Natalie Freeze



When considering topics for my enterprise story, I was inspired by Grist, a non-profit news organization that devotes time and attention to covering environmental policies and explaining complicated issues. I love watching their videos and reading their daily newsletter. This is where I got a lot of my foundational information to craft my story.

I chose to write about the revised recycling standards because it is something so relevant and important, yet I didn’t see many articles written about it. Once I had completed some background research about the recycling issues in the United States, I turned to my interview sources. This helped me narrow my focus from a national issue to a state issue and finally to a campus concern.

I also knew that I wanted to get a student perspective as well as professional opinions. For my influential interviews, I talked to Ashlee Yoder who works directly with the sustainability department of the Salt Lake Valley Landfill. She was a great resource because every day she sees the consequences of not recycling. I hadn’t thought about this before, but those who work with the landfill are some of the biggest advocates for proper recycling.

Josh James was also a great contact because he oversees recycling on campus. He gave me great insight into what the University of Utah is currently doing to improve the waste management system on campus and how China’s restrictions have impacted it’s policies and procedures.

I also interviewed a student studying environmental sustainability at the U. Sophie Morton was helpful because we were able to talk about what challenges we see with recycling on campus. A student’s perspective was important because they are the ones who are making daily decisions about recycling and she was also able to direct me to some great articles about this topic.

A challenge for me was coordinating the landfill tour because it took communicating weeks in advance about dates and times that could work and then finding a friend who was willing to drive us there as I do not have access to a car. Overcoming these challenges was well worth it in the end, and seeing the Salt Lake Valley Landfill in person was so interesting and different from what I expected. I was surprised that it did not smell bad at all!

Finally, after researching about recycling and interviewing my three sources, I was ready to write. I wanted to keep it as clear and simple as possible, so that anyone reading my story could understand the issue, why it matters, and what they can do to make a difference. Keeping this framework in mind, I made sure that I concluded my story with action steps and optimism.


Growing up, I had this strange dream of being a pharmacist. But only if I could work at Walgreens. It all began in the back seat of a mini-van, waiting in the drive-thru lane of Walgreens picking up a prescription with my mom. The line was taking forever, and my mom was not satisfied with their speed of service. She was frustrated that there was only one pharmacist working. So naturally, I decided right then and there to become a pharmacist. But not just any pharmacist, a Walgreens pharmacist.

Thirteen years later, and sorry mom, but I don’t think that is the plan anymore. After graduating from Lone Peak High School in Highland, Utah; I chose to further my education by joining the Honors College at the University of Utah. Freshmen year, I had no idea what I wanted to spend the next four years of my life studying, but I knew that I had a passion for humanities. From world geography to art history, I wanted to focus on human interactions and connections.

After taking a major exploration course last fall, I discovered my passion for the field of communication. I am currently finishing my sophomore year here at the U, and I am looking forward to studying abroad this summer in Patagonia, Argentina. I am planning to graduate in the spring of 2021 with a major in Health Science Environment and Risk Communication and the Ecology and Legacy Integrated minor. I hope to either continue my education in grad school or start a career working with a nonprofit or some sort of social marketing agency.