Happy Earth Day! In celebration I’d like to share a guest blog post about something you probably never even considered: composting in the schools. How cool is that? Kids love dirt! And what a great way to start a garden.
Jeremy runs the blog Sustainable in the Suburbs, which covers all things sustainable in the Chicago Suburbs and it’s on twitter @SustainableSub. Sustainable in the Suburbs is a one stop location for all things related to sustainability in the Chicago Suburbs, whether it be local news, sustainable living, or interviews with local leaders in sustainability; its a place where you can learn, connect, and get involved.
Good school lunches or bad, if all of the food on the tray is not eaten, it usually all goes into the same place, the trash. And just as with school lunch, when it comes to disposing of leftover food, there is a better way. Most schools in the country throw leftover food right into the garbage can. Just like in the elementary school cafeteria in Jamie Oliver’s television show Food Revolution, the three thuds of the tray against the side of the garbage can signaled that food was being thrown into the trash, where it will most likely head off to a landfill in an airtight bag, to be preserved indefinitely, sealed underground. But, there is a better way: school composting programs. School composting programs are not only better for the earth, but they can also be an amazing hands on learning laboratory for the students and help them to become good stewards of the planet.
As landfills fill up, disposing of our waste is becoming more of a problem. One beautiful thing about much of the waste we generate, especially in a school cafeteria, is that it can be composted. Creating composting programs in schools is good for the planet and has multiple benefits for the students. A website created by Cornell University that covers the benefits of composting in schools says it best.
“With composting, children can do more than just sending cans or newspapers off for recycling — they can see the entire cycle, from “yucky” food scraps or other organic wastes to something that is pleasant to handle and is good for the soil. Contrary to the “out of sight, out of mind” philosophy, children who compost become aware of organic wastes as potential resources rather than just as something “gross” to be thrown away and forgotten. They learn through direct experience that they personally can make a difference and have a positive effect on the environment.”