An experiment in conscious living.

Commitment #26

“I will compost.”

Proper management of your green waste (yard clippings, etc.) and food discards is an important part of managing your personal waste stream. Until now, I’ve been piling food scraps and yard waste in a pile at the edge of our lot. Though it keeps these putrescibles — that’s a scientific term for things that turn nasty in the landfill — from entering the waste stream, it’s not the most effective way to manage this resource. Turns out, when composted properly and not just left in a pile to rot, things like orange peels, old bread and hedge clippings can be turned into a nutrient rich concoction to feed your garden or landscape.

East Hawai`i composting and vermiculture (worm composting) workshops are provided through a generous grant from the County of Hawai`i Department of Environmental Management and are provided regularly around the island. Composting workshops are $10 each and include an Earth Machine composting unit! Check my calendar or visit Recycle Hawai`i for upcoming workshops. Since I just missed the Hilo workshop I’ll probably attend the one in Waimea on February 20th because another one won’t be hosted in Hilo until May 22nd. Taking composting seriously will allow me to create a valuable gardening input and I couldn’t be more excited about taking a hands-on approach in creating a sustainable food system for myself (and friends and family).

More from the County of Hawai`i Department of Environmental Management. . .

“Organics (biodegradable products like paper products, greenwaste, food waste, and even cardboard) are dumped by the tens of thousands of tons into US landfills. Not only are these organic materials valuable resources diverted from industries that may benefit from these materials, such as agriculture and transportation, but they have a high negative impact on the climate when placed into landfills. These materials comprise more than half of our solid waste composition, and when they are buried in landfills, they begin to decompose anaerobically (without oxygen), causing highly toxic levels of methane, impacting our air quality and climate change. These organic materials can be used to create soil where there is none, improve soil where soil quality is poor, and support our farmers by creating affordable, local products, promoting self-sufficiency and high quality products.”

Join me in making this lifestyle commitment at Kanu Hawai`i.


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