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Gillian Lang's avatar

Gillian Lang

OKC Zoo and Botanical Garden

"By joining together we can learn ways to minimize plastic usage, this will have both local and global impacts and is essential for the future of our planet."

POINTS TOTAL

  • 110 TODAY
  • 390 THIS WEEK
  • 1,730 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    1
    conversation
    with a person
  • UP TO
    170
    minutes
    spent learning
  • UP TO
    11
    pieces of litter
    picked up
  • UP TO
    640
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • UP TO
    4
    plastic bottles
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    62
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    1
    waste audit
    conducted
  • UP TO
    50
    pounds
    waste avoided

Gillian's actions

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

Natural Fibers

When available, I will purchase clothing and bedding made with natural fibers, such as cotton, linen, or wool, rather than synthetic fibers.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Study

Print in Draft Mode

To extend the life of my ink cartridges, I will set my printer default to draft mode to use less ink or toner per print job.

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

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 19
DAILY ACTIONS

Family + Pets

Rubber Glove Pet Hair Removal

I will use a rubber glove to remove pet hair from clothes, carpets and furniture.

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Kitchen

Choose Unpackaged Produce

I will purchase unpackaged produce at the grocery store or at the farmer's market.

COMPLETED 16
DAILY ACTIONS

Bathroom

Green Beauty

Globally, packaging manufacturers make about $25 billion each year on plastic beauty and personal care packaging. That's a whole lot of plastic - nearly all of which ends up in landfills. When it's time to buy more, I will replace my beauty products with refillable, sustainable, and/or DIY options.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Study

Follow the Chasing Arrows

The chasing arrows symbol we associate with recycling doesn't always actually mean something is recyclable. I will spend at least 15 minutes learning the different meanings the symbol can have.

COMPLETED
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 20 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

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

Dive Into Expiration Dates

Just because something is past its "expiration date," it might not actually be expired! I will spend 20 minutes learning about the difference between best by, use by, and sell by dates and how to tell if my food is actually expired.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Family + Pets

Balloons Blow

Although a long-standing festive tradition, balloons are harmful for animals and the environment. I will spend 30 learning about the dangers of balloons and find eco-friendly alternatives to use instead.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Family + Pets

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

Community

Advocate For Better Food Packaging

I will advocate for alternatives to single use packaging at local grocery stores, markets, or work.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Community

Give Some Green Gratitude

Don't forget to celebrate the good! This month, I will give shout-outs on social media, my office's internal communication channels, or the Participant Feed to a local company, coworker, friend, or family member for their sustainable efforts.

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

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

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

Keep My Community Clean

In addition to refusing and reducing my consumption of single-use plastics, I will pick up 5 piece(s) of litter each day of the Plastic Free Ecochallenge.

COMPLETED 2
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Support a Sharing Economy

While society often tells us we need to own everything ourselves, how necessary is that, really? Why spend money on something I'll only use once or a few times when I can borrow, swap, or share instead? This month, instead of buying new, I will create or support a sharing economy with family, friends, and neighbors.

COMPLETED 16
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 20 minutes outside in nature, and share my observations, reflections, and learnings on the Participant Feed.

COMPLETED 19
DAILY ACTIONS

Study

Complete a Waste Audit

I will conduct a waste audit of my trash and recycling to understand how much waste I create and create a plan for where I can reduce the most.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

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

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

Bathroom

Sustainable Suds

In the UK, the average person creates 512kg (1,129lbs) of waste in the bathroom over the course of their lifetime - 50% of which ends up in a landfill. As they run out, I will replace my soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and lotions with sustainable, unpackaged, or refillable options.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Kitchen

Give Veggie Scraps Another Life

Vegetable broth cartons are not easily recycled and often not accepted for recycling at all. To avoid or reduce my use of these cartons, I will save my vegetable scraps and fresh herb stems to make homemade vegetable broth instead.

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?

  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Study Numbers Everywhere
    Were you surprised by what the different plastic identification numbers mean? How can this information help you become a better recycler?

    Gillian Lang's avatar
    Gillian Lang 7/20/2024 10:08 AM
    By knowing which plastics a local recycling company accepts, it makes it easier not to contaminate the recycling stream with the wrong plastic. I went to check City of OKC's recycling guide and it doesn't specifically say which numbers of plastic they recycle but it gives examples of containers. As with all containers that goes into the recycling, remembering that it has to be empty clean and dry means that the recycling company won't reject it and send it to landfill.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Study Complete a Waste Audit
    What did you learn about the waste you create? Where can you reduce the most?

    Gillian Lang's avatar
    Gillian Lang 7/20/2024 9:43 AM
    Generally we don't really have a lot of trash each week, but we do have a lot of plastic that goes into recycling. To reduce the amount of plastic we are recycling we try to choose fruit that isn't in plastic. This is nearly impossible for berries, even the farmer's markets used plastic. Next year I'd like to do pick your own berries and freeze them. I am trying to make/bake/grow more of our food ourselves to cut down on plastic.

    • Mackenzie Blevins's avatar
      Mackenzie Blevins 7/20/2024 10:00 AM
      I would love to learn how to incorporate composting into my daily routine at my apartment complex. I also would like to look into eating less meat and creating broth from my scraps.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bedroom Declutter Sustainably
    Compared to your previous experiences with decluttering, how was this experience with sustainable decluttering different?

    Gillian Lang's avatar
    Gillian Lang 7/20/2024 9:19 AM
    Our recent decluttering efforts have helped our kids furnish their apartments as they start out on their own which saves them money too.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Family + Pets Balloons Blow
    Had you ever considered the environmental impact of balloons before? How can you share this information with your friends and family to encourage them to avoid balloons, too?

    Gillian Lang's avatar
    Gillian Lang 7/18/2024 8:01 AM
    Balloons releases have definitely been on my radar through friends sharing about the impact on social media. Knowing that I learned about them this way encourages me to share information in the hope that getting at least one other person to think about it will make a difference.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Study Print in Draft Mode
    What are some other ways you can extend the life of your printer ink cartridges?

    Gillian Lang's avatar
    Gillian Lang 7/15/2024 6:29 AM
    Instead of printing something I save it to a pdf on my computer.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Kitchen Dive Into Expiration Dates
    Were you surprised by anything you learned about expiration dates in the US? Has it changed the way you make decisions around purchasing or discarding food?

    Gillian Lang's avatar
    Gillian Lang 7/08/2024 10:24 AM
    I will definitely keep unopened perishable items and non-perishable food a little longer than I previously would have. after reading about stability of certain foods. We try to get food in the freezer in smaller portions like cold meats, some cheeses and bread because there is just two of us at home now.

    • Rose Bemo's avatar
      Rose Bemo 7/12/2024 8:45 AM
      Don't tell anyone, but I fed Hubs a powder soup mix that was best by 11/23! LOL
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bedroom Proper Clothing Care
    Fast fashion depends on consumers buying into constantly changing trends, only wearing their clothes a handful of times, then tossing and buying more. How can you combat those influences to create a more sustainable wardrobe you'll love, value, and care for long-term?

    Gillian Lang's avatar
    Gillian Lang 7/08/2024 10:13 AM
    I've never been into following clothing trends thankfulIy. I started shopping at thrift stores for clothes when I was in college and had to stretch my clothing budget. I also like to spend a little more on fewer items that I know will last.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Community Keep My Community Clean
    How does the act of picking up litter connect you more to your community?

    Gillian Lang's avatar
    Gillian Lang 7/08/2024 10:08 AM
    I hope being outside and visibly picking up litter in my neighborhood will maybe inspire more people to think about trash and either put trash in the trash cans, take it home or even pick up trash themselves.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bathroom 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"?

    Gillian Lang's avatar
    Gillian Lang 7/08/2024 10:04 AM
    It makes me think a little more about gift giving, can I gift people more experiences or home made items that won't clutter up their homes.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Family + Pets Mend and Repair
    Time to brag! Show us a photo of what you repaired and tell us about the experience!

    Gillian Lang's avatar
    Gillian Lang 7/06/2024 4:59 AM
    We had a ceramic birdbath that broke in hailstorm. Whilst the bath component couldn't be repaired I found an unused planter saucer the perfect size in our garage and MacGyvered it and now our birds can have a drink again.