Harry Yan — Self-intervention No. 1 (Don’t Throw Anything Away)

I started Don’t Throw Anything Away self-intervention on Monday (Oct. 8th, 2018) since I forgot to collect all my trash the Sunday before. First of all, I dumped out all my trash and recycles on Monday night. And started to collect everything I am trying to throw away. It was very difficult to me sometime especially on campus: I had to keep reminding myself that I cannot throw anything away in a public trash can. Unfortunately, I still forgot once to keep my empty water bottle after I went to the gym on Thursday. I did not have a lot of food waste besides a branch of rotten grapes since I usually eat on campus for lunch and eat either at my friend’s house or eat out for dinner. But I did order two boxes of food online which resulted in two huge shipping boxes and lots of air bags which is used for insuring the quality of the food. Today (Oct. 14th, 2018), a week after starting self-intervention, I went to check two trash bags (one is for regular trash, one is for recycle). I discovered that I had created two full trash bags of trash aside from two shipping boxes which is way more than what I thought I could make in a week. Here is a list of what I have collected in my trash bags for this week:


Regular trash:

  1. Snacks wrappers (a lot)
  2. Instant noodle wrappers (including the condiments’ bags used for instant noodle)
  3. Tissues
  4. Rotten grapes
  5. Half of a used lemon


Recycle trash:

  1. 13 empty water bottles (it would be 14 if I count the one I accidentally throwed)
  2. Different kind of food wraps
  3. 2 soda bottles
  4. 2 boxes and the air bags inside (I bought something online)


It is very easy for me to throw trash anytime and anywhere, even in my room, I will dump out the trash whenever is full, maybe 3 days, or maybe a week. I never thought that it would be a big deal until I did this self-intervention. Imagine this, I created 2 trash bags of trash in a week, then in a year, I would create 52 weeks * 2 trash bags = 104 trash bags in a year. And for a household of 3, a family would create over 300 trash bags of trash every year. Regular families would even create more trash than that since they also have food waste. After this self-intervention I will keep an eye on how much trash I create every day and try to create less and less trash, reuse some of the materials. I already decide to keep those two boxes and the air bags for my next shipping. It would be beneficial to me and at the same time be beneficial to our environment and our earth.

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