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April 3 - April 24, 2019
Kim Mortstock's avatar

Kim Mortstock


"Little by little"


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Kim's actions


Keep Track of Wasted Food

#3 Reduced Food Waste

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



Share Bioplastic Disposal Tips

#47 Bioplastic

I will spend at least 10 minutes researching how to properly dispose of bioplastics in my city and share this information with 5 friends, family and/or colleagues.


Land Use

Forest-Friendly Foods 1

#5 Tropical Forests

I will spend at least 5 minutes researching the impact of my diet to see how it contributes to deforestation.



Learn the Truth About Expiration Dates

#3 Reduced Food Waste

I will spend at least 5 minutes learning how to differentiate between sell by, use by, and best by dates.



Test Drive an Electric Bike

#69 Electric Bikes

I will test drive an electric bike at a local distributor to see if it makes sense to use one in place of my car, or to extend the area I can cover by bike.


Participant Feed

Reflection, encouragement, and relationship building are all important aspects of getting a new habit to stick.
Share thoughts, encourage others, and reinforce positive new habits on the Feed.

To get started, share “your why.” Why did you join the challenge and choose the actions you did?

    Food Keep Track of Wasted Food
    An average American throws out about 240 lbs of food per year. The average family of four spends $1,500 a year on food that they throw out. Where would you rather use this money?

    Kim Mortstock's avatar
    Kim Mortstock 4/21/2019 2:36 PM
    Oh boy, I didn't manage to keep a log every day, but I noticed some patterns in food we throw out. 1) veggies - plans change or we get sick (happens a lot) 2) bread - needs to go in the freezer after 1-2 days to prevent mold. Seriously. 3) leftovers - odds and ends of this and that. What to do? Some are in the freezer. 4) Food our kiddo doesn't eat. The dog can only do so much. 
    I think planning is key.

    • Anita Roberts's avatar
      Anita Roberts 4/22/2019 9:11 AM
      Great observations, Kim! I have noticed that since I started meal planning and prepping ahead, I toss a lot less. But I'm sure it's more challenging when feeding a family. I still manage to generate about a gallon a week of food scraps (like peels, rinds, pits, etc.) when I'm prepping all the veggies. At least that waste goes into the compost bin.
    Transport Test Drive an Electric Bike
    Half of all trips made in the US are three miles or less; 72% of them are driven. Private vehicles account for 60% of trips of a mile or less. Do you often drive short distances instead of biking or walking? If so, how might incorporating an electric bike into your lifestyle help you make more climate-friendly choices?

    Kim Mortstock's avatar
    Kim Mortstock 4/20/2019 4:34 PM
    I 'm thinking  an electric cargo bike could be our second car . It's easy and fun and we could get a toddler on top.
    Food Learn the Truth About Expiration Dates
    How does knowing the difference between use by, sell by, and best by dates empower you to make better decisions?

    Kim Mortstock's avatar
    Kim Mortstock 4/15/2019 3:05 PM
    Hey, did you know that a third of the shelf life remains after the sell-by date (typically)? I'm going to pay more attention to the two words before the date on my food packaging: eg "use by" vs "sell by." 

  • Kim Mortstock's avatar
    Kim Mortstock 4/10/2019 9:19 PM
    I researched bioplastic disposal in King County and wound up more confused than I started! 
    1.Yay  bioplastics! 
    2.Don't  try to recycle them. 
    3. Some can be composted here (if labeled compostable or biodegradable, but not *degradable)*. ...
    4.Packaging  is still my nemesis. 

    • Anita Roberts's avatar
      Anita Roberts 4/11/2019 8:21 AM
      I was using "biobags" to collect my kitchen food scraps which would then go into the compost bin, but I've started keeping my "scrap bowl" in the freezer and no longer need the bags. I just empty the scrap bowl directly into the compost bin now and save the money I was spending on the bags. 
    Land Use Forest-Friendly Foods 1
    How is your diet currently impacting deforestation? What can you do to decrease your negative impact and increase your positive impact?

    Kim Mortstock's avatar
    Kim Mortstock 4/04/2019 9:52 PM
    I had no idea that palm oil - which is responsible for mass deforestation - was in so many foods, soaps, and cosmetic products. I knew to look for "palm oil" but didn't know it went by so many different names, like glyceryl stearate and stearic acid, or that sodium lauryl lactylate/sulphate (foaming agent) is often derived from palm oil. I wouldn't have even thought to look for it in Colgate toothpastes, Dr Bronner's soaps, Old El Paso tacos/salsas, Cheerios, Philadelphia cream cheese, or, you know, everything. Time to look up a (short) list of safe products and write to the manufacturers of my favorites.

    • Kim Mortstock's avatar
      Kim Mortstock 4/24/2019 4:04 PM
      Also "sustainable palm oil" label is voluntary by the company harvesting the palm oil. So, it may be meaningful, or it may not.

    • Anita Roberts's avatar
      Anita Roberts 4/07/2019 6:58 PM
      I'm learning so  much through this challenge. Thanks for linking the article, Kim.

    • Bill Berger's avatar
      Bill Berger 4/04/2019 10:03 PM
      Thanks for sharing Kim - sodium laurels can be a derivative! Had no idea.