July 1 - July 31, 2020

Deborah Kim (Ecochallenge.org Staff)

Community Team

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 623 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    1
    documentaries
    watched
  • up to
    2
    donations
    made
  • up to
    95
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    58
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill

Deborah's Actions

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

Family

Swap the Snacks

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

COMPLETED 28
DAILY ACTIONS

Personal Care

Donate Zero Waste Period Products

I will donate 2 zero waste period kits to young people with periods so that they can reduce their waste and the financial burden of menstruation while continuing their education.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Say No to Plastic Bags

If at all possible, I will not accept any disposable bags when making purchases, including produce bags.

COMPLETED 24
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Estimate My Plastic Consumption and Go #PlasticNeutral

I will visit rePurpose website, complete the 3-minute plastic consumption calculator, and explore how I can reBalance my annual plastic footprint.

Completed
One-Time Action

Feed


  • πŸ“ I was gifted popsicle molds and recipes by family, and made strawberry popsicles on Sunday β€” they came out so great! Currently waiting for grapefruit popsicles to freeze. I'm happy to turn fruit (and overripe fruit) into frozen treats. The molds are made of plastic, but they are infinitely reusable and will save a lot of cellophane wrappers and boxes from the bin. Plus, the popsicles are usually just fruit, sugar, and water β€” not healthy, exactly, but wonderfully simple.Β 
  • Reflection Question
    Lifestyle Watch a Documentary
    Which documentary did you choose to watch? What did you learn?

    I watched The Story of Plastic. Highly recommended if you haven't seen it already. It's truly astonishing to see how plastic harms communities around the world at every stage of the lifecycle.

  • Yesterday, at the grocery store, I brought cardboard boxes and remembered my reusable bags! We still had to use one plastic bag for produce, but that was it β€” everything else was bagged without plastic. That said, so many food items are prepackaged in plastic...

    I've also been trying to memorize what can be recycled locally because most things can't. I didn't realize clamshell containers aren't accepted, for example. Really sad to have to pitch those in the trash, but it's enlightening (if very disheartening) to see the true cost of plastic. I love strawberries in season, and even with a CSA-type box I still received strawberries in a clamshell. The most waste-free way for me is to go to a local farmer's market, but they put them in a plastic bag last time. 😭 The ultimate way would be to go to a U-Pick, perhaps, aside from growing berries in your own garden.
  • Reflection Question
    Food Say No to Plastic Bags
    How difficult was this challenge for you? What made it easy or difficult?

    Fairly difficult! It's so easy to forget my bags, so I'm trying to make it a habit of doing the prep early. Even though we banned plastic bags in Oregon this year, COVID has definitely created exceptions where grocers run out of paper bags but prohibit reusable bags at the checkout. I've been told you can still use them at self-checkout, though. I'm going to try bringing cardboard boxes this weekend (Costco-style) to see if that helps us, too. I'm also holding onto plastic bags until we can recycle them at the store again, and it's a painful reminder to take stock at my collection of plastic that will stick around long after me.
  • Reflection Question
    Family Swap the Snacks
    How does swapping out prepackaged snacks for fresh fruit or veggies benefit your family?

    Eating fewer processed snacks means fewer empty calories and refined sugars and fats. More fresh, whole foods are better nutritionally and for our planet πŸŽπŸπŸŠπŸ‰πŸ“πŸ‘πŸ’β€” though we also can't forget about the supply chains and the people picking our produce. Sustainability means more than the health of the soil and the trees; it's the whole system.
  • Reflection Question
    Personal Care Donate Zero Waste Period Products
    How can having access to zero waste period products help people who menstruate overcome barriers to education or other opportunities?

    With access to reusable and zero waste period products, people will have one less barrier to education, and means to live a little more comfortably with less financial burden from menstrual management, plus more care for the environment by not increasing waste. They (and we) can learn about the myths that perpetuate the stigmas and taboos around periods. I'm not sure that a period kit can equalize access to education, but I hope it helps. In the U.S., people with periods have paid a luxury tax, and mixed support for reproductive healthcare is harming so many people who can't afford or who are denied access. We need so much change!

  • 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?

    My annual plastic footprint is 6.36% higher than the average American. The bulk is in home decoration. While I haven't been very spendy this year in terms of home decor, it's true that home items are often bigger in size and require more plastic packaging; or they're made of plastic. It's frightening to see that there could be more plastic in the ocean in 13 years, at this rate. Even my pill bottles can't be recycled locally because they're too small.

    I've thought about why plastic is usually the go-to when producing and shipping a product. Usually it's because it's lightweight, flexible, durable, and resistant to water damage and humidity. Consumers want a pristine product, and plastic is very effective in protecting and shielding an item from the elements. This goes for food packaging, too β€” no one wants stale cereal. So plastic is heavily integrated into so much of our lives. But the costs are so tremendous. I will have to do more research and thinking about my consumption.
    plastic_footprint.png 502.77 KB

  • I actually forgot to bring reusable bags in my hurry to get out the door to the grocery store yesterday. 😭 However, I set myself up for success next time by putting the bags in my car ahead of time. I even remembered to bring a couple cardboard boxes to see if I can use them instead of produce bags.

    I also bought peaches and nectarines that came prepackaged in plastic because they were cheaper. Not great. But I did also stop by the farmer's market for local flowers and strawberries, and I remembered my reusable bag that time!

  • Hi, everyone! It was tough to pick actions! I realized a huge chunk of the plastic that's in my life comes from the grocery store β€” a clamshell for berries, baby carrots in a plastic bag, sandwich bread, frozen proteins, cereal, to name a few. I admit I didn't want to pick some plastic-free actions because it was too difficult to give some items up.

    For a while, due to COVID guidelines, we were amassing tons of plastic bags (which are often too fragile and rip too easily for a second use) and paper sacks. My strategy now at the checkout is to ask clerks to place items back in my cart or to do it myself. Then, once we're outside, we roll our cart to the car and use our reusable bags! Next time I want to try bringing cardboard boxes for produce. My coworkers also suggested using the self-checkout so I can just bring my reusables inside and go contactless.

    Anyone have other tips to share?Β πŸŒΏπŸ˜€