Self Intervention – Ryan Anderson

Trash and Recycling after 1 Week

This was a surprising intervention to me, as I always thought of myself as someone who generally was not wasteful, although in hindsight I made few direct major changes to produce less waste than the average person.
As the week of self intervention progressed, I was surprised by how quickly the pile of trash I had grew. Nearly all my trash came from wasteful food packaging; specifically wrappers, k-cups, and plastic containers. However, the largest volume of trash came from paper towels, which I have always used frequently for cooking, cleaning, and drying my hands. Although I attempt t0 never waste paper, I never realized how wasteful I was being due to paper towels. This, in addition to the other trash items (non-recyclable) shows the amount of waste I produce that will simply be dumped in a landfill and serve no purpose after just a single use. 

Fortunately, a large amount of the other containers for food that I had accumulated were recyclable, although this likely does little to offset the energy used to produce these goods. I think this activity was very revealing as I am now able to visualize the amount of trash that I produce on an average week and now can move ahead trying to minimize my use of single use paper towels, and I’m sure other have realized potential areas of waste that they can change. However, I think this activity also shows the sheer amount of somewhat unnecessary packaging we use for food which can be replaced by biodegradable alternatives or reusable containers. 

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