Saving the Planet… One Bucket at a Time!
Alright, I know I write about a lot of cool people and businesses, but so far none of them have been able to say they are saving the planet like the East Side Compost Pedallers. This organization deserves some sort of fancy earth-shaped trophy to honor their efforts! Their work stretches into nearly every environmental issue – from global warming to sustainable agriculture to landfill reduction and beyond!
Did you know that 30% of all “trash” we throw out isn’t really trash at all!
So… what is it, you ask?
It’s compostable material!
So what is compost, you ask?
Essentially, it’s decayed organic material – clean and rich in nutrients – that is used for fertilizer.
Sounds serious, right? Well, not really. Throw some food scraps, grass clippings, and a brown paper bag together… then just add water and WHAMBAM! You just successfully started your first compost pile! Of course, to get the best compost, it requires a bit more finesse, attention to detail, and dedication to keeping up with the pile. That’s where The East Side Compost Pedallers come in!
The Compost Pedallers are a bike-powered compost recycling service. They’ll collect your scraps each week and pedal them to nearby farms and gardens. All you have to do is throw your extra food into a bucket (rather than the trash) and then put your bucket outside your door once a week.
There are such huge benefits for such little effort! They are taking a problem and almost effortlessly transforming that problem into a beneficial material solution. Compost reduces costs at farms by reducing the need for extra pesticides. It keeps our food clean and free of chemical additives. And, finally, it keeps organic material out of landfills, where it would eventually be released as methane (a greenhouse gas 50x more potent than carbon dioxide!).
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Austin Compost Pedallers Director of Membership, Christina Bradt. If you’ve ever thrown anything away at our HOPE Farmer’s Market, you’ve probably met Christina! After graduating with an environmental science degree and moving to Austin, she started with the organization as an intern. She still fondly remembers her first collection in December of 2012.
Christina admits that she has turned into somewhat of a compost nerd. She and her fellow pedaller and boyfriend Paul have been known to take plastic ware to restaurants to take their food scraps home.
So, maybe you don’t need to go that far, but if you would like to start composting (and start saving the planet!) or just want to stay up to date on local sustainability initiatives, check out The East Side Compost Pedallers’ links below. Also, give them a high five for their great work the next time you’re at the HOPE Farmers Market! They sort ALL of the discarded Market materials into bins containing either compost, recycling, or items to be sent to the landfill. They’ll also be happy to answer ANY questions you have about sorting your own trash or building your own compost pile! HOPE loves the Compost Pedallers!
P.S The Pedallers work with corporate groups, too! Going green has never been easier. Check it out!
I’m Brooke, the author of the blog you’ve just read. Working with the HOPE Farmer’s Market has been so great, but unfortunately I will have to leave HOPE to finish my last semester at Baylor University this fall. I will graduate with a major in political science and a minor in poverty studies and social justice. When I’m not blogging, my days are full of studying for the GRE and applications. I know I’m super exciting this summer, right? But every blog, I’ll let you guys know something a bit more interesting about myself and this week’s fact is:
One of my favorite books is “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien.