Thoughts on the Waste I Produced

I began this weeks intervention somewhat excited about what I would learn about my trash production, but also somewhat nervous that I would either forget to save my waste, or that I would favor the convenience of simply throwing trash away over going out of the way to save it. The week started out very strong in terms of my commitment to the exercise, saving the trash I produced while cooking my meals early in the week. This continued for a couple days and resulted in some eye-opening observations about my resource consumption. I was shocked when I realized how many paper towels and other paper products I consumed just in my time spent in the kitchen. It became clear that each time I cleaned a pan or my hands got a little wet, I would use 1-2 paper towels and throw them immediately in the trash. I think this over consumption could be significantly reduced if I lived by myself. I currently live with six other guys and I would consider our cooking space quite the opposite of “clean”. I think if I lived with fewer people I would feel more in control of my resource consumption. This exercise became harder and harder throughout the week when it seemed like it would be a lot of work to consolidate my trash. If I wasn’t home, it would tend to favor the convenience of just throwing my trash away rather than carry it around with me. With all this being said, I am committed to landfill diversion methods, like recycling and composting. This exercise opened my eyes to the sheer volume of trash I produce on a weekly basis and I will continue to minimize this to the best of my ability.

Colin Borchardt

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