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  • Carol White's avatar
    Carol White 7/31/2020 4:57 AM
    Well, here's the close to another July, it went really fast. Covid-19 really presented some challenges to the Challenge this year but I think we've learned a lot through it. Keep up the good work and see you for the next EcoChallenge.
  • Reflection Question
    Family Discover Together
    What concerns you the most about how we are affecting the planet? Consider both local and global actions.

    Holly White's avatar
    Holly White 7/30/2020 9:04 AM
    What concerns me most is all the simple things people could be doing to help the environment, but they choose not to. The other day while out on a grocery shopping excursion, I noticed a half-full plastic to-go cup complete with plastic lid and plastic straw that was left right in the center of an empty parking space. I took that personally. In my mind that was definitely intentional. It was an affront to all who are striving to make this planet a better place for THAT individual no less.
  • Reflection Question
    Personal Care Donate Zero Waste Period Products
    How can having access to zero waste period products help people who menstruate overcome barriers to education or other opportunities?

    Holly White's avatar
    Holly White 7/30/2020 8:49 AM
    The answer is obvious. Blood is life, but it's also a biohazard. If you have no way to dam the flow, then you're stuck where you are until the flow has ceased. For some that could mean being sequestered in a menstrual hut, for others it could mean missing school or a paycheck, and for some it could mean all of the above. In some parts of the world, it's the stigma that surrounds menstruation that shackles women, in other parts (including ours), it's socioeconomic disparities. Some women in this country simply can't afford to pay for food and feminine hygiene products in the same month. Providing women in need of feminine hygiene products will enable them to find a foothold in society and hopefully become successful, productive members of it. At the very least, they won't have to decide between food or tampons for one week each month.
  • Reflection Question
    Personal Care Fresh as a Daisy
    Do some research on the toxic side affects of aluminum deodorant. After reading the side effects, can you think of instances where you may have experienced the side effects from this form of deodorant?

    Holly White's avatar
    Holly White 7/29/2020 10:17 AM
    There really isn't any solid evidence that links aluminum to adverse effects in humans unless a human is exposed to very high levels of aluminum. On that note, there isn't any solid evidence that continued use of products containing aluminum over time DOESN'T lead to adverse effects in humans. In my opinion, why take any unnecessary chances, especially since most deodorants are packaged in, you guessed it, PLASTIC. Plastic IS harmful to our health regardless of what aluminum does or doesn't do for it. Personally, I don't use deodorant. I know that sounds gross, but you'll have to get over it. What is a deodorant supposed to do? It's supposed to kill all those bacteria stinking up your pits. What are the gallons of hand sanitizer you see everywhere now supposed to do? Kill bacteria. For years now, as a veterinary technician and as a UNMC employee, I've been surrounded by hand sanitizers which, frankly, double brilliantly as a deodorant. They also provide a welcome cooling sensation when, let's face it, you stink because you're sweating.

  • Carol White's avatar
    Carol White 7/29/2020 4:59 AM
    Bought one of the Ethique holders for my shampoo bar. It's made out of bamboo and sugarcane--no plastic in sight. It's supposed to last about 5 years and is compostable. It'll be interesting to see how long it lasts and in what kind of condition.

  • Carol White's avatar
    Carol White 7/28/2020 5:55 PM
    Another trip to the compost facility tomorrow. I'm really liking this. Maybe someday I'll have a yard and can start my own. Of course, then I couldn't include some of the stuff that a commercial operation can take, but....

    • Melanie Stewart's avatar
      Melanie Stewart 7/31/2020 2:52 PM
      That's a challenge for me too--I compost at home and love it.  But there's stuff I can't compost that I could at a commercial facility.  I have less of it, so I'd have to make more trips so it doesn't get gross/stinky and don't want to increase my emissions.  Ah choices.
  • 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.

  • Carol White's avatar
    Carol White 7/27/2020 5:03 AM
    I checked my cherry tomatoes this morning and finally have one little tomato starting. I'm so excited!!!
  • 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.

  • Carol White's avatar
    Carol White 7/26/2020 4:21 PM
    I bought some compostable silk dental floss in a glass container and the box is also compostable. Hopefully it works well.

    • Melanie Stewart's avatar
      Melanie Stewart 7/26/2020 4:41 PM
      Interesting!  Let us know?

    • Nidhi Kaul's avatar
      Nidhi Kaul 7/29/2020 6:50 PM
      I'm curious - does the silk floss hold up well vs mainstream floss? Or does it break often, fray, etc.?