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Julia McAllister's avatar

Julia McAllister

AUS Sustainability

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 276 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    15
    minutes
    spent learning
  • up to
    18
    plastic containers
    not sent to the landfill

Julia's Actions

Materials

RECYCLE EVERYTHING I CAN

I will recycle all my household recyclables, including office paper, metal/aluminum, #1 & #2 plastic bottles, glass and cardboard. To ensure the highest quality of recyclables, I will make sure everything is rinsed and free of food contamination. Contamination can prevent recyclable items from being accepted by recyclers.

Completed
One-Time Action

Transport

WORK REMOTELY

I will calculate the carbon emissions saved based on my modified COVID 19 behavior. Calculate the average distance driven by your family in one week, including, work commute, school pick-up or drop-off, shopping and errands, etc. Enter this information along with the make and model of your car into the Carbon Footprint Calculator (using the car tab). Then enter your total CO2 emissions in the Google Form. Click 'learn more' below for links to the calculator and the google form.

Completed
One-Time Action

Transport

WORK REMOTELY/SOCIAL DISTANCING

I will calculate the carbon emissions saved based on my modified COVID 19 behavior. The emissions calculate consist of an average day's driving for me, including, my commute to work, school pick-up or drop-off, shopping and errands, etc.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Transport

Conduct Virtual Meetings

Telepresence

I will encourage my office to hold meetings virtually whenever possible instead of requiring travel.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Learn the Truth About Expiration Dates

Reduced Food Waste

I will spend at least 15 minutes learning how to differentiate between sell by, use by, and best by dates.

Completed
One-Time Action

Food

Smaller Portions

Reduced Food Waste

I will use smaller plates and/or serve smaller portions when dishing out food.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Keep Track of Wasted Food

Reduced Food Waste

I will keep a daily log of food I throw away during Drawdown Ecochallenge, either because it went bad before I ate it, I put too much on my plate, or it was scraps from food preparation.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Materials

Use a Reusable Waterbottle

Using reusable water bottles is a positive and easy action that everyone can take to make an immediate impact in reducing their single use waste.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

Food

Composting

Composting, Reduced Food Waste

I will start a compost bin where I live.

Completed
One-Time Action

Materials

Reduce Single-Use Disposables

Bioplastics

I will avoid buying and using 6 single-use plastics and instead replace them with durable options.

COMPLETED 0
DAILY ACTIONS

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  • Julia McAllister's avatar
    Julia McAllister 4/12/2020 10:47 AM
    For a long time I have thought of myself as an avid recycler. It is hard for me to throw things away that could possibly be recycled. More than once, I have brought a glass or plastic drink bottle home with me to recycle if recycling wasn’t available. Before moving to the UAE I lived in a city which offered single stream recycling, and I would put all of my plastic, glass, paper and metal waste into the recycling bin each week. I didn’t pay much attention to the different types of plastics. I was under the impression that all plastic could be recycled and I didn’t question it.  

    When I moved here, I thought that the recycling system would be the same. I soon realized that it was very different. This realization started when I heard that often times our waste is sorted by hand and pickers take the recyclable materials out of the general waste. I now know that this system can lead to many potentially recyclable items getting contaminated with liquid or other waste. With this knowledge, I started sorting my recycling and placing it in the segregated bins on campus. I thought that doing this would make sure that things were getting recycled. After I learned that Bee’ah only recycles #1 and #2 plastics, I became even more diligent about checking the type of plastic that I put into the recycling bin. I do this because I want to make sure that as much of our waste gets recycled as possible. Now I also notice how much plastic I end up throwing away because it cannot be recycled. 

    Knowing what can and cannot be recycled makes me think about what I buy and what type of packaging it comes in. For instance, I prefer buying yogurt in glass jars, even though I know even this isn’t a perfect solution. I also try not to order delivered food from restaurants that use a lot of unrecyclable packaging. I buy products made from recycled materials, like paper towels and toilet paper. I’ve heard that over 90% of the aluminum and metal cans that Bee’ah receives are recycled. So that encourages me look for metal options when buying drinks at the grocery store. 

    Documentaries like “Plastic Wars” by Frontline on PBS and the segment that Rose posted from Fortune Magazine (links below) highlight how long plastic disposal has been a problem. It is cheaper to make new plastic than to process and reuse old plastic. If we choose products that are stored in more easily recyclable materials like aluminum, we can feel better about the prospect of it being recycled. 

    It isn’t easy to steer away from unrecyclable materials, but knowing what can and cannot be easily recycled can help us all become wiser consumers with less waste going to the landfill. 

    Frontline PBS, Plastic Wars : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jkUPahh7to

    Fortune, Plastics Global Recycling Problem: https://fortune.com/longform/plastics-global-recycling-problem/