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  • Karina Balsley's avatar
    Karina Balsley 7/31/2021 5:43 PM
    Wanted to say how much fun I've had, how much I've learned, and how much my habits have changed this month... A LOT! I am now much more conscious about litter and picking it up, never forgetting a reusable bag, and making sure to educate myself more on issues surrounding plastic. It's been incredible to see the impact everyone in the ecochallenge, and just in our 53 people team, has made. Doing the little things really does count and add up quickly!  Thank you all for a great month, and may we all continue these new habits through the year, and beyond! :)

  • Karina Balsley's avatar
    Karina Balsley 7/31/2021 5:31 PM
    Another "Create Your Own Challenge" I'll share real quick is to use detergents/soaps that come in boxes rather than plastic bottles, that are (preferably) environmentally friendly. 

    Somewhat unrelated, but I'd always recommend to wash full loads of clothes/dishes to avoid wasting water (and money on that bill).

  • Karina Balsley's avatar
    Karina Balsley 7/31/2021 5:21 PM
    I thought I'd share two "Create Your Own Challenge's" I made. One is re-placing plastic cutting boards with wooden (or glass) ones, and the other is buying kitchen knives without plastic handles (made fully of metal). Obviously, you should only do these things if products you have  currently are ready to be replaced. But, if you are looking for a cutting board, wood lasts a long time, and will of course slowly bio-degrade in comparison to plastic. When they get very worn, my family likes to take our old wooden cutting boards and use them for house hold projects (they're a great place to practice drilling holes, use as a mini work bench, etc). With kitchen knives, purchasing some made only of metal means they'll last much much longer, as the plastic handle is what tends to break. It is quite an investment, and may not be an option for everyone. We have only replaced two or three of our plastic handled kitchen knives with fully metal ones, but they're great so far. 
  • Reflection Question
    Personal Care Brusha Brusha Brusha
    What are the benefits of switching to bamboo toothbrushes? How would you implore others in your community to make this switch as well?

    Karina Balsley's avatar
    Karina Balsley 7/31/2021 5:06 PM
    Less plastic going into the world! A plastic toothbush is one more piece of trash going to the landfill (or being littered!!!). Plus plastic isn't recyclable forever, and most plastic toothbrushes aren't recycled/recyclable at all. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on earth (it can grow 35+ inches a day), so it isn't going to run out any time soon. The only thing I don't like about bamboo toothbrushes is (as others have already mentioned), the bristles are still plastic. I don't personally have any ideas for bristle alternatives, but it's something to look into & think about.
  • Reflection Question
    Community Join a Cleanup Effort
    How does working with others to clean up your community make you feel?

    Karina Balsley's avatar
    Karina Balsley 7/31/2021 4:57 PM
    Amazing! It's great working with others towards a goal that you know makes a difference for everyone in your community! Cleaning up trash makes the natural areas around us so much nicer, and leads to less problems in the future.
  • Reflection Question
    Community Keep My Community Clean
    How does the act of picking up litter connect you more to your community?

    Karina Balsley's avatar
    Karina Balsley 7/27/2021 3:12 PM
    It connects me to my community because here in the Hampton Roads area, we're all part of one big watershed (Chesapeake bay/Atlantic ocean). So, I know that by picking up a piece of trash now, it's not ending up where someone else will find it. And, it protects animals from getting tangled in or eating trash! 

  • Michelle Seabaugh's avatar
    Michelle Seabaugh 7/25/2021 9:26 AM
    I am getting a lot of weird looks when I go into a store and tell them I do not want a bag at checkout. Even if it’s just one item. Anyone else? 

  • Christina Webb's avatar
    Christina Webb 7/22/2021 5:40 AM
    Have you picked up your free bamboo toothbrush for joining the team? If not, don't forget to get one from myself or Sarah! 
  • Reflection Question
    Food Use Reusable Containers
    How can you think outside the box (or bag!) when it comes to disposables?

    Christina Webb's avatar
    Christina Webb 7/22/2021 5:38 AM
    This one was super easy! Old pyrex and other glass containers are easily found at thrift stores. 
  • Reflection Question
    Food Minimize Packaging
    With the added mindfulness of reducing your packaging, what have you noticed about the amount and type of single use plastics used for packaging when you shop in the grocery store?

    Christina Webb's avatar
    Christina Webb 7/22/2021 5:37 AM
    Slightly harder than anticipated because this isn't something that can be requested easily for grocery pick up or delivery. I have to go to the store  myself to achieve this one.