domingo, 11 de octubre de 2009

talkin' trash

Gone are the days of "just trash it" and "throw it away." As my Culture and Ecology professor Dr. Boyer pointed out to an eager group of aspiring environmentalists some 10 years ago: There is no such thing as away. To which we all passionately nodded and agreed, but perhaps did not fully implement back then into our capricious college lifestyles.

There is an ugly, endless list of data corroborating Dr. Boyer's astute warning. to name a few:

Landfills are surprise! filling UP
Most landfills leak toxins into ground water
Nobody wants a landfill in their backyard (do you?)
Sending our trash into outer space is ridiculous and irresponsible.

In the face of this dilemma, there is some absurd percentage of landfill waste that could have otherwise been diverted. aha! this is where i focus attention on my dinky little farm in Nicaragua, where i am trying to follow the sage advice i received a decade ago.

Before we send our trash "away," it has several possible diversions:

Yummy raw tidbits like fruit and vegetable peelings are gobbled up by Mama Canela y hijos.

mmm, so much tastier covered with dirt!

Other organic waste, including coffee grounds, tea bags, and banana leaves are buried in here, our newly fashioned our worm bin!
Simple concrete bins with an aluminum lid house a prosperous community of both African and Californian worms.The roof/lid keeps the temperature cool and I water daily to maintain appropriate moisture. Note the drainage faucets for collecting compost tea!
We are counting on these slimy decomposers to transform our "garbage" into rich, fertile soil.

The trusty old Compost Bin receives primarily citrus peelings, known to be too strong for worms; avocado pits and large seeds; and egg shells, known to harbor potentially harmful bacteria (and even though they would probably eat them, it seems too gross to feed them to the chickens).

Lastly,,,,, o.k. yes, we are still consuming products packaged in plastic bags, wrappers, bottles, etc. So we make use of the municipal garbage service. Sadly, most folks living out of town burn their trash--yes, even the plastic-- in weekly toxic fires that are completely legal here. I did visit the local dump, and it makes me wonder which is the healthier option.
vulture paradise

Thank you Dr. Boyer! Majoring in anthropology wasn't such a "waste," after all ;)

2 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

I love you comment about throw it away and there is no away. Some real good thoughts. What to do about the plastics though? I wish there was a solution to that.

Elephant's Eye dijo...

Plastic solution. Reduce, buy less, try and avoid unnecessary plastic packaging. Then recycle, and that means buy plastic products that HAVE already BEEN recycled, or, there is no point. Still trying to solve that problem in our town!