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Allison Sheldon's avatar

Allison Sheldon

National Aquarium

"I'm looking to really learn more this year. I want to find ways I can incorporate what I learn through my own actions into my interpretation on the floor at work!"

POINTS TOTAL

  • 0 TODAY
  • 235 THIS WEEK
  • 1,220 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    6.6
    pounds
    food waste prevented
  • UP TO
    8
    conversations
    with people
  • UP TO
    60
    minutes
    spent learning
  • UP TO
    110
    minutes
    spent outdoors
  • UP TO
    3
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    20
    pounds
    waste avoided

Allison's actions

Study

Greenwashing Pro

Greenwashing can fool even the most experienced eco-advocate. This month, I will spend 30 minutes learning what greenwashing is, how to spot it, and what I can do about it.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bedroom

Catch Those Microfibers

When we wash our clothes, the heat and friction causes our clothes to wear down, releasing microfibers into the water stream. To combat and prevent these microfibers as much as possible, in addition to following best laundry practices, I will use a microfiber catcher in my laundry, or install a microfiber filter for my washing machine.

UNCOMPLETED
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.

UNCOMPLETED
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

Community

Share My Actions

One of the best ways we can create change in our communities is simply by talking about it! This month, I will make my environmental actions visible by sharing about them on my social media networks and the Plastic Free Ecochallenge participant feed.

COMPLETED 8
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Support a Sharing Economy

While society often tells us we need to own everything ourselves, how necessary is that, really? Why spend money on something I'll only use once or a few times when I can borrow, swap, or share instead? This month, instead of buying new, I will create or support a sharing economy with family, friends, and neighbors.

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

COMPLETED 3
DAILY ACTIONS

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 30 minutes learning about oil subsidies and how I can advocate for their elimination.

UNCOMPLETED
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.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

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

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 60 minutes learning about the costs of fast fashion and begin trying to practice sustainable fashion in my own life.

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

Dive Into Expiration Dates

Just because something is past its "expiration date," it might not actually be expired! I will spend 45 minutes learning about the difference between best by, use by, and sell by dates and how to tell if my food is actually expired.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

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 3
DAILY ACTIONS

Kitchen

Give Veggie Scraps Another Life

Vegetable broth cartons are not easily recycled and often not accepted for recycling at all. To avoid or reduce my use of these cartons, I will save my vegetable scraps and fresh herb stems to make homemade vegetable broth instead.

COMPLETED 3
DAILY ACTIONS

Kitchen

Save Jars for Reuse

Pinterest may want you to think that you need a cupboard full of matching mason jars, but reusing what we already have is one of the best ways to reduce our waste. This month, instead of recycling glass jars (such as pasta sauce, pickles, and salsa jars), I will save them to reuse for food storage.

COMPLETED 1
DAILY ACTION

Kitchen

Use What You Have

The only thing worse than a single-use item is a zero-use item! I will use (and use up) what I already have in my home before buying something new.

COMPLETED 12
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
    Bathroom A Greener Shower
    PVC is found in much more than just our shower curtain liners, and has wide-reaching environmental and social justice impacts across the globe. Investigate the impacts of PVC on people and planet. What information did you find, and what surprised you the most?

    Allison Sheldon's avatar
    Allison Sheldon 7/16/2024 9:22 AM
    While it doesn't necessarily surprise me to learn that there are toxic chemicals used to make (and can leach from) PVC, it's still disheartening to learn. Prior to looking it up just now, I didn't know it's one of the worst forms of plastic as far as environmental and health impact.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bedroom Practice Sustainable Fashion
    How can you express your personality, creativity, and values in ways that don't require fast fashion or buying more clothes and accessories?

    Allison Sheldon's avatar
    Allison Sheldon 7/11/2024 3:36 PM
    I think you can still be fashionable and express yourself without buying new trends and contributing fast fashion. Getting creative with mixing and matching is one of my favorite ways. Maybe the way I wore a skirt no longer appeals to me now, but can I alter it or pair it with a different top? Sometimes that can make a huge difference!

    • Debra Lee Norton Wear's avatar
      Debra Lee Norton Wear 7/19/2024 10:50 PM
      Mixing and matching is good
      Making your own clothes
      Thrift shopping are also all good choices

    • Robyn Jones's avatar
      Robyn Jones 7/12/2024 12:44 PM
      Cool fact, that's the real secret of the best fashion. To some people when creating something, it has to be "fresh" by using 100% new materials, which isn't true. There are many fashion artists who recycle or alter clothing to create something else. Like turning an old pair of jeans into a jacket, or making your childhood's shirts/jerseys into a quilt.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Bedroom Declutter Sustainably
    Compared to your previous experiences with decluttering, how was this experience with sustainable decluttering different?

    Allison Sheldon's avatar
    Allison Sheldon 7/10/2024 7:49 AM
    Normally I go to donate my clothes instead of planning a clothing swap like I have done this year. I have noticed though that I feel more inspired by doing it this way and I'm really excited to see the clothes I brought in today potentially get pick up tomorrow to be hopefully given new life! It feels more personal and direct.

  • Allison Sheldon's avatar
    Allison Sheldon 7/08/2024 10:14 AM
    Today I’ve been going through my closet for an upcoming clothing swap, and I’ve found a nice bonus benefit. It has helped me reorganize and take stock of the clothing I want to keep as well! It’s nice to remember sweaters that I do love, but have managed to make their way to the back of the closet…

    • Andrea Schlunk's avatar
      Andrea Schlunk 7/08/2024 3:48 PM
      I found this was the case with me, too! Now, I just have to keep track of if I've kept something for sentimental reasons, or if I really will wear it again. If I find it at the back of my closet one more time, I think it's the former and I should reconsider if sentimentality is a good enough reason to keep it.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Community Support a Sharing Economy
    What are the benefits of a sharing economy? How could a sharing economy change the dynamics you have with friends, family and/or neighbors?

    Allison Sheldon's avatar
    Allison Sheldon 7/08/2024 10:10 AM
    I think a sharing economy is great. It can help build connections with my neighbors as we all talk about our yards a lot, haha. I know if I or they were missing a tool for gardening/landscaping we could borrow from each other. I also will borrow things like coolers or umbrellas from my mom occasionally! Meanwhile, my partner often offers for her to use his pickup truck for heavy tasks like dump runs. It’s nice having a support network, and creates time for conversations around hobbies/activities.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Kitchen Give Veggie Scraps Another Life
    Making veggie broth from scraps doesn't just reduce waste, it can also save you a ton of money! What are some of the ways you use veggie broth in your kitchen?

    Allison Sheldon's avatar
    Allison Sheldon 7/07/2024 6:03 PM
    Veggie broth is always a great excuse to make soup!

  • Allison Sheldon's avatar
    Allison Sheldon 7/07/2024 9:36 AM
    It’s officially been one week of Plastic Free July! Thank you everyone for being so active. We’re doing great!
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Community Share My Actions
    Have you noticed a difference in how your community, friends, and family members use plastics since you've shared your own actions?

    Allison Sheldon's avatar
    Allison Sheldon 7/03/2024 3:45 PM
    I think so! The more we as individuals normalize waste-reducing actions by talking about them with our friends and families, the more change we’ll see in collectively. Most people seem interested when I share the successful steps I’ve taken to reducing plastic and have also offered ideas for my not-so-successful steps as well!

  • Allison Sheldon's avatar
    Allison Sheldon 7/03/2024 6:23 AM
    I was at Lake Roland the other day and found a fishing line disposal tube! We talk about these with one of our programs as a great way to reduce fishing line from getting out in the environment, and so I was excited to find one on my walk!


    • Robyn Jones's avatar
      Robyn Jones 7/03/2024 12:27 PM
      There are some at Down's Park too. Great to see more parks are doing this

  • Allison Sheldon's avatar
    Allison Sheldon 7/02/2024 5:32 AM
    I tried out the good waste app, TooGoodToGo last night! I got a $10 bag from Whole Foods that contained two containers of sesame noodles, a pasta salad, a breakfast wrap, and a large container of corn chowder. Most food needs to be eaten right away (as expected) but the corn chowder is good until 7/28! Looking at the original prices and the food quality, it was definitely worth it. I’m excited to try more!