Trash Intervention

Lara Haller

I’ve always considered myself a waste-conscious person as I try my hardest to reuse as many containers, cutlery, etc, as possible! My coffee is in a reusable jar as is most of my food items, I carry around reusable forks and spoons, and I steer clear of shopping bags. However, this week really made me realize that in totality I’m pretty shit at it and could try way harder to be as zero-waste as possible. Little did I even think that although I use reusable jars for my food, I’m still buying the food in plastic or in jars that I tend to recycle or throw away before I put the food in the jars. I want to make it a point to buy in bulk at the co-op or at the bulk sections of Cali Fresh or Whole Foods. I saw the plastic upon plastic Trader Joe’s uses and that even things like my tea bags are wasteful.

My piles of trash were mainly all recyclables and food-waste. It made me appreciate the fact that we have the option to recycle and that my house has a compost bin, however it also made me realize that recycling still takes a massive toll on the environment and the less waste in general whether recycling or not, the better. I became way more conscious while grocery shopping or going out to eat because the tiniest pieces of trash collect and make up quite the pile from the little chord that ties around a loaf of bread to the to-go plastic container for my leftover sushi rolls. I felt really proud of myself whenever I denied something that was not necessary and instead produced a lot of trash, like certain foods at Trader Joes or certain drinks.I went on a few trips this week: to LA on Wednesday and then to the Sequoias on Friday and the juxtaposition of them was pretty incredible. In LA I was way more wasteful because of the amounts I ate out vs Sequoias when I brought food in reusable containers. It taught me that although trips can be very wasteful for convenience reasons, I can reduce a lot of waste by just being aware and by bringing reusable containers. This pic is of trash just from the LA trip:

The biggest “holy shit I am so wasteful” moment that came to me was when I noticed how many La Croix cans my house had in the recycling bin. My girlfriends and I are pretty ashamed to say we buy boxes upon boxes of the drink each week thinking it is a great way to stay hydrated. Seeing the amount of aluminum that we wasted this week purely due to a fizzy drink that is literally just water made me re-evaulate my “need” for the barely flavored water.

The rest of my trash!

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