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Lauren Potak's avatar

Lauren Potak

The WaterFront Center

"Be more aware of my daily uses and find ways to eliminate plastic everyday and share the knowledge with everyone."

POINTS TOTAL

  • 0 TODAY
  • 145 THIS WEEK
  • 1,300 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    30
    disposable cups
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    15
    minutes
    spent learning
  • UP TO
    1,772
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • UP TO
    5
    plastic bottles
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    50
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    59
    pieces of plastic cutlery
    not sent to the landfill

Lauren's 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 18
DAILY ACTIONS

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

Homemade or Refillable Cleaners

Surface cleaners, glass cleaners, floor cleaners, oven cleaners, toilet cleaners...there's a whole lot of plastic waste involved in cleaning our homes - plus ingredients that can be harmful to aquatic ecosystems and our health. This month, I will make my own cleaning products or choose plastic-free, refillable options.

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

Travel Toiletries

Travel-size toiletries aren't just more expensive per ounce, they also have a higher plastic-to-contents ratio, and result in over 980 tonnes (2.2 million pounds) of plastic waste each year. If traveling this month, I will reuse my old travel tubes to refill with my soaps or only bring bar soaps with me.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bathroom

Plastic Free TP

Most toilet paper is wrapped in plastic #4, or low-density polyethylene - a thin plastic film that cannot be recycled back into more plastic film. To avoid this plastic wrapping, I will purchase toilet paper wrapped in paper instead, or use a reusable toilet paper option.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bathroom

Say No to "Flushable Wipes"

Even when advertised as "flushable" these wipes don't break down in sewer systems, but instead combine with fat to create massive clogs. This month, I will find alternatives to using disposable wipes.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Kitchen

Is it trash...or a trash bag?

The plastic industry has convinced us that some plastic bags are "trash bags," while others are just "trash." Instead of throwing empty bags away (such as bread bags, pet food bags, etc.), I will reuse them as trash bags.

COMPLETED 17
DAILY ACTIONS

Kitchen

Use a Reusable Mug

Even just one to-go coffee or tea a week adds up to 52 trashed cups in a year! I will avoid sending 1 disposable cups to the landfill per day by using a reusable mug or travel cup.

COMPLETED 17
DAILY 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 18
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

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 17
DAILY ACTIONS

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 120 minutes outside in nature, and share my observations, reflections, and learnings on the Participant Feed.

COMPLETED 18
DAILY ACTIONS

Study

Estimate Your Ecological Footprint

I will calculate my ecological footprint, and from the results brainstorm and take action on ways I can reduce my annual footprint.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Family + Pets

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

Family + 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

Family + Pets

Get Rid of Glitter

I will teach my little ones about microplastics while we do a craft project together using glitter alternatives.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Kitchen

Use Reusable Utensils

Whether I'm at work, on the go, or having food delivered, I will keep 3 plastic cutlery out of the landfill per day by using my own reusable cutlery.

COMPLETED 18
DAILY ACTIONS

Kitchen

Plant a Garden

I will plant an 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

Bedroom

Clean the Dryer Vent

Every time we tumble dry our laundry, our clothes' lifespans get a little shorter. The lint trap is evidence of the shedding fibers and our clothes slowly losing their quality. The less time our clothes need to be in the dryer, the longer they'll last. So this month, I will clean my dryer's interior and exterior air vents to help the dryer work more efficiently (and extend the life of the dryer!).

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bedroom

Ditch Dryer Sheets

Plastic sheets coated in softeners, lubricants, and fragrances, dryer sheets just aren't great for the planet or our bodies. Instead, I will use wool dryer balls or another plastic-free alternative to dryer sheets to keep my clothes static-free.

COMPLETED
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

Bedroom

Multiple Wears Before Washing

The simple, necessary, daily act of washing our clothes slowly degrades the quality of our clothes due to the friction involved in the process. To extend the life of my clothes, whenever possible, I will wear items multiple times before washing.

COMPLETED 17
DAILY ACTIONS

Bedroom

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.

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

Eco Deodorant

Conventional deodorant tubes are typically made from plastics #4 and #5, which are rarely accepted for recycling - especially together. When it's time to replace my current deodorant, I will replace it with a plastic-free option.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

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?


  • Lauren Potak's avatar
    Lauren Potak 7/16/2024 7:53 AM

    Happy Tuesday all!
    Thank you for everyone who has been contributing- even if you are not and not posting about it, I definitely appreciate and can see some small differences around the building and in the office!
    Keep up the great work!!!
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bathroom See the Green
    Take a moment to estimate how many disposable daily contacts you may have used over the years. What would be your impact now of switching to a contact brand with a longer lifespan?

    Lauren Potak's avatar
    Lauren Potak 7/16/2024 7:52 AM
    I don't even want to think about how many I have disposed of, especially when I was younger and played sports and constantly were ripping them. I would hope that it would be much better in terms of how negative of an impact I would have on the environment. I definitely can be more conscientious about how I can properly dispose of them.

  • Lauren Potak's avatar
    Lauren Potak 7/09/2024 11:01 AM
    Collected some cans and plastic wrapping out of the harbor today while kayaking!
  • 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?

    Lauren Potak's avatar
    Lauren Potak 7/08/2024 1:02 PM
    I can some moments of peace away from screaming kids and take some time to focus on me and get my head clear away from the hecticness of the day.
  • 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?

    Lauren Potak's avatar
    Lauren Potak 7/08/2024 1:01 PM
    Benefits are definitely that they are biodegradable ergonomic!
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bathroom Eco Deodorant
    Do some research on the toxic side affects of aluminum deodorant. After reading the side effects, can you think of instances where you may have experienced the side effects from this form of deodorant?

    Lauren Potak's avatar
    Lauren Potak 7/08/2024 12:59 PM
    I have definitely experienced some rashes in areas that it has come in contact with my skin.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bathroom Eco Deodorant
    Do some research on the toxic side affects of aluminum deodorant. After reading the side effects, can you think of instances where you may have experienced the side effects from this form of deodorant?

    Lauren Potak's avatar
    Lauren Potak 7/08/2024 12:59 PM
    I have definitely experienced some rashes in areas that it has come in contact with my skin.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bathroom Eco Deodorant
    Do some research on the toxic side affects of aluminum deodorant. After reading the side effects, can you think of instances where you may have experienced the side effects from this form of deodorant?

    Lauren Potak's avatar
    Lauren Potak 7/08/2024 12:59 PM
    I have definitely experienced some rashes in areas that it has come in contact with my skin.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bedroom Clean the Dryer Vent
    When was the last time you cleaned your dryer's air vents? Was it easier or more difficult than you anticipated?

    Lauren Potak's avatar
    Lauren Potak 7/05/2024 6:21 AM
    Last night! I clean it every time, not difficult at all!

  • Lauren Potak's avatar
    Lauren Potak 7/05/2024 6:20 AM
    Special shout out to Alexis for bringing her reusable coffee cup to get her ordered filled the other day!
    Crushing it :)