A New Milestone

This month my family hit an important milestone: we diverted our 2,000th pound of food/yard waste from the landfill. Today I’d like to talk about how we did this and the unexpected benefits of continuing.

My family started diverting our food and yard waste from the landfill about three years ago. We wanted to start doing so many years prior, but found it challenging for a variety of reasons. When we first wanted to start composting, we were renting and didn’t have any good options that would fit our living situation. We later bought a house in the mountains of Colorado, but we had quite a bit of bear and rodent activity, enough to deter us from wanting to set up a compost bin which might attract more wildlife to the area. Finally, I stumbled upon a website called sharewaste.com which helped me to figure out a good composting solution for my family.

Photo by Denise Nys: https://www.pexels.com/photo/compost-bucket-01b-14824327/

Through the sharewaste website, I connected with neighbors who were willing to take my food scraps to feed their chickens, add to their worm bins, put in their own compost bins, etc. I connected with many people in different areas surrounding me, and planned who to drop off with based on where I needed to be that week. Through sharewaste, I reduced my family’s waste and total emissions, but I also started to build a small community of like-minded people. People who chose to contribute their time and energy for something they believed in, just like I do.

The more I learn about people, sustainability, and societal change, the more I realize just how important community is in making lasting change. We are a social species, and feeling isolated in our endeavors makes them far less likely to be continued. Feeling supported, however, makes change more accessible.

Photo by Dio Hasbi Saniskoro: https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-doing-group-hand-cheer-3280130/

By accepting help with tasks like composting, I can continue to dedicate my time to other activities that are also important to me, and I can work on new endeavors without suffering from burnout. Because the world doesn’t need grand gestures of sustainability happening occasionally from individuals, it needs everyone working together, imperfectly but continuously, to create lasting change.