Environmental studies major Alyssa Erding ’17 (Bloomington, Minn.) is shown here with the amazingly small amount of trash she generated in one semester. The waste reduction effort grew out of an assignment in ES professor Christie Manning’s Psychology of Sustainable Behavior course.

“At first, the most common things in my trash jars were receipts and stickers,” says Erding. “Receipts are not recyclable because they are thermal paper coated in BPA, so I started refusing receipts at the store. Shopping the farmers market has largely mitigated the problem of produce stickers.”

Her favorite anti-waste hacks? “Bring your own bags to the grocery store and the thrift store; bring your own takeout container for lunch, coffee, or the bakery. Swear off plastic bags. Buy used. The battle against waste will take all of us, making small changes, having small conversations, moving the mountain one pebble at a time.”

November 2 2017

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