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Mary Hanks's avatar

Mary Hanks

Interfaith Environmental Network of Houston

"Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. REPEAT!"

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 1,514 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    35
    disposable cups
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    32
    plastic bottles
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    111
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    39
    pieces of plastic cutlery
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    34
    plastic straws
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    1.0
    waste audits
    conducted
  • up to
    50
    conversations
    with people
  • up to
    830
    minutes
    spent learning

Mary's Actions

Food

Thrifty gardening

Instead of purchasing new plastic containers, utilize social media and email groups to identify and acquire at least 10 used plastic containers for sprouting seedlings.

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Use Public and Community Radio

Create a spot for broadcast on progressive forums on a public or community radio station to discuss the issue of plastics usage and explain the July Plastic Free Ecochallenge. Add the spot to the station's archives, if possible, to make it available on demand.

Completed
One-Time Action

Family

Learn about Environmental Justice

Using the action resource links below, my family will spend 120 minutes learning about environmental justice, causes of environmental injustice, and how plastic waste disproportionately impacts already vulnerable communities.

Completed
One-Time Action

Pets

Thrifty Pets

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

Completed
One-Time Action

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

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

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.

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Estimate My Plastic Consumption

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

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

Dig into Bioplastics

I will spend at least 120 minutes researching the impacts of bioplastics and how to properly dispose of them in my city, and I will share this information with 50 friends, family, and/or colleagues.

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

Research Local Waste Sites

I will spend 120 minutes finding out where landfills and/or toxic waste sites are situated in my region and which communities are most impacted by these sites.

Completed
One-Time Action

Personal Care

Practice Sustainable Fashion

I will spend 60 minutes learning about the costs of fast fashion and begin trying to practice sustainable fashion in my own life.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Use Reusable Utensils

I will keep 1 plastic cutlery out of the landfill per day by using my own reusable cutlery.

COMPLETED 31
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Use Reusables at Work

I will use reusable dishes and silverware when eating at work.

COMPLETED 31
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Go Strawless

I will keep 1 plastic straw(s) out of the landfill per day by refusing straws or using my own reusable straw.

COMPLETED 31
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Use a Reusable Mug

If possible, I will avoid sending 1 disposable cup(s) to the landfill per day by using a reusable mug or bringing my own travel cup.

COMPLETED 31
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Fill a Water Bottle

I will use a reusable bottle and stop purchasing bottled water, saving 1 disposable plastic bottle(s) a day.

COMPLETED 31
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Minimize Packaging

I will purchase food items with the least amount of packaging.

COMPLETED 31
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Plant a Garden

I will plant a herb or vegetable garden using as little plastic as possible and to save from the plastic used buying herbs and veggies.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Choose Reusable Food Storage

I will only use reusable containers instead of single-use plastic storage items (such as plastic wrap, single-use sandwich bags).

COMPLETED 31
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Cook a Plastic Free Meal

I will prepare meals at home each day without using any items packaged in single-use plastic.

COMPLETED 31
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Skip Plastic Bags

When possible, I will not use disposable bags when shopping, including produce bags.

COMPLETED 31
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed


  • Mary Hanks's avatar
    Mary Hanks 7/31/2022 4:32 PM
    I've learned so much doing the Plastic Free EcoChallenge! It's got me trying to think of more ways I can reduce, reuse, and recycle. Lisa, thank you for your leadership, guidance, and support!

  • Mary Hanks's avatar
    Mary Hanks 7/30/2022 3:39 PM
    This has been my theme song for the Plastic Free EcoChallenge: "Stop Plastic Pollution," by Florian Schneider (of Kraftwerk)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5MtQMKa7ao

  • Mary Hanks's avatar
    Mary Hanks 7/30/2022 10:25 AM
    I still get surprised at how so many people miss the obvious...while at the same time, I'm gratified at how many people get the message about conscientious use of plastics. Last night I had dinner with some friends at their retirement home, where the meals are plentiful. One of my friends has a daughter who's a conservationist, so of course the dinner conversation included ways we can all support the environment. I've mentioned before that I typically carry a storage container with me for leftovers--but when I brought the container out last night, the lady to my right said--even though we'd literally just been talking about the problems of plastic disposal--"Oh, you didn't have to do that; this place will just give you one!" Before I could explain, two other diners jumped in to say, "But reusing one means less plastic used!" Another positive point: the retirement home used to provide styrofoam containers, but now uses paper products where possible and recyclable plastics otherwise. 

  • Mary Hanks's avatar
    Mary Hanks 7/29/2022 11:23 AM
    I'm practicing sustainable fashion by "shopping my closet"--I dug out a box of clothes that had been sitting in the garage and was thrilled to find several items that fit perfectly. I'm passing on other items to my friends, and anything they can't use will go to charity. 

    • Mary Hanks's avatar
      Mary Hanks 7/30/2022 1:07 PM
      Thanks, Lisa! Losing weight is often so much more challenging than commonly assumed, especially for women. However, in this case I realized how I'd let my consumption of sugar creep up, so I reduced it in a few specific ways. The result was a very gradual but fairly steady loss of about 3 pounds a month. I realize I'm lucky because I know so many folks who have health issues that interfere with their efforts to lose weight--such as side effects of life-preserving medications. 

    • Lisa Brenskelle's avatar
      Lisa Brenskelle 7/30/2022 12:54 PM
      If only I could still fit in all those old clothes in my closet.... Good for you! 
  • Reflection Question
    Food Fill a Water Bottle
    Using the links provided, investigate the bottling practices of water corporations. There have been many cases where the water rights of the local people have been violated or even completely disregarded when a corporation decides to bottle water from a particular water source. How can you advocate for those who have been harmed by this bottling process?

    Mary Hanks's avatar
    Mary Hanks 7/29/2022 11:08 AM
    Probably one of the most effective ways to advocate for people harmed by the water bottling process is to work with local and national groups in organized projects. 

    • Mary Hanks's avatar
      Mary Hanks 7/30/2022 1:34 PM
      Again, thank you, Lisa!  American Jewish World Service sounds like a great organization. I've signed up for their newsletter so I can find out more. 

    • Lisa Brenskelle's avatar
      Lisa Brenskelle 7/30/2022 12:56 PM
      There are American non-profits that work with indigenous communities worldwide, to defend their rights.  Here is one example:  https://ajws.org/

  • Mary Hanks's avatar
    Mary Hanks 7/28/2022 7:41 PM
    Wow, it's hard to believe that the month is almost over! I get a thrill when I see how much of an impact this team has made. Thank you, Captain Lisa!
  • Reflection Question
    Pets Thrifty Pets
    How does buying used differ from buying new? How does each purchasing decision make you feel?

    Mary Hanks's avatar
    Mary Hanks 7/28/2022 7:39 PM
    Buying used generally means I have to work harder to ensure getting a good quality product, but I feel like the effort is justified. 
  • Reflection Question
    Personal Care Practice Sustainable Fashion
    How can you express your personality, creativity, and values in ways that don't require fast fashion or buying more clothes and accessories?

    Mary Hanks's avatar
    Mary Hanks 7/28/2022 7:38 PM
    The best way is to make an inventory of the items I already possess and work to combine them in various ways. I can also trade clothes with friends of a similar size. 
  • Reflection Question
    Lifestyle Travel Eating
    Was this action easy or difficult to do? How did it change your travel experience?

    Mary Hanks's avatar
    Mary Hanks 7/28/2022 7:36 PM
    Bringing our own food and drinks while traveling required some advance preparation, but nothing onerous. It allowed us to reach our destination faster since we didn't have to make stops on the way there or back. 
  • Reflection Question
    Lifestyle Complete a Waste Audit
    What did you learn about the waste you create? Where can you reduce the most?

    Mary Hanks's avatar
    Mary Hanks 7/28/2022 7:34 PM
    I didn't think the tool provided was very helpful. I already knew the types and amounts of waste I generated, and I've been working to reduce further.