I appreciate the ability to live a relatively simple life and composting helps me to accomplish that. --Amy Roberts of Hamilton County
This is a photo series submission from Amy Roberts of Hamilton County for our summer competition, Compost Appreciation Challenge.
Around my house, the motto is "We Can Compost It!" After every meal, we all scrape our plates into the counter-top compost bin, and I place all my coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peelings, egg shells, paper towels, tea bags, and the like in it throughout the day. "Wait! Can you compost that?" I ask when I see someone heading for the garbage can, which I've hidden in the pantry so that it's out of sight, out of mind. Almost always, the answer is "We can!" so I usually have a full bin to carry out to the back yard every evening. ("Time to slop the grubs," I announce.) My totals average 3-5 lbs a day, and in the summer, all the melon rinds and corn cobs fill it up especially fast! I started composting around 10 years ago, soon after we moved into our house in Old Hickory and I saw an article in the Tennessean that Metro was offering Green Machine composting bins for $40. I've been composting daily ever since, and I'm always astounded that the level of waste in the bin always stays at the 3/4-full mark, which lets me know everything's breaking down just right. Next to the green machine, I have an area loosely fenced in with chicken wire where I dump yard clippings and leaves, and sometimes I'll toss in a shovelful of these, too, but in general, I usually just let the worms and bugs do their work in peace, disturbing them briefly a couple of times in the spring and summer to shovel out some dirt when I plant my herbs and tomatoes. My primary goal with composting is to contribute less trash to the landfill. Between composting, reducing, and recycling, we usually have one bag of garbage every two weeks, and I'd love to reduce it even more. I joined #ComePostYourCompost after seeing information about the program at the Nashville Earth Day festival this April (and, honestly, I just cannot resist clever word play). Composting makes me feel helpful and empowered. I'm so happy to be the Composter of the Month! Thank you!
Laura Fry won a $100 Visa card for her exemplary composting efforts! You too can be a winner by recruiting others to join #ComePostYourCompost, submitting weekly totals, and sending us pictures or posting to our Facebook group.
Happy Composting, and keep up that dirty work!
Congratulations to Renee Conger of Knox County on winning our mid-May raffle draw! As a result of regularly submitted her totals, Renee recieved a cash prize this month for composting! How easy is that?! You too can win big by submitting consistently and recruiting others to join the effort. Stay dirty, composters, and #ComePostYourCompost
Carol Mullis of White County! We applaud all your hard work this April in reducing food waste going to our landfills through our favorite -- composting.
Check out that compost mountain!
Participate this month and you too can win by submitting your food waste totals, recruiting others to join and posting on our Facebook group page (or sending #ComePostYourCompost pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org).
Karin Hoover of Knox County is this month's raffle drawing winner! As a result of submitting her food waste totals and participating with Tennessee Environmental Council's compost campaign Karin received a $50 Visa gift card. Thank you Karin, and keep up that dirty work! #ComePostYourCompost
Tennessee Environmental Council is proud to announce Mary Ellen Ehman from Coffee County as March's mid-month raffle drawing winner. Mary expressed her excitement in winning this month's cash price, "I’m so excited I won the “Come, Post Your Compost” challenge! Maybe I’ll get a selfie stick with the $. Every one great job! Keep composting your garden will be happy and you might be the next winner".
Thank you Mary Ellen and all of our dedicated composters!
Ambitious Educators Luwana Bawcum and Mary Glendura of Benton County dedicated themselves to teaching 18 scouts about herbs and composting. Luwana explains a great way to engage a young group of learners, "We played the Compost Game. A scout would pick an item out of a box and we would yell either "IN" or "OUT" of the compost pile. They also did a hands-on activity by making their own mini-composters in empty plastic water bottles, which were gathered from my recent Camden Garden Club bingo night fundraiser. The scouts were amazed to see that the one I had made a week earlier had already begun to turn into compost!"
And we are amazed too! Thank you Luwana and Mary for instilling a love and curiosity for the natural world of composting into the next generation. Happy composting, folks!
I work at the University of Memphis, Lambuth Campus in Jackson Tennessee. I started composting food scraps from the Blue Grey Cafe on our campus February 2018. I used a plastic tilt truck as my composting container, I drilled holes in the bottom and keep it covered with a tarp. First I filled it full of leaves that I collected on campus. Then I began adding whatever food scraps our Cafe left for me after their meal preps. I gave them a bucket with a lid and I checked it every afternoon. I did not start weighing the amount collected until Fall 2018. I only collect during the Spring and Fall semesters. Fall semester totaled 157 lbs of food waste diverted, so I estimate that if as much was collected in Spring, we diverted around 300 lbs of food waste in one year.
I use two large tilt trucks for the compost. I add to one in the spring and the other throughout the fall. I turn the bins with a pitchfork every time I add fresh materials. It takes about 2 months for the compost to finish decomposing and be ready to put out in the garden. I have successfully made one usable batch of compost since last year and my second batch will be ready to put out into our campus flower beds whenever we start planting this Spring. It is fulfilling to know that we have turned waste into a valuable resource for our campus. Recently we developed a poster informing faculty and students how to compost at home. I have added two vermicompost bins on campus as well! I am excited to use some of our shredded paper waste as their bedding and to see how much of the Cafe food waste they are able to consume.
-Submitted by Camille Sikes of Madison County.
Great work, Camille!
How can you initiate composting in your community?! Send your personal compost stories to email@example.com
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