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Patricia Jonas's avatar

Patricia Jonas

National Aquarium

"I make thoughtful decisions that are eco-friendly and that will reduce waste in our environment. "

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 2,034 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    76
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    340
    pieces of litter
    picked up
  • up to
    1.0
    waste audits
    conducted
  • up to
    1.0
    donations
    made
  • up to
    23
    public officials or leaders
    contacted
  • up to
    415
    minutes
    spent learning

Patricia's 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 29
DAILY ACTIONS

Family

Learn about Environmental Justice

Using the action resource links below, my family will spend 60 minutes learning about environmental justice, causes of environmental injustice, and how plastic waste disproportionately impacts already vulnerable communities.

Completed
One-Time Action

Family

Swap the Snacks

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

COMPLETED 25
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

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

Personal Care

Sustainable Suds

I will replace my soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and lotions with a sustainable, unpackaged, or refillable option.

Completed
One-Time Action

Lifestyle

Clean Plate Club

When I need to replace my dish soap, I will switch to a bar or refillable option.

Completed
One-Time Action

Lifestyle

Travel Toiletries

If traveling, I will reuse my old travel tubes to refill with my soaps or only bring bar soaps with me in a TSA-approved reusable quart-sized bag.

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

Food

Eliminate snack bags

I will eliminate single use snack packages (chips, pretzels, nuts, fruit, etc.) during July. Although convenient to carry and consume, the packaging is not sustainable. I see a lot of these discarded bags on the street.

COMPLETED 15
DAILY ACTIONS

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

Become a Recycling Pro

Contamination prevents what is recyclable from being recycled. I will spend 120 minutes researching which materials are accepted by local haulers or drop stations in my community and recycle only those items.

COMPLETED 8
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Raise Money For a Nonprofit

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

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Keep My Community Clean

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

COMPLETED 25
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Write Letters, Emails or Sign Petitions

I will write or sign 1 letters, emails or petitions per day to advocate for plastic-free or planet-friendly policies.

COMPLETED 22
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Research Local Waste Sites

I will spend 90 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

Food

Minimize Packaging

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

COMPLETED 17
DAILY 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 29
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed


  • Patricia Jonas's avatar
    Patricia Jonas 7/29/2022 8:21 AM
    Just reflecting a little about what this years challenge taught me (or reminded me) -  it’s all about my choices.  Sometimes it’s easier to make a good choice - especially when there are useful substitutes or products.  And sometimes when I see litter on the streets and in the water, it reminds me that I need to speak up more in my community about both government responsibilities and personal responsibilities for this trash.  And sometimes when I read about the business projections for the plastic and chemical industry (they see growth in the coming years), I am reminded that there is a need for both my voice and many, many voices about a future in which there are altered views about the responsibilities for producing and reusing plastics.  

    Anyway, lots to think about and lots of things to do and not just in July.

  • Patricia Jonas's avatar
    Patricia Jonas 7/25/2022 9:57 AM
    Standing in line waiting to check out of a store.  In front of me are a Mom and two kids.  The clerk offers a plastic bag and the Mom says yes but one child says “Mom, we don’t need a bag. We can carry these.”   They leave without a plastic bag.  Love these kids!! 
  • Reflection Question
    Community Become a Recycling Pro
    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?

    Patricia Jonas's avatar
    Patricia Jonas 7/25/2022 9:48 AM
    As with many complex issues, “recycling” is a very big word that doesn’t always mean what you think it does.  To a household trying to do the right think, anything with a triangle might go in the bin.  But then you look in the center (the resin code) and then compare that to the chart from your recycling provider and find that only some of those items are accepted and the list can be long.  And then there is the list of things that can be accepted curbside and those (like rigid plastics - coolers, water bottles, totes, flower pots) that must be taken to a Citizen Drop Off Center.  

    The drop off centers in one community offer electronics recycling but a neighboring municipality encourages their citizens to donate used but functional electronics to charitable organizations.  And it was the first group that I found that offered a list of local retailers that will accept plastic bags and film.  And they have a YouTube video called “Tangled Up” which is meant to educate and entertain people about why things like plastic bags, clothing, linen, rope, electrical cords and chains will harm the recycling facility equipment and potentially harm the workers.  

    I currently have a pretty small recyclable footprint but the challenge is always inspecting your items, separating your items, and storing your recycling until time to put it in the community dumpster. And then there is my frustration when I see others have put plastic bags in the dumpster which means the entire effort is going to go to waste since the haulers will now take the entire dumpster to the landfill because it is contaminated by the plastic bags.  

  • Patricia Jonas's avatar
    Patricia Jonas 7/21/2022 7:13 AM
    Some thoughts from the book “Plastic Free” by the originator of Plastic Free July are about the folks who do not participate in this challenge - how to attract people from all walks of life who will not achieve “zero-waste perfection” but who can make a big difference by making small changes.  She refers to the mantra - “do what you can do” so that the message extends beyond this month.  I have occasionally received feedback (both verbal and nonverbal) from people who think the challenge is about “zero waste perfection” and that can seem intimidating.  I like to think of this effort as a journey - sometimes a winding journey with some stops along the way and with some guidance and suggestions from other travelers who are on this same journey. 

    • Jaime Webster's avatar
      Jaime Webster 7/23/2022 7:20 AM
      We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.
  • Reflection Question
    Lifestyle Travel Eating
    Was this action easy or difficult to do? How did it change your travel experience?

    Patricia Jonas's avatar
    Patricia Jonas 7/20/2022 10:18 PM
    A benefit of Plastic Free July is that it helps reinforce strategies to eliminate unnecessary plastic.  As opposed to being at home, traveling often offers fewer plastic free dining choices. Planning ahead and putting together snack choices in my own containers was easy and they were healthier.  Certainly better tasting than the typical over salted chips and snacks from the grab and go aisle at the store or gas station.  
  • Reflection Question
    Personal Care Sustainable Suds
    What are the economic and personal benefits of switching to bar soap/shampoo/conditioner or refillable bottle options?

    Patricia Jonas's avatar
    Patricia Jonas 7/20/2022 8:39 AM
    I have preferences for certain products based on their performance and the companies record of environmental integrity so don’t do much impulse shopping based on advertising.  So, choosing refillable options is an easy one.  And to be sure some of these products are more expensive than drug store brands but in the end I am not wasting my money on something that I will eventually discard die to poor performance.  So the refillable or bar options are more cost effective.  

  • Patricia Jonas's avatar
    Patricia Jonas 7/18/2022 6:32 AM
    Not sure how these negotiations were handled but I received a report from a family returning from the beach that instead of grandparents buying the usual beach toys (inevitably plastic), the kids got a jet ski experience instead.  
  • Reflection Question
    Lifestyle Travel Toiletries
    What is the benefit of using bar soaps or refilling your travel sized containers? Is this an action you think you will keep in your life?

    Patricia Jonas's avatar
    Patricia Jonas 7/17/2022 12:39 PM
    Refilling the travel sizes containers is no chore- I appreciate that I am bringing my favorite shampoos and cleansers and the travel sizes containers reduce the space needed in my bags.  Less space, less weight, and no surprises when I arrive at my destination.  

  • Patricia Jonas's avatar
    Patricia Jonas 7/17/2022 12:27 PM
    Why shop at a farmers market or local produce stand?  Fresh food, no packaging, lower transportation costs.  And the money supports local farmers and stays in the local economy.  All big plusses.  And capped off with a very pleasant shopping experience this morning with even some local entertainment.  
  • Reflection Question
    Lifestyle Complete a Waste Audit
    What did you learn about the waste you create? Where can you reduce the most?

    Patricia Jonas's avatar
    Patricia Jonas 7/17/2022 8:38 AM
    It’s always interesting to go back and see what choices were made - some good and some bad.  But even without doing an audit every week, I can generally tell by how many days it takes to take a bag to the trash bin versus a bag to the recycling container.  I started using a composter appliance this year and it reduced the amount going to the trash.  I’ve got more cans and glass going to recycling but there is still non-recyclable plastic in the trash.  So many products come with several layers of plastic and I assume a lot of that is for security purposes to avoid shoplifting.  That seems to be the theme at big box stores.