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Melanie Stewart's avatar

Melanie Stewart

UNMC/Nebraska Medicine LiveGreen

"Reduce plastic use--saving resources, reducing emissions, eliminating waste, all of which makes for a healthier planet and healthier humans."

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 964 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    510
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    2
    plastic bottles
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    31
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    6
    zero-waste meals
    consumed

Melanie's Actions

Community

Research Local Waste Sites

I will spend 60 minutes finding out where landfills and/or toxic waste sites are situated in my region and which communities are most impacted by these sites.

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Learn about Local Environmental Justice Concerns

I will spend 120 minutes learning about how plastic pollution affects members of my own community and how organizations in my community are working for change.

Completed
One-Time Action

Family

Learn about Environmental Injustice

Using the action resource links below, my family will spend 120 minutes learning about environmental justice, causes of environmental injustice, and how plastic waste disproportionately impacts already vulnerable communities.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Cook a Zero-Plastic Waste Meal

I will prepare 1 meal(s) at home each day without using any items packaged in single-use plastic.

COMPLETED 6
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Make My Own

I will try new recipe(s) or food preparation method(s) each day, such as canning, pickling, making yogurt, or baking granola bars or bread.

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Family

Glass Bottle Baby

I will replace 2 plastic bottles with glass or stainless steel alternatives.

Completed
One-Time Action

Lifestyle

Share My Actions

I will post to my social media networks about how reducing our plastic use is important for both environmental justice and conservation.

Completed
One-Time Action

Lifestyle

Homemade Cleaners

I will make 2 of my own cleaning products at home.

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Estimate My Plastic Consumption and Go #PlasticNeutral

I will visit rePurpose website, complete the 3-minute plastic consumption calculator, and explore how I can reBalance my annual plastic footprint.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Use Reusable Containers

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

COMPLETED 29
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed

  • Reflection Question
    Community Estimate My Plastic Consumption and Go #PlasticNeutral
    What did you find out about your plastic consumption by using the calculator? What did or didn't surprise you?

    Melanie Stewart's avatar
    Melanie Stewart 7/28/2020 1:49 PM
    I'm going to be honest, not my favorite calculator.  Estimating how many pieces of plastic you consume in a week is tough.  And I'd argue that not all people's makeup routine (etc.) is the same so you have to take that with a grain of salt. 
    HOWEVER, it's still a great too to see how much plastic you consume, and how much more than other nations and how that impacts the ocean.  Another example of how pervasive plastic is in our lives.
  • Reflection Question
    Community Research Local Waste Sites
    In what neighborhoods or areas of your region are landfills or other waste sites located? Which communities are most affected by these locations?

    Melanie Stewart's avatar
    Melanie Stewart 7/26/2020 4:41 PM
    I was familiar with some superfund sites in Nebraska, but learned about new ones.  It's scary how many of them have been created because of pollution to groundwater supplies.  Especially scary because we sit firmly over the Ogallala Aquifer.
    Also scary to learn that:
    Over 18,000 sites and an associated 22 million acres of land are related to the primary hazardous waste programs that comprise much of the nation's hazardous waste infrastructure, and more than half of the U.S. population lives within three miles of a hazardous waste site.
    HALF the population?!?!  It wasn't surprising to note that it's often people that are on the lower end of the social economic scale, which means it's a higher number of minorities, but I never would have guessed half the population was living in or within 3 miles.
  • Reflection Question
    Food Cook a Zero-Plastic Waste Meal
    Do an inventory of your kitchen to see how many single-use plastics you've used in the past. What are some resuable alternatives to these commonly used products? What would your impact be if you switched all the single-use products from your inventory to reusable?

    Melanie Stewart's avatar
    Melanie Stewart 7/21/2020 1:01 PM
    This is by far the hardest action I have ever chosen.  I knew that when I picked it because I wanted to challenge myself, but it's SO HARD!  So many things are in plastic--I knew processed food were, but even spices, olive oil, and ingredients that are needed to cook other foods come in plastic!  I'm learning more about places like Exist Green and other stores that sell products in reusable containers.  I'm also learning about cooking more whole foods/plant based meals.  Easier in the summer for sure, but also so much better testing and I feel better too!

    • Carol White's avatar
      Carol White 7/22/2020 5:25 AM
      Hadn't heard of Exist Green before. Do you know if their produce is organic? Thanks for the tip.
  • Reflection Question
    Lifestyle Homemade Cleaners
    What did you learn by making your own cleaning products? What is the biggest difference in making vs buying?

    Melanie Stewart's avatar
    Melanie Stewart 7/19/2020 4:14 PM
    Making my own products took a little preparation, but was still easy and they worked well.  I like using less chemicals and they were cheaper than premade, but I was able to make more.  Main ingredient was baking soda which came in cardboard, and so as this habit moves forward I'll save a lot of plastic!