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Christine Kitch's avatar

Christine Kitch

South Carolina Aquarium

"I see trash, I pick it up. I love a diverse ecosystem. I want to gift the best Earth I can give to my kids and their generation. Education is paramount. "

POINTS TOTAL

  • 25 TODAY
  • 360 THIS WEEK
  • 1,705 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    28
    disposable cups
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    22
    conversations
    with people
  • UP TO
    536
    minutes
    spent learning
  • UP TO
    1,578
    pieces of litter
    picked up
  • UP TO
    1,740
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • UP TO
    3
    plastic bottles
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    2
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    5
    pounds
    waste avoided

Christine's 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 60 minutes outside in nature, and share my observations, reflections, and learnings on the Participant Feed.

COMPLETED 19
DAILY ACTIONS

Bedroom

Recycling Textiles

Every single textile ever made will, at some point, become worn out - and dealing with that waste costs millions of tax dollars every year. I will spend 30 minutes learning about the different types of textile recycling and creating a plan for what I'll do with my clothes and other textiles when they are too worn out to use anymore.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Study

Numbers Everywhere

The numbers #1-7 on plastics tell us a lot - and can help us be better recyclers. I will learn what these numbers mean and which types of plastics are accepted for recycling in my area.

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

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.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bathroom

Pearly Whites

Nearly all toothpaste tubes are made from multiple layers of different types of plastic and aluminum, making them impossible to recycle and destined for landfill. When it's time to replace my current toothpaste, I will replace it with a plastic-free option.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Kitchen

Get Scrappy

Get creative in the kitchen (or the garden)! Before tossing food scraps, I'll explore other ways to utilize the scraps and give them another life.

COMPLETED 18
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Keep My Community Clean

In addition to refusing and reducing my consumption of single-use plastics, I will pick up 15 piece(s) of litter each day of the Plastic Free Ecochallenge.

COMPLETED 19
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Host a Watch Party

I will host a watch party with friends and/or colleagues to watch and discuss a movie about plastics.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Community

Tour A Waste Management Facility

I will spend at least 60 minute(s) touring (virtually or in person) a local dump/transfer station, material recovery facility, and/or landfill to learn about our local waste and waste recovery streams.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Study

Dig into Bioplastics

I will spend at least 60 minutes researching the impacts of bioplastics and how to properly dispose of them in my city, and I will share this information with 5 friends, family, and/or colleagues.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Study

Plastic History Buff

Single-use plastics are everywhere, but that wasn't always the case. I will spend at least 60 minutes learning about the history of single-use plastics and how it became ubiquitous in our daily lives.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

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

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 19
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

Community

Join a Cleanup Effort

I will host or participate in a beach, highway, river, or other cleanup effort in my community.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Family + Pets

Balloons Blow

Although a long-standing festive tradition, balloons are harmful for animals and the environment. I will spend 45 learning about the dangers of balloons and find eco-friendly alternatives to use instead.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Family + Pets

Discover Together

I will spend 60 minutes educating my family on the basics of living a reduced/no-plastic lifestyle.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Study

Greenwashing Pro

Greenwashing can fool even the most experienced eco-advocate. This month, I will spend 60 minutes learning what greenwashing is, how to spot it, and what I can do about it.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Study

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

Study

Borrowed Books

The average paperback book has the same carbon footprint of driving about 7 miles (11 km) in an average car. Instead of purchasing new books this month, I will borrow books, e-books, and/or audiobooks from my local library or library-affiliated apps, or host a book swap with my friends.

COMPLETED 17
DAILY ACTIONS

Bedroom

Declutter Sustainably

While it can be tempting to throw away (or drop off at Goodwill) any and everything that no longer brings us joy, there are so many options that are better for the planet! This month, I will declutter my home and properly dispose or re-home the things I no longer want.

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!).

UNCOMPLETED
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

Catch Those Microfibers

When we wash our clothes, the heat and friction causes our clothes to wear down, releasing microfibers into the water stream. To combat and prevent these microfibers as much as possible, in addition to following best laundry practices, I will use a microfiber catcher in my laundry, or install a microfiber filter for my washing machine.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

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.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bathroom

That Was a Close Shave

Who says we need 5 blades and a ribbon of shaving cream on every $5 razor blade cartridge, when a single blade causes less irritation and costs 92% less? This month, I will replace my disposable razors with steel razors.

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

Bidet All Day

The average American uses about 141 rolls of toilet paper each year, most of which is wrapped in plastic film. To cut down on my toilet paper usage, I will install a bidet in my bathroom.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Kitchen

Better Gum

Ever wonder how gum can stay chewy for so long without ever breaking down? Yep - it's plastic! This month, I will give up gum or choose gum made from chicle or other plastic-free gum bases.

COMPLETED 18
DAILY ACTIONS

Kitchen

Clean Plate Club

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

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Community

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

Community

Share My Actions

One of the best ways we can create change in our communities is simply by talking about it! This month, I will make my environmental actions visible by sharing about them on my social media networks and the Plastic Free Ecochallenge participant feed.

COMPLETED 19
DAILY ACTIONS

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?


  • Christine Kitch's avatar
    Christine Kitch 7/19/2024 8:25 PM
    Challenge: a 6-year-old birthday boy wants to celebrate his birthday at a party! We made his cupcakes from scratch for his family dinner, and I purchased party cupcakes from a local baker that also uses no plastic for packaging. Party supplies can be inundated with plastic, but We’ll be at the water park with pizza and rock painting favors. Paper plates and bamboo reusable forks. Paper cups. I’ll make a note now to pack my compostable trash bags. Though now that I think of it, I’m not sure how much use those are when they end up in a landfill.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Community Tour A Waste Management Facility
    Landfills and recycling centers tell us a lot about our communities and purchasing habits. What did you glean from your tour?

    Christine Kitch's avatar
    Christine Kitch 7/18/2024 8:55 AM
    The “what happens to NY’s trash”
    YouTube video is both heartening and disheartening. Love the tech! This sounds like our next viable option for waste management complementing reducing. A plant that incinerates trash for energy and scrubs the off gas.

    I am incredibly disheartened to hear NY sends trash to SC landfills. The Charleston landfill has been sending waste to Berkeley county because our landfills are running out of space. At least so I hear. This is why I love this part of the ecochallenge and can’t wait for my tour.

  • Christine Kitch's avatar
    Christine Kitch 7/17/2024 9:27 PM
    Behold!

    A Dart plastic lid and a plastic straw I found in a breaking down garbage bag that was partially buried. I wish I could find out when it had its heyday!

  • Christine Kitch's avatar
    Christine Kitch 7/16/2024 7:07 PM

    A blue heron chick in its nest. Made from a ten minute pickup of plastic fragments today.

    • Mary Hanks's avatar
      Mary Hanks 7/16/2024 9:57 PM
      That truly is beautiful! I admire your creativity and how you honored nature by reusing material that didn't naturally occur.

    • Jeanne Poirier's avatar
      Jeanne Poirier 7/16/2024 8:29 PM
      Love recycled art - and trashion shows! Almost don't want to think about how big and beautiful it could be . . .

  • Christine Kitch's avatar
    Christine Kitch 7/16/2024 2:17 PM
    Zen is probably picking out nurdles along the Charleston harbor one by one and watching the tide move with the marsh grass.

  • Christine Kitch's avatar
    Christine Kitch 7/16/2024 5:30 AM
    My biggest success Halfway through July: plastic free travel. Here are some things I did.

    1) soap in a tin can
    2) bulk snacks in small paper bags for the car ride
    3) all my car coffees bought canned and on sale beforehand
    4) meals planned - mostly pizza and eggs because we had a lot of farm fresh eggs
    5) hybrid car driving with an eye to mileage conservation
    6) not washing clothes unless dirty
    7) asking for a coffee maker to use our grinds we brought instead of the bnb keureg
    8) a lot of fruit prep - watermelon, pineapple, bananas, and apples
    10) impromptu litter pickups at rest stops and on hikes
    11) did not purchase anything at museums from the gift shops because it was all plastic
    12) brought in our own takeout dishes to Waffle House and Cracker Barrel
    13) brought the kids’ own cups to avoid plastic cups with lids and straws that restaurants like to provide
    14) being out in nature every day
    15) sunscreen in a tin can
    16) library books for entertainment
    17) a grocery resupply at a grocery store I’ve never been to, and I bought ZERO plastic products AND remembered my reusable bags
    18) *spread the word to our friends we were visiting that we were doing Plastic Eco Challenge!*
    19) saved all our fruit scraps and fed them to the farm animals

    Missed opportunities:
    1) I meant to bring our own milk but the glass jar shattered in our driveway. Despite best laid plans, I ended up using some individual creamers
    2) my children are an Achilles heel: I purchased their favorite snack gummies (which used to be in paper packaging but they’ve switched to lined plastic) as well as a highlights “lookin’ book” (hidden pictures).
    3) Waffle House and Cracker Barrel are not our ideal Whole Foods providers, but we were having guests, and flexibility is something to celebrate
    4) I packed the wrong dosage of meds and got an emergency fill for two days, which of course came in little pharmacy bottles. Can’t avoid that except to pack the right amount to begin with!

    Goals:
    1) clean the dryer vent
    2) mend my dad’s two pairs of pants
    3) finish the culling of our clothes for textile reuse - the textile recycling resources for this ecochallenge have been enlightening!
    4) write our favorite products that have been using plastic to express our desire for sustainable packaging
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bedroom Recycling Textiles
    Textile recycling is incredibly complicated for a myriad of reasons. After learning about the textile recycling process, how has your relationship with your clothing changed?

    Christine Kitch's avatar
    Christine Kitch 7/15/2024 8:59 PM
    “I’m full of hope. And rage”

    Pretty much sums it up. I love shopping for clothes. I try to meaningfully donate our clothes locally, but these articles and videos make it hard to justify purchasing new clothes. The synthetic fibers are problematic on my beaches, I find them in the sands and just know that the wildlife is ingesting them. I suppose care for the environment can start with taking care of the clothes you own to ensure your footprint is manageable.

    If only we could just all be naked.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bathroom Pearly Whites
    Currently most of the packaging for toothpaste is plastic. How can you advocate for more alternatives through your purchasing power and influence in community?

    Christine Kitch's avatar
    Christine Kitch 7/15/2024 8:29 PM
    I got the Bites in from ordering online. The packaging is all cardboard. I have to say that the toothpaste bits are like a peppermint candy that you brush with after you bite it. I like it. I say the no-plastic dental care section of this challenge is a success - bamboo toothbrushes work just as well! Bites toothpaste bits in glass jars look cool and taste the same. If you have textural issues I’d avoid it. I tried bamboo floss pickers but they weren’t the best.

  • Christine Kitch's avatar
    Christine Kitch 7/15/2024 7:49 AM
    We stayed on a farm in Rock Spring GA. All of our compost was eaten by farm animals. Watermelon rinds were crunched up by pigs. Apple cores (and apple slices) went to all the equines - donkey, henny, alpaca, sheep and horse! The chickens ate our egg shells. The emu ate our strawberry tops and squishy grapes. Carrot ends went to the rabbits. And the goats also munched on watermelon rinds! Almost makes you want to start a farm, but our compost bin back home seems a lot less labor intensive.
    Clark eating fruit scraps:
    Al says hey:


  • Christine Kitch's avatar
    Christine Kitch 7/14/2024 9:16 PM
    The “5 things you can do to make your cleanup more sustainable” article under the pick up litter task is a great read. I had a crabbing bucket once that I repurposed for litter pickups. It had the comfiest handle and perfect depth for a good walk. Leave no trace is always a great guiding principle.