This blog brought to you by Jaclynne Hall, our intern from Goucher College in Winter 2022. Jaclynne is an International Relations and Spanish student, will graduate in 2023 and is interested in a career in international relations.
Why should we compost? Doesn’t it smell? What about the worms getting out? And as one of the viewers so aptly put it, “I don’t like worms!”
In an interview with Cathy Nesbitt, we learn that composting isn’t as gross as we may think it is. And towards the end, I even thought to myself, maybe I should start composting here in my college dorm!
There are so many benefits to composting: minimizing your food waste, creating a fertilizer in which you know the contents, and you’re doing a small part in affecting climate change. Before watching this interview, you may be a skeptic like I was. But with the right care and patience, composting with worms produces so many benefits.
There is a garbage crisis. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, we generated 292.4 million tons of waste in 2018, which translates to 4.9 pounds per person per day. A majority of that waste went to landfills. Cathy, who’s Canadian, disclosed that the US and Canada had struck up a deal to send their garbage to the US since Canadian landfills had been put out of use. With all the waste we produce, we don’t think long term about the consequences of what this could mean for the environment. By composting our own food waste, we make a small but meaningful impact. And personally, we can gain more of an understanding and appreciation for the creepy crawlies of the world.
But why compost with worms when we can compost without them? They break down food faster and alert you when your mixture of waste is unbalanced. If you place too many acidic items or put too many scraps in at once, it’ll start to smell and the worms won’t be able to process it. With the right balance, there’s no smell, no mess, and no unwanted visitors — aka fruit flies. I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all experienced having fruit flies in the house. Were we composting? Not necessarily. I know that I wasn’t composting when I had them. By burying food scraps and allowing the worms to work their magic, they can break down our waste into wonderful “black gold” as Cathy described it.
Composting is also a great learning opportunity for your kids! They learn about the importance of caring for other living things and that the fertilizer composting produces can help plants flourish. They can also gain an understanding for respecting the environment. I see nothing but great learning opportunities from this.
Take a bit of time to watch this interview because it was truly interesting to hear how beneficial and simple it was to compost with worms. I hope this inspired you!