It is estimated that 33.3% to 50% of household waste is organic matter. Though this may not seem like a problem, it turns out that 1 out of 5 tons of landfills are composed of toxic organic waste, so we wanted to learn more.
We decided to get first-hand information, so we composed a survey and sent it out to the students of our school. We asked how much organic waste they produce each week and what they do with it. We were shocked and disappointed by the results we got of the detrimental disposal of our organic waste, so we decided to do something about it and talked with our eco club to stop this rising threat. Therefore, our club came up with the idea to do vermicomposting at our school. This will help to work towards sustainable development goals such as zero hunger and supporting life on land.
The students of our club came together to consider numerous options to solve this seemingly never-ending problem. Among one of the topics discussed was vermicomposting. Our school invited the founder of Cathy’s Crawly Composters to have her teach our students more about the vermicomposting worms we would soon have on our hands. She taught us the dangers of not composting, why organic matter in landfills is a huge problem and how the worms contribute to resolving this issue. We even got to have a little fun of our own and hold the small creatures to give our students an idea of what kind of work they would be doing. We reconvened with our club the next day and discussed our next steps. We strategically placed our worm terrarium in a rather shady place to keep them from drying up. We then put a 5-litre anaerobic compost bin in our classrooms in order for students and staff to dispose of their organic waste, such as apple cores, to provide nourishment for our worms. As the worms eat the food remains, it passes through them and is transformed into compost. This perfect planting soil will be used by many to function as a food garden and work towards eliminating famine within our community. Our goal is to provide inspiration for each student and their family to start vermicomposting at home. Hence, enabling them to add healthy pesticide-free soil to their gardens without using chemical fertilizers. This, in turn, will help reduce the amount of landfill we produce and will help us reduce gas emissions. According to Reuters, 11% of global methane emissions are caused by landfills, and they’ve estimated by 2050 that these emissions will amount to 70%. By allowing our students to work with these worms, we are promoting climate action and ensuring a safer composting system for generations to come.
Reflection & Celebration
After more than two months of hard work, we had finished what we started. So we decided to ask some members of our eco club how this project had an impact on their life. Each student had a similar response saying that this project helped them better understand the environment and the impact these worms will have on our daily lives. Being in this project taught the eco club a very valuable lesson; worms are small, their impact is great, and they play a crucial role in climate sustainability and action. Even though you’re small, the impact you have is immense.
Check out this video of our project!