July 1 - July 31, 2019

Kathleen Payne

Polymeric Purge Party

"I will educate myself on all of the ways to reduce plastic!"

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 1,342 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
  • up to
    pieces of litter
    picked up
  • up to
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    waste audits



Minimize Packaging

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



Raise Money For a Nonprofit

I will raise money to support a nonprofit dedicated to plastic pollution reduction.

One-Time Challenge


DIY Cat Litter

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

One-Time Challenge

Personal Care

Pretty oh so Pretty

I will purchase beauty products that are packaged in sustainable packaging.

One-Time Challenge


Keep My Community Clean

I will pick up 2 piece(s) of litter each day.


Personal Care

Dam the Flow

I will use a menstrual cup and/or cloth pads

One-Time Challenge


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.

One-Time Challenge


Use Reusable Containers

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



Use Reusables at Work

I will use reusable dishes and silverware when eating at work.



Start Composting

I will start a compost collection at home, work, or school.

One-Time Challenge

Personal Care

Just Say No

I will avoid buying toxic plastics, including polycarbonate, polystyrene and polyvinyl.


Personal Care

Fresh as a Daisy

I will use deodorant either from a bar or a jar or I will make my own.

One-Time Challenge


Homemade Cleaners

I will make my own cleaning products at home.

One-Time Challenge

Personal Care

Pearly Whites

I will purchase toothpaste in an aluminum tube or in a glass jar or make my own!

One-Time Challenge


Share My Actions

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

One-Time Challenge

Create Your Own Action

up-cycle plastic bags

To re-purpose plastic bags into "plarn" (plastic yarn) and make usable products by knitting or weaving i.e patio rugs, bigger bags, mats for homeless. I will turn 20 plastic bags a week into plarn to make more usable items. Plastic bags are one of the most littered item and re-purposing them could really impact the amount that gets littered.



  • Kathleen Payne 7/31/2019 2:23 PM
    I think after this month I am ready to carry all the tools I learned to remain plastic free (or rather as plastic free as I can manage) for a lifetime! I think our team did a lot better this year and I hope everyone learned a lot to take with them forever!

  • Kathleen Payne 7/23/2019 7:38 AM
    For anyone interested in donating to a non government, not-for-profit organization, I have started a fundraiser on my facebook to raise money for Clear Blue Sea. This organization is actively working to rid oceans of plastic and repurposing the plastic that they collect. Their innovative solution uses a Floating Robot for Eliminating Debris (FRED). Not only does it clean up debris, but it also uses renewable energy, has a self-preservation mechanism during storms, and can help rescue animals trapped in debris. The link is below to donate.


    If you are interesting in raising money for an organization that is about educating and eliminating plastic pollution, here are 5 non-government, not-for-profit organizations:

    1. Clear Blue Sea
    This relatively new, not-for-profit the Clear Blue Sea, is actively working to rid oceans of plastic and repurposing the plastic that they collect. Their innovative solution uses a Floating Robot for Eliminating Debris (FRED). Not only does it clean up debris, but it also uses renewable energy, has a self-preservation mechanism during storms, and can help rescue animals trapped in debris.

    2. Greenpeace
    You’ve probably already heard of Greenpeace. This global NGO actively works to promote a wide range of environmental issues. When it comes to plastic, one of their largest campaigns is a global petition to encourage ministerial action against single-use plastics

    3. One Green Planet
    An independent online platform, One Green Planet provides readers with information on sustainable, every-day habits. They are the instigators of the #CrushPlastic Movement. This campaign focuses on reducing single-use plastics including shopping bags, coffee cups, water bottles, take-out containers, and straws.

    4. Plastic Pollution Coalition
    Designed for both individuals and organizations, the Plastic Pollution Coalition is a network of partners working together to understand and solve plastic pollution. To contribute, each person can take the 4Rs Pledge to refuse, reduce, reuse, and recycle plastic.

    5. Surfrider Foundation
    A network of individual enthusiasts, the Surfrider Foundation engages scientists and other experts infeasible solutions to protect the ocean. Their Rise Above Plastic initiative encourages each and every individual to take action by becoming part of local Surfrider Foundation chapters. Additionally, the campaign sets out a number of steps individuals can take to reduce plastic pollution such as refusing single-use plastic items, recycling, and spreading the word.

  • Kathleen Payne 7/06/2019 8:43 PM
    Today I educated my family on the repercussions of letting off balloons to fly away. Many people let off balloons to send love up to "heaven" to their deceased loved ones. Here are alternate ways of honoring those you've lost:

    • Plant a tree in their favorite spot or plant a garden of love, with new flowers for every anniversary
    • start a group on social media and post memories and share stories
    • Make some wind chimes out of used plastics and things they loved so that whenever it blows you think of them
    • float flowers down a stream
    • Blow bubbles!
    Recently, VB has lost a lot of loved ones and I think it is important we remember them in the best way we can.

    • Katie Hutchinson 7/06/2019 9:18 PM
      Love the idea of wind chimes. Having a memorial with lots of wind chimes that can then be taken home as remembrance is truly beautiful.  Going to start using this as my go-to re recommendation instead of balloons. All my love to the VB community as well. 

  • Kathleen Payne 7/05/2019 7:10 PM
    Has anyone heard of plarn!?

     Plarn is "yarn" made from plastic bags. So you just take all of your plastic bags and cut them into loops to link together and make into one long string of "plarn" that you can knit or crochet with to turn your plaatic bags into rugs, bigger beach bags, beach mats, really anything you can knit. Turn your plastic into something useful with this pro-tip!

    How-to-Make-Plarn-AllFreeCrochet_Large600_ID-3094002.png 271.63 KB

    • Kathleen Reed 7/06/2019 10:35 AM
      Cool. Thanks!! I have seen this done in the past but never have had instructions.

  • Kathleen Payne 7/04/2019 7:58 PM
    Today I said no to plastic bottles of water, plastic cutlery, and plaatic cups at my family independence day party. #plasticfreeforthewin

  • Kathleen Payne 7/03/2019 3:37 AM
    For today my tip is this: when going on long road trips, pack sandwiches instead of stopping for fast food. You can still stop at a rest area and have a picnic but this way you're using less plastic! 

    Now of only they could make a way to get to another state wothout using so much freaking carbon. Where are we on making portals? Maybe a portkey? Or a vanishing cabinet? ...I digress... Keep up the good work everyone!

  • Kathleen Payne 7/02/2019 9:28 AM
    Go to this website and get a 15% off coupon during plastic free July for your very own pair of Eco-friendly 100% compostable sunglasses and/phone case. They are cheaper than most Ray Bans and Oakleys, plus they are completely plastic free!


  • Kathleen Payne 7/02/2019 8:49 AM
    Zero Waste Pro-Tip #2

    Lessen your plastic waste from coffee by following these simple steps:

    1. Make coffee at home! Additionally, if you use a Keurig, to limit plastic waste buy a reusable K-cup filter (this also saves you a lot of money because you can buy bulk coffee grounds for much cheaper than several boxes of plastic k-cups). If you have the regular type of coffee maker, you can still limit your waste by replacing your paper coffee filters with a re-usable coffee filter! And if you want to go way above and beyond COFFEE GROUNDS ARE COMPOSTABLE!

    2. Another alternative is to bring your own cup to a coffee house and have the barista fill your cup instead of using the plastic disposable cups. Those cups may feel like paper, but they are lined with plastic and many places will not recycle those. 

    3. If you have no other option than to buy coffee from a cafe, then at least skip the lid since the plastic lids are type 4 and not recyclable.

    Last year we, in the US, wasted 2 billion plastic coffee cups. Coffee lovers, lets unite against plastic waste and vow to not let our caffeine addiction habits effect the environment!

  • Kathleen Payne 7/01/2019 11:16 AM
    zero waste pro-tip #1:

    BUY LESS! Some things to think about before you buy something NEW:

    • Is there any way I can make my current item last longer? can I fix it instead of replacing it?
    • Can I substitute this with something I already have?
    • Can I borrow this from someone instead of buying it new?
    • Can I find this at a second-hand shop? 
    • Can I make this from materials I already have?
    As of August last year, we (people of the entire Earth) have used up all the resources that were supposed to sustain us up to that point. We are currently borrowing resources from our future (using a year and a half worth of resources every year). It is in our best interest to start RE-USING resources. So shop on Facebook market, or go to a thrift store, maybe start a community share system where everyone in your community can borrow resources. #thingstothinkabout

    If you want to learn more about zero waste go to this link and watch the videos, or read her blog. https://www.goingzerowaste.com/blog/31-day-zero-waste-challenge
  • Reflection Question
    Food Use Reusable Containers
    How can you think outside the box (or bag!) when it comes to disposables?

    Kathleen Payne 6/11/2019 12:27 PM
    I've seen a lot of stuff on amazon for silicon sandwich bags and even silicon collapsible take home boxes to bring to restaurants. I think there is almost always an alternative to plastic if you look hard enough. 

    • Allie Hobgood 6/13/2019 7:31 AM
      I love the idea of something I can stuff in my purse. I was taking pyrex dishes but I always forgot them in my car. Womp womp womp.