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Brittany Murphy's avatar

Brittany Murphy

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

"Always doing my best in an effort to help the public appreciate and understand the intricacies of our big blue world!"

POINTS TOTAL

  • 55 TODAY
  • 315 THIS WEEK
  • 1,915 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    36
    advocacy actions
    completed
  • UP TO
    36
    food items
    properly stored
  • UP TO
    44
    pounds
    food waste prevented
  • UP TO
    36
    conversations
    with people
  • UP TO
    135
    minutes
    spent learning
  • UP TO
    35
    pounds of paper
    have been saved
  • UP TO
    1
    plastic bottle
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    92
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    1.2
    pounds
    waste avoided

Brittany's actions

Kitchen

Plastic-Free Produce Storage

Produce doesn't need to be stored in plastic bags to stay fresh! I will learn how to properly store my produce to extend its freshness without single-use plastic.

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 20
DAILY ACTIONS

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

Kick the Habit

Each year in the US, nearly 14.2 million disposable vapes are thrown away, and cigarette butts make up 30-40% of all litter collected during annual coastal and urban cleanups globally. For both my health and the health of the planet, this month I will kick my smoking habit and advocate for better regulations around the sale and disposal of disposable e-cigarettes.

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Family + Pets

All Natural Pet Toys

I will give my pets natural alternatives to toys like femur bones and antlers, canvas, natural rubber, hemp, rope or cotton toys. Or make our own toys from recycled items found in our home!

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Family + Pets

Discover Together

I will spend 15 minutes educating my family on the basics of living a reduced/no-plastic lifestyle.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Family + Pets

Sustainable Suds: Pet Edition

I will replace my pet's shampoo with an eco-friendly shampoo bar or refillable shampoo option.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Family + Pets

DIY Cat Litter

I will swap out my cat's litter for sawdust, mulch, or dirt with baking soda.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Family + Pets

Thrifty Pets

I will find secondhand sources for my pet's water/food dishes, collars or leashes.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Study

Say No to Styrofoam

Throughout its life cycle, polystyrene (styrofoam) can harm people, communities, and the planet. I will refuse styrofoam whenever I can, making sure to kindly let people know why I'm asking for alternative packaging.

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Study

Greenwashing Pro

Greenwashing can fool even the most experienced eco-advocate. This month, I will spend 15 minutes learning what greenwashing is, how to spot it, and what I can do about it.

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 15 minutes learning about the history of single-use plastics and how it became ubiquitous in our daily lives.

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 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Study

Recycle My Tech

There's value in our old electronics! This month, I will properly recycle any old laptops, tablets, cell phones, or other electronics I have lying around so the raw materials can be reused and reduce demand for virgin materials - thereby also protecting critical wildlife habitat for animals such as gorillas and forest elephants.

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

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

Study

Buy Only What I Need

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

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Bedroom

Rethink Returns

While most stores offer lenient return policies, what actually happens to all of those returns? I will spend 15 minutes learning about what happens to returns and how I can make better purchasing decisions to avoid returns in the future.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bedroom

Practice Sustainable Fashion

I will spend 15 minutes learning about the costs of fast fashion and begin trying to practice sustainable fashion in my own life.

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!).

COMPLETED
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

Multiple Wears Before Washing

The simple, necessary, daily act of washing our clothes slowly degrades the quality of our clothes due to the friction involved in the process. To extend the life of my clothes, whenever possible, I will wear items multiple times before washing.

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

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

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 15 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

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.

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.

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

Skip Plastic Bags

Whenever possible, I will not accept any disposable bags when shopping, including produce bags. I will either use my own reusable bags, or keep my items loose.

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?


  • Brittany Murphy's avatar
    Brittany Murphy 7/20/2024 10:24 AM
    Day 20!!! More than halfway there team! love watching our numbers climb and telling people about this amazing initiative while educating on the floor.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Study Follow the Chasing Arrows
    Recycling right requires both systemic change and personal and community awareness. How can you expand what you've learned about the chasing arrows symbol to encourage broader changes in your community?

    Brittany Murphy's avatar
    Brittany Murphy 7/19/2024 1:27 PM
    By acquiring the knowledge around the "chasing arrows" symbol, i now have the information that i can share and inform more of the public on these facts while educating about recycling practices and conservation messaging by using symbols guests are familiar with, and teach them something new in the process!
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Study Greenwashing Pro
    As you were learning about greenwashing, were there any companies you previously supported that you now think might be greenwashing us? How can you tell?

    Brittany Murphy's avatar
    Brittany Murphy 7/19/2024 1:24 PM
    I was unaware of the definition of greenwashing, but i absolutely believe that companies would put a spin on the advertising of items to raise sales by appearing more environmentally friendly. Body washes and bathroom products that contain micro scrubbing beads or unrecyclable plastic compounds would definitely fit into this area.

  • Brittany Murphy's avatar
    Brittany Murphy 7/19/2024 1:22 PM
    Spongebob's 25th anniversary guest quests are a hit in the aquarium, even putting out a limited number of copies each day, families are having a blast finding their favorite characters and the initiatives for removing plastics from the environment ties so nicely into plastic free july!!!
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Study Plastic History Buff
    How has learning about the history of single-use plastic shifted your mindset on plastics and their function within society?

    Brittany Murphy's avatar
    Brittany Murphy 7/16/2024 9:15 AM
    With history clearly showing scientific evidence of the negative impacts of large or micro plastics breakdown or being left in nature, and yet no largescale change has been made in the realm of mass production of goods or an effort to cut down on the amount of plastic containment many goods in our supermarkets. Singularly wrapping snacks while may be good for the wallets of large corporations, it is a blatant threat to us and our environment. It is certainly frustrating knowing this information is out there and yet only so much has been done in the way of change or reform.

  • Brittany Murphy's avatar
    Brittany Murphy 7/16/2024 9:10 AM
    Day 16! The VAQ has partnered with Paramount and Spongebob Squarepants to promote their "Act Like a Sponge" initiative with the goal to remove 5,000,000,000 pounds of plastic wastes from the environment by spreading awareness and conservation messages to guests to get them into reusable storage options, waterbottles, etc. Small changes can make a world of difference the more people get involved! Very excited to be a part of this initiative this year!
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bedroom Eco Detergent
    Was this an easy or difficult swap for you to make? Did you have any concerns before making the swap?

    Brittany Murphy's avatar
    Brittany Murphy 7/14/2024 1:22 PM
    With the internet being so easily accessible, videos of more eco detergent made from feldspar and detergent alternatives came up on my social media feeds naturally and peaked my interest in make the switch and see if it would save our household money in the longrun.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Study Say No to Styrofoam
    How might styrofoam be an environmental justice and/or environmental racism issue in your community?

    Brittany Murphy's avatar
    Brittany Murphy 7/14/2024 1:20 PM
    Styrofoam is probably the most “cost efficient” way to mass produce storage systems for easy delivery and take away, as we know money and the save of such can cloud the judgement or the ability to see the larger, negative picture styrofoams have been impacting our environment. When living for the convenience without the whole picture, this is why we need to spread the information we have learned this month to make more people aware of the impacts styrofoam has.

  • Brittany Murphy's avatar
    Brittany Murphy 7/13/2024 9:18 AM
    Finally getting into the real swing of things! Had trouble remembering my checkins till i put a daily reminder on my phone to log my plastic free july ecochallenge as much as possible. I would say I cant believe we are so high on the leaderboard, but I'm not surprised! Our aquarium can do anything if we put our minds to it! Keep it up VAQ!
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Study Recycle My Tech
    Besides reusing materials, what are some other environmental, societal, and economical benefits of recycling our old electronics?

    Brittany Murphy's avatar
    Brittany Murphy 7/13/2024 9:16 AM
    Recycling electronic materials drastically reduces carbon foot print by eliminating the byproduct of burning electronic waste with other disposable materials. Reusing the electronic components also cuts costs of manufacturing new electronics.