As a college student, I find that plastic is one of my most used items of the day. From my toothbrush to the packaging of my textbook, I am surrounded by plastic. Listing every item of plastic I touched in a day turned out to be more than a process than I thought. I found myself listing something almost every time I moved. It’s easy as a college student to curate an extensive amount of plastic because it’s just too easy. Trips to the dining hall will add just five more items to the list. Thinks that I didn’t normally think about, my morning routine added about 8 items. I get it, it’s convenient but is it really all necessary?
I think my one day of noting my plastic use doesn’t accurately portray my whole plastic footprint. I think the transition to college completely changed my plastic use. While at home – of course, I had the same morning and night routine, using plastic shampoo bottles and make-up. I was lucky enough to be able to be using silver silverware, while at college, the plastic silverware I use at least 3 times a day normally gets thrown out because I’m too lazy to clean and reuse it. I never could have imagined touching 35 items of plastic in a day, many of which I touched multiple times a day. I was filled with guilt each time I wrote down a new plastic item on my list however I thought back to what Beth Terry thought about guilt. That if I am guilty then it means I genuinely feel bad for my plastic consumption, which I do.
I think that making a change in my plastic footprint honestly would not be impossible. Finding reusable silverware and using that in the dining hall, as well as my own water bottle would take off a lot of items on my list. Even starting by not buying plastic water bottles because I found an overwhelming amount of plastic bottles in my dorm room between me and my 3 other roommates. This is change that would not only make me feel better but will make our planet feel better.