Above, one of three mounds at the Seneca Meadows Landfill in Waterloo, NY, as seen from the west side of Seneca Lake approximately eight miles away (through a telephoto lens). Credit: Kevin Colton, HWS.

EPA Region Map

EPA Region Map
EPA Region Map

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Elevator Surprise and Packaging

I left my room to go do my laundry. I usually use the stairs, but my bag was heavy, so I decided to use the elevator to go downstairs to the laundry room. I called it, and it opened right away. To my surprise I find this sitting in there. When you see garbage in a trash can it doesn't look like that much, but when you pull all those bags out, they really add up. I was surprised that we produce that much trash in one day. I wonder if this was all from one floor or if it was a combination from floors 2, 3, and 4. I looked around for someone to ask, but I couldn't find anyone, so I gave up. On an everyday trip downstairs, I don't usually think about garbage, but when you get a surprise like this, it's hard not to for awhile.

One of the main reasons we produce so much waste today is because things are so over packaged these days. My laptop decided that the keys o, i, u, t, e, 1, 2, -, and ? weren't going to work anymore, so I went out and bought a keyboard to hook up to it until I can get a new laptop. This keyboard came in a red box, and I figured that it would just be in there but no. The keyboard was in the red box, then a regular brown cardboard box, then wrapped in plastic. This just does not seem necessary to me. One box is sufficient to protect a keyboard. It doesn't need to be wrapped three times.
This is just minor though. Almost everything is way over packaged. At the start of the semester when the books I had ordered online were coming in, I was shocked at how packaged many of them were. A small paperback book came in a thick cardboard envelope that was approximately a 2 foot by 2 foot square. That book did not need that much packaging. It was such a waste. When I ship my books that I sold, I package them in an envelope that holds the book snugly. You don't need more than that. It's just wasteful.

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