At my church (Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ormond Beach, FL, USA), we have had some sort of composting program in place for awhile now. It sort of ebbs and flows depending on various factors (such as how many of the more green-minded members are in town — we have a significant percentage of “snowbirds” in our congregation).
One problem we run into is lack of understanding about the benefits of composting. Another is the perception that the compost container smells and attracts bugs (which it doesn’t; if anything, throwing food scraps and partially consumed cups of beverages into the open kitchen trash can attracts bugs).
Although not all of our members support the composting program or even know we do it, we have found ways to keep the program going. Right now it seems to be on the upswing. In fact, some members ask us to save the coffee grounds for them to take home for their gardens.
But not everyone loves the compost. Some people are absolutely convinced it’s dirty and attracts bugs.
To address the naysaying component, one of the more longtime members, who is very green-minded, suggested I write a short article in our newsletter to increase awareness and understanding. I was asked to keep it short. Here’s what I submitted; feel free to take what I wrote and adapt it to your church or other organization.
(Note: I apologize for the weird large font size below; I am trying but have so far been unable to figure out how to fix it. I may have to just retype it manually but I would really like to know once and for all how to manage font size because it is an ongoing problem with this blog, especially with text that has been cut and pasted from emails, articles, etc. I try “rinsing” it through text apps but nothing seems to help get rid of extraneous formatting that creeps in. OK, right now this ugly giant-sized mutant font is just bugging the crap out of me so I’m just gonna bite the bullet and retype it for you. Curse my techno-stupid brain but at least I can type! Just one example of how, when technology gets too fancy for our own good, good old-fashioned elbow-grease often saves the day. Update: I think I just figured out a robust “rinse” to get rid of that persistent pesky hidden formatting that wreaks havoc on my blog type sizes: Copy the text I want from an article, etc., and paste it into a phone text message to myself. Copy it from there and paste it into WordPress blog post. I tested it and it seems to work!)
Composting at Our UU: Small Simple Action Makes a Big Difference
You may have notice a small green box in the kitchen next to the recycling bin. That’s a compost collection box. We use it to collect our food scraps and other compostable items, and carry them to the compost bin in the garden. As this organic matter decomposes, rich soil is produced.
By composting, we embody UU values in several ways:
Care for the environment: Radically reduce the volume of trash we send to landfill.
Honor the interconnectedness of all life: Composting feeds the soil microorganisms, on which all life depends.
Respect our fellow human beings: By eliminating food scraps and other compostables, we reduce the weight of our UU kitchen trash by 50% or more. And the trash is much less messy to deal with.
The compost collection box has a snug-fitting lid; it does not smell or attract bugs. The kitchen staff handles composting. You can support our efforts by not putting liquids or food scraps into the trash.
To learn more about composting and its many benefits, ask Jenny or another green team member.