Firstly, let's give it up for all the eco-heroes that fight the good fight. After all, we'd be screwed without them. Because it's Composting Awareness Week (well, it was, but we've decided to celebrate all year long), we're shining some light on a few leaders in the composting and food waste space.
Stay with me… their work is hotter than my compost. Promise!
The first hero off the rank is Eliska Bramborova.
Eliska Bramborova, founder of ShareWaste
Apartment living can be great! It's cozy, cheaper, generally more central, and feels safe and secure. The downside – bin day. When you argue with your flatmate over who will brave the stench of the rubbish room after dragging a leaky sack of trash to the lift or down the stairs, hoping it doesn't burst open like some trash piñata.
Apartment living inspired Elisak to create ShareWaste – a handy app connecting people wanting to get rid of food waste with local composters. Moving food waste from A to B; from Alice to Bob.
Over half of our rubbish is food waste, totaling a massive 46% of all global solid waste. This solution is great for gardens and the stench on bin day.
ShareWaste is now available across 100 countries, including New Zealand, Australia, the UK, and the USA. Help is literally just a few clicks away…
Karen Washington, urban farming hero
Karen Washington is a New York City lifer. For more than 26 years, she's been promoting urban farming to help all New Yorkers access fresh, locally-grown food.
Despite being called the Big Apple, fresh, local produce wasn't too easy to come by. Karen knew this. She also knew about the empty lots in the Bronx, begging for a purpose. With an army of community volunteers, those vacant lots are now community gardens.
As you can probably already gather, Karen isn't one to sit back and be silent. As an advocate, she's stood up and spoken out for garden protection and preservation. As a La Familia Verde Community Garden Coalition member, she helped launch a City Farms Market, bringing fresh vegetables to her neighbors.
Her work doesn't stop there. Karen also co-founded Black Urban Growers (BUGS), an organization of volunteers supporting growers in urban and rural communities.
After 30 years of practizing as a Physical Therapist, Karen "retired" in 2014. Her idea of retirement? Starting Rise & Root Farm: a five-acre farm run cooperatively by four women working for food justice beyond city boundaries.
There's no slowing this eco-hero down!
The Kates: Ethically Kate & Compostable Kate
Our favorite Kates are content queens! The way they break down composting is super easy to follow and looks pretty? Who knew rot could be so hot.
There's no denying that an engaged social media following is one heck of a tool to have in your shed, but keeping up with content demand and slowing down the serial scrollers is no mean feat.
These ladies rule the rot from nifty sustainable DIY solutions to easy-peasy composting steps. We highly recommend following both Ethically Kate & Compostable Kate for daily nuggets of golden inspiration.
Sounds good, but what's the importance of composting food waste?
Now that you've heard about a few (of many) of our fave eco-heroes, let's recap on why it's so darn important to practice this underrated form of climate activism.
The big ol' problem is that when we send organic waste (like food scraps) to landfills, it doesn't decompose in an environmentally-friendly way. The lack of oxygen in landfills slows the process down, turning it into methane gas, which is 25 times better at trapping heat in our atmosphere (though less long-lived than carbon dioxide).
A Project Drawdown report indicated that organic waste makes up 46% of all global solid waste, contributing "469 tons of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gasses per million metric tons".
If we skip the landfill and compost our organic waste, composting can reduce those emissions by 50%. Now that's a sweet superhero power.
Ready to give it a crack?
Sometimes the hardest part about starting a new sustainable SOMETHING is just – starting! That's why we've put together a nifty beginner's guide to composting.
Worried about the smell? Don't be! Healthy compost smells like soil and is a fantastic way to turn food scraps into fertilizer and really get your garden going. Or old mate Bob from ShareWaste will happily take it off your hands.