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Ellen Van Looy's avatar

Ellen Van Looy

Go Green LinkedIners

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 890 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    1
    documentaries
    watched
  • up to
    1
    donations
    made
  • up to
    1
    conversations
    with people
  • up to
    135
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    3
    plastic bottles
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    13
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    1
    waste audits
    conducted
  • up to
    50
    zero-waste meals
    consumed

Ellen's Actions

Lifestyle

Buy Only What I Need

I will not buy anything except items required for health and safety.

COMPLETED 14
DAILY ACTIONS

Personal Care

Pretty oh so Pretty

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

Completed
One-Time Action

Personal Care

Dam the Flow

I will use a menstrual cup and/or cloth pads

Completed
One-Time Action

Family

Glass Bottle Baby

I will replace 3 plastic bottles with glass or stainless steel alternatives.

Completed
One-Time Action

Lifestyle

Homemade Cleaners

I will make 1 of my own cleaning products at home.

Completed
One-Time Action

Lifestyle

Watch a Documentary

I will watch a documentary film about waste with family and friends and talk about what we learned.

Completed
One-Time Action

Lifestyle

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.

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Raise Money For a Nonprofit

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

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

Say No to Plastic Bags

If at all possible, I will not accept any disposable bags when making purchases, including produce bags.

COMPLETED 8
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Buy Unpackaged Produce

I will purchase produce items without plastic packaging, making sure to wash them well before using them.

COMPLETED 6
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Plant a Garden

I will plant a herb or vegetable garden in my home, workplace, dorm room, or community garden.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

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 4
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Advocate For More Food Packaging Options

I will advocate for alternatives to single use packaging at local grocery stores, markets, or work.

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 31
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed

  • Reflection Question
    Lifestyle Complete a Waste Audit
    What did you learn about the waste you create? Where can you reduce the most?

    Ellen Van Looy's avatar
    Ellen Van Looy 7/31/2020 7:53 AM
    We moved into our own place at the start of the year and for the first time every, we have a separate collection for recycling and compostables, which is great!
    The first thing I've learned is that we generate quite a bit of compostables waste, though, thankfully, not as much food waste, meaning there could be fruit or veg peels/stones/etc in there as opposed to throwing out food. I think being at home more has helped to plan our meals better and ensure we're using what we have.
    The second thing I've learned is that, while I'm glad we now have a separate bin for recycling, there's a lot of plastic that goes into that bin. I'm way more conscious now about my plastic use and notice that there are so many products that you can only buy in plastic, which means there's more I can do to avoid buying those products and speak up more as well.
    We currently have about plastic shopping bag size of "other" waste each week. This is mainly plastic film from e.g. fruits/vegetables as well as wrapping plastic from items we have bought.
  • Reflection Question
    Lifestyle Complete a Waste Audit
    What did you learn about the waste you create? Where can you reduce the most?

    Ellen Van Looy's avatar
    Ellen Van Looy 7/31/2020 7:53 AM
    We moved into our own place at the start of the year and for the first time every, we have a separate collection for recycling and compostables, which is great!
    The first thing I've learned is that we generate quite a bit of compostables waste, though, thankfully, not as much food waste, meaning there could be fruit or veg peels/stones/etc in there as opposed to throwing out food. I think being at home more has helped to plan our meals better and ensure we're using what we have.
    The second thing I've learned is that, while I'm glad we now have a separate bin for recycling, there's a lot of plastic that goes into that bin. I'm way more conscious now about my plastic use and notice that there are so many products that you can only buy in plastic, which means there's more I can do to avoid buying those products and speak up more as well.
    We currently have about plastic shopping bag size of "other" waste each week. This is mainly plastic film from e.g. fruits/vegetables as well as wrapping plastic from items we have bought.

  • Ellen Van Looy's avatar
    Ellen Van Looy 7/30/2020 4:08 AM
    We're having a go at making our own hummus! While it's not totally zero waste, the chickpeas and the tahini will be plastic free, which is a win! The other ingredients are all package free.

  • Ellen Van Looy's avatar
    Ellen Van Looy 7/29/2020 5:37 AM
    I'd been looking at glass jars online since the start of the challenge, but felt I really needed to think about how many I need, what sizes and where to buy them so that they wouldn't be shipped/delivered in plastic packaging. This initially seemed like a way bigger decision than was needed, until... I emptied a jam jar a week or two ago and knew it would be a waste to bring that one to the bottle bank and buy an empty one instead. Jam jars are perfect for smaller items (I'm using them for nuts and seeds and am hoping to try a jam recipe myself), so I can reuse items as well as save myself some money.
    I'll still look for some larger glass jars (e.g. for oats, pasta, etc) - if anyone has any suggestions on quality ones, please let me know!

    • Ellen Van Looy's avatar
      Ellen Van Looy 7/30/2020 4:03 AM
      Thanks for the suggestion, Nidhi! I'll have a look for the Ball mason jars over here :) I have some small linen bags at home but don't think they'd be big enough for fresh bread, but that's a good idea to look for a larger size.

    • Nidhi Kaul's avatar
      Nidhi Kaul 7/29/2020 6:43 PM
      Hey Ellen! Just wanted to drop by and say thanks for the Costco tip. I will try asking them in San Francisco. Re: large glass jars, I love Ball mason jars, they're quite cheap (at least in the U.S.) and are nearly vacuum sealed with their 2-part lids. 

  • Ellen Van Looy's avatar
    Ellen Van Looy 7/29/2020 5:30 AM
    I do my weekly grocery shop online as I don't have a car and this makes things easier, especially now when I want to limit my trips to the shop in the village to a minimum. I'll look unpacked fresh produce items, e.g. apples, carrots, potatoes and buy those. Before submitting my shopping order, I'll leave specific comments for all of these items to not wrap them in a plastic bag, which is fine most of the time. If there is a plastic bag anyway, I'll provide feedback each time. It feels a bit pedantic, but I'm also hoping that this helps to get the message across.
    When I go to the shop myself, I'll always bring my own produce bags which are super handy. Except for bread rolls - the crumbs go through the produce bag netting :D 

    • Nidhi Kaul's avatar
      Nidhi Kaul 7/29/2020 6:44 PM
      Yes to the bread crumbs! I'm still looking for a good substitute to single use paper bags for baguettes. I hear linen bags are nice. 

  • Ellen Van Looy's avatar
    Ellen Van Looy 7/27/2020 2:11 AM
    I've switched to bars instead of bottled hand soap. And I switched to deodorant in a tin a good while back. Both of these have been an easy switch! I still have some bottled shower gels  and shampoos at home that I will finish (I used to buy things in bulk in shops that I didn't get to often). I shop regularly at Lush and, in addition to my usual bath oils and bath bombs, I've now also bought a shampoo bar that I can't wait to try and I noticed they have unpackaged shower gels/soaps that I'll definitely get too.
  • Reflection Question
    Personal Care Dam the Flow
    Disposable tampons and menstrual pads are often quite expensive. What are the economic and personal benefits of this switch for you?

    Ellen Van Looy's avatar
    Ellen Van Looy 7/24/2020 9:47 AM
    There are so many alternatives available - I don't know why I haven't made the switch earlier. The initial cost is quite high, but I'm seeing it as an investment and am sure that, over time, I'll be saving money!
  • 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?

    Ellen Van Looy's avatar
    Ellen Van Looy 7/24/2020 9:45 AM
    This was another eye-opening exercise/step to take. It made me realise that, while I'm doing what I can to avoid plastics (e.g. using reusable items, going container-free with lots of bodycare items), there's so much out there because of a lack of alternatives in store. Most of my consumption is by purchasing items such as fruits/veggies and other food items that come in plastic packaging.
    Offsetting my footprint felt like the least I could do!

  • Ellen Van Looy's avatar
    Ellen Van Looy 7/20/2020 3:39 AM
    I watched "The story of plastic" and it makes me incredibly sad, angry and a little ashamed too for falling for the laziness and ease of plastic myself and not realising the impact earlier. I know I've been aware of it for quite a few years but can't believe why I didn't see it earlier.
    I highly recommend the documentary for anyone who can get access to it. The message of tackling plastic at its roots resonates with me, as opposed to focusing purely on the waste management but not thinking about the production. 

    • Dana Jennings's avatar
      Dana Jennings 7/21/2020 9:23 AM
      I just watched it yesterday too! Wow- it was so impactful. Agree with you about the production piece. 

  • Ellen Van Looy's avatar
    Ellen Van Looy 7/17/2020 3:55 AM
    It's salad season and salads can be quite dry on their own. I wanted to find a dressing without buying something in a plastic squeeze bottle. There are loads of tahini dressing recipes out there and I tried one of those - 1/4 cup tahini, 1/3 cup water, juice of 1 lemon. You can add garlic and salt/pepper to taste. This took me 5 minutes and it was lovely!