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Congratulations ~ thank you for completing the iSEE Plastic Free Challenge!

Posted by Meredith Moore on April 3, 2021

Good afternoon and Happy Earth Month! Once again, congratulations on completing the Plastic Free Challenge. We are proud of you for taking the steps to become more conscious of your waste and dedicating your time to reflect on and change these habits. 

As a group, we decreased our average plastic waste by 37% from week 1 to week 4. Many participants decreased their weekly waste even more; one participant decreased their weekly waste by as much as 110% and several others received fewer than 0 points for an entire week! These accomplishments, among many others, are incredibly impressive!

If you submitted a google form with your grid during this past month, please keep an eye on your inbox for a certificate of completion for the Plastic Free Challenge. As mentioned many times throughout the challenge, we hope you consider checking out the Waste Reduction @ Illinois Facebook group to stay connected with fellow participants, start a discussion, hear about the latest sustainability opportunities at U of I and beyond, and share tips for living sustainably going forward.

On Wednesday, we used a random name generator to choose two winners of the challenge. As a reminder, you received one entry for every week you participated in the challenge. The winners are Bartek Susol and Jessica Lillegaard. Winners, we will contact you on how to receive your prize! Congratulations to you two and, of course, to all participants! We hope you enjoyed your time during the challenge! We sure did, and we are here to assure you that this will certainly not be the last challenge that iSEE hosts.

Again, we offer our congratulations to each of you for completing this challenge. We know it was time-intensive and not always easy, but it was certainly worth it. We hope you continue to make environmentally-conscious choices and apply the many things you have learned over the past month. It is equally as important to share what you have learned with friends, family, and peers. As we discussed at the Ted Talk: Eco-Edition event on Tuesday, being an environmental hero does not have to be changing the world with a single action. You are an environmental hero by reducing your own environmental footprint and helping others do the same. Write to your politicians, store managers, or leaders, encouraging them to prioritize sustainability. Show that there is a demand for these initiatives. Building a culture of sustainability on our campus and in our world starts with you!

A great place to start (or continue this great momentum) is attending any of the countless events for Earth Month iSEE and other campus and community entities. Here is the link to the calendar: Earth Month Calendar. We are constantly adding more events, even beyond April. Please submit an item to the calendar if you notice something missing. Coming up this Wednesday, we have a campus trash pickup! Check out the calendar for more info. If you can't join us on campus, consider joining with a few friends or family members (or go on your own) and pick up trash in your own neighborhood and community. It can be a fun, COVID-safe, springtime event.

As always, please reach out to us with any questions, comments, or feedback, and stay tuned for more exciting events in the future. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Take care!

Meredith Moore, iSEE Sustainability Programs Coordinator
Emily Dickett, iSEE Sustainability Intern