July 1 - July 31, 2019

Jaime Webster

National Aquarium

"TrashFree MD, Trash Free world!"

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 1,413 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    120
    disposable cups
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    60
    pieces of litter
    picked up
  • up to
    1
    community events
    hosted or attended
  • up to
    14
    petitions
    signed
  • up to
    1
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    6
    hours
    volunteered
  • up to
    23
    zero-waste meals
    consumed
  • up to
    10
    conversations
    with people
  • up to
    1
    donations
    made
  • up to
    5
    minutes
    spent learning

Challenges

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 Challenge

Community

Volunteer in my Community

I will volunteer 6 hour(s) in my community.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Community

Join a Cleanup Effort

I will host or participate in a beach, highway, river, or other cleanup effort in my community.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Community

Estimate Your 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 Challenge

Personal Care

Pretty oh so Pretty

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

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Personal Care

Fresh as a Daisy

I will use deodorant either from a bar or a jar or I will make my own.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Food

Use a Reusable Mug / Collapsible Cup

I will avoid sending 5 disposable cup(s) to the landfill per day by using a reusable mug or bringing my own collapsible cup.

COMPLETED 24 OF 31
DAILY CHALLENGE

Food

Minimize Packaging

I will purchase food items with the least amount of packaging.

COMPLETED 20 OF 31
DAILY CHALLENGE

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 23 OF 31
DAILY CHALLENGE

Community

Sign a Petition

I will sign a petition in support of a plastic-related initiative in my state/province.

COMPLETED 14 OF 31
DAILY CHALLENGE

Community

Raise Money For a Nonprofit

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

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Food

Lobby for Reusables

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

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Lifestyle

Homemade Cleaners

I will make my own cleaning products at home.

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Community

Keep My Community Clean

I will pick up 2 piece(s) of litter each day.

COMPLETED 30 OF 31
DAILY CHALLENGE

Personal Care

Pearly Whites

I will purchase toothpaste in an aluminum tube or in a glass jar or make my own!

Completed
One-Time Challenge

Feed


  • Jaime Webster 7/31/2019 9:20 AM
    Last day of Plastic Free July – but the effort does NOT stop here - treating plastic like a drug habit that needs to be kicked can now be all of our lifestyle pledges.

    What did we learn during this month to continue on this journey? (besides of course always carrying with you reusable items):

    1.) Value plastic waste: sometimes you might still end up getting plastic bags (or other plastic items), despite your best intentions-- do not consider it as waste. Keep that plastic bag in your bike basket for when you need it. Or keep the plastic fork that you got by mistake in your purse for future use.

    2.) The market is your friend: find goods at a Farmer’s Markets such as rice, veggies, eggs, fruits without plastic packaging; and 'market stores' such as MOMs have many items in bulk. 

    3.) There are hundreds of websites to help on this journey – a google or FB search = Plastic Free Living Tips & Tricks / Plastic-Free Support Groups & more

    3.) Perfection is not the aim. It’s about creating consistent alternative habits that you can regularly use in your routine life. To exist without plastic in this decade is NOT possible. (Medical procedures, Rx bottles and plastic water bottles for natural disasters are currently indispensable).  But you CAN make changes to reduce & refuse on a daily basis.

    4.) Go step-by-step so you don’t get overwhelmed - rather than see it as a huge inconvenience, treat living plastic free as a fun game!   To navigate the consumer minefield, develop mental maps of places where you can shop for certain items. It may take months, but learn where to get milk in a glass bottle, or where to grind your own peanut butter. Fortune 500 companies, like P&G & Pepsi, now want a piece of the action and are currently testing products like OJ in glass bottles, shampoo in aluminum bottles and other items in refillable non-plastic containers.

    5.) You don’t need to be rich to avoid plastic: Some people can’t afford a bamboo kit, but take a fork from home; reuse sauce jars & use bread bags instead of buying ziplocks; reuse shipping (or any bags) instead of buying garbage bags; get free canvas bags at events; and cloth napkins/rags/bar mops + DIY cleaners save $ in the long run.

    GOOD LUCK from here on out!!
  • Reflection Question
    Community Volunteer in my Community
    How does volunteering enhance your community and/or change your relationship with it?

    Jaime Webster 7/30/2019 6:45 AM
    Our neighborhood started a volunteer cleanup to get rid of weeds & trash - the more we care about the appearance, the more value our houses will have.  It also brings neighbors together for a united cause.  We are fortunate to live in a section of Baltimore with good house values and mostly respectable neighbors, but there are also still rental units that will leave furniture/trash out front, not remove weeds, and not be proactive to keep the area looking nice - so the rest of the community must pitch in. The more people see others caring and acting, the more we can expect them to pitch in and help - and we need all the trash removal help we can get.

  • Jaime Webster 7/28/2019 7:24 AM
    Does anyone currently bring reusable containers to a grocery store to purchase fresh cheese from the cheese-counter employees? Or maybe at a farmers market?  I'm wondering if this is actually something you can do in MD anywhere.  One of my biggest issues is my love of cheese and my disappointment that 99% of it comes in plastic packaging.  I'm currently only eating laughing cow, but I do have an issue with the foil wrapper on that as well. 

  • Jaime Webster 7/26/2019 6:42 AM
    I'm now hyper-aware of how most products at the grocery store are packaged in plastic (or have plastic lids or seals).  Did pretty well yesterday, but the biggest conundrum - hummus! We LOVE hummus and every brand is in a plastic tub.  So.....I bought chickpeas, tahini and an avocado and made my own!  It was easier than I thought and I'm going to try and build this into my routine from now on.   Also gonna to try to get used to Wasa crackers - cardboard consistency but the ONLY crackers that were plastic-free. Oy.
    It is so true that you can't 100% avoid plastic 100% of the time.....unless you live in the woods.
    IMG-2323.jpg 2.52 MB

    • Rose Slick 7/26/2019 7:17 AM
      Making hummus is something that I've been wanting to do for a long time- I have family members that do it all the time and they say they save so much money (and plastic!) by making their own! I'm glad you found it so easy!

  • Jaime Webster 7/24/2019 7:22 AM
    Woke up to a VERY well-written article by the TreeHugger blog on our current issue of ‘the illusion of a working plastics recycling system’ and how we begin to fix this mess we’ve all gotten into. Shared it on social media for all to potentially (hopefully) read! 

    https://www.treehugger.com/environmental-policy/recycling-broken-so-we-have-fix-our-disposable-culture.html?fbclid=IwAR2N8HPinV-jH_U7z9zVY_RlWYtHCCyHcZy0D1el_9Ag9QFmQFe-XkIEHng

    Best Quote:
    “In the meantime, the burden of change comes down to you and me and our communities to refuse unless it’s reusable — to reject the system that has been thrust upon us by ditching disposables and demanding better products and services. Of course, this is difficult for many people, but each and every action you can take does send price signals through the economy. ... Simply put — we need a reusable revolution to get us out of the recycling mess.”
    Also - "We need a reusable revolution to us out of this recycling mess"


  • Jaime Webster 7/22/2019 3:24 AM
    Info on Terracycle recycling programs - even individual households can request free mail-in pouches for numerous items, many others have local drop-off boxes.  They recycle everything from Hasbro toys to razors, beauty products, water filters, food wrappers...etc.....
    https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/brigades

  • Jaime Webster 7/21/2019 7:33 AM
    I've seen shoes made from plastic bottles before, nothing I'd care to wear - but these are stylish! https://nothingnew.com/

    Sneakers made from 100% recycled plastic (5.6 bottles per pair) AND recycled fishing nets, with recycled rubber soles & cotton. And shipping is carbon neutral.
    Homepage-Breakdown-Image-Desktop_1800x899.png 1.12 MB

  • Jaime Webster 7/19/2019 6:52 PM
    Its pretty eye-opening that I have a B.S. and an M.S. in environmental studies and yet I too was ignorant to the fact that only 9% of plastic is actually recycled into new products.  I don't think these issues were ever addressed in my grad school classes and I didn't research the data enough on my own.  I stupidly thought that the system worked better than that - it was only when China started refusing materials last fall that I became aware of the global recycling issues.  If I was 'blissfully unaware' of this global problem, we can't assume that the normal American has any idea.  This is why I choose to share Plastic Free July facts on a daily (almost) basis on social media so that I can at least educate my FB friends. My family has also been resistant to listen to me - I'm hoping the FB facts this month help guide them towards alternative actions. (I've been begging my mom to give up ziplock bags for YEARS!) <Insert angry face emoji>
    Now I look around our house an am horrified!! at how many plastic products we own.  I thought recycling was the answer (even though I knew not all plastic was recycled - I turned a blind eye) and thought I was doing well by refusing water bottles and plastic bags - but honestly Plastic Free July has REALLY made me aware that I need to do MUCH more to refuse plastic products.  From now on I will concentrate on bulk items and seeking out plastic - free products when shopping.  I realize that becoming plastic free is absolutely impossible BUT I can do my best to be MOSTLY plastic free - we all can!
  • Reflection Question
    Personal Care Pearly Whites
    Currently most of the packaging for toothpaste is plastic. How can you advocate for more alternatives through your purchasing power and influence in community?

    Jaime Webster 7/18/2019 1:54 PM
    Hopefully with enough grass roots interest they can encourage stores to start selling them to compete with companies that sell plastic tubes.  The more people that opt for eco-packaging, the more companies will shift to cater to customers. 
    And letting the stores know that you'd like to see these products on their shelves!
    IMG-2281.JPG 2 MB

  • Jaime Webster 7/18/2019 7:58 AM
    Bite toothpaste bits arrived!
    PROS: Once you bite down, the texture and foam is the same as regular toothpaste, you can’t tell it’s a ‘bit’.  Great mint flavor. And of course awesome packaging. Refills for the jar come in compostable packs.
    CONS: Significantly more expensive ($7.50/mo average) and do not contain fluoride. I shopped around a bit and these were less expensive than some other non-plastic brands. But I may do more research to get the cost down.
    512CEB6F-E80E-4EDC-943E-119DBD765895.jpeg 2.5 MB