Recycling is one of those things that, in my experience anyway has been drilled into me from a young age. It is something that as I grew older I became complacent with. I went to a primary school which had a green flag and a secondary school which had a strong recycling policy. I won’t sound very academic when I say this but I never really questioned any of it I just recycled because I was told to and admittedly was a bit scared of the consequences if I didn’t. Putting your yoghurt pot in recycling the bin seemed like an easy alternative to a detention.
Now that I am in college and have left all the fear behind I have continued to recycle out of habit but it was only really when I started the living sustainably course that I began to assess what impact recycling can have. Just looking around college, we as students are producing a lot of waste. I know for me any way I would throw my drinks bottle and paper wrapper from my roll straight into the nearest bin, whether it be recycling or not. Generally speaking it is not!
One of the tasks on this course was to examine the contents of a refuse sack at home. I live in my family home so as a whole we would produce more waste than the average group of students living in rented accommodation. This was a seemingly basic task, I remember doing the same in primary school and proceeding to harp on at my mum for her lack of awareness about all things green. This time I was approaching it in a new light with the understanding that we as a community of inhabitants of the earth really do not look after what we’ve got.
On examining the bin I found a number of things and I have mentioned this in my assessment. Firstly, the general waste bin I found cling film and then aluminum foil. These are both very commonly used household products. Even for those who but lunch when they are in college many sandwiches are wrapped in such packaging.
This may sound silly but I wasn’t sure whether or not these could be recycled. I took it upon myself to check. (This course really has made me interested in the world around me!). It transpires that cling film cannot be recycled everywhere and neither can aluminium foil. I was shocked at this! Cling film is something that I would have always choses over aluminum foil simply because I believed it would be recyclable and more ecofriendly than aluminium. I’ll admit, this seems like a very small and insignificant discovery but if it were not for this module I wouldn’t have checked. So my answer is to get a lunch box.
Although a tiny thing I am now more aware of the small changes I can do to avoid contributing to landfill. Something as small as what I chose to wrap my sandwiches in everyday.
I realize I have picked up on a very small issue however out of the whole module I feel it is one thing in particular that felt very relevant to my life and I felt it was something I could deal with straight away.