How I got personal about the environment
For my home life our household already recycles paper and plastics in accordance with the voluntary municipal recycling program available to us. However we don't have a composting program in St. John's as it is largely discouraged in the downtown region due to compost receptacles' tendency to attract rodents. So I asked some friends in other parts of the city if they compost and how they go about doing so. I've learned that there are services available where someone will come by for a small fee and pick up your compost for you and deliver it to farms and other places it can be used. Luckily for me, my friend's dad picks hers up for free, to be used in his personal garden, and she was more than happy to allow me to drop mine off to her for pick up! Given that most of my meals are cooked at home and that I follow a vegetarian diet I create a lot of food waste that is otherwise thrown in the garbage. In the span of three days I created almost a 5 gallon bucket in food scraps alone. It felt good to know that it was going somewhere it could be useful instead of just a landfill.
I found the challenge the hardest when I was out in public places, like when I got a coffee at Starbucks there was really nowhere for me to recycle it as they only have plastic bottle recycling receptacles there. When I got lunch at the mall my food was served on a plastic plate with a plastic fork with only a bottle recycling bin available once again. I ended up rinsing things out in the bathroom and bringing them home with me to be recycled, which wasn't as big an inconvenience as it may sound. My biggest issue when I'm out is remembering to bring my reusable items, so by the time Sunday came I set a reminder on my phone to bring my travel mug so when it came time to get my coffee I was prepared.
It struck me how much waste one person can really create in such a short time just doing everyday normal activities. Food scraps, plastic bags, coffee cups, food wrappers, tissue, napkins, soda cans, take out containers and utensils, product packaging, and straws to name a few. Had I not recycled any of that I could have easily filled a large garbage bag all on my own.