What is taking up so much ram?
Random junk, mostly data that was read from disk and is no longer needed. There's no point in making memory free because there are only two possibilities:
The memory is not used any time soon. In that case, making it free was a waste of effort.
The memory is used soon. In that case, making it free was worse than a waste of effort, it forces the system to do more work to make the memory in use again.
Modern operating systems only make memory free if they have absolutely no other choice. It's more efficient all around to directly transition memory from one use to another without having to go through the extra step of making it free.
Remember, free memory does nothing. It's no better than memory that isn't in your system at all. Only memory that is being used provides any benefit.
If you're thinking "I want memory free so I can use it later", that makes no sense. You can use it now and use it later too. There's no need to compromise.