Skip to main content
Monica Rauchwarter's avatar

Monica Rauchwarter

Three Rivers Park District

"To learn new ways of refusing, fixing, and purchasing stuff to make long term changes to my plastic consumption. "

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 754 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    12
    zero-waste meals
    consumed
  • up to
    23
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    27
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    40
    pieces of plastic cutlery
    not sent to the landfill
  • up to
    1.0
    pounds
    waste avoided
  • up to
    5.0
    minutes
    spent learning

Monica's Actions

On-the-go

Use Reusable Utensils

I will keep 1 plastic cutlery out of the landfill per day by using my own reusable cutlery.

COMPLETED 13
DAILY ACTIONS

On-the-go

Assemble a Zero Waste Kit

I will assemble an eating-out bag with cloth napkins and reusable utensils, containers, and cups and use it to avoid disposable to-go containers and cutlery for 3 meals each day.

COMPLETED 9
DAILY ACTIONS

At Home

Watch a Documentary

I will watch a documentary film about plastic waste with family and friends and talk about what we learned.

Uncompleted
One-Time Action

Food

Shop the Bulk Bins

I will purchase 1 products from the bulk section of a grocery store using my own containers each time I go shopping.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

On-the-go

Recycle at Work

I will recycle my plastic containers at work, and if I can't find a recycling bin I'll bring the item home with me.

COMPLETED 10
DAILY ACTIONS

At Home

Plan a Garden

I will plan an herb or vegetable garden for next year at my home, workplace, or community garden.

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Estimate Your Plastic Footprint

I will complete a plastic consumption calculator to learn about my plastic footprint.

Completed
One-Time Action

Personal Care

Switch to a natural loofah or wash cloth

I will replace my synthetic loofah with a natural loofah or wash cloth.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Cook Meals with Zero Plastic Waste

I will prepare 1 meal(s) at home each day without using any items packaged in single-use plastic.

COMPLETED 12
DAILY ACTIONS

At Home

Extend the Life of Electronics

Manufacturers want you to replace your phones every year. I will keep my phone for at least 3 years and make any necessary repairs or updates to keep it functioning as long as possible.

Completed
One-Time Action

Feed


  • Monica Rauchwarter's avatar
    Monica Rauchwarter 2/18/2022 1:23 PM
    Plastics have an outsized impact on marginalized communities. It's important to know about and amplify the efforts of individuals within those same communities who have long been noticing, studying, speaking out about it, and advocating for change.

    The Bullards (Linda McKeever Bullard, J.D. and Dr. Robert Bullard) are the original environmental justice power couple. Attorney Linda McKeever Bullard brought a lawsuit against Southern Waste Management Corp for building a disproportionate amount of landfills in Black communities. According to trial lawyer Ben Crump, this was the 'first in the U.S. to charge environmental discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964'. Though the suit was unsuccessful, the research Dr. Robert Bullard contributed to McKeever Bullard's suit likely fueled his lifelong pursuit of environmental justice. Prolific author, researcher, and organizer, Dr. Robert Bullard continues to advocate for change and to inspire environmentalists around the nation.

    To hear more of what leaders, writers, and environmentalists from marginalized communities have to say about plastics, zero waste, and environmental justice, check out the links below:
    https://therevelator.org/people-plastic-chhotray/ 
    https://www.intersectionalenvironmentalist.com/waste 
    https://www.mic.com/life/the-zero-waste-movement-reeks-of-privilege-heres-how-bipoc-want-to-change-that-41395780 

    • Monica Rauchwarter's avatar
      Monica Rauchwarter 2/18/2022 1:32 PM
      Dr. Robert Bullard is widely considered to be the 'father of environmental justice'. Listen to his Science Friday interview here: https://www.sciencefriday.com/articles/robert-bullard-environmental-justice/ 

  • Monica Rauchwarter's avatar
    Monica Rauchwarter 2/18/2022 11:47 AM
    I came down with a stomach bug earlier this week; I ended up going through single serve containers of apple juice, packages of crackers, and other disposable products. In a perfect world, I'd already have the appropriate foods in glass or metal packaging waiting for me in my cupboard. Maybe next time!

  • Monica Rauchwarter's avatar
    Monica Rauchwarter 2/11/2022 5:35 PM
    “The latest push to ban single-use plastic straws is well-intentioned but does not take into consideration that such straws are a tool disabled people rely on, rather than a frivolous, planet-killing item that can easily be done away with without impacting consumers. Disabled people who rely on straws must be included in the conversation, listened to and respected.”

    It’s important to be aware of the complex realities within environmental/sustainability conversations. Read more of proud wheelchair user and disability rights activist Erin Vallely’s perspective here:
    https://cdrnys.org/blog/disability-dialogue/grasping-at-straws-the-ableism-of-the-straw-ban/

  • Monica Rauchwarter's avatar
    Monica Rauchwarter 2/11/2022 5:29 PM
    This breaks it down to kitchen, personal products, food, cleaning, and on the go. Do you do any of these? Is there something you’re curious about?
    https://wediditourway.com/31-ways-to-go-plastic-free/

  • Monica Rauchwarter's avatar
    Monica Rauchwarter 2/07/2022 12:57 PM
    Here’s a first hand account I have found helpful. The emphasis is on doing without rather than buying fancy stuff in the name of being zero waste. Also, it reframes zero waste as an ideal to strive for rather than an easily achievable goal. 

    https://pollybarks.com/blog/zero-waste-budget
  • Reflection Question
    Food Cook Meals with Zero Plastic Waste
    Do an inventory of your kitchen to see how many single-use plastics you've used in the past. What are some low-waste or reusable alternatives to these commonly used products? What would your impact be if you switched all the single-use products from your inventory to reusable? Are there any items where it would be difficult to avoid plastic waste?

    Monica Rauchwarter's avatar
    Monica Rauchwarter 2/06/2022 7:49 AM
    It is super challenging to retrain my brain to get unbagged produce where it’s available. This challenge would feel impossible without having a dishwasher for all the reusable containers. 
  • Reflection Question
    Personal Care Switch to a natural loofah or wash cloth
    In what ways has your shower experience changed since you stopped using a synthetic loofah?

    Monica Rauchwarter's avatar
    Monica Rauchwarter 2/06/2022 7:43 AM
    I don’t love the extra laundry from washcloths, Anybody have a good natural loofah source other than Amazon? 
  • Reflection Question
    Community Estimate Your Plastic Footprint
    What did you find out about your plastic consumption by using the calculator? What did or didn't surprise you?

    Monica Rauchwarter's avatar
    Monica Rauchwarter 2/01/2022 11:24 AM
    I had never thought to include toothpaste tubes as part of my plastic footprint. Also, I had no idea that aluminum cans for food are lined with a type of plastic. 

    I expected to see food packaging and storage on the list. That one has been on my radar for awhile. 
  • Reflection Question
    At Home Extend the Life of Electronics
    What maintenance steps do you take to keep your electronics in good working order?

    Monica Rauchwarter's avatar
    Monica Rauchwarter 2/01/2022 11:19 AM
    Invest in a quality case (it’s also compostable!), use only manufacturer approved accessories, battery health best practices

  • Monica Rauchwarter's avatar
    Monica Rauchwarter 1/27/2022 12:01 PM
    I joined the challenge to be more aware of and reduce my own plastic use. Every conversation we have, every resource we share, every skill we gain brings us closer to the impact (or lack thereof) we want to have. I look forward to learning alongside you all this month!