Composting and anxiety, who would have thought those two would go in a sentence together.
So for a long time I have know that composting is good because you get lovely rich soil out of it but it is only recently in the last years of learning more about zero waste that I have learnt all the benefits of composting and consequently the costs of not composting.
When our food scraps go to landfill they are normally in a plastic bag or surrounded by plastic bags which means that there is little oxygen so it can’t break down because it doesn’t have the conditions it need to start decomposition. When this happens it begins anaerobic decomposition which basically means breaks down without oxygen. When this happens methane is released which is 30 times worse than carbon dioxide. By composting not only are you not releasing methane into the atmosphere but you are also reducing the amount space used in landfill. Compost can also help with flooding but that’s another blog post for another day.
“Wrap revealed that an estimated 7.3m tonnes of household food waste was thrown away in 2015” (Jan 2017)
In my previous house there was a garden and I asked permission from the landlord to place a composting bin in the garden. However in my new place we don’t have a garden and all the allotments are not very close. So I asked a friend from Reading Bicycle Kitchen (RBK) and he told me that when he used to volunteer at RISC they would let him compost in their rooftop garden.
Why composting and anxiety for the title? Read below an insert from my journal on the 11 July.
Zero waste and social anxiety. A circular economy is not the norm in our society so if we want to live consciously we can’t be passive, living zero waste forces us to ask for how we want things instead of accepting what is culturally the norm (this also happens when transitioning to veganism). Just because culture deems something to be ok, it doesn’t mean we have to accept this, like Earthling Ed says we can’t let culture dictate what is morally ok. In some countries women aren’t allowed to end unwanted pregnancies, in some it’s ok for a man to rape a woman as long as its his wife, homosexuality is illegal in a lot of countries, killing cows and grinding up baby chicks is legal is seemed a standard practice, in other countries they kill dogs. Sorry went off topic a little! Back to ZW + anxiety: it can be very daunting to ask that slightly grumpy bartender for no straw or like today I went to a fair-trade shop that has a garden on its roof to ask if I can bring my compost & the woman seemed impatient and a little annoyed at me so I got muddled & rambled. At one point I wished I hadn’t bothered but I finally got my message across & she gave me the email for the woman that runs the rooftop garden. Success!
I emailed and during the month of July we collected all our veggie scraps and banana skins in the bottom draw of our freezer. I got an email back to say that I could compost with them and some more details. On the second of August I went and again the same lady was there at the front desk and she wasn’t the friendliest, she told me that the woman that I emailed wasn’t in so I showed her the email saying it was ok for me to compost and she let me go upstairs where there is an office and I ran into a woman I used to volunteer with at RBK and another girl was super friendly and showered me around and even told me to help myself to some raspberries!
The rooftop is so pretty that I took some footage to do a vlog which I finished editing today!
Let me know how you compost or the challenges you have faced when trying to compost.
Also soon I will do a more comprehensive video on composting options 🙂
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