Waste Self Intervention – Amanda Smith

This waste intervention showed me that, despite the efforts I’ve made to reduce my waste consumption, my consumer habits perpetuate concerning outputs of waste; however, it goes beyond consumers and made me question what more could be done at an organizational level. Over the past year or so, I’ve adopted habits to reduce my waste output. I take a reusable bottle/mug, as well as utensils, as much as I can when I go out. I also try to compost food scraps and avoid plastic packaging when I can while I grocery shop. However, it’s so easy to fall back into bad habits and buy what you want or need, because our society has adopted the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality when it comes to waste. I’ve been so socialized into disposing of waste, especially while I’m out and about, that I had to start over my intervention nearly every day! However, looking through what I was throwing away, I noted that it was mainly food and mailing packaging, comprised of printed-on cardboard and plastic packaging that will still be around long after I’m gone. It made me realize that a sustainable development model to handle the world’s waste issue needs to focus on holding companies and governments accountable for their waste production. Without large-scale adoption of “closed-loop” production or something similar, it seems that consumers can do little to affect waste output. Despite that, I want to continue to adopt sustainable habits and reducing my personal waste output, especially plastics.

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