Monday, November 10, 2008

“I Looove Garbage”

.....declared Poonam to a group of children who looked at her like she had really lost it! We were on a field trip to Daily Dump, an organization that promotes composting at home. The group of children, all between 7-10 years, each carrying waste from the kitchen – peels, tea leaves, rotten tomatoes and what have you. And each trying hard to hold his breath as we walked towards Daily Dump’s work area. And instead of a smelly, fly-infested garbage dump that we are all used to seeing on our streets, what we saw was a series of very aesthetically designed terracotta pots all lined up in a small garden patch. No smell at all and just a few fruit flies frolicking around! These pots are what Daily Dump designs to help you compost your organic waste at home – truly adding beauty to an aspect of your home where you would least imagine it! Different sizes, designs and service contracts to make composting at home super-easy. Do check out the great work this organization does at their website: http://www.dailydump.org/.

What I would like to share is how I experienced the place with the children. A self-proclaimed Garbage Lady - Poonam connected so well with the children and in her warm and direct way challenged them to look at what “yucky” really means. And how garbage is not really waste. And best of all was her drawing a similarity between garbage and children – saying that just like you kids who have great potential to become something in the future – so does your daily garbage! How cool is that!

Explaining the process in a very simple way, Poonam showed the children how the garbage ‘harvests’ over a period of time. Sure the smell of fresh garbage was a little repulsive to the children, but what was an eye opener is how all that smell is lost even as the garbage is half way into the composting process. By the time your harvest is ready – it actually smells like fresh mud. Pure magic! The children got quite drawn into the process and enthusiastically jumped in to rake the composting garbage. And insisted on doing it several time over – all apprehensions of smell and yuckiness buried under the garbage pile!

What stayed with me the most was Poonam describing the earth as the skin of the earth. And just like people need to keep their skin clean and healthy to be safe, adding compost makes the earth’s skin healthy. Did you know, you can actually reduce your organic waste by 80% by composting at home? And even if you don’t have a garden, by simply adding your compost to the soil anywhere, you are doing your bit towards taking care of the planet.

So go ahead, start composting. Echoing Poonam’s parting remark to the children as they marched out with their composting pots : Let’s all make Earth happy!

3 comments:

Neelakantan said...

Good post!

writefree said...

Thanks for the informative post - what a great way to teach kids! Here in Seattle, we rely on yard waste bins that the city provides. The city also provides composting bins free of cost for home gardens. Worms are available in the local farmers market to add to the mix so they can eat through the kitchen waste and food stained paper.. maybe I'll start my own next year after getting over the ickiness of dealing with worms :)

Smita said...

Thank you for this. I have been trying to plan something like this for the kids in my layout who have organized themselves into a club called Ecolife. Will call you to ask you for more details...

Your description makes me put this first on my 'to-do' list for them.