Don’t throw anything away: Nishita Kandikuppa

In all honesty, this self intervention was the hardest thing I ever had to do not because I couldn’t resist throwing things away in the trash but because my roommates were very uncooperative. They thought leaving trash outside in piles was creating a problem for them but they never use the deck space anyway!! After many such attempts, I finally decided to focus my self intervention on the recycle pile that doesn’t smell when you don’t throw it away. The first thing I realized as I was going through the recycle bin was that two out of my four roommates don’t know what can or can not be recycled. There were plastic bags from grocery stores, other plastic coverings from large packages that were delivered to our apartment and some lids and boxes that CLEARLY stated that they were not recyclable. I personally take time to wash my jars and either reuse them or put them in the recycle without them having any food bits or liquids in it. My roommates leave their peanut butter, milk and cheese in the containers that they came in and throw them away without washing it out. I don’t know what the rules are when it comes to recycling but I am pretty sure anything with food needs to be washed out or cleaned before being put in the recycle bin. One thing that caught my eye was that we should be more cautious when we buy large appliances or furniture from stores because although they might come in the a cardboard box, there is SO much plastic used to cover every individual piece (with bubble wrap), small plastic baggies for the nails and screws, a manual that also comes in a little ziploc bag and so on. Even if I go to the grocery store and buy products that have a “recycle” symbol on them, it doesn’t really make a difference if I buy all this furniture which comes with twice as much non-recyclable material than what I was trying to avoid in the first place! At the end of this week, I have realized that I need to one, educate my roommates and also myself on what can be recycled and two, I somehow need to convince my roommates that composting is a good thing!

This is all the smaller things I found in the recycling bin.
This is the packing that came with a small 3 chest of drawers.
I wasn’t able to sort through my trash but there’s a LOT of plastic packaging in there.. and lot’s of food that can be composted which my roommates think it too “high maintenance”.

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