The Oblivious Footprint

As I started my day out on Wednesday, September 15th, I started to collect small items throughout my day that would eventually lead to a pile of small objects that were used for one time at my convenience, and frankly I was disgusted with myself at the end of the day. Not by the fact that there was a small pile I collected on my bed to take a photo of, but at the thought of how little effort it takes to use and get rid of so many pieces of plastic throughout my day.

Plastic use, in todays societal and economic standard, is almost impossible to get away from. With American society producing 380 million tons of plastic every year, we are geared to using it in everyday lives. As I carried around a bag with me all day I realize that if everyone around me is using and disposing with the same patterns, even though I am more conscious of due to this class, then there is millions of pieces of plastics floating around all day.

Here is a collection of all the pieces of disposable plastic that I gathered with me throughout my day here on campus, and believe me, it was more than I was hoping for. Going back between each dining halls or making a stop in the morning at Einstein Bagels resulted in looking for the most convenient options that loaded my bag up with different pieces of trash throughout my day. I do believe that this pile of trash is well represented of my day to day life as I usually am in and out of the dining halls all day as I go from different classes. Around campus there’s a lot of Eco options that allow many of the ‘plastic’ items to be correctly disposed of but with the hustle and bustle of the day most college students forget about the ‘eco’ part of their plastic.

From this experiment and collection I learned that there is much more oblivion in my day than I realize, that I constantly am contributing to a carbon footprint with no actual realization of what Im putting and taking out of our environment consistently throughout my days. I have learned to challenge myself and put myself on a higher standard for my plastic consumption and use on campus while utilizing the sources the college puts in order to maintain a smaller carbon footprint. I think this experiment was valuable in that it was a tangible effort that granted me hands on visual learning of what I was really doing throughout my day. To put in conscious efforts throughout my day would allow at least some impact on my carbon footprint. I don’t think this specific day in my life increased or decreased my average days carbon footprint, as there was nothing truly unusual about the plastic I was using throughout the day.

I believe that finding resources around you that will help you be more ecofriendly in the long run. For example, near my parents house on Johns Island is a major recycling facility that helps sort and organize different sections of plastics and major products of waste that I have been using frequently this past summer.

I think its unreasonable to feel guilty towards ones own consumption and plastic usage if there were recently oblivious to the impact that their increasing rates had on their environment. I believe that if every individual could make a conscious and educated choice about their plastic usage, then society would decrease their rapid damages and human kind could be less ashamed of their plastic consumption rates

One thought on “The Oblivious Footprint

  1. Do you think on some level we want to remain oblivious, because once we stop to think and know about our impact, we don’t know what to do about it or the guilt?

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