In the past year, I have been taking small steps to reduce my waste and feel like I have improved. This was a very interesting week for me, since I didn’t realize how much trash I actually produce. Most of the food that I purchase comes in packaging, be it fruits and vegetables, granola bars, cake mix, or meat. Because I had to hold on to my trash, I became more aware of the amount I was producing. I eat a banana in the morning on my way to class, so that’s one banana peel per day. I make coffee in the morning and use a coffee filter, so that’s one coffee filter a day. Since I don’t have much time, I like to buy snacks that are prepackaged to just grab and go; my trash bag has a lot of granola bar wrappers.
It was definitely a burden having to hold on to my trash and I felt stressed by having to constantly remember that. But now, after doing this for a week, it feels weird to stop. I’m not sure how people who create zero waste do that. I realize that in a week, I as one person have produced a significant amount of trash– how much do I produce in a month, a year, and in my lifetime then? I think each person can probably create a landfill each in their lifetime. If I reduce even more waste, though it might take more time to buy ingredients in bulk and make things myself (like granola bars), I could make my landfill a lot smaller potentially.
The first thing I’ll do is get back into composting. I tried to do it last year, but took too long in taking out the trash and it smelled bad. This time, I might freeze the food scraps and find a local place to compost it at for starters.