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Week 1 - Tips and Resources

Posted by Meredith Moore on March 4, 2021

Good morning! You are several days into Week 1 of the Plastic Free Challenge . . . how is it going? We would love to hear what you have learned, what you are struggling with, or any creative ways you have earned negative points for your waste-conscious actions thus far. Feel free to share your feedback with us through email or with the Waste Reduction @ Illinois Facebook Group.

If you’re like us, you are probably surprised with the amount of plastic you use and how integrated plastic is into your everyday life. Becoming conscious of this waste is a great first step to reduce it. Did you do any research on plastics this week or learn anything new? Here is a good resource with easy swaps to get rid of that plastic in your life. Try estimating your plastic footprint, which will hopefully decrease by the end of the month and beyond. Don't forget to track these actions as negative points on your grid.

Every week on Thursday we will send an email checking in with a tip to help reduce your plastic waste for the week. This week, we are introducing the seven R’s of sustainability: a more up-to-date and sustainable version of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The seven R’s highlight the importance of refusing plastic before you repurpose, reuse, and recycle. While the other R’s are great, the best way to decrease the plastic in our landfills and oceans is to refuse them altogether. Did you know that black plastic cannot be recycled? This is such a common item, especially when ordering take-out or to-go items. Check out the attached tip guide with more information and a few ideas on how to earn negative points for waste-conscious actions.

Lastly, we would like to clarify how to score points for the actions you do often. For example, if you recycle every day, please count that action once each week (-5 points for the entire week); however, if you throw away your contact lenses every day, count +2 points for each day. We will then have a more accurate score for the week and can better compile the data from the group at the end of the challenge.

Please remember to upload the Week 1 Waste Grid (attached) to the Week 1 Google Form at the end of the week, no later than Monday morning on March 8. Please reach out to us with any questions, feedback, or concerns, and remind friends it is not too late to sign up for the challenge! Don’t worry, though - once you complete your Week 1 grid, you will have extra chances for prizes.

Thank you, and keep up the great work!

Meredith Moore, iSEE Sustainability Programs Coordinator 

Emily Dickett, iSEE Sustainability Intern