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Cheryl Ritenbaugh's avatar

Cheryl Ritenbaugh

First Universalist Minneapolis community

"To learn about additional things that I can do about plastic use..."

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 259 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    26
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    1
    documentaries
    watched
  • up to
    95
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    4
    pounds
    packaging waste avoided
  • up to
    1
    pounds
    waste avoided

Cheryl's Actions

At Home

ditching liquid laundry detergent

I buy laundry detergent strips from Tru Earth. They are delivered quarterly (you can choose how often based on your needs). They completely dissolve in laundry, and are packaged entirely in paper-based packaging. Ta-dah!

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

At Home

Choose Natural Clothing Fibers

I will purchase clothing made with natural fibers, such as cotton, linen, or wool, rather than synthetic fibers.

Uncompleted
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

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 1 meals each day.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Shop the Bulk Bins

I will purchase 3 products from the bulk section of a grocery store using my own containers.

COMPLETED 3
DAILY ACTIONS

At Home

reduce plastic in laundry

I own too much fleece and feel guilty about fleece fibers in water. I will greatly reduce the frequency of washing fleece, instead spot cleaning as possible and only washing when it's gross.

COMPLETED 4
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.

Completed
One-Time Action

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

At Home

Extend the Life of Electronics

Manufacturers want you to replace your phones every year. I will delay replacing my smart phone for 3 years.

Completed
One-Time Action

Feed

  • Reflection Question
    At Home Extend the Life of Electronics
    What maintenance steps do you take to keep your electronics in good working order?

    Cheryl Ritenbaugh's avatar
    Cheryl Ritenbaugh 2/17/2021 8:18 AM
    I never buy new just for the reason that it's new.  I use all of my electronics until they die (you can tell that by looking at our television!)
  • Reflection Question
    At Home Plan a Garden
    Besides having access to fresh herbs and vegetables, what benefits will you see from growing your own garden?

    Cheryl Ritenbaugh's avatar
    Cheryl Ritenbaugh 2/13/2021 10:16 AM
    I need to overcome my belief that I have a brown thumb, and find ways to grow things in a shady yard (that tends to confirm my brown thumb status.)  We'll see if it can happen, or just reinforce my bts (brown thumb status.)  The dilemma is that it would take cutting limbs off old trees to have sun:  which would help the climate more -- veg garden or intact trees?

    • Cheryl Ritenbaugh's avatar
      Cheryl Ritenbaugh 2/13/2021 3:47 PM
      < 4 hours/day for sure, and the gap that the sun comes through shifts during the summer.  Maybe pots on a rolling cart that could be moved?  Hmmm

    • Jessie Roelofs's avatar
      Jessie Roelofs 2/13/2021 2:26 PM
      Are there any sunny spots where potted herbs or veggies might be happy?
  • 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?

    Cheryl Ritenbaugh's avatar
    Cheryl Ritenbaugh 2/09/2021 12:32 PM
    I don't know how to decrease the amount of plastic that bags everyday grocery items: bread, tortillas, toilet paper, paper towel (I use very little!).  It all ends up in my plastic bag recycling, but it would be better to not have it at all.

    • Jessie Roelofs's avatar
      Jessie Roelofs 2/10/2021 12:52 PM
      Something that's worked for us is making our own bread and tortillas or buying from local bakers who use paper packaging, but that's obviously not an option for everyone. I'm also hoping to try "Who Gives A Crap" toilet paper soon as they come in paper packaging and are made of recycled paper. There's no perfect solution for any of this, of course - we live in a very plastic-centric world!
  • Reflection Question
    Food Shop the Bulk Bins
    How has buying bulk impacted the quality of the food you receive? Why do you think our society relies more on prepackaged foods rather than buying in bulk?

    Cheryl Ritenbaugh's avatar
    Cheryl Ritenbaugh 2/09/2021 12:29 PM
    The choices for nuts are boring, but I stick to the bulk nuts out of stubbornness.  It is a much better way to buy sugar and granola, two of my bulk food staples.

  • Cheryl Ritenbaugh's avatar
    Cheryl Ritenbaugh 1/24/2021 9:58 AM
    Here is an answer about size of plastic container:
    "The option to purchase bulk, large containers instead of many smaller ones can reduce the amount of single use plastic significantly. Additionally, small pieces of plastic are more difficult for automated single stream recycling systems to process, so your single large bottle has a better chance of actually getting recycled once you are finished with it."  From Treehugger blog.

  • Cheryl Ritenbaugh's avatar
    Cheryl Ritenbaugh 1/19/2021 1:18 PM
    Is a large yogurt container a single-use plastic?  I buy the large container to reduce the plastic use, and then reuse it many times at home before discarding.  How do I think about this?  Is this change from small to large portion containers worthwhile or not?

    • Cheryl Ritenbaugh's avatar
      Cheryl Ritenbaugh 1/24/2021 1:41 PM
      I never us plastic in the microwave, only as a refrigerator container or dry goods container...And thank you!

    • Todd Pierson's avatar
      Todd Pierson 1/23/2021 6:29 AM
      I think this is a #5 plastic. Here is what I've found through a resource I found in the Challenge. "This is polypropylene (PP). Common items produced with it include yogurt cups, medicine and ketchup bottles, kitchenware and “microwave-safe” plastic containers. Polypropylene is considered microwave-safe because it is heat resistant and therefore won’t get warped in the microwave. This does not mean it is healthy for you to consume foods which have been microwaved in it! It is always best to microwave in glass containers (there are variations in microwavable glass types as well). As long as you avoid the microwave, PP is considered a safe plastic. It is now accepted by most curbside recycling programs. " 

    • Marie Listopad's avatar
      Marie Listopad 1/22/2021 9:25 AM
      I struggle with this also.  I wash and reuse zip lock plastic bags.  They are very convenient for me to use and I don't release them from use until they are totally unusable.  Perhaps I could switch to net bags if the net is small enough to retain some very small items.  I will think about this.