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Ramiro Ruvalcaba's avatar

Ramiro Ruvalcaba

L.A. Zoo Team Angeleno Plastic Eliminators (Team APE)

"My mission is to lower my Carbon Footprint as much as I can, and to teach people a bit about Carbon Footprint"

POINTS TOTAL

  • 0 TODAY
  • 365 THIS WEEK
  • 1,795 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    23
    advocacy actions
    completed
  • UP TO
    26
    conversations
    with people
  • UP TO
    375
    minutes
    spent learning
  • UP TO
    141
    pieces of litter
    picked up
  • UP TO
    680
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • UP TO
    3
    plastic bottles
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    25
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    2
    pounds
    waste avoided

Ramiro's actions

Community

Advocate for Office Reusables

I will lobby my workplace to have reusable dishes and silverware in order to minimize disposables.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bedroom

Recycling Textiles

Every single textile ever made will, at some point, become worn out - and dealing with that waste costs millions of tax dollars every year. I will spend 10 minutes learning about the different types of textile recycling and creating a plan for what I'll do with my clothes and other textiles when they are too worn out to use anymore.

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 10 learning about the dangers of balloons and find eco-friendly alternatives to use instead.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Family + Pets

Invest in a Pooper-Scooper

I will swap out my single use plastic bags for a pooper-scooper.

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

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

Bedroom

Practice Sustainable Fashion

I will spend 10 minutes learning about the costs of fast fashion and begin trying to practice sustainable fashion in my own life.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bedroom

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

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

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

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

Eco Deodorant

Conventional deodorant tubes are typically made from plastics #4 and #5, which are rarely accepted for recycling - especially together. When it's time to replace my current deodorant, I will replace it with a plastic-free option.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

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

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

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

Study

Investigate Oil Subsidies

Our tax dollars are subsidizing the fossil fuel industry, making the cost of plastics artificially low and encouraging further plastics production. I will spend 15 minutes learning about oil subsidies and how I can advocate for their elimination.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Study

Learn about Plastic Production

Plastic production, not just disposal, pollutes communities and harms people. I will learn about the impacts of plastic production on humans, animals, communities, and the environment.

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 17
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Become a Recycling Pro

Contamination prevents what is recyclable from being recycled. I will spend 15 minutes researching which materials are accepted by local haulers or drop stations in my community and recycle only those items.

COMPLETED 17
DAILY ACTIONS

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 17
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 60 minutes outside in nature, and share my observations, reflections, and learnings on the Participant Feed.

COMPLETED 17
DAILY ACTIONS

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

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 18
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

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

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 18
DAILY ACTIONS

Bathroom

Say No to "Flushable Wipes"

Even when advertised as "flushable" these wipes don't break down in sewer systems, but instead combine with fat to create massive clogs. This month, I will find alternatives to using disposable wipes.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bathroom

Plastic Free TP

Most toilet paper is wrapped in plastic #4, or low-density polyethylene - a thin plastic film that cannot be recycled back into more plastic film. To avoid this plastic wrapping, I will purchase toilet paper wrapped in paper instead, or use a reusable toilet paper option.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Kitchen

Is it trash...or a trash bag?

The plastic industry has convinced us that some plastic bags are "trash bags," while others are just "trash." Instead of throwing empty bags away (such as bread bags, pet food bags, etc.), I will reuse them as trash bags.

COMPLETED 19
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 19
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
    Bedroom Declutter Sustainably
    Compared to your previous experiences with decluttering, how was this experience with sustainable decluttering different?

    Ramiro Ruvalcaba's avatar
    Ramiro Ruvalcaba 7/16/2024 9:47 AM
    The difference is that this time I thought about other ways I can use that item that I was going to throw away. If it is broken or damaged, I'll try to fix it instead of throwing it away and buying something new
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bathroom Say No to "Flushable Wipes"
    Even though they are marketed as "flushable," disposable wipes do not disintegrate in water or the sewer system, and actually release microplastics into our waterways. How does it feel to learn this information? What do you want to do about it?

    Ramiro Ruvalcaba's avatar
    Ramiro Ruvalcaba 7/15/2024 9:15 AM
    I had no clue that flushable wipes release microplastics into our waterways. I did know that they do not disintegrate in water. My family and I learned that the hard way. We had started using them and a couple of months later, we had to replace the sewage pipes because the wipes had clogged the pipes. We no longer use "flushable" wipes.

    • Mary Renaker's avatar
      Mary Renaker 7/15/2024 9:44 AM
      My husband read about dryer sheets (we don't use) that clog up your lint screen with gunk, and are not good for your dryer.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bathroom Sustainable Suds
    What are the economic and personal benefits of switching to bar soap/shampoo/conditioner or refillable bottle options?

    Ramiro Ruvalcaba's avatar
    Ramiro Ruvalcaba 7/15/2024 9:11 AM
    Some economic benefits of making the switch are that you will save money by doing so. Bars of soap often come with minimal packaging, which can be cheaper and reduces waste costs. Some personal benefits are that many bar soaps and refillable products are made with environmentally friendly ingredients and packaging.

    • Mary Renaker's avatar
      Mary Renaker 7/15/2024 9:48 AM
      We have switched to bar soaps at all sinks and use Dr. Bronner's liquid soap in shower only. We have used Dr. Bronner's since the 1970s (hippie soap) and the company is very green and employee owned. It recently sponsored the 40th Anniversary gala for Solana Recyclers, now the Solana Center for Recycling and the also teach permaculture in San Diego County.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bathroom Eco Deodorant
    Do some research on the toxic side affects of aluminum deodorant. After reading the side effects, can you think of instances where you may have experienced the side effects from this form of deodorant?

    Ramiro Ruvalcaba's avatar
    Ramiro Ruvalcaba 7/15/2024 9:05 AM
    I have been using Aluminum-Free deodorant for a few years now. The reason why I made the switch was because every so often, my skin would get irritated. I haven't had that issue since I switched to aluminum-free deodorant.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bathroom Green Beauty
    How can you advocate for the importance of reducing packaging to the rest of your friends, family and larger community?

    Ramiro Ruvalcaba's avatar
    Ramiro Ruvalcaba 7/15/2024 8:58 AM
    I believe that the best way to advocate for the importance of reducing packaging is by leading by example. The more I do that and talk about it, the more my family realizes the importance of reducing packaging.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bathroom Plastic Free TP
    Inquiring minds wanna know... Are you a scruncher or a folder?

    Ramiro Ruvalcaba's avatar
    Ramiro Ruvalcaba 7/15/2024 8:55 AM
    Its all about Sustainability! I'm a folder!
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bathroom Brush with Bamboo
    What are the benefits of switching to bamboo toothbrushes? How would you implore others in your community to make this switch as well?

    Ramiro Ruvalcaba's avatar
    Ramiro Ruvalcaba 7/12/2024 9:29 AM
    One huge benefit of switching to bamboo toothbrushes is that bamboo is biodegradable! some bamboo toothbrushes even come with plant-based bristles (which are also biodegradable). My goal is to lead by example, I plan on making the switch and starting off with showing my family and talking to them about the benefits.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bathroom Travel Toiletries
    What is the benefit of using bar soaps or refilling your travel sized containers? Is this an action you think you will keep in your life?

    Ramiro Ruvalcaba's avatar
    Ramiro Ruvalcaba 7/12/2024 9:20 AM
    I believe the biggest benefit of using bar soaps or refilling our travel sized containers is that we will reduce plastic waste & decrease the resource consumption. This is definitely an action that I will keep in my life.
  • 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?

    Ramiro Ruvalcaba's avatar
    Ramiro Ruvalcaba 7/12/2024 9:13 AM
    Here in L.A County, Local haulers for recycling usually accept; 1)paper products (such as magazines, junk mail, cardboard, paper boards etc..)
    2)Glass (bottles and jars) 3) Plastics (containers labeled with recycling codes #1-#7. 4)Metals (aluminum cans, steel, & small metal scraps)
    5)Cartons (Milk cartons, Juice boxes, Soup and broth cartons)
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Study Say No to Styrofoam
    How might styrofoam be an environmental justice and/or environmental racism issue in your community?

    Ramiro Ruvalcaba's avatar
    Ramiro Ruvalcaba 7/12/2024 9:04 AM
    Landfills and waste management facilities are often placed in low-income and minority communities. These areas bear the burnt of Styrofoam waste, which is non-biodegradable and occupies significant landfills space.