

Completed
One-Time Action

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

Raise Money For a Nonprofit

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

Completed
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 that follows the CDC’s current guidelines for prevention of disease transfer.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Community

Keep My Community Clean

I will pick up 10 piece(s) of litter each day.

COMPLETED 9
DAILY ACTIONS

Family

Swap the Snacks

I will swap out 1 prepackaged snacks a day for fresh fruits or veggies.

COMPLETED 14
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

Food

Ask My Favorite Restaurant to Reduce Plastic Use

I will talk to the owner or manager of a restaurant I frequent to request that they reduce their use of single-use and disposable plastics.

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 7
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Advocate For More Food Packaging Options

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

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Food

Cook a Zero-Plastic Waste Meal

I will prepare 1 meal(s) at home each day without using any items packaged in single-use plastic.

COMPLETED 6
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed

  • Reflection Question
    Food Ask My Favorite Restaurant to Reduce Plastic Use
    What was your strategy in talking with your favorite restaurant's management? Did you find it to be effective?

    Samantha Halter's avatar
    Samantha Halter 7/29/2021 6:36 AM
    I frequent a local coffee shop and this morning I the manager was the one who waited on me so it was easy to bring up plastic alternatives during our interaction. I asked if they would consider selling reusable coffee travel mugs/cups with their logo that would give patrons a small discount on their beverages since right now you can bring your own mug but there is no incentive for doing so. I thought it was an effective conversation especially because they already have a small part of the shop for various items such as tea pots, dog treats or cute magnets. I expressed how they could easily make a display with the “promotion” in that area. 
  • Reflection Question
    Lifestyle Complete a Waste Audit
    What did you learn about the waste you create? Where can you reduce the most?

    Samantha Halter's avatar
    Samantha Halter 7/28/2021 5:49 PM
    This is always one of my favorite actions each year. I think it is interesting to see how much things change from year to year. Every year I believe I do a good job of cutting back on the things I realize I use a lot of and then add the next group of things. This year, I would say that I need to work on cutting down on prepackaged food such as granola bars or fruit cups. These were some go to snacks during the later part of my pregnancy and therefore I had a lot of them. I wish I would have tried to make my own granola bars earlier on or prepared fruit cups ahead of time in reusable containers. 
  • Reflection Question
    Food 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!

    Samantha Halter's avatar
    Samantha Halter 7/28/2021 5:44 PM
    Since switching to loose leaf tea, I have been able to slow down and actually enjoy the process of making the tea itself. I find it relaxing to smell the tea prior to putting it into my reusable mesh infuser. It amazes me how this small act has changed my outlook for the rest of the day. 
  • Reflection Question
    Lifestyle Watch a Documentary
    Which documentary did you choose to watch? What did you learn?

    Samantha Halter's avatar
    Samantha Halter 7/28/2021 5:37 PM
    I watched the documentary Minimalism on Netflix. It follows people who are trying to live with less and how each of their lives have changed once they decided to change their own lifestyle. 

  • Samantha Halter's avatar
    Samantha Halter 7/28/2021 5:31 PM
    With us nearing the end, I feel like I wasn't able to give this year my all. I know there is still time, but unfortunately I know there are some things on my list that I wanted to do, like join a clean up effort that will not happen before the end of July. I plan to continue with some of my goals in the months to come. 
  • Reflection Question
    Lifestyle Travel Smart
    How can/did you prepare to be successful in this action? Did you engage in conversation with anyone about your new habit?

    Samantha Halter's avatar
    Samantha Halter 7/23/2021 10:04 PM
    I haven’t been doing a ton of traveling due up the pandemic and expecting a child. I did however pack some plastic free snacks in my hospital bag. I discussed what kind of snacks/treats my husband wanted and then we made some zucchini bread muffins to bring with us. 
  • Reflection Question
    Food Cook a Zero-Plastic Waste Meal
    Do an inventory of your kitchen to see how many single-use plastics you've used in the past. What are some resuable alternatives to these commonly used products? What would your impact be if you switched all the single-use products from your inventory to reusable?

    Samantha Halter's avatar
    Samantha Halter 7/23/2021 9:59 PM
    Instead of getting items packaged in plastic jars, I’ve been more aware of buying items in aluminum or paper bags. I think it wouldn’t be much of a difference since I am more aware when shopping from participating in this challenge in the past. 
  • Reflection Question
    Community Prevent Recycling Contamination
    What have you learned about what is accepted by local haulers for recycling, what you can drop off or ship to certain places, and what is not recyclable in your area? What is the most difficult part of recycling for you?

    Samantha Halter's avatar
    Samantha Halter 7/23/2021 9:54 PM
    Baltimore county doesn’t recycle glass which I find a bit irritating since glass can be recycled countless times and not lose its molecular integrity. Where as plastic water bottles only has a finite times it can be recycled. 

    The hardest part for me is removing labels that don’t get recycled off bottles, cans or jars. 
  • Reflection Question
    Community Estimate My Plastic Consumption and Go #PlasticNeutral
    What did you find out about your plastic consumption by using the calculator? What did or didn't surprise you?

    Samantha Halter's avatar
    Samantha Halter 7/23/2021 2:10 AM
    Even though I don’t often buy food out or buy things I don’t need but my few days a week definitely add up more than I realized. I am going to try to make some small changes based on the questions, like bringing my own containers for take out meals. 
  • Reflection Question
    Lifestyle Travel Eating
    Was this action easy or difficult to do? How did it change your travel experience?

    Samantha Halter's avatar
    Samantha Halter 7/22/2021 7:34 AM
    I actually found this task relatively easy to accomplish. I haven’t been doing a ton of traveling but as far as day trips it’s nice to bring some homemade items.