I am an Environmental Management and Protection major and I have done similar trash collection assignments in past classes. Knowing already what to expect, I was not looking forward to starting this self intervention. As many people say, ignorance is bliss. And blissfully, I spend a majority of my daily routine throwing trash “away” without much thought. While I have adopted several sustainable habits (I have a hydroflask, stainless steel draws, I buy in bulk…), I was shocked that I accumulated nearly four pounds of trash at the end of day one. A lot of my waste consisted primarily of food waste and wrappers, and I found myself trying to justify what I was throwing away. I would think, “Yes, composting food waste is the most sustainable option, but it does not fit into my busy lifestyle”. At the end of the week I was disgusted by my collection and frustrated with my excuses. I had to acknowledge that I am part of the problem, contributing to the 230 million tons of trash produced in the U.S. annually (EPA 2018). Today, sustainable alternatives are more readily available, and the only way to make a dent in trash production is to care enough to make the change. This self intervention disgusted me just as much as it motivated me to form new sustainable habits and become a model for change.
— Cami Hidalgo