When my daughter held her first lemonade stand this past week, I was so caught up in the “milestone” aspect of it all that I totally missed out on an opportunity to add an environmental lesson to the mathematical/economical one.
It’s back to school time for most families, which means it’s a great time to think about how your school is doing on the green front — especially when it comes to the basics, like recycling.
If your school doesn’t already have a recycling program in place, consider starting one. Experts say the general steps to follow are:
Yes, there is a compost bin under there!
Here in Sweden, we haven’t had temperatures above freezing since Christmas, and our compost bin is frozen shut and buried in snow. So much for winter composting this year. I feel incredibly guilty every time I put an avocado skin or banana peel in the trash. And that’s not even the half of it.
See more great videos like these on the Gaiam YouTube Channel!
In the summer of 2009, we asked our friends on Facebook and Twitter to tell us which composters they think we should carry in Gaiam’s spring 2010 catalog. We took the top eight suggestions and let the community vote on them. The two finalists were then compared in an ongoing video series called the Compost-Off, each of which is shared below.
After asking you to vote on four composters we selected from your suggestions, the first round of the Gaiam Compost-Off has come to a close and only two composters remain standing. Here are the results:
Orb Composter – 51% Votes
Earthmaker Composter – 29.5% Votes
Green Cone Composter – 15% Votes
Wigwam Composter – 4.5% Votes
If you’re a Gaiam fan on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or are a member of Gaia, you’ll recall that we recently asked for your input on how to make the best compost, best materials to use for composting, and suggestions on your favorite composters. Why, you may ask? Because we want to step up our selection of composting products to make it even better — and we want you to help us pick the next composter we should carry in our catalog.
Take a look at a pile of food scraps, and most eco-minded folks think “compost.” And sure enough, that’s a great way to recycle. (Or is it “reuse”?)
In any case, there’s another use for your rotting apple cores and moldering orange peels: Energy. A few municipalities have started setting up facilities to capture the biogas that escapes as organic matter decomposes and turn that gas into energy.
“Our garden has gotten people so fired up,” says Kate Weaver, a lead volunteer in a team of Gaiam employees who’s bringing a new organic garden to life at our Boulder, Colo., headquarters. “I’ve never seen so much heart go into anything.”
I could barely contain my surprise when my brother asked me a few months ago which compost bin he should buy from Gaiam. We’re talking about a guy who arguably has the cleanest fingernails on the planet (he’s a heart surgeon) and who has absolutely no tree-hugging tendencies. His SUV gets 13 miles to the gallon. He doesn’t have a single compact fluorescent light bulb in his entire house. He occasionally bikes to work, but mostly to avoid becoming like one of his patients. But his 13-year-old son came home from Boy Scouts one day and said, “Dad, we have to start composting.”
I recently attended one of my favorite gatherings: the Biodynamic Association of Northern California (BDANC) winter meeting. The meeting was at the Frey Ranch in Redwood Valley, which is a phenomenon in itself — about 1,000 acres complete with biodynamic vineyards and organic winery, olive trees, organic gardens, chicken and other poultry farming, and of course abundant solar energy.