At school, we just finished up a two day Renaissance Festival with our 8th grade class. In one of my sessions, snacks were brought for the students to eat, a box of clementine oranges and a bag of pretzels. Normally, I don’t allow food in the music room. One reason is there isn’t compost buckets anywhere near the music rooms so food waste ends up in the trash or just left in a practice room. It’s nasty and attracts rodents, insects, or worse. I wanted the kids to eat, so I took out my lunch tiffin and told the students to put their clementine peels in my tiffin and I would take them home and compost them.
This led us to a discussion about my family’s trash. I explained that it had been 8 weeks (now 9) since I had last taken a bag of trash to the landfill.
One of the students asked, “Doesn’t your trash stink? You said it has been 8 weeks, it must smell really bad.”
When you put food waste in your trash, it rots and eventually produces methane.
“In landfills, organic materials, like food scraps and yard trimmings, are broken down by bacteria to produce methane. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is shown to have a warming potential of 21 times that of carbon dioxide.” EPA.
Some municipalities might bottle the methane and use it as fuel some others flare it. Either way it smells bad and is a total waste of energy that could have been used to create healthy soil and grow food.
Composting our food scraps not only makes awesome soil for our gardens, it reduces the creation of methane. Seems like a win-win to me.
Clean plastic wrappers don’t smell, they just last a really long time in our environment and they don’t really add any positive benefit to us as consumers. Keeping that in mind changes the way you look at a bag of pretzels. The product inside might be gone in a matter of minutes but the bag will last a lifetime.
Thanks for reading,