Team Captain Toolkit: Plastic Free Ecochallenge 2021

White jellyfish floating in a blue ocean, with "Team Captain Toolkit" and "Plastic Free Ecochallenge" text

In this toolkit


🐋 About

A parent with a backpack, holding their child's hand. They are both standing in front of colorful trees and foliage, a sun and clouds.

Plastic Free Ecochallenge is an annual Ecochallenge during the month of July, inspired by Plastic Free July, the movement founded in Australia. Plastic Free Ecochallenge is an online experience where you commit to reduce your plastic consumption — and take action for 31 days.

This toolkit is for every Team Captain looking to grow, engage, and nourish their team. We've compiled our tips + best practices for you, a sample timeline, and an array of graphics.

Looking for more? Please email support@ecochallenge.org and let us know how else we can help!


🦀 How It Works

A person holding books, paints, and an apple. Their arms are spread out, balancing these objects. Icons for a mic, video, a lightbulb, and geometric shapes float around them.

🌏 Our Purpose

If you're new here, Plastic Free Ecochallenge is all about committing to plastic-free actions — and consistently checking in to keep yourself and your team accountable.

It's also about measuring our impact, and seeing just how phenomenal it can be when we all take action, together. 

⚡️ Your Intentions

Start with your intentions — and how much time and energy you have.

What's something new you'd like to try? Would you like to create a new habit? What's doable for your schedule?

We understand you have other priorities and commitments, so pick what's sustainable for you!

An apple, banana,hand weight, and glass of water

🌱 Choose Actions

Actions are offered in three different challenge levels, determined by time, cost, knowledge, and skills:

  • EcoLearner (Beginner)
  • EcoPro (Medium)
  • EcoLeader (Advanced)

Plastic Free Ecochallenge offers actions in two different frequencies:

  • Daily actions require you to commit to something every day (or as many days as you can). These are great for long-term habits.
  • One-time actions are completed once. If you have less time, or want to try something out, choose a one-time action.

Use the "Action Filters" feature in each category to filter by challenge level, frequency, and more.

There's a limit of 10 daily actions and 20 one-time actions.

Why is there a limit? We've added a limit to set you up for success: having fewer to-dos make it more likely that you'll stick with those new habits!

🐟 Explore Categories

We've curated actions for you across six categories: Food, Personal Care, Community, Lifestyle, Pets, and Family.

Can't find the exact action you'd like to do? You can create a custom action in any category.

Please note that impacts can't currently be recorded for custom actions.


☀️ Phase 1: Recruit

A person sitting at a desk at home, smiling at their open laptop screen.

💪🏽 It's time to build your team!

WHEN: 2-6 weeks before Ecochallenge begins

COMMITMENT: 2-3 hours/week

🎯 Goals

  • Invite your peers, family, friends to join your Ecochallenge team.
  • Find people who share your interest in creating and strengthening sustainability habits.
  • Build your team with the shared goals of encouragement, learning, and creating positive, collective impact.

📌 Tactics

  • Use your unique Referral link from the Dashboard to invite people.

    To grab your referral link, click Invite Teammates in your Dashboard sidebar, under your team name.

  • Post graphics from this toolkit (see below!) across social media, newsletters, bulletin boards — however you communicate.
  • Create a custom action compatible with your team's sustainability goals, and share this action as a reason for folks to join you.

🖼 Downloads

1
Download Plastic Free Ecochallenge graphics to share them with your networks:

SOCIAL MEDIA PACK: an array of graphics for social media posts, stories, and banners. Includes a team kickoff, countdown, and behavior change tips.

A grid of Plastic Free Ecochallenge social media graphics for download

PRINT-READY POSTERS: Two posters in 300 dpi resolution for print and display.

Two posters for Plastic Free Ecochallenge featuring a jellyfish and a polar bear

SUSTAINABILITY BACKGROUNDS PACK: Six high-resolution photos for backgrounds, wallpaper, or your own Plastic Free Ecochallenge designs.

Six sustainability backgrounds: a hand holding a plastic fork underwater, a colorful wall of millions of pieces of used gum, a plant leaf covered in plastic, planters made of car tires, an array of plastic-free household items, and a cotton mesh bag holding a bunch of oranges

WILDLIFE BACKGROUNDS PACK: Seven high-resolution photos for backgrounds, wallpaper, or your own Plastic Free Ecochallenge designs.

Seven wildlife backgrounds: jellyfish, sea lion, elephants, lions, polar bear, and a cat nuzzling a dog

2
Use this copy (or write your own!):

Take action with us this July! Join the Plastic Free Ecochallenge. #plasticfree
Let's take action to create more environmental + social good, together. #plasticfree
3
Attach your unique Referral link to each post.

📣 Phase 2: Prepare

A person typing on a laptop, sitting on a stack of giant books with a lightbulb behind their head.

🙌🏽 Ready your team!

WHEN: 1-2 weeks before Ecochallenge begins

COMMITMENT: 2-3 hours/week

🎯 Goals

  • Prepare your team for a successful Ecochallenge.
  • Encourage every team member to have at least 1–3 actions selected and to prepare themselves to complete those actions.
  • Establish a rhythm for how frequently you'll be communicating with teammates throughout the event.

📌 Tactics

  • Hold a kick-off call with your team and walk through how to check off completed actions, explore collective impact, post to the Feed, and more.
  • Post graphics from this Toolkit across your channels of communication.
  • Assign custom action(s) to team members.
  • Announce prize incentives you've planned for throughout the event. (Prizes can be small! A gift card, homemade cookies, bragging rights — get creative!)

🖼 Downloads

1
Download these graphics to share them with your networks. Post the "countdown" pack, "dive in," and "team kickoff!" graphics.
2
Use this copy (or write your own!):

KICK-OFF CALL: "Join us as we go over how to use the Dashboard, select your actions, check off your completed actions, talk with fellow Ecochallengers on the Feed, explore real-time collective impact, and more."
COUNTDOWN: "We're [x] days away. Have you selected your actions yet? Choose your actions and prepare to succeed!"
DIVE IN: "Plastic Free Ecochallenge begins [soon/tomorrow], and we're so excited to build better sustainability habits! Dedicate July to creating a #plasticfree world with us."

💥 Phase 3: Activate

A cat peeking around a computer monitor next to a lamp and a cup of writing utensils. A beam of light holds a red heart, a speech bubble, and a thumbs up.

👏🏽 Engage with your team!

WHEN: During the Ecochallenge

COMMITMENT: 2-3 hours/week

🎯 Goals

  • Keep your team's morale up!
  • Encourage your team members to consistently check off completed actions and explore real-time collective impact.
  • Give shoutouts. Spotlight successes and celebrate incremental achievements!

📌 Tactics

  • Share inspirational tips, reply to and high-five posts, and highlight Reflections on the Participant Feed.
  • Message your team members using the platform or other channels, announcing upcoming contests with prizes or new competitions with other teams.
  • Post graphics from this toolkit across your channels of communication.

🖼 Downloads

1
Download these graphics to share them with your networks. Post the weekly "behavior change tip" pack.
To share collective impacts in real-time, go to the Impacts page and take a screenshot of the impact you'd like to share.
2
Use this copy (or write your own!):

WEEKLY TIP: "This week's tip is all about leaving room for failure. During this Ecochallenge, it helps to leave room for failure as we work to take action daily or regularly.

Committed to refusing plastic bags every day but forgot your reusable bags yesterday? It's okay – try again today! Better to take action imperfectly than to not take action at all. Keep going!"
COLLECTIVE IMPACT: "Just to show you how our efforts are adding up, take a look at our collective impact in just [x] days:"
WORDS FROM ECOCHALLENGERS: "Congraluations to [name] for their efforts on reducing their food waste. We are in this together and are so excited for all the collective impact we're creating as a team. Thank you and keep going!"

🥳 Phase 4: Celebrate

Two people in separate browser windows, both wearing party hats. One person holds up a gift to the other person, who is holding a star wand.

🎉 Celebrate your team's efforts!

WHEN: After the Ecochallenge closes

COMMITMENT: 1-2 hours/week

🎯 Goals

  • Celebrate your team's efforts and successes from throughout the Ecochallenge.
  • Showcase your team's total actions taken and total collective impacts.
  • Strategize next steps in your sustainability journey.

📌 Tactics

  • Purchase a Premium Package which includes a customized Ecochallenge summary for your team, including impact statistics, reflections & posts to the Feed, and participant data insights.
  • Share your collective impact stats with your network as a catalyst for future sustainability goals.
  • Follow Ecochallenge.org on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to see and reshare real-time social media posts celebrating this Ecochallenge.

🌸 Resources

For more resources, go to plasticfree.ecochallenge.org.

Questions, resource requests, or have any Team Captain tips/wins to share? Email us! support@ecochallenge.org

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