Skip to main content
Julie McGrath's avatar

Julie McGrath

SF Teaching Zoo Zero Wasters

""To educate myself and others, while practicing skills learned in reducing, reusing, and recycling plastic and other harmful items to the environment, so that we leave a smaller footprint”"

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 1,955 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    85
    plastic bottles
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    189
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    51
    pieces of litter
    picked up
  • up to
    1.0
    waste audits
    conducted
  • up to
    1.0
    advocacy actions
    completed
  • up to
    5.0
    conversations
    with people
  • up to
    1.0
    community events
    hosted or attended
  • up to
    1.0
    documentaries
    watched
  • up to
    292
    minutes
    spent learning

Julie's Actions

Lifestyle

Proper Bioplastic Disposal

I will spend at least 20 minutes researching how to properly dispose of bioplastics in my city and share this information with 1 friends, family, and/or colleagues.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Advocate for Plastic-Free Dining

I will talk to the owner or manager of a restaurant I frequent to request that they reduce their use of single-use and disposable plastics.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Advocate For Better Food Packaging

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

Completed
One-Time Action

Family

Get Rid of Glitter

I will teach my little ones about microplastics while we do a craft project together using glitter alternatives.

Completed
One-Time Action

Personal Care

Green Beauty

When it's time to buy more, I will replace my beauty products with refillable, sustainable, and/or DIY options.

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

Personal Care

Brush with Bamboo

I will replace my plastic toothbrush with a bamboo toothbrush.

Completed
One-Time Action

Family

Bake at Home

To reduce the plastic packaging of desserts and eating healthier options, my daughter and I choose to bake our own dessert bread and dessert treats to snack on. This saves the use of plastics and disposable one-time use packaging.

Completed
One-Time Action

Family

Reusable Face Masks

Reduce the waste of disposable face masks. My daughter and I make reusable face masks to wear for COVID. This way we just wash them each week and reduce the additional waste that so many others are contributing to.

Completed
One-Time Action

Family

Learn about Environmental Justice

Using the action resource links below, my family will spend 20 minutes learning about environmental justice, causes of environmental injustice, and how plastic waste disproportionately impacts already vulnerable communities.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Fill a Water Bottle

I will use a reusable bottle and stop purchasing bottled water, saving 4 disposable plastic bottle(s) a day.

COMPLETED 31
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Minimize Packaging

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

COMPLETED 31
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Choose Reusable Food Storage

I will only use reusable containers instead of single-use plastic storage items (such as plastic wrap, single-use sandwich bags).

COMPLETED 31
DAILY 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 31
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Skip Plastic Bags

When possible, I will not use disposable bags when shopping, including produce bags.

COMPLETED 31
DAILY ACTIONS

Family

Swap the Snacks

I will swap out 3 prepackaged snacks a day for fresh fruits or veggies.

COMPLETED 31
DAILY ACTIONS

Family

Discover Together

I will spend 10 minutes educating my family on the basics of living a reduced/no-plastic lifestyle.

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

Support a Sharing Economy

I will create or support a sharing economy with family, friends, and neighbors.

COMPLETED 31
DAILY ACTIONS

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

Community

Estimate My Plastic Consumption

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

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Give Some Green Gratitude

I will give a shout-out on social media to a local company, coworker, friend or family member for their plastic free or green efforts.

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Host a Watch Party

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

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Share My Actions

I will make my environmental actions visible by posting to my social media networks.

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Dig into Bioplastics

I will spend at least 30 minutes researching the impacts of bioplastics and how to properly dispose of them in my city, and I will share this information with 3 friends, family, and/or colleagues.

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Keep My Community Clean

I will pick up 1 piece(s) of litter each day.

COMPLETED 31
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Tour A Waste Management Facility

I will spend at least 30 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.

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Become a Recycling Pro

Contamination prevents what is recyclable from being recycled. I will spend 30 minutes researching which materials are accepted by local haulers or drop stations in my community and recycle only those items.

COMPLETED 31
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Research Local Waste Sites

I will spend 60 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

Personal Care

Say No to "Flushable Wipes"

Wipes don't break down in sewer systems, but combine with fat to create massive clogs. I will find alternatives to using disposable wipes.

COMPLETED 31
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed


  • Julie McGrath's avatar
    Julie McGrath 7/31/2022 2:41 PM
    I purchase my deodorant from Native.  They only use all natural, cruelty free, and edible (but not recommended) ingredients!  They have transitioned over the past few years to offering plastic-free deodorant!!!  Unfortunately, not all scents are available in plastic-free, but many are!  I even got my daughter to switch to using their plastic-free options!  They have body soap, toothpaste and body wash for men and women.  You can earn free travel size deodorants (which are great for traveling!) I am signed up for the subscription plan to save $, and can adjust my refill shipment date as far out as I need!  They also offer season scents throughout the year!  I find that the deodorant sticks last about 3 months, and instead of smiling sweaty, I get occasional whiffs of flower bouquets or fresh cotton!  This is deodorant and not antiperspirant.  (Read the reviews, as there is commonly a slight adjustment period for your body to adjust away from the aluminum products).   Link to page:  http://rwrd.io/idicnnj?c 
  • Reflection Question
    Community Estimate My Plastic Consumption
    What did you find out about your plastic consumption by using the calculator? What did or didn't surprise you?

    Julie McGrath's avatar
    Julie McGrath 7/31/2022 2:33 PM
    I have a larger footprint than I would like to have, collectively in my household.  Unfortunately, some items are almost impossible or are extremely challenging to avoid plastic-due to the community resources available to us.  However, in my household, I am trying to make a bigger impact and influence to others I live with.  Again, I stick to my "one straw at a time" approach. I feel that I am pretty aware of my plastic consumption, and try to be aware with each use or avoidance of using plastic every chance I get. 
  • Reflection Question
    Food Fill a Water Bottle
    Using the links provided, investigate the bottling practices of water corporations. There have been many cases where the water rights of the local people have been violated or even completely disregarded when a corporation decides to bottle water from a particular water source. How can you advocate for those who have been harmed by this bottling process?

    Julie McGrath's avatar
    Julie McGrath 7/31/2022 2:27 PM
    Our church has been involved in foreign communities where they dig wells and provide resources for the residents to obtain clean, healthy water.  Similar to the old Italian proverb: Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.  By providing bottled water, yes it is clean and healthy for them, but then additional waste is created as well as pollutants of the plastic (additionally if the water is in any heat it could cause toxins to be released in the water).  By installing wells and teaching the community members about clean water, they will continue to drink health.  

  • Julie McGrath's avatar
    Julie McGrath 7/30/2022 6:53 PM
    We did school shopping today and had our own bags. All of the places we went used our reuseable bags, however one seemed a bit annoyed as I had to keep reminding her to use my bag (Dollar Tree). When we would head into another store, we would empty out an extra bag filling up our previously used bags so we maximized the use of our bags. Unfortunately, it looks like Target didn’t give us our discount for bringing our own bags, and we had 4 transactions!  ☹️

  • Julie McGrath's avatar
    Julie McGrath 7/29/2022 5:55 PM
    A friend of mine shared this website  which provides information on partnerships with restaurants, volunteer clean up events, ways to get involved, and  ways to take actions. 
    https://www.surfrider.org/action/ 

  • Julie McGrath's avatar
    Julie McGrath 7/28/2022 5:24 PM
    So, if you post multiple posts on 1 day, you will only receive points for 1 post. If you have multiple things you want to share, I recommend that you wait and post only 1 idea each day to maximize your point potential!

  • Julie McGrath's avatar
    Julie McGrath 7/27/2022 5:09 PM
    Don't get discouraged in your plastic-free challenge.  It takes an adjustment and it is a process. I have been taking this challenge for a few years now and have become more aware of my actions and families actions, but still need the reminders that this provides each year, as I do get lazy myself.  Each year I participate, I become more active and are than I previously had been . We often will slip out of practice after a few weeks or months of completing the challenge, so it is a good reminder when we participate again the following year. Through our repetitious practice and interactions with others, we will continue to make a difference, even if just 1 straw at a time. 
  • 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?

    Julie McGrath's avatar
    Julie McGrath 7/27/2022 5:05 PM
    Many plastics are able to be recycled locally, but there are a lot of others that still pose challenges.  I wish there was a way to prevent or stop the production of these because consumers are limited in the ability to minimize or prevent the production or use of these when purchasing specific products.  For example, (ugh styrofoam) cups and their thin plastic lids, plastic wrap for frozen food/bagged packages inside boxes, and other types of plastic we come across.  It is funny how some frozen containers are in paper based items, but then wrapped in plastic. LOL.  The most difficult is avoiding these little types of plastic that are not always visible, and creep up on you when not realizing or expecting.  

  • Julie McGrath's avatar
    Julie McGrath 7/26/2022 4:52 PM
    I went to Starbucks this morning to get a coffee in my reusable cup, and as I stepped out of my car I had to pick up a kids juice pouch to prevent from stepping on it.  It was laying in the parking lot next to a plastic straw.  It is amazing how ignorant we as a society have become to littering our communities.....much is from laziness and unaware of our surroundings.  I remember growing up seeing TV ads and posters about efforts to protect our planet.  Have these efforts fallen on deaf ears?  Have we as a society become desensitized to staying on top of the status of our environment and our future? 

  • Julie McGrath's avatar
    Julie McGrath 7/25/2022 4:55 PM
    We were doing an evaluation of our building today, which involved walking around the outside of the building.  At one point, some of the people I was with were literally standing on a piece of paper that was weathered, and then just turned and walked away leaving it there.  I picked it up and discarded it when I could.  As we continued to walk around, I kept finding small pieces, and then at one point 2 plastic grocery bags and a large candy wrapper.  My hand was full, and they finally noticed that I was making the effort to help the environment.  I can only be hopeful that my efforts would leave lasting impression on their mind, and maybe even prompt them to act on the urge at some point.  One piece of trash at a time, one lasting impression at a time, one change at a time.....