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Ava Kruciak 's avatar

Ava Kruciak

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

"Changing things one fish and one tree at a time"

POINTS TOTAL

  • 40 TODAY
  • 310 THIS WEEK
  • 1,500 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    42
    pounds
    food waste prevented
  • UP TO
    150
    minutes
    spent learning
  • UP TO
    916
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • UP TO
    12
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    35
    whole food meals
    consumed

Ava's actions

Study

Divest and Reinvest

Does your savings account, retirement account, or investment account support the fossil fuel (and plastics) industry? This month, I will spend 60 minutes investigating where my investments (and where my bank's investments) are going, divest from the fossil fuel industry, and reinvest in ways that are more in alignment with my values.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Study

Buy Only What I Need

I will not buy anything except items required for health and safety.

COMPLETED 10
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 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

Bedroom

Practice Sustainable Fashion

I will spend 45 minutes learning about the costs of fast fashion and begin trying to practice sustainable fashion in my own life.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bedroom

Sunshine Bleached

I will hang-dry my laundry to use the sun as a natural bleach alternative, or use another natural bleach alternative.

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.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bedroom

Proper Clothing Care

All those symbols on our clothes, sheets, and towels actually have meanings! To ensure that I'm caring for my clothes properly, I will spend 30 minutes learning what the care symbols mean and laundry best practices to make all of my textiles last as long as possible.

COMPLETED
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

Share my "why"

I will record a 15-20 second video sharing why I am taking action for the planet.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Kitchen

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

Kitchen

Visit the Butcher

I will purchase meats and cheeses from the deli counter or a butcher shop, and use my own containers to do so.

COMPLETED 19
DAILY ACTIONS

Kitchen

Whole Foods Meals

Prioritizing whole foods is one of the most effective ways to avoid single-use plastic in the kitchen, since most whole foods can be purchased without any packaging. This month, I will prepare 1 whole foods-based meals at home each day.

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Kitchen

Fight Local Food Waste

Who says saving money and saving the planet don't go together? Using an app like Too Good To Go or Flashfood, I'll help rescue food from local bakeries, restaurants, and grocery stores that would otherwise go to waste.

COMPLETED 19
DAILY ACTIONS

Kitchen

Use What You Have

The only thing worse than a single-use item is a zero-use item! I will use (and use up) what I already have in my home before buying something new.

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Kitchen

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 20
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?


  • Ava Kruciak 's avatar
    Ava Kruciak 7/19/2024 1:40 PM
    Days going great! Can't believe we're over halfway done! I'm positive my actions are going to carry over into the rest of the year!
  • 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?

    Ava Kruciak 's avatar
    Ava Kruciak 7/19/2024 1:39 PM
    I have become so much more aware of where my textiles come from and where they will go as well as how it affects the environment and humans.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Study Buy Only What I Need
    As you have reduced your spending, what have you noticed about your 'health and safety' purchasing habits? How might this change your longer term purchasing decisions?

    Ava Kruciak 's avatar
    Ava Kruciak 7/19/2024 1:38 PM
    One thing that I have noticed is that now I really take into account what I need and am so much more aware of: what should I actually purchase?

  • Ava Kruciak 's avatar
    Ava Kruciak 7/10/2024 3:47 PM
    Only part of the way done! Don't give up, you all are doing amazing! Even the small things can make a big difference!
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bedroom Sunshine Bleached
    The simple act of hang drying your laundry can be an act of mindfulness. Where else in your daily routine can you make mindfulness a practice?

    Ava Kruciak 's avatar
    Ava Kruciak 7/10/2024 3:43 PM
    As I go about cleaning or organizing, I can take time and appreciate things, recognize the moment and how I impact my environment.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Kitchen Use What You Have
    Besides the economic benefits of using the things we already own, how can this practice impact our lives in other ways and influence the way we interact with "things"?

    Ava Kruciak 's avatar
    Ava Kruciak 7/10/2024 3:42 PM
    It can make us so much more conscious of our actions and habits throughout our lives, and that's extremely important. Impacting one area of our lives can easily impact the others.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Kitchen Whole Foods Meals
    Share your favorite whole foods-based meal recipe with us!

    Ava Kruciak 's avatar
    Ava Kruciak 7/06/2024 1:12 PM
    https://faithfulplateful.com/pantry-white-bean-salsa-verde-soup/
    A delicious soup! I suppose it's a little warm for this right now, but be sure to try it when winter comes!
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bedroom 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?

    Ava Kruciak 's avatar
    Ava Kruciak 7/05/2024 12:44 PM
    I personally love thrifting, so going and doing that, or buying from reputable/sustainable brands allows me to express my unique style while still helping/protecting the environment.
  • 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?

    Ava Kruciak 's avatar
    Ava Kruciak 7/05/2024 12:42 PM
    I think that it's important to make the decision for yourself to buy that other kind of toothpaste, and to recommend to family and friends to do the same. If we start a reaction, it can make waves.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Kitchen Visit the Butcher
    How has using your own containers impacted the quality of the food you receive, and your awareness of the origins of the food you consume?

    Ava Kruciak 's avatar
    Ava Kruciak 7/05/2024 12:40 PM
    I haven't noticed much as far as quality, but it definitely makes me aware of where it came from and how it impacts us.