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Projects Updates for Plastic Free Challenge

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  1. Week 1 - Tips and Resources

    Associated Project(s): 

    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

  2. Plastic Free Challenge

    Associated Project(s): 

    iSEE is hosting a campuswide Plastic Free Challenge throughout March! Participants will track their plastic use until March 28 using a predetermined grid and point system. The goal is for campus and community members to reduce their plastic consumption and refine their waste reduction skills. Tips and resources will be provided throughout the challenge, with the chance for prizes upon completion! 

    Plastic Free Challenge

  3. Week 1 - Welcome Email

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello! Thank you for registering for the iSEE Plastic Free Challenge during the month of March. You have taken an important step to becoming more conscious of your daily plastic use, and we are excited to help as you continue your journey to becoming plastic-free. You are likely to know others who use too much plastic (after all, it's everywhere!); remember, it is extremely important to share the tips and resources throughout the challenge with other people and to lead by example.

    The Plastic Free Challenge will last four weeks: Monday, March 1 until Sunday, March 28. Each day, keep track of the items you throw away using the predetermined point system (attached). Each plastic item yields points and environmentally-friendly actions subtract points from your total, examples of which can be found on the point list. You do not need to track the items that you reuse or recycle. The goal is to earn as few points as possible. Please submit your grid at the end of each week by the following Monday at 8:00 a.m. using the Google Form. This week, upload the grid to the Week 1 Google Form by Monday, March 8 at 8:30 a.m.

    While the grid is a great way to track and total your points at the end of the day, we suggest you keep track of points on your phone or a piece of scratch paper as you throw away the items. Every week, we will send resources to assist you in this challenge and remind you to keep up the great work. This is a challenge, and it is not going to be easy!

    Remember - refuse plastics when you can, and make sure to repurpose and recycle those you must take. Hopefully, throughout the challenge, you develop a personal habit of waste consciousness. All participants will be entered into a raffle at the end of the challenge to win prizes! You will earn an entry for each week that you submit your grid and point total.

    We encourage you to engage with fellow participants on UIUC’s Sustainability forum: Waste Reduction @ Illinois | Facebook. This is where we welcome you to post questions, tips, and resources to support each other during this challenge!

    Please respond to this email if you have any further questions and reach out to us at any time throughout the month. We would love to hear from you! We are very excited to kick off this fun and impactful challenge with you all. Remember to recommend friends, family, and colleagues to join the challenge as well! It is never too late.

    Thank you and have fun!

    Meredith Moore, iSEE Sustainability Programs Coordinator

    Emily Dickett, iSEE Sustainability Intern