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Maggie Ostdahl's avatar

Maggie Ostdahl

National Aquarium

POINTS TOTAL

  • 0 TODAY
  • 155 THIS WEEK
  • 895 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    15
    pieces of litter
    picked up
  • UP TO
    25
    meatless or vegan meals
    consumed
  • UP TO
    150
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • UP TO
    1
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill

Maggie's 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.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Community

Research Local Waste Sites

I will spend 25 minutes finding out where landfills and/or toxic waste sites are situated in my region and which communities are most impacted by these sites.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Kitchen

Natural Corks

Natural cork is a sustainable, renewable, and biodegradable material, but many wineries are switching to synthetic corks for their wine bottles. Using a database like CORKWatch, I will choose wines with a natural cork closure, and properly compost or recycle them after enjoying my wine.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Kitchen

Smart Seafood

Each year, approximately 2% of all fishing gear used globally is lost to the sea, becoming "ghost gear" and continuing to impact marine animals. This month, I will reduce my seafood consumption and enjoy 2 vegetarian or vegan meals each day.

COMPLETED 1
DAILY 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 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Kitchen

Meatless Meals

There are many benefits to enjoying meatless meals - including reducing our plastic footprint. Most meats and dairy products are packaged in plastic, so this month, I will reduce my animal product consumption and enjoy 2 vegetarian or vegan meals each day.

COMPLETED 9
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 0
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 14
DAILY ACTIONS

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

Keep My Community Clean

In addition to refusing and reducing my consumption of single-use plastics, I will pick up 3 piece(s) of litter each day of the Plastic Free Ecochallenge.

COMPLETED 5
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 4
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.

UNCOMPLETED
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

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

Plant a Garden

I will plant an herb or vegetable garden using as little plastic as possible and to save from the plastic used buying herbs and veggies.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

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?


  • Maggie Ostdahl's avatar
    Maggie Ostdahl 7/16/2024 12:21 PM
    apparently it is Amazon Prime day - while I appreciate that Amazon can be a good option for items one actually needs, I'm still happy with my choice a few years back to cancel my Prime subscription :)
    https://www.fastcompany.com/91156249/amazon-prime-day-is-a-festival-of-consumption-and-its-terrible-for-the-environment

    • Amanda Zaino's avatar
      Amanda Zaino 7/16/2024 12:29 PM
      It's hard when Amazon is so affordable with products I need! But maybe, I just need to save by only buying things I truly need and have really thought about
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Kitchen Plant a Garden
    Besides having access to fresh herbs and vegetables, what benefits will you see from growing your own garden?

    Maggie Ostdahl's avatar
    Maggie Ostdahl 7/15/2024 7:42 AM
    I've added more mint plants and hoping they will spread further - I also love that they smell great and are a deterrent to mosquitos :)
  • 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?

    Maggie Ostdahl's avatar
    Maggie Ostdahl 7/09/2024 6:56 AM
    I have mostly switched to hang drying most of my laundry year-round - with an added benefits of my clothes and linens lasting longer and not running the dryer much saves me tons of money on my electric bill :)
  • 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?

    Maggie Ostdahl's avatar
    Maggie Ostdahl 7/02/2024 7:18 AM
    Working on doing a better job of bringing reusables to the grocery store for bulk bins and deli counter, but here's the thing: why is buying groceries/food/etc a daily action? How can you buy less daily but also shop daily with plastic-reducing habits? I love this Ecochallenge every year and hope for the day when there are weekly or monthly actions, not just a false choice between daily and one-time!

    • Debra Lee Norton Wear's avatar
      Debra Lee Norton Wear 7/04/2024 9:18 PM
      I work at wegmans and I have seen more people bringing reusable bats and they is refreshing

    • Plastic Free @ Columbus Zoo's avatar
      Plastic Free @ Columbus Zoo 7/02/2024 7:37 AM
      Hi Maggie! This is a great question and we always try to do our best to explain the difference between "one-time" and "daily" actions before the challenge begins but it's difficult to ensure we reach everyone!

      "Daily actions" do not necessarily mean you have to (or that you will) do that action EVERY day. They're just more regularly done than once a month. That's why we encourage you to select a variety of daily actions, so even though you may not have gone grocery shopping one day, maybe you still refused a plastic straw and picked up a few pieces of litter, so you can still get your full 15 points that day for daily actions :)

      So yes, we absolutely want to encourage everyone participating to buy less! That's the absolutely best way we can all limit our plastic footprints. The "daily" actions are just "recurring" actions.

      Feel free to email me at plasticfree@columbuszoo.org if you have any other questions, and thanks so much for being part of PFEC every year! 💙

  • Maggie Ostdahl's avatar
    Maggie Ostdahl 6/17/2024 7:18 AM
    Lots of companies have made voluntary commitments around plastic...and most are not following through. https://www.greenbiz.com/article/nearly-half-all-1-billion-plus-companies-are-failing-plastics-scorecard

    • Mackenzie Blevins's avatar
      Mackenzie Blevins 6/17/2024 9:55 AM
      I thought this was a really interesting article, thank you for sharing! Crazy to see how many companies boast green initiatives but fail in such a major way.

  • Maggie Ostdahl's avatar
    Maggie Ostdahl 6/07/2024 1:15 PM
    Some good new actions added this year - e.g. yes to greater understanding of how taxpayers subsidize fossil fuels. Let's stop paying Big Oil/Big Plastic to inequitably harm us and the planet and redirect that money to better uses!