Thursday, 11 April 2013

Composting at work

There are lots of ways to make a little difference every day towards reducing the amount of material that goes to land fill. We all do our bit by composting and recycling at home, but why stop there? Several years ago I decided to extend our recycling and composting activities to my work place. 
I started in the office kitchens by putting a large, clearly labeled, container with a lid in each kitchen to collect fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds from the coffee machines, tea bags etc.


By the end of each day these containers are pretty full. I empty them into a single, large  container, put the lid on and take it home to add to our compost bins. In this way we collect between 10-16 litres of compostable material per day, 5 days a week....which adds up to well over a tonne each year.

The kitchen waste becomes lovely compost which we use in our fruit and vegetable garden. This is just one practical way that we as individuals can help fight climate change - instead of letting things go to land fill to release carbon into the atmosphere, we can sequester that carbon and use it to make our gardens more productive.  
But why stop at kitchen waste? There are plenty of other things that can be recycled from our workplaces. The shredded paper from the office shredding machines is now put to good use as bedding material for friends’ chooks, or used as layers in making compost.  When the office got re-carpeted, did the carpet off-cuts get thrown away?  No way. They went straight home to be used in our no-dig garden where they worked a treat.
Given that my workplace is trying to be more ‘green’, my recycling efforts are encouraged. I'm even considering expanding 'operation compost' - the limiting factor being how much I can carry home each day on public transport. The point is we can all make a difference. At first it might not seem like much, but individual efforts really do add up. Plus you find that people become curious about what you do with the compost. This generally leads to discussions about composting, organic gardening and sustainability.  So it’s a good way of raising public awareness too.

You might find that similar opportunities exist at your workplace - all you have to do is ask!


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