Clean Latifah: The Closing Chapter

The last time I posted was when I began this intervention, so I have quite a bit to talk about. I mentioned on my first day that I was surprised how much trash I generated, given my efforts to reduce trash generation throughout the upcoming week. I found that after Day 1 of meal prepping I had produced more garbage than I imagined (this was probably because I was making food for multiple days). Days 2-4 I accumulated almost no trash. I had some yogurt cups, trail mix packages, fruit snacks, etc., but ultimately, my attempt to reduce waste was paying off. Day 5 I ended up sifting through some old classwork from the previous quarter. Additionally, I received a few packages from family, so that added to my collection. On day 6, I was away from home most of the day and ate out for my roommate’s birthday, therefore no trash! Today was day 7 so I took some time to rummage through the cluster of plastics, paper, and food items (luckily on day 1 I had the idea of separating food and non-food items). I had amassed about 4 gallons of waste which is, to my surprise, higher than average. I did some research and found that the average person produces 4.3 lbs of trash per day which is equivalent to 3.5 gallons per week. Thinking on a large scale, if everyone generated 4.3 lbs of garbage every day, that’s 4.3 x 365 which equals 1569.5 pounds per person per year. Furthermore, there is 285 million people in the US so 285 x 1569.5 equals 447307.5 million pounds of trash per year. Doing the math really put into perspective how much we use and waste as a country. I definitely think this experience has made me realize that at the very least recycling is a MUST and that maybe we should be finding other ways to reduce our garbage footprint.

-Jackson Fallin

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