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Alyssa Tyree's avatar

Alyssa Tyree

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

"My goal this summer is to spread the message of conservation and green alternatives to all of our Aquarium campers!"

POINTS TOTAL

  • 60 TODAY
  • 390 THIS WEEK
  • 1,905 TOTAL

participant impact

  • UP TO
    23
    pounds
    food waste prevented
  • UP TO
    1
    conversation
    with a person
  • UP TO
    230
    minutes
    spent learning
  • UP TO
    85
    plastic bottles
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    36
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • UP TO
    6
    pounds
    waste avoided
  • UP TO
    30
    whole food meals
    consumed

Alyssa's actions

Community

Learn about Environmental Justice

Using the action resource links below, my family will spend 30 minutes learning about environmental justice, causes of environmental injustice, and how plastic waste disproportionately impacts already vulnerable communities.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Community

Give Some Green Gratitude

Don't forget to celebrate the good! This month, I will give shout-outs on social media, my office's internal communication channels, or the Participant Feed to a local company, coworker, friend, or family member for their sustainable efforts.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Study

Dig into Bioplastics

I will spend at least 30 minutes researching the impacts of bioplastics and how to properly dispose of them in my city, and I will share this information with 5 friends, family, and/or colleagues.

UNCOMPLETED
ONE-TIME 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 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Family + Pets

Get Rid of Glitter

I will teach my little ones about microplastics while we do a craft project together using glitter alternatives.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Family + Pets

Thoughtful Toys

I will only buy cloth, wooden or plant-based natural rubber toys. Or make our own toys from recycled items found in our home!

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

Family + Pets

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

Study

Plastic History Buff

Single-use plastics are everywhere, but that wasn't always the case. I will spend at least 20 minutes learning about the history of single-use plastics and how it became ubiquitous in our daily lives.

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

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Study

Greenwashing Pro

Greenwashing can fool even the most experienced eco-advocate. This month, I will spend 20 minutes learning what greenwashing is, how to spot it, and what I can do about it.

COMPLETED
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.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Study

Divest and Reinvest

Does your savings account, retirement account, or investment account support the fossil fuel (and plastics) industry? This month, I will spend 15 minutes investigating where my investments (and where my bank's investments) are going, divest from the fossil fuel industry, and reinvest in ways that are more in alignment with my values.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bedroom

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

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

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

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

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

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.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Bedroom

Proper Clothing Care

All those symbols on our clothes, sheets, and towels actually have meanings! To ensure that I'm caring for my clothes properly, I will spend 30 minutes learning what the care symbols mean and laundry best practices to make all of my textiles last as long as possible.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Kitchen

Start Composting

Composting isn't just good for soil! Composting your food scraps and other organic materials decreases your overall trash output, so you don't have to take the trash out as often and extend the life of your trash bags (i.e. use less plastic!). This month, I will start a compost collection at home, work, or school and avoid sending 2 pounds of food waste to landfill each day.

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Study

Follow the Chasing Arrows

The chasing arrows symbol we associate with recycling doesn't always actually mean something is recyclable. I will spend at least 15 minutes learning the different meanings the symbol can have.

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

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

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

Bedroom

Eco Detergent

Ditch the plastic jugs, artificial dyes, and harmful ingredients! When it's time to replace my current laundry detergent, I will switch to a natural laundry detergent that is packaged in glass or aluminum, or an alternative like soap nuts.

COMPLETED
ONE-TIME ACTION

Kitchen

Choose Unpackaged Produce

I will purchase unpackaged produce at the grocery store or at the farmer's market.

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Kitchen

Fill a Water Bottle

Bottled water corporations make plastic bottles, not water. If the tap water in my area is safe for consumption, I will use a reusable bottle instead and stop purchasing bottled water, saving 2 disposable plastic bottles a day.

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Kitchen

Whole Foods Meals

Prioritizing whole foods is one of the most effective ways to avoid single-use plastic in the kitchen, since most whole foods can be purchased without any packaging. This month, I will prepare 1 whole foods-based meals at home each day.

COMPLETED 20
DAILY ACTIONS

Kitchen

Dive Into Expiration Dates

Just because something is past its "expiration date," it might not actually be expired! I will spend 10 minutes learning about the difference between best by, use by, and sell by dates and how to tell if my food is actually expired.

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 20
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 20
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 20
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
    Family + Pets Thrifty Pets
    How does buying used differ from buying new? How does each purchasing decision make you feel?

    Alyssa Tyree's avatar
    Alyssa Tyree 7/20/2024 4:56 AM
    I love the idea that I’m keeping something out of a landfill that still has more to give.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Community Learn about Environmental Justice
    What did you and your family learn about environmental justice? What questions came up for you? What feelings?

    Alyssa Tyree's avatar
    Alyssa Tyree 7/19/2024 4:43 AM
    I didn't realize how much red lining impacted the environment. Housing developments were designed to cut out different demographics, mainly minorities, and in doing so have caused a build up of pollutants in impoverished areas.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Community Give Some Green Gratitude
    There are many pros and cons to social media use in today's society. How can you mindfully use social media as a tool for connection and sharing your values with your community?

    Alyssa Tyree's avatar
    Alyssa Tyree 7/18/2024 5:16 AM
    I think keeping post positive is a necessity. Fearmongering does not produce results, so leading by example and bringing hope to the people around you is more effective in changing people's perspectives.

  • Alyssa Tyree's avatar
    Alyssa Tyree 7/17/2024 4:50 AM
    Today campers will be walking to the south building to do a color hunt! On the way, I will be taking a bag with me and encouraging campers to show me trash on our trail so that I can clean it up on the way.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Study Divest and Reinvest
    Where we choose to spend (and invest) our money is one of the most powerful ways we can shape the future we want. What are some other ways you can ensure that your money is being used in ways that align with your personal values?

    Alyssa Tyree's avatar
    Alyssa Tyree 7/17/2024 4:49 AM
    I do research on the companies that I frequently purchase from and then decide if they are worth continuing to support. It is difficult though, when many companies overlap and you don't realize exactly how much they do. For example, Nestle is well known for their candy, but they are also guilty of stealing water from communities and bottling it for profit. They also own the Stouffers brand, so I have had to change what I buy to avoid giving money to a company I do not respect.

  • Alyssa Tyree's avatar
    Alyssa Tyree 7/16/2024 11:46 AM
    Day two and our box of snack wrappers is slowly growing. Many more campers brought in containers, but we have made progress! We also added our nitrile gloves we used for tie-dye to the glove recycling that we do through terracycle.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Study Plastic History Buff
    How has learning about the history of single-use plastic shifted your mindset on plastics and their function within society?

    Alyssa Tyree's avatar
    Alyssa Tyree 7/16/2024 11:44 AM
    It is ridiculous to think that in the 1860s we were trying to SAVE animals by creating an artificial material and as a result we have caused significant damage to the world as a whole.

  • Alyssa Tyree's avatar
    Alyssa Tyree 7/15/2024 2:35 PM
    For this week’s prek-k camp, campers are encouraged to bring food in a reusable container. If they do bring something packaged, we have started a special bin to collect wrappers to add to our Terracycle box.
  • REFLECTION QUESTION
    Family + Pets Thoughtful Toys
    Does your child play differently with natural or repurposed toys than with other toys? If so, how?

    Alyssa Tyree's avatar
    Alyssa Tyree 7/14/2024 1:28 PM
    My girls used items over again to make crafts that turn into toys, especially for their dollhouses. They treat these toya better because they made them themselves and that builds an appreciation for them.

  • Alyssa Tyree's avatar
    Alyssa Tyree 7/13/2024 6:51 AM
    It is getting harder by the day to fond produce not in a package, so this weekend we intend to go to the farmer’s market to get some veggies!

    • Jeanne Poirier's avatar
      Jeanne Poirier 7/13/2024 7:48 PM
      Be sure to bring your own bags - I try so hard even at Farmers Markets to use/re-use my own containers and not take home new ones, often plastic.
      ENJOY and thanks for supporting local food and growers!!